Barcelona have strengthened significantly this summer, while Real Madrid have been less active. However the two deals they have done seem like they might be home runs: Aurelien Tchouameni and Antonio Rudiger.
The former was courted by many top teams in Europe this summer but eventually Los Blancos won out and secured his signature.
Not that Tchouameni needed any more references about his quality, he recently received one from a surprising source.
Former Barcelona player Cesc Fabregas has explained to Cadena Cope how had hoped the Blaugrana would sign Tchouameni for themselves.
“Winning again is very difficult. They [Real Madrid] have strengthened very well. I know Tchouameni. I spoke with people from Barca so that they could sign him. He seemed like a brilliant player for the future, but economically they couldn’t sign him.”
“I gave my opinion to another ex-team and in the end he has joined the ‘enemy’. You have to take advantage of these market opportunities.”
Mundo Deportivo carried the quotes, in an interview where he also backed Gerard Pique to return to the top of his game if he was fit.
Fabregas recently moved to Como in Serie B, where it appears he will wind down his career. As much as it might leave Barcelona fans thinking wistfully of what might have been, perhaps the most interesting detail is that he recommended Barcelona sign Tchouameni. How often players pass information to former clubs is not clear, but Fabregas must have felt strongly enough about him to get in contact with Barcelona of his own volition.