Mallorca midfielder Sergi Darder has revealed he rejected an offer from Barcelona out of respect to former club Espanyol, where he rose through the youth ranks from the age of 14.
Darder, who played for Malaga and Lyon in between his two spells at Espanyol, left the club at the end of last season after a second relegation in the space of four years.
He wound up joining Mallorca, but it appears that the 29-year-old had the chance to go to Barcelona that he admits was better for him financially in addition to offering a more competitive project.
"I have rejected offers from rival teams to Espanyol so as not to harm them, when they were much more interesting for me, sportingly and economically," Darder told Radio Catalunya.
"When you get an offer from Barca, even if you are from Espanyol or Madrid, you get nervous and think about it. But when you think about it coldly, you say 'it's impossible'.
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"I wish it were another team that played in the Champions League and aspired to win La Liga. Out of respect for Espanyol, I said no, even though I had the intention of leaving the club. I would understand if other people took [the offer]."
Barcelona did bring in another experienced La Liga midfielder during the summer in the shape of Oriol Romeu, ironically also once an Espanyol youth player, who returned to his former club following more than a decade at Chelsea, Southampton and latterly Girona.
Mauricio Pochettino once ruled out becoming Barcelona manager due to his affinity with Espanyol from his player career, although the Argentine eventually backtracked on those comments: "I was wrong in the way I transmitted that it would be impossible in the future to coach Barcelona."