Jordi Alba has reportedly rejected repeated advances from Manchester United to continue his career with Barcelona.
According to a report by Spanish publication Don Balon, Manchester United have faced disappointment in their pursuit of Jordi Alba. The Barcelona defender has snubbed interest from the Premier League heavyweights to remain at Camp Nou.
Jordi Alba spent the early years of his youth career at Barcelona’s fabled La Masia academy before eventually joining Valencia. After graduating from the youth setup at Mestalla, the player enjoyed a fruitful three-year spell with Los Che, before moving to Barcelona in the summer of 2012.
The last five years have been highly rewarding for Alba as he has established himself as one of the best full-backs in the world, while winning every major trophy in club football with Barcelona. In all, he has made over 200 appearances for the Blaugrana, with a handy contribution of 8 goals and 34 assists to show for his efforts.
Despite a lull in form last season though, the player continues to remain a highly sought-after figure in the transfer market, with Premier League clubs, in particular, showing a lot of interest. Among these, Manchester United have been the most heavily linked suitors, with Jose Mourinho actively pursuing a deal for Alba.
Top assist-to-scorer combos in Europe’s top 5 leagues:
Azpilicueta to Morata (4)
Pjanic to Dybala (3)
Alba to Messi (3)
Deadly duos. 👬 pic.twitter.com/iMCrkLNKbG
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 25, 2017
The left-back slot has been one major area of concern for the Portuguese manager at Old Trafford, thanks in large parts to the continued struggles of Luke Shaw with fitness and form. The Englishman missed most of the 2016-17 season, leaving Mourinho to field alternate options in his absence.
The Manchester United boss has deployed the likes of Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young on the left side of defence during his tenure at Old Trafford, but none of the players have been able to warrant a case for regular inclusion, although Young is starting to slowly acclimatise to the new role.
Nevertheless, Mourinho has been seeking solutions for the left side of defence, with the aim of adding a player who will not only provide solidity at the back but also constantly be a threat in the attacking third, making Alba a viable target.
But, the Spaniard has insisted on remaining at Barcelona as he wants to continue playing alongside Lionel Messi and extend a relationship that has been so successful in the early stage of this season.
The monetary benefits at Manchester United do not entice him either, meaning Mourinho now has to set his sights elsewhere in order to add a reliable left-back, or impose his faith in Shaw to achieve his undoubted potential. Alba, though, looks like he’s remaining at Camp Nou for the foreseeable future.