Traore having Barca medical | Wolves forward unconvinced by Spurs

Adama Troare was undergoing a medical in Barcelona on Friday evening ahead of his move from Wolves.

Barcelona have offered a loan move with a £29m option to make a deal permanent and Traore would like to return to the club where he started his career.

Sky Sports News reported earlier this week that Spurs were closing in on a £20m deal for the 26-year-old after their previous bid of £15m was rejected, but Barca now look to have moved ahead of Antonio Conte’s side in the race to sign him.

Traore was unconvinced by Tottenham’s offer to use him in a variety of positions.

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Wolves head coach Bruno Lage says Traore has not been affected by talk of a move away from the club

Sky Sports News also understands that Tottenham will not attempt to convince Traore to turn Barcelona down and will instead focus on other targets.

Tottenham are continuing talks over a deal for Porto winger Luis Diaz as they look to strengthen their squad before the transfer deadline.

Traore was on the bench for Wolves for Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brentford but came on for the final 15 minutes and saw a goal ruled out by VAR for offside.

He has been a long-time target of Spurs, who were in talks to sign him at the end of the summer transfer window. That interest has remained despite the change of head coach from ex-Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo to Conte.

Traore is out of contract in June 2023 and a new deal has been on the table for 15 months, with his current club keen to keep hold of him.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s win over Tottenham in the Premier League

‘It looks like Spurs have missed out on Traore’

SSN Chief Reporter Kaveh Solhekol on ‘The Transfer Show’:

“It looks like Spurs have missed out on Adama Traore, with Barcelona having agreed a deal in principle to take him on loan from Wolves, with an option to buy in the summer for about £25m.

“Spurs have been trying to buy Traore and put in a £15m bid, which was not enough. There was some expectation that a deal could be done for about £20m, but Barcelona have come in for the player, who used to play for the Barcelona Academy.

“And when a club like Barcelona come in for you, it is very difficult to say no and that is why he has decided to go back to Barcelona. And I really do not think here was much Spurs could have done about this.

“There are reports in Spain he has agreed to take a pay cut as well to move to Barcelona – so it looks like bad news for Spurs as far as Traore is concerned.”

Blow for Spurs but pull of Barca is strong

Dharmesh Sheth is reporting that Tottenham are close to signing Wolves' Adama Traore for about £20 million.
Image:
Tottenham were close to signing Traore

Analysis by Sky Sports’ Adam Bate:

Missing out on Adama Traore represents a huge blow for Antonio Conte and Tottenham – this was a deal that was thought to be all but secured with the club keen to add further signings as well. Failure to land the Spain international leaves them with a problem.

Traore had been identified to bring impetus at wing-back where Emerson Royal has lacked the creativity to beat a man in the opposition third. While Traore’s defending has been questioned, nobody doubts his ball-carrying ability would have added a new dimension.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolves’ win against Brentford in the Premier League

The talk now is that he never fancied the position. Traore has only been used there in desperation by Bruno Lage – when trailing Brentford and Crystal Palace – and last had a run at wing-back under Nuno Espirito Santo in the autumn of 2019, with mixed results.

More likely is that the interest from Barcelona changed his mind. Although Traore has spent the past six-and-a-half years in England, adapting well, Catalonia has always been home. He joined Barca’s youth set-up aged eight and made his La Liga debut for the club at 17.

The chance to return as an international player in his prime and ready to make an impact under his one-time team-mate Xavi Hernandez is an opportunity that he will have craved. Now he looks set to get that chance. For Tottenham, the search continues.

View from Spain: Has deal come as a surprise?

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Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero reports that Barcelona are ‘very close’ to finalising a loan deal for Traore, who began his career with the La Liga club in 2013.

Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero told Sky Sports:

“This is a deal that appears extremely close. Barcelona have not denied this story and reports here in Spain reflect that there is an agreement between the two clubs and the player. Traore loves the idea of playing again for Barcelona.

“It’s extremely surprising due to Barcelona’s financial situation. It is only a loan until next summer with the option to buy – but it’s not mandatory. We should also remember that Francisco Trincao is also a player of agent Jorge Mendes.

“He’s a Barcelona player on loan at Wolves, who have the option to buy the player for €30m. In case Traore plays extremely well and Barcelona want to sign him permanently, maybe Trincao could hold the key to Traore staying beyond July.

“It would be a special move for Traore and a challenge. We have to remember he played for Barcelona B and only twice for the first team seven years ago when he was a boy. He didn’t have success in Spain, but thanks to his performances in England, he has been able to get a call-up to the Spanish national team under Luis Enrique.

“He would return to a different Barcelona. When he left, the club was all about ball possession under Pep Guardiola and Enrique, but now you have to remember that while he is not a typical player of Barcelona of the last 10 or 15 years, he’s a very physical player who can help Xavi’s current team.”

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

The clock is ticking. Who will be on the move before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday January 31?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

Follow Tottenham Hotspur with Sky Sports

Follow every Tottenham game in the Premier League this season with our live blogs on the Sky Sports website and app, and watch match highlights for free shortly after full-time.

Want the Tottenham latest? Bookmark our Tottenham news page, check out Tottenham’s fixtures and Tottenham’s latest results, watch Tottenham goals and video, keep track of the Premier League table and see which Tottenham games are coming up live on Sky Sports.

Get all this and more – including notifications sent straight to your phone – by downloading the Sky Sports Scores app and setting Tottenham as your favourite team.

Hear the best Premier League reaction and expert analysis with the Essential Football and Gary Neville podcasts, keep up-to-date with our dedicated Transfer Centre, follow the Sky Sports social accounts on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and find out how to get Sky Sports.

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Juventus and Barcelona approach Arsenal over Auba loan

Juventus and Barcelona have approached Arsenal over the loan signing of striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

There is no offer on the table as yet and it would be a difficult deal to do given Aubameyang’s wages, thought to be around £350,000 a week.

Arsenal are open to allowing Aubameyang to leave – but the deal would have to be financially acceptable to the club.

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Former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor has his say on Aubameyang’s future and believes it is not the player with the issue, but the club

Aubameyang, who was stripped of the captaincy in December, has been left out of Arsenal’s squad for their warm-weather training camp in Dubai.

Sky Sports News reported earlier this month that the 32-year-old would prefer a move to a top European club if a deal can be agreed.

Marseille, Sevilla, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan have all expressed an interest in this transfer window too.

Saudi Arabian clubs Al Nassr and Al Hilal have made loan offers, with obligations to buy.

Barcelona, who are also in talks to sign Adama Traore on loan, are hoping to free up wages if they can offload winger Ousmane Dembele.

Juventus have agreed a deal to sign Dusan Vlahovic. This could have knock-on effects for Alvaro Morata, who is on loan at Juventus from Atletico Madrid and wants to go to Barcelona.

Merson: Arsenal shouldn’t panic in striker search

GRAPHIC

Sky Sports’ Paul Merson:

It’s such a hard time to get players in.

They wanted to bring in Dusan Vlahovic, but there was no interest from the player at all. He is now off to Juventus.

If I was Arsenal, I would not panic now. You cannot just go and chase someone for all this time and then switch targets and go for someone else.

There are now just days left of the window so, for me, Arsenal need to wait now.

Should Arsenal bring back Aubameyang?

Honestly, I’m not sure about bringing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back in from the cold.

I’m not sure how far down the line this is now. It’s not just down to the club either, you have got to see how the player is feeling.

To be honest, I thought Mikel Arteta chopped his nose off to spite his face in regard to Aubameyang in the first place.

It’s not like Arteta has got the biggest squad in the world.

‘Auba situation needs sorting; Arsenal may need him’

With Aubameyang, Arsenal need to have a sit-down meeting with him.

You have seen it before where players have just said, that’s it. He got hung out to dry and he got binned.

It could have all been sorted out behind the scenes. There’s a lot to this story and probably it could have been handled better on both sides, but now, it needs to get sorted out.

For me, Aubameyang, on his day, is still one of Arsenal’s best players.

A lot has gone on, that is for sure, but now, with the struggles in the transfer market, it looks like Arteta might have to go back to Aubameyang with his tail between his legs and ask: “Have you got another six months for us please?”

Then they may be able to sort something out after that when the summer transfer window opens.

‘Arsenal need a striker’

If Alexandre Lacazette puts the open goal chance away against Burnley, it is job done and no one is moaning at all.

Everyone would be talking about how good a result that would have been for Arsenal with a clean sheet too. It’s 1-0 to the Arsenal and everything is great. But he misses an open goal and all of a sudden, they have only scored one goal in January, which came in their best performance by a mile.

That’s the problem Arsenal have. You are not going to win too much without a centre forward.

I know people will say Manchester City do, but they still have to win the Champions League playing with a false nine. They also have superstars all over the pitch and are probably the only team in the world that could do that.

So, Arsenal need a centre forward.

Follow Deadline Day with Sky Sports

The clock is ticking. Who will be on the move before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday January 31?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Barcelona in talks with Traore | Wolves forward unconvinced by Spurs

Barcelona are in talks with Wolves over a move for Adama Traore, who is unconvinced by Tottenham’s offer to use him in a variety of positions.

Barcelona have offered a loan move with a £29m option to make a deal permanent and Traore would like to return to the club where he started his career.

Sky Sports News reported earlier this week that Spurs were closing in on a £20m deal for the 26-year-old after their previous bid of £15m was rejected, but Barca now look to have moved ahead of Antonio Conte’s side in the race to sign him.

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Wolves head coach Bruno Lage says Traore has not been affected by talk of a move away from the club

Sky Sports News also understands that Tottenham will not attempt to convince Traore to turn Barcelona down and will instead focus on other targets.

Tottenham are continuing talks over a deal for Porto winger Luis Diaz as they look to strengthen their squad before the transfer deadline.

Traore was on the bench for Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brentford but came on for the final 15 minutes and saw a goal ruled out by VAR for offside.

He has been a long-time target of Spurs, who were in talks to sign Traore at the end of the summer transfer window. That interest has remained despite the change of head coach from ex-Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo to Conte.

Traore is out of contract in June 2023 and a new deal has been on the table for 15 months, with his current club keen to keep hold of him.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s win over Tottenham in the Premier League

‘It looks like Spurs have missed out on Traore’

SSN Chief Reporter Kaveh Solhekol on ‘The Transfer Show’:

“It looks like Spurs have missed out on Adama Traore, with Barcelona having agreed a deal in principle to take him on loan from Wolves, with an option to buy in the summer for about £25m.

“Spurs have been trying to buy Traore and put in a £15m bid, which was not enough. There was some expectation that a deal could be done for about £20m, but Barcelona have come in for the player, who used to play for the Barcelona Academy.

“And when a club like Barcelona come in for you, it is very difficult to say no and that is why he has decided to go back to Barcelona. And I really do not think here was much Spurs could have done about this.

“There are reports in Spain he has agreed to take a pay cut as well to move to Barcelona – so it looks like bad news for Spurs as far as Traore is concerned.”

Blow for Spurs but pull of Barca is strong

Dharmesh Sheth is reporting that Tottenham are close to signing Wolves' Adama Traore for about £20 million.
Image:
Tottenham were close to signing Traore

Analysis by Sky Sports’ Adam Bate:

Missing out on Adama Traore represents a huge blow for Antonio Conte and Tottenham – this was a deal that was thought to be all but secured with the club keen to add further signings as well. Failure to land the Spain international leaves them with a problem.

Traore had been identified to bring impetus at wing-back where Emerson Royal has lacked the creativity to beat a man in the opposition third. While Traore’s defending has been questioned, nobody doubts his ball-carrying ability would have added a new dimension.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolves’ win against Brentford in the Premier League

The talk now is that he never fancied the position. Traore has only been used there in desperation by Bruno Lage – when trailing Brentford and Crystal Palace – and last had a run at wing-back under Nuno Espirito Santo in the autumn of 2019, with mixed results.

More likely is that the interest from Barcelona changed his mind. Although Traore has spent the past six-and-a-half years in England, adapting well, Catalonia has always been home. He joined Barca’s youth set-up aged eight and made his La Liga debut for the club at 17.

The chance to return as an international player in his prime and ready to make an impact under his one-time team-mate Xavi Hernandez is an opportunity that he will have craved. Now he looks set to get that chance. For Tottenham, the search continues.

View from Spain: Has deal come as a surprise?

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Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero reports that Barcelona are ‘very close’ to finalising a loan deal for Wolves’ Adama Traore, who began his career with the La Liga club in 2013.

Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero told Sky Sports:

“This is a deal that appears extremely close. Barcelona have not denied this story and reports here in Spain reflect that there is an agreement between the two clubs and the player. Traore loves the idea of playing again for Barcelona.

“It’s extremely surprising due to Barcelona’s financial situation. It is only a loan until next summer with the option to buy – but it’s not mandatory. We should also remember that Francisco Trincao is also a player of agent Jorge Mendes.

“He’s a Barcelona player on loan at Wolves, who have the option to buy the player for €30m. In case Traore plays extremely well and Barcelona want to sign him permanently, maybe Trincao could hold the key to Traore staying beyond July.

“It would be a special move for Traore and a challenge. We have to remember he played for Barcelona B and only twice for the first team seven years ago when he was a boy. He didn’t have success in Spain, but thanks to his performances in England, he has been able to get a call-up to the Spanish national team under Luis Enrique.

“He would return to a different Barcelona. When he left, the club was all about ball possession under Pep Guardiola and Enrique, but now you have to remember that while he is not a typical player of Barcelona of the last 10 or 15 years, he’s a very physical player who can help Xavi’s current team.”

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

The clock is ticking. Who will be on the move before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday January 31?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

Follow Tottenham Hotspur with Sky Sports

Follow every Tottenham game in the Premier League this season with our live blogs on the Sky Sports website and app, and watch match highlights for free shortly after full-time.

Want the Tottenham latest? Bookmark our Tottenham news page, check out Tottenham’s fixtures and Tottenham’s latest results, watch Tottenham goals and video, keep track of the Premier League table and see which Tottenham games are coming up live on Sky Sports.

Get all this and more – including notifications sent straight to your phone – by downloading the Sky Sports Scores app and setting Tottenham as your favourite team.

Hear the best Premier League reaction and expert analysis with the Essential Football and Gary Neville podcasts, keep up-to-date with our dedicated Transfer Centre, follow the Sky Sports social accounts on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and find out how to get Sky Sports.

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Dembele wants to stay | Barca say ‘find another club’

Barcelona have again told Ousmane Dembele to find another club before the transfer deadline despite the player’s wish to stay.

Dembele’s representatives Moussa Sissoko and Marco Lichtsteiner have met with Barca boss Xavi and technical director Jordi Cruyff for further talks over his future.

His agents reinforced the message that Dembele wants to play for Barcelona at least until the end of his contract and is 100 per cent committed to the cause.

He is also willing to extend his contract, which expires in the summer, but not on the current terms that have been offered, which includes a considerable pay cut.

Dembele has been on the periphery at Barcelona
Image:
Dembele has been on the periphery at Barcelona

But Barca said again that, if he will not sign the deal already offered, then he must find another club to buy him – and they will help him to do it.

It remains to be seen, however, who can afford him in the current market. Paris Saint-Germain and a handful of the biggest Premier League teams are the only ones that can pay his wages.

The likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City do not appear to be in the market for a player of his profile this month, making it increasingly likely he will remain at the Nou Camp on February 1.

Dembele has been told he will not play if he does not sign the terms on offer – and he has missed the last two matchday squads – but Xavi is said to be ready to use him if he remains at the club.

The Frenchman is still keen to fight for his place
Image:
Dembele is still keen to fight for his place at Barcelona

Barca want to bring in other players and have an interest in their former academy winger Adama Traore – a target for Tottenham – but they are currently unable to register any new players until others leave.

This situation has also made it unlikely Alvaro Morata will be able to cut his loan at Juventus short from Atletico Madrid and join Barca for the rest of the season, which he is said to be keen to do.

Barcelona have also held talks with another Spurs target, Franck Kessie, about a pre-contract agreement for the summer but nothing has been agreed with the player, contrary to some reports this week.

Dembele accuses Barca of ‘blackmail’

Dembele said last week he will “not give in to blackmail” after the club told the Frenchman he must leave in the January transfer window.

The 24-year-old said on Instagram: “As of today, I’m going to answer honestly without giving in to any form of blackmail.

“I forbid people from thinking that I’m not committed to this sporting project. I forbid people from attributing intentions to me that I’ve never had.

“I forbid people from speaking for me or my agent, who I have total confidence in. I’m still under contract, I’m fully committed and at the disposal of the club and my coach.

“I’ve always given everything for my team-mates and also for all the fans. That’s not going to change now. I’m not a man who cheats and even less so one who’s used to giving in to blackmail. Love can certainly be a variant of blackmail.”

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move in January?

The January transfer window opens on Saturday January 1, 2022 and closes at 11pm on Monday January 31.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Bilbao knock Barca out of Copa del Rey | Real edge Elche

Holders Barcelona were knocked out of the Copa del Rey after suffering a 3-2 defeat in extra-time at Athletic Bilbao in the last 16 on Thursday.

Athletic went ahead early thanks to a beautiful cross-shot from Iker Muniain who curled the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen into the top corner.

Former Manchester City forward Ferran Torres equalised for Barca with a brilliant right-foot strike from the edge of the area – his first goal for the club.

Inigo Martinez put Athletic back in front after 86 minutes, winning a challenge against Gerard Pique to score, but Pedri netted a fine goal in stoppage time to send the game into extra-time.

Man-of-the-match Muniain scored the winner from the penalty spot after the video assistant referee spotted a handball from Jordi Alba inside the area.

10-man Real Madrid overcame a hostile atmosphere and fought back from a goal down in extra-time to beat Elche 2-1 and reach the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.

Eden Hazard scored the winning goal for Real Madrid
Image:
Eden Hazard scored the winning goal for Real Madrid

Following a scoreless 90 minutes, Elche took the lead with a free-kick earned with Real down to 10 men after Marcelo was sent off for a foul on Tete Morente.

Experienced defender Gonzalo Verdu struck the free-kick into the wall but his second effort deflected off Dani Ceballos wrong-footed goalkeeper Andriy Lunin before ending up in the back of the net.

Real grabbed the equaliser when Isco deflected a Ceballos shot inside the box and substitute Eden Hazard scored the winner on a counter-attack after receiving a through ball from David Alaba, rounding the goalkeeper and finishing into an empty net.

The match ended in controversy as Elche found the net in the last minute of extra-time, but the referee disallowed the effort for a foul in the build-up.

Real Madrid joined Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Valencia, Real Betis, Rayo Vallecano, Mallorca and Cadiz in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, in La Liga, Getafe eased their relegation fears with a 4-2 win over Granada.

Sandro Ramirez fired Getafe ahead with a low drive from the edge of the area after 10 minutes, but moments later Luis Suarez swept in an equaliser from close range.

Enes Unai lashed Getafe ahead from a tight angle two minutes after half-time and Nemanja Maksimovic tucked in the third just after the hour.

Suarez pulled another back for the visitors but Borja Mayoral wrapped up the victory with three minutes left.

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