Javier de Paz
New Porto coach Julen Lopetegui wants to take Cristian Tello to Portugal as he looks to build his team at the Estádio do Dragao.
Reports in the Portuguese media say that the former Spain Under-21 boss has set the wheels in motion on a deal to take the Barça winger to the Primeira Liga, where Tello – who made just two La Liga starts this season – would enjoy the playing time he has lacked at the Camp Nou.
According to O Jogo, Barcelona want 12 million euros for the 22-year-old, although negotiations could see that figure change.
A possible deal is favoured by the fact that the pair have previously worked together at age-group level in the Spain set-up, where Lopetegui has coached the Under-19s, Under-20s and Under-21s.
In addition, the Barça youth product is keen to continue his development as a player, and a Champions League club with Porto’s history would prove an attractive option.
Furthermore, Tello’s first-team chances at Barcelona will not be helped by the return of loanees Gerard Deulofeu and Rafinha to add to the attacking competition already posed by Leo Messi, Neymar, Pedro and Alexis.
The move could be hindered by the fact that Tello has also attracted the interest of other European clubs, with Liverpool, Arsenal and Napoli linked with the player. He appears to be in new Barça boss Luis Enrique’s plans, but the extreme competition for places in attack could open his way to the exit.