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‘They had dreams’ – Former Barcelona advisors opens up on Lewandowski, Gundogan transfers

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Photo via Getty Images

Despite being in financial turmoil, Barcelona have pulled off some important transfers over the course of the last few summer transfer windows. Ferran Torres for over €50 million, Raphinha for €60 million, Jules Kounde for €65 million, among others, makes this list.

But perhaps none bigger than Robert Lewandowski, who joined from Bayern Munich for €50 million.

This was followed by another important transfer in the summer of 2023, when Ilkay Gundogan left Manchester City to join Barça, albeit on a free transfer.

Both players have made an incredible impact at the club, and were pushing to join Barcelona, if former advisor Jordi Cruyff is to be believed.

Dreaming of Barcelona

Speaking to Fabrizio Romano in an interview, Jordi Cruyff was asked about the club’s negotiations with Bayern Munich in 2022 for Robert Lewandowski.

Known to be notorious sellers, the Bavarians were not ready to let the Pole leave, at least easily. Talks lasted for months before eventually Lewa’s desire to play for Barcelona eventually pushed the move through.

“Barcelona is a different club, it has a different influence on the big players. I think the biggest reason that prompted Lewandowski to come is that he had that dream and that motivation to come to this club and to live this dream despite all the difficult circumstances,” Cruyff said about the transfer.

Lewa’s blaugrana dream. (Photo by MANAURE QUINTERO/AFP via Getty Images)

“I think the player really wanted to come even though he knew the problems of fair play that the club is experiencing. Lewandowski was open and willing to make economic sacrifices to come here and realise his dream. When you see all this you know that this signing must be completed.”

Gundogan’s move

Barcelona also pursued the signing of Gundogan from Manchester City, who was coming off a treble-winning season with the Cityzens. They were also trying to renew him, and had tabled a one-year deal to him, but the player preferred to move to the Catalan capital.

On that move, Cruyff said, “Gundogan had offers from everywhere. But this was a dream he wanted to fulfill.”

Barcelona also had Xavi at the helm, which helped them pull through a lot of the moves, but with the legendary midfielder now out of the club, it remains to be seen if they can maintain a lot of this magnetism, especially for midfielders.

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