FC Barcelona had a busy transfer deadline day on Friday as they completed a number of incoming and exiting transactions
Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo, who joined on season-long loans from Atletico Madrid and Manchester City, respectively, made waves with their high-profile transfers.
Remember that in addition to a right-back and a forward, manager Xavi Hernandez also looked to add a new midfielder. And it seems that the Catalans did consider a move for one even though nobody showed up. Indeed, according to Santi Aouna of Foot Mercato, Barcelona considered making a late-season deal for Moroccan midfielder Azzedine Ounahi of Olympique Marseille.
Ounahi is no stranger to Barcelona; the midfielder, whose market value is €12 million, was mentioned in connection with the Catalans back in December following his performances for Morocco at the FIFA World Cup. When the winter transfer window came to an end, Ounahi, then a 23-year-old at Angers SCO, signed for Marseille after the Catalans decided not to pursue him. However, the Moroccan hasn’t been playing much for the Ligue 1 team under Marcelino, and as a result, numerous clubs were reportedly interested in signing him this summer.
Barcelona is also known to have thought about signing Ounahi on a loan, making the Blaugrana one of the clubs who considered a move for the midfielder. The plan was abandoned because Marseille preferred a straight move and did not want to approve a player’s loan out. Giovani Lo Celso of Tottenham was another name that came to mind for Barcelona in the final days of the window to bolster the midfield. In fact, earlier this week, rumours claimed that the club had formally contacted Spurs about the 27-year-old.
The Premier League team was unwilling to approve a short-term exit, and the La Liga champions wanted him on loan; as a result, they rejected Barça’s bid. Barcelona did not recruit a new midfielder as a result, and will rely on young players from the academy like Fermin Lopez, Marc Casado, and perhaps Aleix Garrido to step up when necessary.
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