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Football Reporting


Ex-Barcelona chief claims club were “betrayed” in transfer talks for Real Madrid duo

Former Barcelona chief André Cury has claimed the club were “betrayed” during transfer talks to sign now-Real Madrid duo Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.

Cury was previously head of Barca’s scouting operation in his native Brazil and played a big role in signing Neymar in 2013, and was more recently involved in the deal which took midfielder Arthur to the Camp Nou in 2018.

Yet despite his good work he was released from his contract at the height of the pandemic last year and has opened up on the club’s failed pursuit of Madrid’s rising prospects.

Vinicius completed a move to Real Madrid in 2018, before his Brazilian compatriot Rodrygo followed him to the Bernabeu a year later.

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But Cury says things could, and should, have turned out very differently.

Cury claims Vinicius Jr's agents had shaken hands on a deal before "betraying" Barcelona
Cury claims Vinicius Jr’s agents had shaken hands on a deal before “betraying” Barcelona

“With Vinicius, we were three and a half years ahead of Madrid. This is another issue. His agents, Frederico Penna and Stefano Hawilla, who had reached a compromise with Barcelona, betrayed us,” Cury told Spanish publication Sport (via Sport Witness ).

Cury explained how he had developed such a close relationship with a contact in Vinicius’ team that he was even a best man at their wedding and a godfather to one of their children.

As far as Cury was concerned, the winger was heading to Barcelona, but said: At the key moment of the operation, they stabbed us.

“Fifteen days before signing for Madrid, here in Brazil, Vinicius said that he was a Barca fan, that his idol was Neymar and affirmed that Messi was better than Cristiano. Then he said what he wanted when he was already in Madrid.”

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Cury claims Rodrygo wanted to move to Barcelona but the club would not pay a higher fee
Cury claims Rodrygo wanted to move to Barcelona but the club would not pay a higher fee

He added that one of Madrid’s own scouts, Juni Calafat, even conceded it would be ‘impossible’ to get in the way of Vinicius’ move to Barca.

Vinicius’ representatives held talks with Madrid but made out to Cury and Barcelona that they were more out of courtesy.

“The agents returned to Barcelona, closed the definitive agreement with us, shook our hands… and then they disappeared and betrayed us,” Cury said.

A similar fate then befell Barcelona with Rodrygo, who Cury had known about for some time and warned Blaugrana chiefs they needed to conclude a deal quickly for or face losing out.

Barca held talks with Santos over a transfer but failed to reach an agreement before leaving Brazil, allowing Madrid to swoop in and land another promising star from under their rivals’ noses.

Cury claims Madrid had only moved for Rodrygo due to concerns Vinicius would not develop into a top player, and out of fear Barcelona would snap up a more prodigious talent.

As things have panned out, Vinicius has already become a fully-fledged superstar – as his two goals against Liverpool last week proved, while Rodrygo is still trying to hold down a regular first-team place.

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And while his club lost out, Cury states that Madrid were forced to pay a premium to land the two players, with their total outlay of €125million eclipsing Barcelona’s designated pot of €38m.

He adds that Rodrygo’s father even called him personally to tell him his son would rather move to Barcelona, but the club were not prepared to pay any more.

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