Conte dealt blow with Barca set to beat Spurs to Traore signing

Tottenham failed with a LOAN bid for Adama Traore as they attempted to seal a bargain deal for the Wolves star… with Matt Doherty used as a makeweight before Barcelona swooped in to frustrate Antonio Conte

  • Barcelona are set to beat Tottenham to the signing of Wolves star Adama Traore  
  • The Barca academy graduate is rejoining his old club on an initial loan deal
  • Spurs thought they could get Traore on the cheap and only offered £15million  
  • But now the north London club have switched their focus to Porto ace Luis Diaz

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has suffered a huge transfer blow with Barcelona set to steal top target Adama Traore from under his nose before Monday’s deadline.

Spurs are now focusing on an ambitious swoop for Porto forward Luis Diaz — but the disappointment of missing out on the Wolves winger hit the Premier League club hard yesterday.

Traore had been earmarked by Conte and Tottenham’s recruitment team, and there was confidence that a deal could be concluded. Talks between Spurs and Wolves were held for weeks with the expectation that Traore would move to north London.

Wolves winger Adama Traore is set to rejoin Barcelona seven years after leaving for Aston Villa 

The news comes as a major blow to Antonio Conte, who wanted to bring Traore to Tottenham

The Molineux club valued Traore at around £26million — but there was a feeling at Spurs that they could get him for around £20m. Traore’s contract expires at the end of the next season and Spurs believed they had enough leverage to secure a lower price.

During talks Tottenham tried to use Matt Doherty, who only signed from Wolves at the start of last season, as a makeweight in the deal — but Bruno Lage wasn’t interested in bringing the Republic of Ireland international back.

Spurs also tried to convince Wolves to let them have Traore on loan with an obligation to buy permanently in the summer, but that didn’t prove successful.

Last week Tottenham made a £15m offer for Traore, but sources insisted yesterday the north London club did not formally bid for the 26-year-old.

Yet Barca appear to have beaten the north London club to Traore’s signature this month

Discussions continued over the weekend with a view to coming to a resolution this week but Spurs have now been gazumped by the Catalan club.

Incredibly, Barca have managed to secure a loan for Traore without an obligation to buy permanently in the summer, though they will cover his entire salary until the end of the season.

And it is understood Traore had his heart set on a move back to the Nou Camp as soon as he heard their interest was genuine.

Traore was born in Catalonia and joined Barca as an academy player before leaving for Aston Villa in 2015 after making just four senior appearances.

But he is now set for a return to his boyhood club, with his emotional ties to Barcelona simply too much to resist.

It is also understood that Traore had reservations about being used as a right wing-back, a position Conte had earmarked for him to play if he signed for Spurs.

The Wolves ace came through Barca’s La Masia academy to make four senior appearances

The snub leaves Tottenham under huge pressure to deliver new signings for Conte, who has been frustrated by the club’s lack of transfer business this month.

Matters have been complicated this month due to expected investment into Spurs that hasn’t yet crystallised, which could be an issue for the club going into the final hours of the window.

They are now throwing their weight behind a move for Diaz, who has scored 20 goals in all competitions this season.

The Colombian has a £67m release clause but Spurs don’t want to pay that figure.

Spurs are set to turn their attention to Porto forward Luis Diaz in the final days of the window

Negotiations are ongoing but there are concerns inside Tottenham that Porto are notoriously unpredictable negotiators and with just four days to go until the deadline any deal could go to the wire.

Spurs are pushing ahead with a £13.4m move for Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat.

They are looking to offload £54m record signing Tanguy Ndombele — talks are ongoing with Paris Saint-Germain — as well as Dele Alli, who has interest from five Premier League clubs.

There has been uncertainty over Giovani Lo Celso’s future after he was left out of the squad to face Chelsea last weekend. Steven Bergwijn is also a possible departure to boyhood club Ajax.

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