You often see these kind of stories come out years after a transfer has happened. There’s really nothing to be gained from clubs claiming that a player could’ve gone somewhere else in different circumstances, so they are probably mostly true.
Fede Valverde is having a breakthrough season at Real Madrid this year, he’s played in 12 games and it’s starting to look like he could become an important member of the team. The centre of midfield needed some fresh legs due to Toni Kroos and Luka Modric getting older, so his emergence could prevent them having to spend a lot of money on a new transfer.
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But according to a story in AS, things could’ve been very different for the Uruguayan. They report that the Penarol vice President has claimed there was lots of interest in the player before he moved to Madrid. He goes on to say that Barcelona were heavily interested, but they declined to meet their asking price for him.
He also claims that Arsenal invited him to their training facilities for a tour, but their offer was too low for them to consider. Frustratingly he doesn’t mention the amounts involved. When you consider he only played 12 games for Penarol and went straight into Real’s reserves when he signed, you would think it wouldn’t be a ridiculously high fee that Penarol were looking for.
It’s a bigger blow for Barcelona when you consider the problems they’ve had with trying to find midfielders over the years. Valverde might not have the elegant play making skills to replace Xavi or Iniesta, but he would probably be good enough to play in the team just now.
If he continues to improve and develops into a world class talent, then Barca and Arsenal will be truly kicking themselves for coughing up.