Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho has confirmed that the club will activate the option to sign Giovani Lo Celso on a permanent basis this month, per The London Evening Standard.
The Argentina international was impressive throughout the club’s 1-1 draw with Southampton in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.
Indeed, his driving run from midfield saw him skip over a number of challenges and led directly to Son Heung-Min’s opening goal.
And Mourinho was asked afterwards about the prospect of keeping him at the club, with Spurs initially signing the midfielder on loan; The Standard reports that the club can pay £27m to secure his signature in January or £34m in the summer.
He said: “I think the boy is earning the decision (to buy him).
“He’s making an easy decision for the club to execute the option.
“Incredible evolution since I arrived. Barely played a game, I think he played against Red Star Belgrade, with me a little bit difficult to come in the first few weeks.
“But he understood what we wanted. Good learner, good kid.
“By himself, he made the decision that the club is going to execute the option. That’s normal, he earned it.”
Lo Celso has been exceptional for Spurs in recent weeks.
He was key to the victory over Norwich City in midweek, laying on a total of four key passes in one match, while he has shown himself to be excellent at both ends of the pitch.
Against Southampton, for example, he made four tackles and four dribbles.
Indeed, with Christian Eriksen reportedly heading to Inter Milan in the coming days, Spurs need a player who can pick the lock; Lo Celso offers exactly that attribute.
This is a player who can be the fulcrum of the club’s midfield for years to come and, coupled with Eriksen’s departure, this was an opportunity that Spurs simply couldn’t turn down.
Meanwhile, one Spurs target would be a proper penalty box poacher for Mourinho’s side.