Barcelona reportedly wanted a summer move for 28-year-old Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic but could not swoop him away from Inter Milan.
According to a report by Spanish outlet Fichajes, Barcelona tried to sign Marcelo Brozovic from Inter Milan in the summer transfer window. There were discussions over a potential part-exchange deal for the 28-year-old midfielder also involving Emerson Royal, only for neither player to swap clubs.
Marcelo Brozovic joined Inter Milan from Dinamo Zagreb and has since gone on to establish himself as one of the best midfielders on show in Serie A. Initially signed on loan in the summer of 2015, the Croat joined the Nerazzurri permanently a year later and has been one of the protagonists in their rise to becoming the Serie A champions once again.
To date, the 28-year-old has made 244 appearances for Inter Milan while chipping in with 25 goals and 32 assists in the process. His progress in the last half a decade or so has captured the attention of some of the biggest clubs in Europe, with Barcelona being one of his potential suitors of late.
The interest from Barcelona in the summer transfer window made sense as Miralem Pjanic was deemed to be surplus to requirements, meaning the Blaugrana needed a replacement. Pjanic has since joined Besiktas on a season-long loan deal, with Ilaix Moriba also departing Camp Nou in the summer.
However, Barcelona ended up signing no midfielder in the entire window, meaning Ronald Koeman has been left with depleted options, although it looks like Sergi Roberto could be deployed in midfield more often than not this term. Brozovic, though, could have elevated the levels of the midfield unit enormously.
In fact, the report claims that there was a possibility of a part-exchange deal involving Emerson Royal, but Barcelona only wanted to recoup cash for the Brazilian defender as they looked to balance their books in the middle of a financial crisis.
In the end, Tottenham Hotspur ended up paying the required amount while Brozovic stayed put at Inter Milan. While he has now entered the final year of his contract with the Serie A champions, the 28-year-old now looks set to commit his long-term future to the club, having come incredibly close to joining Barcelona in the summer.