Thursday, January 27, 2022 6:00 p.m. GMT
Barcelona are in talks with Wolves over a move for Adama Traore, who are unconvinced by Tottenham’s offer to use him in a variety of positions.
Barcelona have offered a loan with a £29million option to make a deal permanent and Traore would like to return to the club where he started his career.
Sky Sports News reported earlier this week that Spurs were closing in on a £20m deal for the 26-year-old after his previous offer of £15m was rejected, but Barca now appear to have edged Antonio Conte’s side in the race to sign him.
Sky Sports News also understand that Tottenham won’t try to convince Traore to refuse Barcelona and will instead focus on other targets.
Tottenham are continuing talks of a deal for Porto winger Luis Diaz as they seek to strengthen their squad ahead of the transfer deadline.
Traore was on the bench for Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brentford but came on for the final 15 minutes and saw a goal ruled out by VAR for offside.
He is a longtime target for Spurs, who were in talks to sign Traore at the end of the summer transfer window. That interest remained despite the change of head coach from former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo to Conte.
Traore is out of contract in June 2023 and a new deal has been on the table for 15 months, with his current club keen to keep him.
‘Looks like Spurs missed Traore’
SSN Chief Reporter Kaveh Solhekol on ‘The Transfer Show’:
“It looks like Spurs have missed out on Adama Traore, with Barcelona agreeing in principle to loan him to Wolves, with an option to buy him in the summer for around £25million.
“Spurs tried to buy Traore and make an offer of £15m which was not enough. It was expected that a deal could be done for around £20m, but Barcelona came for the player, who was playing for the Barcelona Academy.
“And when a club like Barcelona comes to get you, it’s very hard to say no and that’s why he decided to go back to Barcelona. And I really don’t think Spurs could have done much about it.
“There are reports in Spain that he has also agreed to take a pay cut to move to Barcelona – so that seems like bad news for Spurs as far as Traore is concerned.”
Tough blow for Spurs but Barca’s attraction is strong
Analysis by Adam Bate of Sky Sports:
Missing out on Adama Traore represents a blow for Antonio Conte and Tottenham – it was a deal that was seen as virtually secure with the club keen to add other signings as well. Failure to land the Spain international leaves them with a problem.
Traore had been identified to provide momentum on the back wing where Emerson Royal lacked creativity to beat a man in the opposing third. While Traore’s defense has been called into question, no one doubts his ability to carry the ball would have added a new dimension.
The speech is now that he never imagined the position. Traore was only used there in desperation by Bruno Lage – when trailing Brentford and Crystal Palace – and had one last run at the back under Nuno Espirito Santo in the fall of 2019, with mixed results .
More likely, Barcelona’s interest changed their minds. Although Traore has spent the last six and a half years in England, adapting well, Catalonia has always been his home. He joined Barca’s youth roster aged eight and made his La Liga debut for the club aged 17.
The chance to return as an international player in his prime and ready to make an impact under former teammate Xavi Hernandez is an opportunity he will have dreamed of. Now he seems ready to take that chance. For Tottenham, the search continues.
View of Spain: Was the agreement a surprise?
Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero told Sky Sports:
“It’s a deal that seems extremely close. Barcelona have not denied this story and reports here in Spain indicate that there is an agreement between the two clubs and the player. Traore likes the idea of playing again for Barcelona.
“It’s extremely surprising given Barcelona’s financial situation. It’s only a loan until next summer with an option to buy – but it’s not mandatory. It should also be remembered that Francisco Trincao is also a player under agent Jorge Mendes.
“He’s a Barcelona player on loan to Wolves, who has the option of buying the player for 30 million euros. In case Traore plays extremely well and Barcelona want to sign him permanently, maybe Trincao can hold the key to Traore remaining beyond July.
“It would be a special move for Traore and a challenge. We have to remember that he played for Barcelona B and only twice for the first team seven years ago when he was a boy. He didn’t have a success in Spain, but thanks to his performances in England, he was able to be called up to the Spanish national team under Luis Enrique.
“He would come back to a different Barcelona. When he left the club was all about possession under Pep Guardiola and Enrique, but now you have to remember that although he’s not a typical Barcelona player of the Last 10 or 15 years, he’s a very physical player who can help Xavi’s current team.”
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