Former Barcelona technical director Ramon Planes has claimed that the Blaugrana considered moves for Dusan Vlahovic and Manuel Locatelli.
In an interview with reputed Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Ramon Planes has revealed that Barcelona thought about signing Dusan Vlahovic and Manuel Locatelli in the last two years. The Catalan club’s former technical director also claimed they nearly signed Lautaro Martinez before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
Dusan Vlahovic and Manuel Locatelli are currently two of the best players in Serie A, having gone from strength to strength in the last couple of years. While Vlahovic’s ascent is fairly recent, Locatelli excelled during his stint with Sassuolo and established himself as a key figure for the Italian national side during their triumphant UEFA Euro 2020 campaign.
Locatelli joined Juventus last summer and has since racked up 34 appearances for the Bianconeri. As for Vlahovic, the Serb arrived at the Allianz Stadium in January and has immediately established himself as a pivotal figure for the Serie A giants. But Barcelona could well have signed the duo had fate smiled at them in the last couple of years.
That is according to Ramon Planes, who has told Gianluca Di Marzio that the Blaugrana thought of signing Vlahovic and Locatelli at some point in the last two years. The former Barcelona technical director also suggested that the Catalan giants were close to landing Lautaro Martinez in 2020.
“We thought of both. Dusan Vlahovic is very strong. We thought about a loan 2 years ago. We were interested in this loan but it was not possible. Manuel Locatelli is Barcelona-style footballer, very strong who had a big explosion in Sassuolo. We were close to him but Juventus are strong, they have a certain appeal for Italian players and in the end they decided to go to Juventus.”
On Martinez, Planes said, “Lautaro Martinez was very close to Barcelona. The negotiations had been set up before Covid. We had many meetings with his agents and with the Inter managers, with whom we have an excellent relationship. Then there was the pandemic. and things have changed, also because football has changed economically.”
Vlahovic was linked with Barcelona as recently as October before Juventus swooped him away to the Allianz Stadium. But Lautaro Martinez is reportedly still on Barcelona’s radar, and it might not be surprising if the Catalan giants belatedly sign the Argentine international if their pursuit of Erling Haaland fails.