‘Eriksen replacement’ Alena set for Barca loan spell

Tottenham Hotspur

Barcelona are reportedly going to loan Carlos Alena - the young midfielder who was linked with Tottenham this week - out for the second half of the season.

Alena is understood to be wanted by a number of Spanish clubs, but Sport do not report Tottenham to be in the running for a six-month loan deal.

The 21-year-old midfielder, who came through the famous La Masia youth set-up that has produced so many Barca greats, is said to be interesting Real Betis, Granada, Celta Vigo and Getafe – according to Sport.

However, Mundo Deportivo claimed earlier this week that Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino was keen to snap up the talent.

Pochettino is preparing for life after Christian Eriksen, who is expected to leave at the end of the season when his contract expires.

After failing to secure a summer move to Real Madrid in the summer, Eriksen has shown no sign of putting pen to paper on a new deal at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – leaving Pochettino with no option but to look for another solution.

Alena was first linked to Tottenham in 2017 so Pochettino has been a fan of his for some time but only now could the player be realising that his long-term future is not at the Camp Nou.

The Spaniard has been given limited playing time under coach Ernesto Valverde this term, playing just once against Athletic Bilbao on the opening day of the season.

Alena has been at the club for 14 years and wanted to be part of Valverde’s first-team plans this season, but has instead found himself playing second fiddle to summer signing Frenkie de Jong.

That could allow Spurs to make their move for him when the transfer window opens in January, although Sport claim Barca want him back after he’s picked up six months experience elsewhere.

However, Pochettino has refused to say whether Spurs would be active in the January transfer market.