Villarreal CEO Roig Negueroles has confirmed that he wants to bring Giovani Lo Celso back to the club after his loan spell from Tottenham, but talks have not yet begun over a new deal for the midfielder.
The 26-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan at Villarreal after falling out of favour under Antonio Conte at Spurs.
He made 16 La Liga appearances and six more in the Champions League as the Spanish side made a surprise run to the semi-finals of the competition.
The Villarreal chief admits that they want to keep hold of the Argentina international, but with his contract at Spurs running until 2025 then any deal will be complex, and potentially very expensive.
Although Negueroles also admits that he cannot be sure how discussions will go as talks have not yet begun.
‘Lo Celso is a player who has been happy here and has made us happy, so we would like to continue together,’ Negueroles told Esports Radio Vila-real.
‘He’s a Tottenham player and it is a very complicated operation as of now – we’re not even in talks.’
Asked whether he had been watching Lo Celso’s impressive performances for Villarreal, Conte said in April that he has been keeping an eye on his progress, but made no comment on his Tottenham future.
‘First of all I’m really happy for his great performance,’ said the Italian. ‘He needed to play with regularity, with continuity. For this reason he went to Spain in a league he knows very well because he played very well and Tottenham bought him when he played in that league.
‘To go back there and show he’s in good form is good for everybody, especially because Tottenham paid a lot of money for him.
‘I am very happy because he is playing every game, he’s showing he’s a good player but I never said he’s not a good player. I said this league is a very difficult league because it is not enough to have great quality and it’s important to play with great intensity and strength. But now he is playing with regularity and I am very happy for him.’
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