Barcelona missed out on signing Man City midfielder for one reason


Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images

Despite the presence of some big names in the FC Barcelona midfield, it is clear that this area is suffering from some weaknesses, and reinforcements are needed to bolster this key part of the team.

For instance, Oriol Romeu has not been able to prove his mettle in his time at the Catalan club up to now, and a midfield pivot is needed. Furthermore, Gavi’s injury also left the team short of an important interior midfielder, and Xavi would have liked to get a player to cover these two positions in January.

In fact, Barcelona were close to signing a Premier League midfielder but were unable to sign him because of circumstances that have been reported by SPORT. The Spanish publication reports that the Manchester City midfielder, Kalvin Phillips, was a realistic option for Barcelona as the player himself was keen to spend the second half of the season under Xavi.

However, Barcelona could afford his signing only if no loan fee was involved, and they had only to pay the Phillips’ wages. Manchester City were not willing to accept such a deal, as they did not want another Cancelo case.

By January 24, the chances of Barcelona signing the Englishman were getting increasingly slim. Worried about the Catalan club’s ability to sign him, Phillips ordered his agent to look for other interested clubs, and West Ham United showed their readiness to incorporate him.

On that same day, Alejandro Balde was injured, but it was discovered only three days after that Balde would have to undergo surgery. When Barcelona found that Balde would be out for the rest of the season, it was too late, and the option of using Balde’s wages to get Phillips could not be exercised.

On January 26th, West Ham had already announced the signing of the Englishman on loan. While this was not announced officially, reports from England reveal that City asked for €8 million in loan fee and full payment of the player’s wages.

Thus, the unfortunate timing of Balde’s injury and West Ham’s move left Barcelona without any midfield reinforcement in January.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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