Real Betis have put an end to the long-running transfer saga of Tony Sanabria after announcing a deal to complete the signing of the former Barcelona starlet from Roma. The Catalans themselves and Tottenham Hotspur had been linked with the striker but the Paraguay international has finally moved to the Andalucian side – after Spurs completed the signing of Vincent Janssen earlier this week.
Sanabria, 20, attracted the attention of a number of big clubs after last season's productive spell on loan at Sporting Gijon, scoring 11 goals in 30 appearances to help the Asturians remain in La Liga.
Barcelona were the first major club to be linked with his services. The young striker emerged from the Catalan's youth system before moving to Roma in 2014. Reports in Spain claimed that he was one of the candidates being considered by Luis Enrique, who is looking for a versatile forward to back-up the MSN trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
However, Tottenham emerged as the main candidate to secure his services as it was reported that Barcelona had other options ahead of him on their summer shopping list.
Some reports in Italy claimed that the move to Spurs was on track in a deal worth around €15m. His agent, Raul Verdu, later denied the agreement was complete, but did confirm talks had been held with the Premier League side.
Raul Verdu then told Tuttomeractoweb: "The rumours about Tottenham? I speak in general, there was some contact, but we will have to go over this with Roma. Right now the boy is at the Giallorossi. I will talk to [Roma sporting director] Walter Sabatini to decide how to move, at present there is nothing concrete about the future of Sanabria. We will see if there is news next week."
However, later it was reported that the striker himself had turned down the Tottenham offer to join Real Betis after former Spurs player, Gus Poyet, personally called him to convince him to stay in La Liga.
Reports in Spain claim the deal taking him to Betis is worth around €8m for the 50% of his rights.
But ABC last week reported a further twist in the saga after claiming that Tottenham made a last ditch attempt to hijack the deal by offering €15m to Roma for 100% of his rights.
Despite the player wanting to move to Betis, the deal was consequently delayed, but the La Liga outfit have now confirmed that Sanabria will finally join them.
It doesn't appear to be a coincidence the announcement came only days after Spurs confirmed they had signed Janssen instead. Nevertheless, it looks that the Netherlands international was always the first choice for Mauricio Pochettino, despite the difficulties in the negotiations with AZ Alkmaar to sign the Dutchman.