Tottenham reportedly have a specific plan in mind as they look to sort out the future of central midfielder Giovani Lo Celso.
The Argentina international, who has won 36 caps to date, was left out of the squad by Antonio Conte as Tottenham faced Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon. They lost 2-0 following goals from Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Lo Celso’s snub was a surprising one given the update he posted on social media recently. “Regarding the questions I received I would like to clear out that I am 100 per cent in good physical condition,” he said. “I have no problem and I feel very well.”
The 25-year-old has made just nine Premier League appearances this term and is yet to complete a full 90 minutes in the competition.
Most of his opportunities have come in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Europa Conference League.
Lo Celso has struggled with knee and shin problems since Conte’s arrival at Tottenham on November 2. However, even though he is now fully fit, it is unlikely he will break into the starting eleven.
According to the Daily Mail, who cite The Athletic, Spurs are aiming to resolve the star’s situation this month.
Giovani Lo Celso lined up for exit
They are supposedly planning to use him in a swap deal which would help them to land one of their primary transfer targets.
The report does not state which deal Lo Celso may be added to. It probably won’t be part of Adama Traore’s switch from Wolves, as the two clubs are finalising talks over a £20m fee.
Lo Celso could secure a return to Real Betis, whom he left for Spurs in August 2019. Reports last month put the Seville-based team in the picture to re-sign him.
His best form came at the Benito Villamarin Stadium, particularly in the 2018-19 season. Lo Celso bagged nine goals and five assists in 31 La Liga games, helping Real Betis to finish 10th in the table.
He reportedly has fond memories of his time there and could push for an exit if they came calling.
The five most powerful players in world football – Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, Dusan Vlahovic…
Tottenham could lose out on Milenkovic signing
Meanwhile, Spurs are facing the possibility of losing out on Nikola Milenkovic to a Premier League rival.
The Fiorentina centre-back has long been on Spurs’ radar, particularly since Fabio Paratici’s arrival in north London.
The director is a fan of Milenkovic from his time working at Italian giants Juventus.
However, Spurs could be beaten to the powerhouse defender’s signature. According to the Daily Mail, Newcastle are ready to reignite their interest in Milenkovic.
The Magpies may sign him once Diego Carlos’ transfer from Sevilla is complete.
Milenkovic would cost £32m this month. That is well within Newcastle’s reach thanks to their big-money takeover earlier in the campaign.
READ MORE: Tottenham near shock deal to sign PSG star after painful Kessie snub – Paper Talk
Blackburn Rovers managerial candidate makes admission on Reading FC job
Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth has admitted the top job at Reading would interest him in the future, making this honest admission to BBC Radio Berkshire.
Despite the increased strength of League One this term, the 49-year-old has managed to guide the Chairboys to another play-off final, securing sixth place on the final day of the season before beating MK Dons 2-1 on aggregate in the semi-final.
Considering Liam Manning’s side were competing for automatic promotion in the latter stages of the campaign, this result was seen as an upset by many despite the Buckinghamshire side competing in the Championship during the 2020/21 season.
Quiz: 24 facts every Blackburn Rovers supporter should know about their club – Can you score full marks?
However, Ainsworth seems destined to move on from Wycombe at some point despite his dedicated years of service at Adams Park, with Blackburn Rovers reportedly placing him on their shortlist as they look to appoint Tony Mowbray’s successor.
No formal approach has been reported yet but he is thought to be one of the names in the frame for the job despite the club receiving over 60 applications for the job at Ewood Park.
But the managerial position at the Select Car Leasing Stadium may also be tempting in the future, something Wycombe’s boss admitted himself.
Asked whether the role would tempt him, he said to BBC Radio Berkshire: “Yeah of course, it’s a huge club.
“I was lucky enough to play at Elm Park, it’s a historic big, big club.
“I’m not going to say it’s a sleeping giant, it was a giant that was awakened once and to get back there for Reading is what they need. They need that buzz around the town again and they need all the players caring so much about putting the shirt on.
“And I’m not saying they don’t but there’s certain things you can give up quite easily if things aren’t going in the right direction or there’s troubles upstairs.
“It just feels like Reading have lost a little bit of their identity and a little bit of its way.”
Ainsworth is on the money. The Royals have lost their identity in recent years and they will be hoping the appointment of Mark Bowen behind the scenes can help to repair that – because the club is in need of major surgery.
This is why Blackburn is a more attractive option than the Berkshire side at this stage, although the summer could be an exciting one for Paul Ince or his potential successor with a rebuild needed.
They will need to rebuild within a strict budget because of the fact the club needs to abide by a business plan they agreed with the EFL back in November – but it’s still a good challenge for someone like Ainsworth to take on.
He will need to have the right people around him if he was to take the job on, including officials behind the scenes that can help him with recruitment and other issues – but it’s a position that may suit him considering how close he probably lives to Reading as Wycombe’s boss.
Returning to his home town of Blackburn may also be tempting though, so it remains to be seen where he ends up. His style of play may be a turn off for some – but he knows how to get results and that could be vital in helping the Royals to remain afloat in the second tier.
Charlton Athletic confirm player’s departure
Charlton Athletic have confirmed the departure of 22-year-old Ben Dempsey who has joined Ayr United for an undisclosed fee.
Ben Dempsey made his first team debut for Charlton back in 2018 after coming up through the academy.
During his time with the club, the midfielder had loan spells with Dulwich Hamlet and Woking.
He joined Ayr on loan in January and since joining he has made seven appearances for the side in the Scottish Championship.
Dempsey leaves the Valley with ten senior appearances to his name with Charlton four of which were in the league.
In their official statement, the club said: “The club would like to thank Ben for his time at Charlton and wish him the very best of luck in his future career.”
As the 22-year-old now heads to Scotland, he will be hoping he can get some more appearances under his belt for Ayr and kick-start his career playing regular first team football.
Quiz: 24 facts every Charlton Athletic supporter should know about their club – Can you score full marks?
After coming through the academy system at Charlton, Ben Dempsey will have been desperate to do well with the Addicks but unfortunately for both parties it just hasn’t worked out for him.
Charlton have allowed him to develop his game by letting him go out on loan across the years and his experience of being in that environment will have been valuable for his progression, in terms of his mindset and the standards he sets for himself.
After being on loan with Ayr for the second half of this season, the side clearly saw something in the 22-year-old that they like and Dempsey will now be aiming to get himself a solid place in the starting line-up and push on with his new side.
For Charlton this is also a great bit of business as they have been able to get a fee for a player who wasn’t getting game time at Charlton and this is money they will then be able to reinvest in the side.