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€27.5 million defender wanted to join Barcelona or Real Madrid before Saudi move

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Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

The Barcelona jersey carries with it a legacy of brilliance, with players provided with the opportunity to become part of a lineage of legends.

The signing of Ilkay Gundogan, who just last season won a treble with Manchester City, largely encapsulates the appeal of playing for the Blaugrana.

Bernardo Silva even showed an inclination to join, but Barça were unable to muster up the finances.

However, Joao Cancelo is closing in on a move to the Catalan giants, with the final details left to be wrapped up.

Aymeric Laporte desired to don the Blaugrana jersey

Now, Sam Lee of The Athletic has come out to reveal that Aymeric Laporte also dreamed of playing for Barça or Real Madrid.

But no club made a move for the player, and he consequently signed for Al Nassr of the Saudi Pro League for €27.5 million.

Unsurprisingly, Real Madrid’s status as a European heavyweight establishes them as an appealing destination.

But, despite financial disruptions over the years, Barcelona also remain one of the most sought-after destinations for top European players aiming to leave a mark in their careers.

Why Barcelona did not make a move for Laporte

Laporte has helped City win 12 major titles, and his style as a ball-playing center-back has seen him linked with Barcelona tremendously over the years, including this summer.

However, with ample options already in defence, especially with the signing of Inigo Martinez and Mikayil Faye this summer, the La Liga champions would simply be overstacking a department that does not require immediate attention.

Moreover, the club’s strained finances make it hard for them to pursue signings comfortably, with many targets shortlisted by Barcelona unable to join due to their hefty price tags.

As such, with the current economic climate and competition in defence, Laporte would have been a luxury signing for the Catalans, which in the end they did not pursue.

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