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Barcelona tried to sign €35 million-rated World Cup winner before moving for Cancelo



Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona’s search for a new right-back this past summer culminated with the loan signing of Joao Cancelo from Manchester City late on the transfer deadline day.

The Portuguese international had been keen on joining the Blaugrana while the club, too, were intent on his capture.

But there were periods during the summer when his signing looked extremely unlikely at which point the La Liga champions looked at other alternatives.

Names such as Ivan Fresneda and Juan Foyth were considered by Barça and now MARCA is reporting that the Catalans had another alternative on their agenda.

Barcelona tried to sign Nahuel Molina from Atletico

Indeed, Isaac Suarez of MARCA is reporting that before Cancelo arrived, Barcelona explored the possibility of signing Atletico Madrid and Argentina right-back Nahuel Molina.

The 25-year-old, whose market value stands at €35 million, was trained at the Barça academy in Buenos Aires and even spent a few days at La Masia over a decade ago.

And, as fate would have it, there was a possibility of Molina returning to Catalonia, as a first-team star this time out, during the summer transfer window.

Former director Mateu Alemany had thought about a move for the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner two years ago, but Financial Fair Play regulations made it impossible.

Nahuel Molina was on Barcelona’s radar. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

Despite the FFP problems persisting, the Catalan giants once again studied the possibility of signing the Argentine even though he has a €90 million release clause in his Atletico contract.

Molina has become a key part of the Atleti setup but is still on modest wages, which would not have posed an issue for Barça even with their Financial Fair Play issues.

Barcelona could not convince Atletico

However, talks with Atletico Madrid were never going to be easy and the La Liga champions could not convince their rivals to part ways with Molina.

Given the Fair Play issues, Barcelona were in no position to make a big offer for Molina and could only propose the possibility of Los Rojiblancos signing one of the transfer-listed players in exchange.

But that did not pan out and eventually, the pursuit was given up as Cancelo’s arrival became a realistic possibility, with the Portuguese finally ending up at Barcelona.

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