Manchester City tried to steal FC Barcelona prodigy Lamine Yamal this summer according to Radio MARCA.
The 16-year-old has smashed a number of club and country records since emerging from the club’s youth categories in the spring.
Barca head coach Xavi Hernandez made him the Catalans’ youngest ever La Liga appearance maker when handing him a short cameo at the end of a 4-0 win over Real Betis in April.
In preseason, the youngster announced himself to the world with more of an impact when destroying Tottenham Hotspur almost single-handedly.
Barca were losing 2-1 when he entered the fray, but the right winger created three goals in 10 minutes with what was described as the best performance in the Joan Gamper since a certain Lionel Messi dismantled Juventus in 2005.
The display from the club’s greatest ever player famously led to Juve’s then-coach Fabio Capello enquiring about Messi’s availability on loan only to be laughed out of town by his Barca counterpart Frank Rijkaard.
Messi was tied down to a contract at the time and this is where the similarities with Lamine Yamal end.
Because of Barca’s precarious financial situation, they weren’t able to offer him fresh terms when he turned 16 in July and ideally he should have signed a three-year contract there and then.
These developments obviously had top clubs like City on alert, as according to Radio MARCA, the Premier
City reportedly “went with everything” to try and lure Lamine Yamal this summer. But thankfully for the Blaugrana and their fans, they received a stern ‘no’ from the teen sensation who wants to succeed at his current club where he has been since he was seven.
The report could be accurate, with Barca president Joan Laporta’s “sheriff” and advisor Enric Masip confessing to Esport 3 that both Lamine Yamal and Balde were in a “serious situation to leave this summer” because there was a “club that tried to fish them”.
City have been linked to Balde too, and snatching two of the most promising talents to emerge out of La Masia in recent years would not have helped mend an already deteriorating relationship between the European giants according to Mundo Deportivo.
Barca are said to be “very upset” with City for their recent conduct, but meanwhile Balde and Lamine Yamal should put pen to paper soon to stave off the English outfit’s interest for the immediate future.