Espanyol goalkeeper Pau Lopez has ruled out re-joining Tottenham Hotspur this summer after outlining his determination to play for his childhood club during the upcoming season.
Mauricio Pochettino recruited the Spain Under-21 international during the last summer transfer window after having previously coached him at Espanyol. Tottenham agreed to pay a fee of €600,000 (£536.000, $699.000) to acquire him on loan during the 2016-17 season, retaining an option to make the move permanent for €7m at the end of the campaign.
Though the 22-year-old failed to play a single minute for first-team but Pochettino is still keen on signing him this summer with a view to making him Hugo Lloris' long-term replacement.
Earlier in the summer IBTimes UK reported that Tottenham were trying to negotiate a cut-price deal because Lopez only has one year remaining on his contract at Espanyol. Spurs then launched a €2m offer in the hope of convincing the Barcelona-based side to cash in on the player in order to avoid losing him for free next summer.
However, the La Liga side turned down the proposal, asking Tottenham to increase their bid to €4m. The north Londoners decided to withdraw from negotiations and allowed the automatic option to sign him for nearly double the asking price to expire on 30 June.
Some reports in Spain have claimed that Spurs could still reignite negotiations before the summer transfer window closes on 31 August but Lopez has now put an end to the saga.
"I do not know where all this comes from, nobody have told me that [Espanyol] do not count on me and I will be here all season, no matter what," Lopez said to AS when asked whether he could still leave the Barcelona-based side this summer. I am happy to be at home because Espanyol is my home and I am happy with my teammates. When you spend one year away you value even more when you return."
The keeper has however offered praise for Pochettino and his former Tottenham teammates following his fruitful experience in the Premier League.
"[When you are away] you are out of the comfort zone and that makes you evolve on a personal level," the keeper said. "You also know a new league and a new way of training. I was in a team with incredible players and a coach (Mauricio Pochettino) to whom I am very grateful for the experience they gave me."
The La Liga side reportedly plan to offer Lopez a new deal in order to avoid losing him to Tottenham – or another rival club - for free next summer.
Lopez has given Spurs some hope about a future deal after refusing to commit his long-term future to Espanyol. "There is a whole year ahead. I have no thought on this subject [a potential renewal]. I want to enjoy [this season] but I do not know what the future holds for me. As far as the manager needs me, I'll be there to help the team," he added.