EXCLUSIVE: Wolves, Leeds fail in bid to sign former Middlesbrough playmaker

Former Middlesbrough starlet Bilal Brahimi was snapped up by Nice in January, but there was interest for him to return to England or Scotland, TEAMtalk understands.

Brahimi was a big prospect for Boro in their academy up to 2019 when he moved back to his native France with Reims. He was sent on-loan to Le Mans last season where he kick-started his career as he claimed 12 goals and 10 assists.

We understand that Wolves, Leeds and Rangers all took a keen interest in the 21-year-old. However, Nice moved quickly to secure his signature.

Sources confirmed to TEAMtalk that Nice made the move for Brahimi after failing to land Manchester United misfit Jesse Lingard.

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Barca chief confirms Traore plans

Meanwhile, Barcelona President Joan Laporta has rubbed salt in Tottenham’s wounds by declaring his club’s intention of signing Adama Traore on a permanent basis.

Tottenham were in talks with Wolves over the Spanish winger heading into the final week of the January transfer window. They thought they had struck a deal worth £20million, only for Barcelona to scupper their plans.

The Nou Camp outfit swooped in to finalise a loan agreement with Wolves which will run until the end of the campaign.

Tottenham defender Japhet Tanganga battling Wolves winger Adama Traore

Traore was keen to return to the city where he grew up. The pacy star came through Barca’s famed La Masia academy before leaving for Aston Villa in August 2015.

Reports suggest Barca have the opportunity to make his move permanent for £30m in the summer. Laporta has now confirmed that option in two separate statements, ending Tottenham’s last hopes of capturing Traore later this year.

The chief said (via Sport Witness): “Adama is on loan until the end of the season but Barca’s will is to exercise the purchase option.

“And for that I thank him for the effort he has made to come to Barca. The club will always take it into account.”

Joan Laporta explains Adama Traore deal

In a separate interview with Mundo Deportivo, Laporta declared: “It’s a free option, not mandatory, for both parties.

“There are fixed amounts. At the end of the season we will sit down with Adama and his representatives. I want this option to be exercised.”

When returning to the La Liga side, Traore said: “I’m so happy to come back here. It’s been a long time since I’ve been here.

“For me it’s a special moment because it’s been many years. I grew up in this town, I grew up here with my family and friends and I’m very happy [to return].

“I’d just like to give back that happiness on the pitch.”