Sofyan Amrabat came close to joining Spanish giants Barcelona from Fiorentina during the January transfer window, but the transfer did not materialise.
The Morocco international was one of the protagonists in the 2022 World Cup after helping his nation reach the semi-final in Qatar.
The 26-year-old’s performances for Walid Regragui’s side sparked interest from several European clubs during the winter market.
Barca were one of the clubs interested, and the Blaugranas came close to snapping up the defensive midfielder but could not reach an agreement with Fiorentina.
While their deadline day loan bid was lucrative, the Serie A club insisted on a mandatory buy option, rejecting Barca’s counter-offer of an optional fee.
Amrabat’s brother, Nordin, who plies his trade in the Greece top flight with AEK Athens, has disclosed the details behind his brother’s failed move to Spain.
“Barca arrived with a loan offer for Sofyan two or three days before the market closed, but they were unable to include a mandatory purchase option, and that’s where it all ended,” he said (via SPORT).
“Sofyan really wanted to go to Barca and had a lot of hope that the whole operation could happen because Barca did offer a good rate for the loan, but Fiorentina didn’t let him go.”
Despite pushing for a move away from the Stadio Artemio Franchi, Amrabat remained a key part of Vincenzo Italiano’s squad this season.
Barca remain interested in the player, but they are unlikely to return for his signature this summer, with Fiorentina keen to keep the player unless a €40 million bid comes in.
Amrabat produced another stellar display in the middle of the park for his national team in Morocco’s 2-1 friendly victory over Brazil on Saturday.
The Viola are already planning to table terms of an improved contract to keep the midfielder until the summer of 2027 to ward off interest, with Liverpool also keen.
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