A ‘Top Secret’ report from Mundo Deportivo claims Barcelona wanted Borussia Dormtund’s Julian Weigl in 2018 as they viewed him as a long-term successor for Sergio Busquets.

It’s claimed the La Liga winners’ then technical leaders had a ‘clear objective’ in signing the 24-year-old and wanted to include André Gomes as part of the deal.

The Portugal international joined Everton on loan in 2018 and the Toffees signed him on a permanent deal before the start of this season.

Barca’s idea was to offer the current Everton player to the Bundesliga side to lower the asking price for the German.

Mundo states the operation which was complicated in the beginning, cooled because the Blaugrana began the work to incorporate Frenkie de Jong. The deal to sign the Dutchman from Ajax was sealed in January and he arrived at Camp Nou in the summer.

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The Catalan newspaper states Barcelona were ‘right’ in signing De Jong over Weigl because the Netherlands international has adapted well at the club, while the latter has ‘lost prominence’ at Dortmund. 

Weigl has made 11 starts in all competitions for Dortmund and Lucien Favre has used him as a centre-back and a defensive midfielder this season.