Javier Bordas, former Barcelona sporting director, revealed that the club had the chance to sign PSG striker Kylian Mbappé for €100m, but they went for Ousmane Dembélé instead.
“I called Mbappé’s father and he told me that he was not going to go to Madrid because Cristiano, Benzema, and Bale were there and instead he could go to Barça because Neymar had left. The president of Monaco also preferred us over PSG,” said Bordas in an interview with Mundo Deportivo.
“We had the option to buy Mbappé for €100M when we were pursuing Dembélé. The explanation at the time was that Mbappé plays for himself and Dembélé plays for the team. For 100 million we could’ve bought Mbappé,” he added.
Instead, the Catalan club went to buy Philippe Coutinho and Dembélé, investing a total of roughly €250m in the players, which was more than the entire revenue generated from the sale of Neymar Jr.
Moreover, Bordas told that they could have signed Erling Braut Haaland too, but the technical staff apparently told him that the player was not a Barça type striker: “I had recommended many players to the club like Haaland, Ferran Torres, Dani Olmo, etc. and they were all for €20M,” he said.
Bordas has been working as a sporting director between 2010 and 2020 — a long spell of 10 years. He was part of Josep Maria Bartomeu’s board, and resigned on October 27, after it was clear that the vote of no confidence was going to replace their board anyways.
It is a pity that Barcelona did not manage to sign any of the current world-class attackers, and instead are looking to get the best out of their investments, Coutinho and Dembélé. However, looking at the quotes from Bordas, it looks like everyone at the former board is looking for a scapegoat regarding earlier-made mistakes.
We have to mention that under Ronald Koeman’s reign, the two are having quite a good (or at least a better) time at Barcelona currently, but we have to wait and see whether the new board will count on them, with elections to take place in January 24.
“Bartomeu didn’t deserve this ending at all. It has been a shame. Whenever there was anything small, they started attacking us, I don’t understand it,” concluded Bordas, claiming that what happened to the former president is simply ‘lynching’.
“One of the crisis was that we were selling tickets at a high price when everything was problematic at the club from an economical perspective. Does even that need to be criticised?”
Report: Barcelona accept defeat in pursuit of Inter Milan striker
According to reports from Corriere della Sera (relayed by SempreInter), Barcelona have now given up on their pursuit of Inter Milan striker, Lautaro Martinez. The 23-year-old has enjoyed a phenomenal season upfront with Romelu Lukaku, and he is a hot prospect in Europe. He has several skills that make him suited to a team like Barça, who have been chasing him for over a year now.
Inter were initially demanding northwards of €100m for the striker before the start of the 20/21 season. With their financial struggles, the Catalan club were unable to cope with their demands. However, the rumours linking Martinez to Barça did not die down in the months that followed. This is due to the Blaugrana’s dire need for a striker.
The Garnet and the Blue have been considering several options, with the Argentinian striker being only one out of a talented bunch including Aguero, Depay, Haaland, and more. Martinez was hotly tipped to join Barça, apparently wanting a union with his fellow Argentine teammate Lionel Messi.
However, with Inter’s meteoric rise to success, and Martinez’ key role in the team, it seems that he is no longer going to leave the club. The Milan based club is head and shoulders above all other teams in the Serie A, and look set to win their first title in eleven years.
The Argentine forward has played a huge part in Inter’s incredible campaign, scoring fifteen and assisting five in 30 matches this league campaign.
Antonio Conte has done a brilliant job with Inter, and he has also developed Martinez into a phenomenal striker; one who can both score goals as well as drop deep and create the play. With his immense pairing with Lukaku and the inevitable success of Inter, it seems impossible that a transfer is on the card for the young striker any time soon.