Marseille midfielder Maxime Lopez has admitted he ‘lost himself’ after hearing that Barcelona had tried to sign him.
Now aged 21, the midfielder – who has spent the entirety of his career at the Ligue 1 club – was contacted by the Catalan giants about a potential move.
The Blaugrana’s then sporting director Robert Fernandez was behind the move and it led to Lopez seeing a decline in form on the pitch, with interest in his signature dissipated.
The France Under-21 international was then linked again with Spanish football with Sevilla returning for his signature, but he has remained at Marseille.
“When my first season in Marseille was over, the sports director of Barça spoke with my representative,” Lopez told Canal Football Club, as cited by Diario AS.
“He told him that there was interest in signing me if I managed to have another good campaign and that was when everything changed, I lost myself for six months.
“I was young, I had just completed my first season. We all know what Barcelona is, you imagine too many things. Football gets your head upside down so fast…
“At that time I did not recognize myself. They are tests that this profession puts you, today it has made me stronger mentally.
“It's true that there were contacts with Sevilla this summer, but when your club rejects €15m, it's flattering, it's nice. You tell yourself they count on you, you're someone important here.”
Despite Lopez’s relative youth, he has already clocked up 94 first-team appearances for Marseille in Ligue 1 and appears destined for a bright future in the game.