By Matt Farr
Tottenham must pay La Liga outfit Espanyol a six-figure fine if they refuse to exercise their permanent option to sign Pau Lopez this summer, according to a report.
Spanish news outlet Sport claim that Tottenham must pay a fine worth almost £440,000 if they fail to sign the on loan player on a permanent basis.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper spent the 2016-17 campaign on loan at the Premier League club, but failed to make a single first-team appearance as he served as Tottenham’s third-choice option between the sticks.
However, Tottenham remain keen to extend his term at the club ahead of the new season, but have yet to make an offer worthy of consideration by his current employers.
Spurs’ latest offer of £1.75million plus a further £260,000 in add-ons has been dismissed by Espanyol, who are holding out for a fee of between £3.5million and £4.4million for his services.
Lopez himself is understood to be keen on a return to Tottenham to continue his development under Mauricio Pochettino and goalkeeping coach Toni Jimenez, despite his lack of first-team opportunities.
However, with Tottenham yet to agree a suitable fee for the young Spanish stopper, they face having to pay Espanyol a fine for breaching the terms of their initial loan agreement.
The two clubs had agreed that Tottenham were to sign him on a permanent basis at the end of his loan spell, but they could be set to hand over a £440,000 fine, plus the original £525,000 loan fee if the situation does not improve.
Football Insider verdict
Lopez could be a valuable prospect in future, but with Hugo Lloris still going strong as their No. 1 and with no need to be replaced any time soon, a successor is not yet of the utmost importance to Tottenham. However, a deal for Lopez represents a low-cost option for the club, even though they are still unwilling to meet Espanyol’s valuation. The player wants a return to the club, but the club instead seem set to hand over a fine instead of pursuing a better deal for the goalkeeper. It’s a risk that could see Tottenham’s relationship with the club, and other potential clubs, break down, as it shows their failure to commit to a previous agreement.
In other Tottenham transfer news, fans on Twitter have delivered their verdicts as the club reportedly consider a £15million swoop for this Premier League player.