Tottenham are pushing ahead with signing Giovani Lo Celso permanently but do not expect to finalise a deal this month, Football Insider can reveal.
Jose Mourinho insisted last week he wants the Argentina international, 23, on a full-time basis after a series of impressive recent displays.
A source with knowledge of Tottenham’s recruitment has told Football Insider that the club are hopeful of tying Lo Celso to a long-term deal although it is not likely to be finalised before next Friday’s transfer cut-off.
Spurs signed the number 18 on an initial season-long loan last August with the option to make it permanent in the summer.
Football Insider has been told the Londoners agreed a £14m loan fee for Lo Celso with his parent club Real Betis and can make the deal permanent at a further cost of £37m.
The Argentina initially struggled to make an impression in north London, partly due to injuries and difficulties adapting to the English game.
But the versatile midfielder is starting to find his feet and produced a man-of-the-match performance in Spurs’ 2-1 win over Norwich City on Tuesday that earned praise from ex-England striker and new Football Insider pundit Kevin Phillips.
Lo Celso was used in central midfield alongside Harry Winks as Mourinho tried out the latest in a series of combinations in that area of the pitch.
The 22-times Argentina international has mainly been used in attacking midfield positions at Tottenham in his 19 appearances this season.
But he could be the answer for Spurs in what has become something of a problem area as well as being the potential long-term replacement for Inter Milan-bound Christian Eriksen.
In other Tottenham news, it can be REVEALED that the club are plotting a blockbuster late-window move for striker with 28 top-flight goals this season.