International Soccer

Agent reveals Barcelona held transfer talks with Napoli star

Barcelona head coach Xavi and sporting director Deco held talks with Napoli’s Stanislav Lobotka over a move to Catalonia, according to the player’s agent.

Though Xavi is set to step down from his post at the end of the season, he revealed his admiration of Lobotka prior to Barca’s triumph against Napoli in the last 16 of the Champions League.

“At the construction level, he does not lose any balls. I would like to see him in a club like Barca. He makes a difference in Napoli,” Xavi said, also revealing Lobotka is the one Napoli player he was most impressed with.

Speaking to media in Lobotka’s native Slovakia, his agent Branislav Jasurek revealed talks took place in the recent past over a move to Barcelona, while Napoli blocked approaches for both him and Victor Osimhen.

Xavi Hernandez head coach

Xavi is a fan of Lobotka / Diego Souto/GettyImages

“We spoke with Deco, Barca would sign him, but many things must happen,” Jasurek said. “Stani loved Xavi’s statements, he sent me a screenshot with the phrases, and I sent him another one with all the times me and the coach spoke.

“We spoke with Napoli about an offer from the Saudi Pro League, they promised a lot of money but the manager said ‘screw them, we don’t negotiate with them’.

“The same thing happened with Osimhen, but for him the best offer was from Europe. Saudi Arabia would have changed Stanislav’s financial life, but he wanted to play in the Champions League and if other irrefutable offers arrive in the future, we will value them. He is almost 30 years old, he does not have much time left in professional football.”

Lobotka has experience playing in Spain having spent three years at Celta Vigo prior to his €24m move to Napoli back in 2020.

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