When we last left the Pau Lopez to Tottenham saga, there were hints that Espanyol could accept Daniel Levy’s rather stingy offer of €2m + percentage of next sale.

Sport reported the claims, and five days later, it appears their, or Espanyol’s, stance has changed slightly.

According to Monday’s edition, the entire situation is at an impasse, and the Catalan newspaper seem to think that the La Liga side, while they would prefer for Tottenham to trigger the pre-agreed €7m clause in the deal, are prepared to run the risk of losing him on a free next year.

Their position is such they would rather take in the €1.1m they are due now and see their starlet leave for nothing next year than cave in to Tottenham’s games and ‘practically give him away as a present’.

How are they getting €1.1m? Well, if Spurs don’t active the €7m clause, or agree a reasonable fee with Espanyol, they have to pay a penalty fee of €500k.

Add that to the €600k they initially paid to Espanyol to bring Pau Lopez on loan, and the Spanish side have made a nice little profit for not doing much.

If nothing changes between now and the end of the month, the goalkeeper will return to his former club, where the board will start negotiations to renew his contract.

There is no guarantee the 21-year-old will agree to this, with Sport saying it’s ‘practically impossible’, but they’ll give it a go anyway.

For what should have been a fairly straightforward transfer, this has all ended up in a bit of a mess.

Tottenham’s cheekiness shouldn’t be overlooked, as they know exactly what they’re doing, and could end up picking up Lopez on a free next season, but it’s not the most honourable thing to do.

Then again, football is a business. A ruthless one at that.