Villarreal president Fernando Roig has claimed Giovani Lo Celso is keen on joining the club but admitted the La Liga side cannot afford the Tottenham man unless they sell players this summer.
It was previously reported that Lo Celso was Villarreal’s number one target this summer following his impressive loan spell at El Madrigal in the second half of last season (El Periodico Mediterraneo).
The temperature reported this week that Unai Emery is hoping to sign the 26-year-old for a fee of £16m plus £5m in add-ons, but it has been suggested the fee is lower than Tottenham’s asking price.
It now looks like other clubs could enter the race for Lo Celso, with Sports Stadium reporting that Spurs offered the midfielder to Atletico Madrid while Sevilla president Jose Castro described the Argentine as ‘a magnificent player’ (ABC Seville).
Roig has now insisted Villarreal haven’t negotiated with Spurs for Lo Celso as they lack the funds to sign the former Real Betis man.
He said El Periodico Mediterraneo on the club’s pursuit of Lo Celso: “It’s a very complex operation. He’s a top player and we know he wants to stay at Villarreal, but we can’t achieve that if there are no departures.
“He told us he wanted to stay. We didn’t negotiate because we don’t have departures. We are unable to make an offer as we do not have the capacity at this time. We have a large and expensive team.
Boosts web opinion
Given that Villarreal want Lo Celso and need to sell players, Spurs could see the situation as an opportunity to include the Argentine in a deal for Pau Torres. I wouldn’t be surprised if the North London club turn their attention to Torres over the next few days and weeks now that their pursuit of Bastoni appears to be over.
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