Phil Hay has been speaking on the latest episode of The Phil Hay Show about the interest Barcelona held in Leeds United attacker Rodrigo over the summer.
It was a rather quiet transfer window for Marcelo Bielsa’s side compared to last summer when they spent just shy of £100 million and brought in six players, although they were busy on deadline day, signing Daniel James as well as loaning out Helder Costa.
Were you pleased with Leeds' summer business?
However, one of the most left-field pieces of business could’ve involved Rodrigo, who was signed for a club-record fee, going to Barcelona as Hay claimed there was genuine interest, as did Jota Jordi, who claimed the Catalan giants were interested in Rodrigo on El Chiringuito TV.
Hay spoke about the interest held in Rodrigo by Barcelona.
“My understanding is that Barcelona were keen on him and did have a look at him, but Barcelona have been such a mess through this window that it didn’t feel like it ever got to a point where they were serious about it.
“I mean, Leeds in no way would have let him go on loan, it would have had to have been a permanent [deal]. I don’t think they want Rodrigo to go and I don’t think Rodrigo wants to go. Bielsa’s spoken a few times about trying to keep him in the building, keep him in the mix, get him into form.
“So it didn’t seem to me like that was ever going to happen. I mean, from the PR point of view, I really don’t know how that would have looked, you know, right at the end to have been doing a deal for him. But there was Spanish interest in him, without a doubt, because he is a very good player.”
TIF Thoughts on Rodrigo…
Given the way that Barcelona have been making signings in recent times, bringing in Rodrigo, who is proven in La Liga, may not have been the most surprising transfer, especially considering they ended up bringing in former Newcastle United flop Luuk de Jong on a loan deal.
Rodrigo himself may have been delighted to see his name being linked with Barcelona as he failed to impress regularly last season in the Premier League as he managed just 14 starts, seven goals but also ended up missing nine games and 52 days due to injury.