Barcelona are understood to have turned down the opportunity to Tanguy Ndombele or Serge Aurier from Tottenham during negotiations for Emerson Royal.
The Brazilian eventually signed for Spurs on a long-term contract, having only re-joined Barcelona from Real Betis earlier this summer.
Emerson made his debut for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side against Crystal Palace on Saturday, though his first impressions of the Premier League won’t live long in the memory. Spurs were beaten 3-0 at Selhurst Park, Japhet Tanganga was sent off and Harry Kane failed to register a single touch in the opposition penalty area.
The 22-year-old was also given a baptism of fire by Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha, who collected the man of the match award after a dazzling display on the left flank.
However, it’s the finer details from Emerson’s move to north London that have now taken the limelight, amid the revelation (via Fabrizio Romano) that Spurs attempted to offload either Ndombele or Aurier to financially stricken Barcelona.
The Catalan giants have endured a miserable summer to say the least, waving goodbye to Lionel Messi after coming to the realisation that they simply could not afford his wages after years of financial mismanagement. That, and the fact that La Liga chiefs bluntly informed president Joan Laporta that there would be no flexibility regarding the league’s salary cap.
Messi has since been followed out of Camp Nou’s departure doors by Antoine Griezmann and Miralem Pjanic, both of whom have left the club on loan to reduce the club’s frighteningly high wage bill. Their departures have at least aided the club’s ability to register their summer signings; the likes of Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia, all of whom have arrived on free transfers.
But adding Ndombele or Aurier appears to have been no interest to Barça, who instead were keen to extract every bit of cash they could from Spurs for Emerson. The Lilywhites will instead pay a guaranteed €25m fee to Barcelona, rather than a structured deal that could include performance-related bonuses and add-ons.
Aurier has since left the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on a free transfer after ripping up the final 12 months of his deal, while Ndombele is said to be focusing hard on getting into Nuno Espirito Santo’s plans – having previously expressed a willingness to leave the club.
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