Barcelona & others missed out on Uruguayan wonderkid to Qatari side Al-Gharafa

  • Barcelona and Brighton were interested in Fabricio Diaz
  • Uruguay U20 captain instead joined Qatari side Al-Gharafa
  • Various other top European clubs held talks over potential move
Fabricio Diaz did not join Barcelona
Fabricio Diaz did not join Barcelona / Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona were interested in signing Uruguay youth international Fabricio Diaz prior to his surprise move to Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa, sources have confirmed to 90min.

Diaz captained the Uruguay side that won the FIFA Under-20 World Cup this summer, while he was also on the senior team's preliminary list to head to the 2022 World Cup before being cut.

The top talent emerged as a transfer target for several of Europe's biggest clubs over the last few months, but he instead opted to head to Qatar.

90min understands that Diaz was notably the subject of interest from Barcelona and Brighton & Hove Albion, but a move to either was never able to fully materialise during the transfer window.

Diaz's former side, Liverpool Montevideo, also held talks with Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Brentford about a deal. Various other clubs from across the continent - Atalanta, Lille, Marseille, Sevilla and Union Berlin - were also interested.

Fabricio Diaz
Diaz captained Uruguay U20s to World Cup glory / SOPA Images/GettyImages

While the move to the Qatar Stars League has come as a bit of a shock, sources have told 90min that Diaz fully intends to play in Europe in the future and is likely to move again prior to the 2026 World Cup.

Diaz has already played 122 senior club games in his career owing to his quick development at Liverpool Montevideo. But he is yet to make his senior debut for Uruguay and was not named in new head coach Marcelo Bielsa's squad for the September internationals, despite the former Leeds boss prioritising younger and more inexperienced players.