Borussia Dortmund right-back Thomas Meunier has revealed that Barcelona wanted to bring him to the Camp Nou during the recent January transfer window.
Muenier told Dutch newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws that the Catalans had been in touch but Dortmund would not sanction a departure midway through the 2021-22 campaign, as reported by Diario AS.
“It could have been a reality… Barcelona were looking for a reliable right-back, someone who was physically strong, complete and who could be dangerous in the attacking zones, for an acceptable price, given their financial situation,” he said. “I fit that profile, those parameters. I showed it this season too. But when Dortmund called me about the offer they had received from Barcelona, they immediately said: ‘Sorry, you can’t go.'”
The 30-year-old also went on to reveal that Barcelona were keen on a loan with an option to buy and says that he spoke directly with sporting adviser Jordi Cruyff about a potential move.
“Barcelona is a train that only passes once in a lifetime. I was also surprised when Jordi Cruyff called me and explained the plan. Barça wanted to hire me with a compulsory purchase option or sign me immediately,” he explained. “Imagine… Dortmund is already a great club, but Barça… That’s unique. Just like Real Madrid, Bayern and United. In principle, you don’t say ‘no’ to those clubs. Mentally it wasn’t easy. But I understand Dortmund: they hardly needed one week until the end of the market.”
Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Barca Set For More Right-Back Frustration?
Meunier is not the only right-back to have been linked with a move to Barcelona this season amid doubts over the futures of Sergino Dest and Dani Alves. Dest has struggled for game time this season, while Alves turns 39 in May.
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta had appeared to be a target, but coach Thomas Tuchel told a pre-match press conference on Friday, April 1 that the defender looks set to stay at the club now a one-year extension clause has been triggered is his contract.
“It’s a good thing, we were aware of it. It’s good news for us. We have a contract, he’s our captain, it’s a very high possibility he will stay,” he said. “I knew the amount of games we needed to make him stay, to make his contract continue or extend. That’s why I am very happy. You know how much I rely on him and how much impact he has in this group and this club.”
Barcelona have also been linked with a summer move for Ajax right-back Noussair Mazraoui who is also out of contract at the end of the campaign. The defender prefers a move to Barca over AC Milan, Arsenal, Dortmund, and Leeds, as reported by Diario Sport.
Xavi Hopes Alves Stays
Meanwhile, Barcelona coach Xavi has made it clear he wants Alves to stay despite his advancing years. The veteran has played regularly since returning in the winter for a second spell and appears to be ahead of Dest in the pecking order.
Xavi told a news conference in March 2022 that he hasn’t discussed a new contract with Alves yet but that he would, “like to have him here next season.”
Alves made more history at Barcelona on his most recent appearance for the club. The Brazilian featured in the 4-0 win over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in what was his 400th competitive appearance for the Catalan giants.