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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Lopez and Fazio to swap clubs this week or will they?

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Lopez and Fazio to swap clubs this week

Mauricio Pochettino has been keen to find a young goalkeeper who can work alongside Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm to develop and become our next keeper. We have been linked with many young keepers and a few older ones.

Newcastle United have extended the contract of 19-year-old goalkeeper Freddie Woodward who Newcastle blogs say we were very interested in.

Then there is the story from Spain that surfaced recently suggesting we have been looking at 21-year-old (22 in December) Espanyol goalkeeper Pau Lopez.

This, the Spanish say, is a move inspired by Pochettino, who did manage Espanyol and has kept an eye on their progress. The LaLiga side are always strapped for cash. In Pochettino's time as head coach, they had to sell players every six months just to survive, which meant playing a lot of youth players. This period will have no doubt helped Pocheetino build his trust in youth, trust that many other managers in the Premier League don't seem to have.

Espanyol wants Argentinian centre-back Federico Fazio on loan with us paying a good proportion of his wages. We would then want a purchase option after a set number of games, Espanyol wants a lump sum to contribute towards his wages, and help with a fee that allows them to stay within Financial Fair Play rules on expenditure.

The report from L'Esportiude Catalonia suggests a deal may be concluded this week. They say Pochettino has phoned the Lopez and the young keeper has decided to leave. Lopez has a contract until 2018 and the two parties have been negotiating a new contract for months. A call from Pochettino has changed all that.

Thie suggestion from Spain is that we would pay £4.24-million (€5m -AUS$7.41m -  US$5.6m) plus Fazio to acquire Pau Lopez. They say we are prepared to lower the transfer fee for Fazio to get him off our books and help Espanyol afford his wages, something they can not do at the moment.

Fazio has agreed to join them and he is Quique Sanchez Flores first choice centre-back.  A deal for a Europa League winner would be a good one for Espanyol, even if he has to rediscover his form.

Let's see what happens.

The Daily Mail report Fazio is going to Roma on loan with a guaranteed buy clause for £4.06-million  (4.85m -AUS$7.11m -  US$5.38m) which would arguably be better for us. Roma manager Luciano Spalletti has been telling the media about his qualities and there are reports Fazio ha a medical booked ahead of joining the Italians.

Roma have a Champions League play-off to encounter and need someone with experience due to injuries. Fazio has the necessary experience and as I wrote in a previous article, if he is going there it will have to be quick to acquaint him with the playing style and his teammates. With a medical booked that seems to be the case.

Both it seems are viable options, so hopefully something will be resolved this week. Two countries, two deals, both pretty sure he is going to them. That's the media for you, but the Italians look favourites.



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