Pau Lopez's expected move to Tottenham Hotspur is on hold until Espanyol find a replacement goalkeeper, IBTimes UK understands. Quique Sanchez Flores has included Lopez in the 18-man squad to face Malaga on Friday (26 August), despite recent reports in Spain suggesting the deal was effectively done.
AS reported earlier this week that the custodian was expected to have his last training session for the Catalan side on Tuesday before travelling to North London to complete the move. The story continued to suggest Spurs, Espanyol and the 21-year-old had all reached an agreement for the keeper to spend the 2016-17 campaign on loan at White Hart Lane for a fee of €600,000 (£515,000, $680,000). There would also be an option to make the move permanent for €7m at the end of the season.
Sources close to negotiations have confirmed to IBTimes UK the existence of a verbal agreement. However, nothing is yet official due to Espanyol's difficulties in signing a replacement.
Quique Sanchez Flores has signed Jiménez from Olympiacos to be his number one this season, having previously coached the stopper at Atletico Madrid. However, he still needs a back-up before parting ways with Pau Lopez as both German Parreño and Giedrius Arlauskis, who was on loan from Watford last season, have left the club.
Espanyol have now confirmed that Lopez is in the 18-man squad for the La Liga game against Malaga on Friday.
Sources have told IBTimes UK that both Spurs and the keeper believe a deal will be finalised before the end of the transfer window.
Mauricio Pochettino has only made two additions to his squad during the current mercato, in Victor Wanyama and striker Vincent Janssen. However, he is still confident that Lopez will become the third signing of the summer once Espanyol sign another keeper.
The Argentine manager and goalkeeping coach Toni Jimenez personally requested Lopez's signing after they promoted the Spanish U21 international to the Catalans' first team during their time at the La Liga side. Their interest in the keeper came prior to the injury suffered by Hugo Lloris.