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Barcelona wanted to sign Italian midfielder in January, agent confirms

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Photo by Ahmad Mora/Getty Images

Despite making no major moves, Barcelona were one of the busiest clubs in Europe during the January transfer window. They were linked with a host of players but were not able to sanction any new signings due to Financial Fair Play regulations.

Barcelona’s pursuit of Joao Cancelo and Yannick Carrasco have already been well-documented. But in another such event, it appears the club were also linked with a move for Nicolo Zaniolo.

Speaking to the media, Zaniolo’s agent Claudio Vigorelli confirmed Barcelona’s interest in the player in January, but claims they were not able to make a move due to financial reasons.

“He was on Barcelona’s list in January, it’s true — they appreciated him but unfortunately it was not possible to proceed due to financial reasons,” Vigorelli said (h/t Fabrizio Romano).

Barcelona’s interest in an attacker like Zaniolo is hardly surprising as the club were actively looking for reinforcements, especially after the departure of Memphis Depay. Coach Xavi Hernandez was also looking for someone who can operate as an interior midfielder.

Zaniolo appeared to be a good option as the Italian was able to play both out wide and in the number ten role. With almost 100 Serie A appearances, he also had substantial experience at the highest level of football.

However, a move did not materialise due to the aforementioned reason, with the playmaker eventually joining Galatasaray for a fee of €15 million. “He needed to change air, he’s happy at Galatasaray,” Vigorelli added.

Since joining the Turkish giants, Zaniolo has shown good form, scoring three goals in six appearances. He has helped the club remain at the top of the league table, though Fenerbahce are breathing down their necks in second place.

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