Lemos rejected Barca opportunity

Las Palmas defender Mauricio Lemos has revealed he rejected a move to Barcelona last summer to concentrate on developing with first-team football.

The 21-year-old will line up for Los Amarillos against the Catalans on Sunday and signed from Russian side Rubin Kazan last year and has netted five times in 22 La Liga appearances.

"The sporting director [Robert Fernandez] told me [Barca] were interested and that they were willing to give me an opportunity," Lemos told La Republica.

"But I was in contract talks with Las Palmas because I was only on loan from Rubin Kazan [with an option to buy] and if I didn't sort things out I'd have had to go back to Russia.

“It was a tough summer. I didn't know where my future would be.

"I spoke about it with my family and decided not to go [to Barcelona]. I felt it was for the best.

“Many players go due to the name of the club, but what are they going for? If one day I move to a big club like that, my intention is to be a regular.

"The offer didn't convince me. We weren't talking about money, strictly football — I am not thinking about money right now, just about growing as a player.

"I came from Russia to a team where I can do that. Las Palmas gives me the opportunity to show what I can do. I want to keep getting better and if I go to another team, it will be to keep playing and getting minutes."

Tags Mauricio Lemos