Paris Saint-Germain's reported efforts to convince Giovani Lo Celso to return to France have been for naught, as Real Betis announced Tuesday the midfielder has completed a permanent transfer to the Andalusians.
Betis announced the news on Twitter:
According to RMC (h/t Get French Football News), PSG tried to talk the 23-year-old out of the move, but Lo Celso wouldn't budge.
The Argentinian was surprisingly loaned to Real Betis in August of last year after impressing in his final season at the Parc des Princes. Even more curiously, Les Parisiens added a clause to the deal that would allow Betis to make the transfer permanent if the rising star lived up to the potential in La Liga.
Lo Celso has done just that and then some. With eight goals in La Liga and five in the UEFA Europa League, he's been one of Betis' top performers all season long.
Here are some of his highlights from the Europa League:
Per La Liga writer David Cartlidge, the total fee of just €25 million is an incredible steal for the Spanish side, who can either build around the talented midfielder or flip him for a huge profit:
David Cartlidge @davidjaca
Betis can choose to build with Lo Celso, add players of similar quality around him and make an assault on top four over the coming years. Or, and it can’t be ruled out, they sell on for a significant profit and reinvest in the team - like they did when Fabián left for Napoli.
There was no question the Andalusians would use the clause, per sportswriter Peter Coates:
While Lo Celso impressed in La Liga during the 2018-19 campaign, PSG sorely needed midfield depth after Adrien Rabiot was frozen out of the squad. They could have used the youngster but instead had to splash the cash on Leandro Paredes in January, and the former AS Roma man played only a minor part in their UEFA Champions League exit against Manchester United.
Losing the rising star for just €25 million is a major blow to Les Parisiens, and per sportswriter Dermot Corrigan, it's not the first time the Ligue 1 champions have made this mistake:
Goncalo Guedes also refused to return to Paris after impressing on loan at Valencia.
Per Goal, manager Thomas Tuchel fired a shot at the club board over the lack of depth after the 5-1 loss against Lille on Sunday. The permanent loss of Lo Celso for such a small fee will only add to the pressure on that board.