The LaLiga side, who are in dire financial straits after the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, apparently made a move for the 30-year-old last month.
Their need was great with Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi gone and Sergio Aguero sustaining a serious injury.
It was not the only striker that Barca courted though as they frantically searched for a stop-gap signing. Eventually they landed 31-year-old Luuk De Jong on loan from Sevilla, but not before they tried to land Rodrigo.
According to The Athletic, Barca identified Leeds’ £26m forward as a target, but the source label their approach to the window as “scattergun” and Leeds turned down the request.
Phil Hay reports that “there were hours to go before the deadline when Leeds United received contact from Spain”.
Barca wanted a loan deal, a striker to stand in while Aguero recovers from a calf injury.
Leeds understandably were not willing to let go a player they had signed for considerable money only 12 months previously. They would also be unable to bring in a replacement such was the late nature of the enquiry.
Per the report, Marcelo Bielsa was committed to keeping him and the player indicated he was ready for season two in the Premier League.
The former Valencia man hit seven goals in 26 Premier League appearances last season. He has started three Premier League games this season, but has yet to make his mark, still he is being noticed around Europe.
Elsewhere, Noa Lang’s agent insists the player still remains open to a possible move away from Club Brugges after explaining why the Leeds United linked winger missed out on a summer switch.
Bielsa’s side were strongly linked with a move for the Dutchman over the summer. He has thrived since moving to Belgium, having moved last season on an initial loan from Ajax.
No Noa Lang deal
He scored 14 goals and weighed in with eight assists in just 24 league outings. As such, the initial ‘€6million obligation-to-buy agreement’ Brugge held is now considered a veritable bargain.
Now his agent has claimed the Leeds target came close to leaving late in the summer window. However, he did not specify which side were near to a deal.
“Towards the end there was concrete interest from several competitions. As much as he likes to be at Club Brugge, you noticed he was getting more restless, which makes sense,” Bart Baving told Het Laatste Nieuws [via Sport Witness].
Reports stated Brugges were seeking as much as €30m for the winger.
However, Baving claims they would have to lower those demands based were he to secure a move.
“You saw that clubs were economical. We also heard amounts above €25m for Teun Koopmeiners. In the end, he went to Atalanta for €14m,” he explained.
“With the amount Club Brugge had in mind for Noa, it had become difficult anyway. Add to that, Noa didn’t want to exchange this club for any team.”
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