As revealed by the latest recording of Valencia president Anil Murthy leaked by Superdeporte, Barcelona were willing to sign Rodrigo Moreno from Los Che for a sum of €63 million in the past.
Rodrigo had been at Valencia since 2014, when he joined on loan from SL Benfica, before making the move permanent next year. The Spaniard had enjoyed impressive seasons in 2017/18 and 2018/19, following which reports of Barcelona’s interest started to do the rounds.
Now, it has emerged that the Catalan giants were willing to splash as much as €63 million to secure his signing, although the timeframe has not been made clear.
In the recording, Valencia president Anil Murthy can be heard saying that Barça officials Oscar Grau, Ramon Planes and Eric Abidal admitted to him that they would shell out €63 million for the Spaniard.
However, they also allegedly told that they would pay just €30 million in the summer, and the rest of the fee next year to avoid Financial Fair Play sanctions. Murthy said:
“I go to Barcelona to sell Rodrigo. Atletico wanted to buy him at first and later Barcelona. €63 million. Rodrigo’s father wants two million in commission.
“I go with Ramón Planes, Oscar Grau, Abidal and they tell me: ‘Right, we can buy for €63 million no problem. We’re going to pay the two million to the dad, this year, but only €30 million for Fair Play and then (the rest sorted) next year and that’s that.'”
However, the Valencia president decided to walk away from the deal, as he said: “Yes, but are they going to be next season? Because if they are not, my name is there and I am going to Picassent. I left, I have nothing. These things happen so much in football.”
Rodrigo left Valencia in 2020, joining Premier League club Leeds United for a much lesser fee than the €63 million that Barcelona were willing to offer.