Adama Traore has returned to Barcelona on loan from Wolves until the end of the season.
Barcelona agreed a loan move with a £29m option to make the deal permanent, after Traore was left unconvinced by Tottenham’s interest.
A Barcelona statement read: “FC Barcelona and Wolverhampton Wanderers have reached an agreement for the loan of the player Adama Traore until 30 June 2022. The blaugranes will pay the player’s wages and there is an option to make the deal permanent.
“The presentation of Adama Traore as a new FC Barcelona player will be on Wednesday 2 February behind closed doors. The club will announce further details shortly.”
Wolves’ technical director, Scott Sellars, added: “Adama has always acted with the utmost professionalism, however it is no secret that we have not been able to agree a new contract with him, despite protracted negotiations, and his desire at the moment is to play football elsewhere.
“Everyone knows Barcelona is a city, and club, very close to Adama’s heart, so it is a dream move for him. We have also agreed a very healthy option in the deal should Barcelona wish to make the move permanent this summer.
“We wish Adama the best of luck in Spain, and hope that he plays regularly, has great success and shows everyone what he is capable of.”
Sky Sports News reported earlier this week that Spurs were closing in on a £20m deal for the 26-year-old after their previous bid of £15m was rejected, but Traore was not keen on the Premier League club’s desire to use him in a variety of positions.
He had been a long-time target of Spurs, who were in talks to sign Traore at the end of the summer transfer window. That interest remained despite the change of head coach from ex-Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo to Antonio Conte.
Blow for Spurs but pull of Barca is strong
Analysis by Sky Sports’ Adam Bate:
Missing out on Adama Traore represents a huge blow for Antonio Conte and Tottenham – this was a deal that was thought to be all but secured with the club keen to add further signings as well. Failure to land the Spain international leaves them with a problem.
Traore had been identified to bring impetus at wing-back where Emerson Royal has lacked the creativity to beat a man in the opposition third. While Traore’s defending has been questioned, nobody doubts his ball-carrying ability would have added a new dimension.
The talk now is that he never fancied the position. Traore has only been used there in desperation by Bruno Lage – when trailing Brentford and Crystal Palace – and last had a run at wing-back under Nuno Espirito Santo in the autumn of 2019, with mixed results.
More likely is that the interest from Barcelona changed his mind. Although Traore has spent the past six-and-a-half years in England, adapting well, Catalonia has always been home. He joined Barca’s youth set-up aged eight and made his La Liga debut for the club at 17.
The chance to return as an international player in his prime and ready to make an impact under his one-time team-mate Xavi Hernandez is an opportunity that he will have craved. Now he looks set to get that chance. For Tottenham, the search continues.
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