Tottenham v Leicester: Pictures
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Barcelona have sent a message to Tottenham, with Xavi reportedly set to snub bringing Adama Traore back permanently. Traore moved to Barca in the January transfer window on loan from Wolves, with the deal also containing the option of making the move permanent.
The winger was put straight into Xavi’s side, starting five of his first six games for the Catalan giants. But his fortunes have taken a downturn following those first two months at the Nou Camp, failing to start a game since featuring in a 4-0 thrashing of Athletico Bilbao in February.
Though he notched four assists at the start of his return, his move to become a substitute has resulted in a drought in both goals and assists. Instead, Xavi has turned towards the soon to be out of contract Ousmane Dembele.
According to Marca, with Dembele’s performances making his ‘untouchable’, Barca are set to balk at the £25million fee it will take to bring back Traore next season. It is stated that that fee is viewed as being ‘very high’ by the La Liga giants, who will instead focus on tying Dembele down to a new deal.
Barca’s decision to snub the chance to bring Traore back in the summer transfer window is set to open the door to Spurs. The Premier League side were heavily interested in signing Traore in the January window, but lost the race to sign the Spaniard to Barcelona.
It was thought that Antonio Conte was keen to convert Traore into a right wing-back, with the Italian keen to overhaul his squad. Though he missed out in the winter, Conte will likely attempt again to bring in the winger, given he now has a clear path.
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That clear path comes courtesy of Barca, who Marca report will instead attempt to hand Dembele a new deal. The Frenchman has so far rebuffed any attempts from Barca to extend his stay in Catalonia, despite his starring role since returning to the fold as Traore’s stock plummeted.
Xavi has repeatedly sung the praises of Dembele, who has discovered his best form under the Barca legend. As a result, Barca are said to have made two fresh approaches to the Frenchman and his representatives, potentially spelling the end of Traore’s time at the club.
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