Manchester City were locked in negotiations with Barcelona over potential swap deals this summer, but none of them came to fruition.
That’s according to Sport journalist Alfredo Martinez, who details talks that centred around Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Ansu Fati.
He explains that the main goal at the Nou Camp this summer was to save money by any means necessary, hence the almost celebration when Antoine Griezmann departed.
The savings alone on his contract were a major boost for the club’s finances, even though it left them short of a striker until the late arrival of Luuk de Jong.
His departure showed there were no ‘untouchable’ players in the squad, and even young stars like Pedri and Fati would have been allowed to go if they’d received ‘pornographic’ offers for them.
No such bids arrived, but that did not stop the players from being involved in talks particularly Fati, who was keenly watched by Manchester City.
Martinez explains that Barcelona’s most significant talks of the summer were with Pep Guardiola and co, and no less than six names were on the table at one point.
Barcelona asked City for Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling, who were believed to be in weakened positions at the club, and offered Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite in return.
Manchester City were clear that this didn’t interest them, though, and so the next step was for the Blues to offer Sterling for Fati instead.
This time Barcelona didn’t agree and ‘clearly saw’ that they were losing out in that exchange because of Fati’s ‘enormous potential and his youth’. So, again, the deal broke down, and that was that.
The whole case has now died down, but with Fati yet to agree on a new deal and Sterling on the outside at the Etihad, expect the rumours to resurface.
Indeed, we’ve already seen the latter linked with a move to the Nou Camp in January, and we’d expect more rumours around both players to surface in the coming months given these talks in the summer.