Sevilla president Pepe Castro has said the signing of Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Federico Fazio during the current transfer window is no longer a top priority for the Europa League winners, after the club failed to reach an agreement with Spurs. Castro refused to completely rule out the return of the Argentine defender to the Sanchez Pizjuan, but suggested his arrival is now unlikely due to the recent return of Daniel Carriço from injury.
Castro revealed last month that Sevilla were interested in luring back Fazio to La Liga, despite the defender leaving the club on a sour note in the summer of 2014, with Spurs being forced to meet his full €10m (£7.3m, $10.7m) release clause due to the Andalucians' refusal to negotiate.
"We are working on a number of options and Fazio is one of them," Castro told Radio Sevilla last month "He is an option but nothing has been completed yet. It is clear that Fazio did not leave Sevilla in the best of ways and that really upset me, but I have to think about Sevilla's interests.
"I have to swallow my anger, because this club needs Fazio. I do not like swallowing my pride but I am willing to do something I do not like because it is in Sevilla's best interest."
ABC later reported that Spurs executive chairman Daniel Levy had turned down a first offer from Sevilla, which was a loan deal with the option to make the move permanent in the summer. The report, however, suggested that the clubs were planning to meet again during the month of January to discuss the deal, as the player was keen to leave White Hart Lane after having made just one appearance during the first part of the season.
Castro has now admitted his club made an approach to secure the player's services, but have since changed their plans due to Spurs' obstinateness.
Manager Unai Emery has recently welcomed long-term absentee Carriço back to partner Adil Rami in the centre of his back-line, while Nico Pareja is also close to return to action following some months in the treatment room.
"Every day we work to improve our team but we have not closed any deal and neither I can assure you that we are going to close anything [before the end of the transfer window]," Castro said to Spanish reporters on Monday morning, as quoted by AS. "There are options, it is well known that we wanted a right back and that we tried to do the Fazio deal but so far there is no agreement. He is no longer a priority because Carriço is already playing and Pareja will come back soon."
Meanwhile, last week Valencia-based publication Super Deporte claimed that Gary Neville was also considering the player's services during the current transfer window as the former Manchester United icon has failed to win a single game in La Liga since replacing Nuno Espírito Santo in December 2015.