During the talks for Emerson Royal, Barcelona are said to have turned down the chance to sign Tanguy Ndombele or Serge Aurier from Tottenham Hotspur.
After re-joining Barcelona from Real Betis earlier this summer, the Brazilian finally signed a long-term contract with Spurs.
On Saturday, Emerson made his Premier League debut for Nuno Espirito Santo’s team against Crystal Palace, but his initial impressions of the league will be short-lived. Spurs were defeated 3-0 at Selhurst Park, with Japhet Tanganga receiving a red card and Harry Kane failing to make an appearance in the opposing penalty area.
Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha, who received the man of the match award following a brilliant effort on the left flank, also gave the 22-year-old a baptism of fire.
The precise circumstances of Emerson’s transfer to north London have finally come to light, with the revelation (via Fabrizio Romano) that Spurs tried to sell either Ndombele or Aurier to a financially troubled Barcelona.
The Catalan giants have had a difficult summer to say the least, bidding goodbye to Lionel Messi after realising that his salaries were simply too much following years of financial mismanagement.
That, plus the fact that La Liga leaders openly warned president Joan Laporta that the league’s salary ceiling would not be flexible.
Messi has been followed out of Camp Nou’s exit doors by Antoine Griezmann and Miralem Pjanic, who have both left the club on loan in order to cut the club’s alarmingly high salary cost. Their exits have assisted the club in registering their summer acquisitions, such as Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, and Eric Garcia, who have all joined on free transfers.
Barça, on the other hand, appears to have had little interest in bringing in Ndombele or Aurier, preferring instead to wring as much money as possible from Spurs in exchange for Emerson.
Instead of a structured agreement with performance-related bonuses and add-ons, the Lilywhites will pay Barcelona a fixed €25 million fee.
After ripping up the last 12 months of his contract, Aurier departed Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on a free transfer, while Ndombele is believed to be working hard to break into Nuno Espirito Santo’s plans, despite earlier expressing a desire to leave the club.