Transfer window: The top deals
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Tottenham made a potentially life-changing offer to Wolves winger Adama Traore before he eventually decided to return to Barcelona on loan until the end of the season, according to reports. The north Londoners were keen on snapping up Traore during the January transfer window and were locked in talks with the 26-year-old for a number of weeks.
Antonio Conte was reportedly planning to convert the Spanish forward into a wing-back in order to boost his options in the wide areas at Tottenham.
Talks started at the beginning of the month but there were said to be issues over the potential fee involved in bringing Traore to the capital.
A sum was eventually agreed between the two parties before Barcelona came knocking to register their interest in taking the Wolves man on a temporary basis.
Traore had no qualms about walking away from negotiations with Tottenham in order to rejoin the Catalan giants, with The Athletic claiming that he was not overly keen on Conte’s plan to deploy him as a right wing-back.
It seems as though Traore’s final decision was not based on any financial aspects of the deal, with Spurs having offered him a lucrative contract that would have ‘solved his life’, according to Mundo Deportivo.
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The report states that he was ‘practically closing the agreement’ with Tottenham before Barcelona reached out to secure his services.
Traore was said to have been desperate to rejoin his former club and did not need to be convinced over the possibility of returning to Spain.
He has since enjoyed an impressive start to life back at Barcelona, registering an assist on his debut in a 4-2 win over Atletico Madrid on Sunday.
Barcelona boss Xavi insisted after the final whistle that Traore has the ability to make things happen for the club as they look to close the 15-point gap to La Liga leaders Real Madrid over the coming months.
“Adama is a very mature player, he knows when to face up, when to pass and he’s chosen his moments well today,” said Xavi, as quoted by Marca.
“Physically he is an animal, a beast. He is a pure winger and he will help us. He is a great signing for the team.
“Adama makes the difference. He has power, strength, he dribbles at opponents and he’s solid in defence.”
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Tottenham will return to the market in order to strengthen their ranks at right wing-back when the transfer window re-opens in the summer.
Former Premier League striker Noel Whelan recently suggested that Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey would represent a better option for Tottenham as a result of his superior defensive qualities.
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“Defending isn’t exactly Traore’s strong suit, especially one-on-one defending,” Whelan told Football Insider last month.
“Yes, he’s got power. Yes, he’s got pace. But defending is an art and something which takes time to perfect.
“We’ve seen where Adama Traore is at his best, and that’s high up the pitch in wide areas or through the middle, running at defenders, bursting past people to create chances.
“It’s an interesting scenario that he could play wing-back for Conte, but many wingers have been converted and failed before, you have to have something about you defensively.
“Lamptey is a much better fit, he’s the one. He’s a natural wing-back, that’s his role, and he’s been taught that ever since he was a boy.”
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