An adviser to former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed that the ex-club chief rejected the chance to sign a young Erling Haaland because he did not believe the Norwegian was a good fit for the club.
Now 21, Haaland joined Manchester City this summer as one of the best strikers around today, with Barcelona among the sides who failed to win the race for his signature. Current president Joan Laporta was said to be fixated on signing Haaland but could not afford such a deal because of the financial chaos left behind by the Bartomeu era.
Bartomeu's time at the club is not remembered fondly by fans, but that could have been different if he had listened to a tip from former adviser Ariedo Braida.
"When I was at Barcelona, I followed [Haaland] when he was playing in the Under-21s in Norway," Braida told Mundo Deportivo.
"I like players like that and I told Barcelona that he had massive potential, but they told me that the profile of a Barça player is different."
Braida, who is now enjoying success as the CEO of soon-to-be Serie A side Cremonese, has spoken openly about his frustration towards his role under Bartomeu, previously claiming that he did not feel respected.
"In football, you might end up feeling disrespected," he said when asked about those feelings. "I have my story. I don't speak, I write. Many talk and talk. You have to talk less. It gets you nowhere."
Braida's comments come shortly after Bartomeu was accused of lying about the costs of the Camp Nou redevelopment project.
The former president set aside a €600m budget for the work but is claimed to have known it would cost closer to the €1bn mark, with current chief Laporta eventually revealing that the work has been valued at €1.5bn and could even rise higher.