Barcelona Transfer News Roundup: Blaugrana suffer Giovani Lo Celso blow; Ronald Araujo turned down lucrative offer, and more - December 7, 2023
Barcelona are preparing for their home game against Girona on Sunday (December 10) in the league. Xavi’s men are coming off a hard-fought 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid last weekend.
Meanwhile, the Blaugrana have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Giovani Lo Celso. Elsewhere, centre-back Ronald Araujo turned down a lucrative move to the Premier League last summer.
On that note, here's a look at the key Barcelona transfer stories as on December 7, 2023:
Barcelona suffer Giovani Lo Celso blow
The Blaugrana have reportedly identified the Argentinean as a possible replacement for Gavi, who is out for the season with an ACL injury. Speaking to Kick, Romano said that Xavi thinks very highly of Lo Celso.
“In summer, it was a possibility. He was one of the names discussed by Xavi and (Barcelona director) Deco in the meetings they had about the midfield position.
"They discussed this chance to bring in Giovani Lo Celso because he is a player from what I’m told is really appreciated by Xavi,” said Romano.
“Xavi really considers Lo Celso an underrated midfielder with very good skills. He would like to train Gio Lo Celso one day. But Lo Celso for Tottenham is an important player.
"He’s doing very good. He’s scoring goals. He’s performing at a top level. He has always been super professional, super serious also in training.”
Romano added that Spurs are unlikely to accept a loan proposal for the 27-year-old.
“I think it would be completely crazy of Tottenham to accept a loan proposal for Lo Celso, and I don’t see Barca going there and investing money for a permanent transfer of Gio Lo Celso.
"The appreciation is there. The appreciation of Xavi is there, but I don’t think this is a realistic deal for the January window,” said Romano.
Lo Celso’s contract with the London side runs till 2025.
Ronald Araujo turned down lucrative offer
The Uruguayan defender is a mainstay in Xavi’s backline and has appeared 13 times across competitions this season. He was wanted at Old Trafford in 2022, and the Premier League giants were willing to double his wages.
The Red Devils were in the market for a young defender and had set their sights on the 24-year-old. However, Araujo turned down the offer and instead agreed a new deal with the Blaugrana.
The player remains fully committed to the La Liga champions, amid recent interest from Bayern Munich.
Tottenham Hotspur wanted Vitor Roque
Tottenham Hotspur attempted to hijack Barcelona’s move for Vitor Roque, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The Brazilian forward is set to arrive at the Camp Nou from Athletico Paranaense this January. The Blaugrana struck a deal with the South American club for the player’s transfer earlier in the summer.
Speaking to Kick, Romano said that Spurs tried right till the very end to prise Vitor Roque away from the clutches of the Spanish champions.
“Vitor Roque is going to be a key player for Barca. Barca did a big fight to sign Vitor Roque. Many clubs wanted Vitor Roque. I can tell you behind the scenes that Tottenham tried till the end of the story with Barcelona, till they signed the final page of the contract to hijack the deal for Vitor Roque.
"Tottenham were there. Tottenham were really strong and serious on that opportunity,” said Romano.
The 18-year-old could be a long-term replacement for Robert Lewandowski at the Camp Nou.