Barca want Tottenham’s Lo Celso in January

Barcelona manager Xavi wants the club to sign Tottenham’s Giovani Lo Celso in the January transfer window.

The need for a player of Lo Celso’s profile has been heightened by an injury to Gavi.

The request is actually considered a test of how much support Xavi has among the Barca hierarchy.

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Xavi identified Lo Celso as a top target in the summer but both the player and Tottenham were keen for him to stay.

He has been impressive lately for Spurs following injuries to several players, especially against Man City, and scored against both the Premier League champions and third-placed Aston Villa.

Lo Celso, who will have 18 months left on his contract in January, has started three of Spurs’ last four league games, and played the last 17 minutes of Saturday’s 4-1 thrashing of Newcastle at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

He has already played more Premier League minutes under Ange Postecoglou than in any campaign since 2020/21, having spent most of the last two seasons on loan at Villarreal.

Analysis: Has Lo Celso become Spurs’ main man?

Lo Celso with Villarreal
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Lo Celso spent large parts of the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons on loan at Villarreal

Sky Sports features writer Nick Wright:

“Ask any member of the Argentina squad who their best technical player is and they will, of course, say Lionel Messi, but ask them who the second best is and they will likely give you a more surprising answer: Giovani Lo Celso.

“Perhaps that is less surprising if you consider how the 27-year-old has performed for his country over the last few years; 48 caps and 14 assists since his debut in 2017, playing in all but eight games when he has been fit, and always loyally available for selection.

“His technical proficiency has never been in question, especially in Argentina and Spain, where he made his name at Real Betis on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, and it was why he was snapped up by Spurs to play an advanced midfield role under Mauricio Pochettino in 2019.”

Read more on Lo Celso’s comeback from Tottenham exile here.