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Barcelona reportedly came close to selling Aleix Vidal to Valencia on deadline day, but the two clubs failed to agree on a fee.
According to Catalan radio station RAC1 (h/t the Daily Star‘s Alex Wood), Vidal is believed to have asked the club for permission to join Valencia. But with Barca putting a £14 million price tag on the Spaniard, Los Che are said to have been unwilling to meet their valuation.
Vidal joined the club in the summer of 2015 but had to wait until January 2016 to be registered.
He struggled to break into the team, though, and his days appeared numbered when he regularly failed to make the squad in the first half of last season under then-manager Luis Enrique.
However, the 28-year-old did enjoy a positive run in the side in January before it was cut short by a season-ending injury. Sergi Dominguez of Barcelona fan site Grup 14 was disappointed:
Sergi Domínguez @FutbolSergi
Real shame, Aleix started to look completely rejuvenated and in great form, now his season ends. Back to struggling with Roberto.
Vidal, who can play at right-back or on the right wing, has appeared in three of Barcelona’s five matches this season, but his two outings in La Liga totalled just 75 minutes.
ESPN FC’s Dermot Corrigan believes coach Ernesto Valverde has little faith in him after he was snubbed on Saturday for Barca’s 5-0 win over Espanyol:
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan
Aleix Vidal seems on the outs again – not even on the bench, even with Sergi Roberto injured.
Vidal hasn’t had the best of luck since arriving at the Camp Nou, but his brief spell of good form in early 2017 offered a glimpse of what he could offer.
Given he will be at the club until January at the very least, he will hopefully have another opportunity to prove his worth.
The centre-back, who plays for Montevideo-based Liverpool FC, is already a fixture in the first team despite only turning 18 in August. The three aforementioned clubs are said to be scouting him.
Chelsea’s reputation for loaning youngsters out rather than developing them in-house could put them at a slight disadvantage when compared with Barcelona and Liverpool, though all three would likely appeal.