The cheeky Tottenham and Aston Villa swap transfer deal that could suit clubs hugely

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Spurs are understood to be highly interested in signing a Villa star

If at first you don’t succeed, and all that jazz... According to a report from The Times, Tottenham Hotspur have failed with an initial £20 million bid to lure Jacob Ramsey away from Aston Villa this summer that would have also seen Giovani Lo Celso move in the other direction. But they certainly shouldn’t give up on the deal just yet.

‘Swap’ is a dirty word right now. With clubs sending academy products back and forth in an alleged effort to squeeze through the loopholes of their Profit and Sustainability woes, and with the Premier League threatening to crack down on what could perhaps be considered dubiously inventive behaviour, it could well be that player exchanges are soon regarded with a black market illegality.

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This little merry-go-round between Spurs and Villa is seemingly being conducted in earnest, however. It is no secret that Ange Postecoglou’s side have been admirers of Ramsey for some time, and that Unai Emery has a deeper appreciation than most for Lo Celso having worked with him at Villarreal in the past. Indeed, reports involving all four parties have been shuttling back and forth for several weeks already, and so it feels quite natural that Tottenham would chance their arm with an offer of this kind.

Evidently, in its current guise, the package does not appeal to Villa - and for good reason. By their own estimation, Ramsey is worth anywhere between £40 million and £50 million; the implication on Spurs’ part being, therefore, that Lo Celso is worth at least as much, and if not more, than the 23-year-old. Few onlookers would rationally argue that this is the case, and you can understand why Villa might be inclined to dig their heels in and demand a little more financial bang for their buck.

But that does not mean that there is not an agreement to be struck here. After all, Villa are in a position whereby they may need to sell a prized asset or two over the coming days to balance their books, while Lo Celso is quite clearly surplus to requirements in North London.

Theoretically, then, a player-plus-cash swap would suit both parties; Villa receive the monetary injection they need, as well as a talent that their manager is keen on, while Spurs bring in a long term target and free up some space on their own wage bill. In a sense, everybody wins.

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For it to properly work, however, it will require Tottenham to compromise somewhat. While there is no appetite to pay Ramsey’s full asking price, an improvement on the £20 million or so that they have stumped up alongside Lo Celso could be enough to sway their Premier League rivals. How much of an improvement is difficult to say, of course, would Villa be tempted by an extra £5 million to £10 million? Perhaps.

Either way, if the end of the June is indeed the heavily implied deadline on completion, then Spurs will need to get a move on. There is a deal to be done here, just not as things stand presently.

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