• Tue. Aug 16th, 2022

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Byalisi

Jul 19, 2022

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Mbappé was “within reach” for Barça – Club passed on Haaland, Courtois & Co.mbappe barca

With the resignation of president Josep Maria Bartomeu, Javier Bordas’ time on the board of FC Barcelona also came to an end after ten years. In an interview with Mundo Deportivo, the 59-year-old, one of Bartomeu’s closest confidants and a member of the board for several years, revealed that things could have gone very differently for Barça following the Catalans’ transfer policy regularly being the subject of criticism recently.

News archive Barça president Bartomeu to step down

In the summer of 2017, when Neymar moved to Paris Saint-Germain for the record amount of €222 million, FC Barcelona could have signed Kylian Mbappé as a replacement, according to Bordas. “When we were on the verge of signing Dembélé, Minguella (Spanish player agent) called me and told us that Mbappé was within reach. I spoke to Bartomeu and he told me to take care of it,” Bordas recalled the situation.

From Rossi to Neymar: Transfer records since the 1970s 1978 | Paolo Rossi | €2.65M &copyimago images

From Juventus to Vicenza

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1979 | Andy Gray | €3M &copyimago images

From Aston Villa to Wolverhampton

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1982 | Diego Maradona | €8M &copyimago images

From Boca Juniors to FC Barcelona

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1988 | Lajos Détári | €8.7M &copyimago images

From Eintracht Frankfurt to Olympiacos

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1990 | Roberto Baggio | €12.9M &copyimago images

From Fiorentina to Juventus

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1992 | Gianluca Vialli | €16.5M &copyimago images

From Sampdoria to Juventus

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1996 | Alan Shearer | €21M &copyimago images

From Blackburn Rovers to Newcastle United

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1997 | Ronaldo | €28M &copyimago images

From FC Barcelona to Inter

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1998 | Denílson | €31.5M &copyimago images

From FC São Paulo to Real Betis

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1999 | Christian Vieri | €46.48M &copyimago images

From Lazio to Inter

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2000 | Hernán Crespo | €56.81M &copyimago images

From AC Parma to Lazio

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2000 | Luís Figo | €60M &copyimago images

From FC Barcelona to Real Madrid

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2001 | Zinédine Zidane | €77.5M &copyimago images

From Juventus to Real Madrid

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2009 | Cristiano Ronaldo | €94M &copyimago images

From Manchester United to Real Madrid

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2013 | Gareth Bale | €101M &copyGetty Images

From Tottenham to Real Madrid

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2016 | Paul Pogba | €105M &copyimago images

From Juventus to Manchester United

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2017 | Neymar | €222M &copyimago images

From FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain

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Subsequently he contacted Mbappé’s father, who told Bordas “that he would not go to Madrid because Cristiano, Benzema and Bale were there, but he could come to Barça because Neymarwas no longer there. The president of Monaco preferred that he moves to Barça so he would not strengthen a direct rival in PSG. And for €100 million it could have been done. But Robert Fernández (former sporting director) preferred Dembélé and Pep Segura (former director of football) supported him. The explanation was that Mbappé plays for himself and Dembélé for the team. And since a winger like Neymar was leaving, Robert preferred a winger over a finisher.”

Haaland was not viewed as a Barça player – ter Stegen instead of Courtois

Bordas himself had recommended “many more signings”, he explained: “Haaland, Ferran Torres (…), Dani Olmo for 20 million …” Erling Haaland, who was courted by many top clubs, moved from Red Bull Salzburg to Borussia Dortmund for the same amount in January 2020. The Catalans had previously decided against a transfer. “I was told he was not a Barça player. I understand that Bartomeu listens to the sporting directors, but the truth is that these players could have come. But of course, you don’t know how they would have performed.”

Market Value Erling Haaland E. Haaland Centre-Forward €150.00m

In the summer of 2014, when Barça made changes in the goalkeeper position and signed Marc-André ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo, Bordas brought up Thibaut Courtois, who was on loan at Atlético Madrid from Chelsea, as an alternative. “When I wanted to try for Courtois, I talked about it with Rosell (former president) beforehand. He told me that if we could do something, we would do it.” However, then sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta preferred Borussia Mönchengladbach’s ter Stegen. “I made it possible to get Courtois, but Zubi showed good judgment,” Bordas said. “We were right because he is the best in the world. (…) But perhaps we could have had Courtois together with ter Stegen.”

The most expensive goalkeepers in history 17 – Aaron Ramsdale | for €20.5M from Bournemouth to Sheffield United &copyTM/imago images

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16 – Sébastien Frey | for €21M from Inter to Parma &copyimago images

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15 – Pau López | for €23.5M from Real Betis to Roma &copyTM/imago images

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14 – Edouard Mendy | for €24M from Stade Rennes to Chelsea &copyimago images

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13 – David de Gea | for €25M from Atlético to Manchester United &copyimago images

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12 – Bernd Leno | for €25M from Leverkusen to Arsenal &copyimago images

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11 – Neto | for €26M from Valencia to FC Barcelona &copyimago images

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10 – Alex Meret | for €26M from Udinese to Napoli &copyimago images

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9 – Francesco Toldo | for €26.5M from Fiorentina to Inter &copyimago images

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8 – Jordan Pickford | for €28.5M from Sunderland to Everton &copyTM/imago images

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7 – Manuel Neuer | for €30M from Schalke to Bayern Munich &copyimago images

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6 – Thibaut Courtois | for €35M from Chelsea to Real Madrid &copyimago images

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5 – Jasper Cillessen | for €35M from Barcelona to Valencia &copyimago images

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4 – Ederson | for €40M from Benfica to Manchester City &copyimago images

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3 – Gianluigi Buffon | for €52.88M from Parma to Juventus &copyGetty Images

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2 – Alisson | for €62.5M from Roma to Liverpool &copyimago images

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1 – Kepa | for €80M from Athletic Club to Chelsea &copyimago images

Complete overview

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Bordas also offered alternatives for the centre-forward position, where the squad has been thin in the past, with only Luis Suárez at the club for a long time. “In recent years I have thought that Suárez needs rest. And there are not many who can offer that, because Luis is one of the best. A good one was Morata, who wanted to leave Chelsea,” Bordas continued. “I talked to Bartomeu about it and he told me that he would like it very much.” A signing “was possible to get him on loan,” the former board member made clear. “But the sporting director refused and Boateng arrived.” Álvaro Morata, on the other hand, moved on to league rivals Atlético in January 2019.

FC Barcelona: Neymar’s return from PSG “was serious”

Less than six months later, a possible return of Neymar was the number one transfer topic for Barcelona. “It was serious,” Bordas confirmed. “I flew there personally, we wanted him to come. We tried everything that was in our power. We were close. (…) We were so close that even Neymar thought he would join us. (…) But the clubs did not agree on how to close the deal. (…) If he had come, maybe Valverde wouldn’t have had to be kicked out or Braithwaite wouldn’t have to be signed (…). In football there are moments when you have to do things right, Neymar was crucial. But financially, the club was worried.”

Stats Neymar Neymar Left Winger FC Barcelona FC Barcelona Career stats–
All competitions Games 186 Goals 105 Assists 76

Mbappé was “within reach” for Barça – Club passed on Haaland, Courtois & Co.