Adama Traore has joined Barcelona on loan until the end of the season, despite the Wolves winger previously appearing close to signing for Tottenham.
Traore came through Barca’s youth system before leaving for Aston Villa in 2015, and will now return to Camp Nou for at least the next few months.
The Catalan giants have an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season for a fee reportedly in the region of €34.8million (£29m). They will also cover the player’s wages.
Tottenham appeared to be on the verge of signing the 26-year-old until Barca stepped in, with his native Spain apparently Traore’s preferred destination.
Traore’s current deal at Molineux expires at the end of next season and Wolves were hoping to cash in on him in the January transfer window, with the Spain international showing no intent to sign a new contract at the club.
He has managed just one goal and zero assists from 20 Premier League appearances so far this season, albeit from only 10 starts, and may be a replacement for Ousmane Dembele, who Barca continue to insist will be leaving the club before the end of the January transfer window due to his own contract stand-off.
Traore has attempted 117 dribbles in all competitions so far this season, with a success percentage of 76.9, significantly higher than any other wide forward at Barca who has attempted more than 18 dribbles. Memphis Depay is the next best with 52.8 per cent success from 89 attempted, while Dembele has completed 49 per cent of his 51 take-on attempts.
In the Premier League this season, only Newcastle United’s Allan Saint-Maximin (154) and Leeds United’s Raphinha (112) have attempted more dribbles than Traore (105), but the latter’s 79.1 per cent success rate in that competition far exceeds Saint-Maximin’s 59.1 and Raphinha’s 40.2.
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