Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham to fend off big Barcelona raid after refusing to leave Postecoglou short in January

Giovani Lo Celso Tottenham

Giovani Lo Celso remains a top target for Barcelona

Tottenham are fully expected to reject Barcelona’s attempts to sign a player who has become a key component of Ange Postecoglou’s side in recent weeks.

While Spurs are expected to be active in the January transfer window, there is also the chance of some outgoings, with the likes of Hugo Lloris, Eric Dier and potentially Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg tipped to leave.

But one position Tottenham cannot afford to weaken is their engine room, which is why Hojbjerg may have to hang around a bit longer before a summer exit, while Giovani Lo Celso‘s proposed Barcelona switch is now reportedly out of the question.

Postecoglou will lose Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar-Sarr to the African Cup of nations next month, while James Maddison and Rodrigo Bentancur are on their way back from injuries and may not be available again until the end of January.

To that end, Lo Celso is still expected to play a prominent role in north London, having impressed in recent outings.

The Argentine’s Tottenham career appeared to be over when he was allowed to leave on a temporary basis by Postecoglou’s predecessor, Antonio Conte.

The midfielder joined La Liga side Villarreal on an 18-month loan deal, which ran until the end of the 2022-23 season.

And, despite returning to north London over the summer, Lo Celso was once again linked with a move away ahead of the current campaign, with Barcelona boss Xavi known to be a big fan of the attacking midfielder.

However, after impressing pre-season, Lo Celso waited around and hs recently been given his chance to impress – largely down to Maddison’s injury.

Indeed, the 27-year-old has started three of the club’s last four games, although he was back on the bench for the 4-1 win over Newcastle last time out.

But, despite the fact he is now a key player for Postecoglou, the links to Barca refuse to go away.

DON’T MISSThe 10 most valuable players at Tottenham: Postecoglou signing takes top spot, Romero on the rise

Barcelona keep on pushing for Lo Celso

The Catalan giants are keen to sign a new midfielder in the January window, with Gavi set to miss the rest of the season after suffering an ACL injury while on international duty with Spain last month.

They view Lo Celso as a perfect alternative, especially as he has plenty of experience playing in LaLiga already.

However, The Sun reports that Tottenham are determined to keep the midfielder and will turn down any Barca offers for Lo Celso.

That is largely because the midfield area is set to decimated in January, leaving the likes of Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp and Lo Celso to pick up the slack.

But in terms of Lo Celso’s long-term future in north London, a summer exit cannot be ruled out at this stage.

The Argentine has scored 11 goals in 91 appearances for Spurs since his initial loan switch to the club was made permanent in 2020.

Tottenham are back in action on Friday evening when they head to Nottingham Forest in the Premier League, looking to build on that fine win over Newcastle.

READ MORECentre-back beast a ‘very good solution’ for Tottenham after talks take place; Uruguay defender also in January mix