Bernardo Silva was always the preferred midfield target for Barcelona, but Tottenham man Giovani Lo Celso was always seen as a potential plan B.
Unfortunately, that option seems to be off the table with Tottenham reportedly turning down a loan offer from Barcelona for the Argentinian.
According to SPORT, the Premier League side have no interest in letting Lo Celso leave on loan this summer, and Barcelona are unable to afford any transfer fee associated with the move.
Lo Celso has yet to make an appearance for Tottenham through the first two weeks of the Premier League season, despite the player being in fine form through the pre-season with two goals.
It’s believed that Tottenham would want €10-€15 million to part with him on a permanent basis, but Barca is unwilling to offer that considering the club’s financial situation, and the fact that Lo Celso could be a complementary piece for Xavi, likely only playing on rotation and late in games.
Although Tottenham hasn’t utilised his talents so far, they do see him as a good rotational player and a player capable of stepping in if injury bites, which is why they’re keen to keep him on the books if a profit can’t be made on a sale.
What are the options for Barcelona now?
When this rumour first surfaced, I argued that Lo Celso wouldn’t offer a great deal more than Barcelona Academy product Fermin Lopez.
I still believe that if you need a player to come on and give you 15-20 minutes of offensive output from midfield, he’s your best option considering the financial limitations.
We asked the question if Fermin could break through at Barcelona, and I believe that with Bernardo Silva signing a new deal at Manchester City and Lo Celso no longer being an option, that’s a very real chance now.