Tottenham reportedly have a specific plan in mind as they look to sort out the future of central midfielder Giovani Lo Celso.
The Argentina international, who has won 36 caps to date, was left out of the squad by Antonio Conte as Tottenham faced Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon. They lost 2-0 following goals from Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Lo Celso’s snub was a surprising one given the update he posted on social media recently. “Regarding the questions I received I would like to clear out that I am 100 per cent in good physical condition,” he said. “I have no problem and I feel very well.”
The 25-year-old has made just nine Premier League appearances this term and is yet to complete a full 90 minutes in the competition.
Most of his opportunities have come in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Europa Conference League.
Lo Celso has struggled with knee and shin problems since Conte’s arrival at Tottenham on November 2. However, even though he is now fully fit, it is unlikely he will break into the starting eleven.
According to the Daily Mail, who cite The Athletic, Spurs are aiming to resolve the star’s situation this month.
Giovani Lo Celso lined up for exit
They are supposedly planning to use him in a swap deal which would help them to land one of their primary transfer targets.
The report does not state which deal Lo Celso may be added to. It probably won’t be part of Adama Traore’s switch from Wolves, as the two clubs are finalising talks over a £20m fee.
Wijnaldum ready to leave PSG for Spurs
PSG midfielder Gini Wijnaldum is ready to leave and join Tottenham this January
Lo Celso could secure a return to Real Betis, whom he left for Spurs in August 2019. Reports last month put the Seville-based team in the picture to re-sign him.
His best form came at the Benito Villamarin Stadium, particularly in the 2018-19 season. Lo Celso bagged nine goals and five assists in 31 La Liga games, helping Real Betis to finish 10th in the table.
He reportedly has fond memories of his time there and could push for an exit if they came calling.
Tottenham could lose out on Milenkovic signing
Meanwhile, Spurs are facing the possibility of losing out on Nikola Milenkovic to a Premier League rival.
The Fiorentina centre-back has long been on Spurs’ radar, particularly since Fabio Paratici’s arrival in north London.
The director is a fan of Milenkovic from his time working at Italian giants Juventus.
However, Spurs could be beaten to the powerhouse defender’s signature. According to the Daily Mail, Newcastle are ready to reignite their interest in Milenkovic.
The Magpies may sign him once Diego Carlos’ transfer from Sevilla is complete.
Milenkovic would cost £32m this month. That is well within Newcastle’s reach thanks to their big-money takeover earlier in the campaign.