In a recent interview, Enric Masip, the advisor to Barcelona president Joan Laporta revealed that an unnamed club had come very close to signing two of the club’s prized gems in Lamine Yamal and Alejandro Balde.
“Lamine Yamal and Balde were in serious danger of leaving Barça. There is a club that wanted to sign Balde and Lamine. I will not mention their name,” he said.
“The president’s relationship with Jorge Mendes is the reason why Alejandro Balde and Lamine Yamal are staying at Barça,” he added.
Manchester City tried to lure Yamal away
While Masip did not reveal the name of the club that tried to make the move, it had been speculated in the recent past that Manchester City were the ones behind the attempts.
Now, journalist David Sanchez on Radio MARCA has affirmed the same, claiming that it was indeed Manchester City who attempted to lure Yamal away from Barcelona.
Yamal turned 16 years old in July earlier this year, making him eligible to sign his first professional contract and opening the door for other clubs to try and lure him away, with City making an attempt to do just that.
The journalist states that the reigning champions of England and Europe went all out to try and sign Yamal from Barcelona, but their efforts proved to be futile.
Yamal did not even listen to the offer from the Cityzens and has stayed put in Catalonia, where he wants to succeed. he has gained great prominence in Xavi’s first-team setup. In fact, the 16-year-old has gone on to make his debut for the Spanish national team, scoring a goal on his maiden appearance as well.
Yamal has also agreed a new contract with Barcelona which he is expected to sign in the coming days, committing his future to the club for three more years.
Relations between Barça, Man City have worsened
Given how things went down, it is understood that the relationship between Barcelona and Manchester City have worsened, as per Raul Fuentes on Radio MARCA.
The two teams have shared a cordial relationship for years, but it appears that tensions have risen between them of late.
What remains to be seen is whether Man City return again to try and poach Yamal in the future and if they are willing to do business with Barcelona, who continue to retain an interest in Bernardo Silva.