Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou reportedly blocked Giovani Lo Celso from leaving the club on deadline day, following an approach from Barcelona. The Spanish side shortlisted the midfielder as a potential target as Xavi looked for reinforcements late in the window, but their approach was swiftly rebuffed.
Postecoglou orchestrated a major shuffle in North London this summer and the ex-Celtic boss will certainly be pleased with the transfer business that he oversaw, despite the departure of Harry Kane.
High-quality reinforcements were acquired, such as James Maddison and Micky van de Ven, to bolster the squad, with fringe players allowed to depart. Numerous stars left on loan deals with buy options, with others expected to depart in the coming weeks whilst other transfer windows across Europe remain open.
Lo Celso was among the stars initially put in the shop window, but Postecoglou promptly changed Tottenham’s stance on the Argentina international. According to Sport, the newly-appointed manager feels that Lo Celso still has plenty to offer the squad and can provide an alternative option in midfield.
As a result, when Barcelona made a last-minute approach to sign the 27-year-old, it was quickly turned down. Spurs made it clear that they were not keen to sell the ex-Villarreal loanee and would only consider a loan deal with a mandatory buy option, with a significant fee to be paid next summer.
The Catalan giants consequently turned their attention to alternative targets, with Postecoglou key in pushing the Tottenham bosses to retain the services of the playmaker and insisting that he will ‘count on him’ for the remainder of the campaign.
Despite not entertaining an informal approach for Lo Celso, Tottenham were busy on deadline day and eventually reached an agreement to sign Brennan Johnson from Nottingham Forest in a deal worth approximately £45million to add a spark in the final third. Speaking about his new signing earlier this week, Postecoglou said: “He’s just another exciting young player. He’s a real threat in the front third, he’s different from what we’ve already got, he’s young and ambitious. It’s no secret that’s the model for me.
“It’s just as much about the person as well as the footballer, and looking at him he’s going to fit in really well with this group. He’s ambitious and hungry and wants to take his game to the next level. The technical and the physical attributes he has, he should fit in really well.”