Chelsea did approach Barcelona for midfielder Sergi Roberto this summer, according to Mundo Deportivo, and it was only after lengthy talks with Barca directors that the 25 year old decided to stay.
The Barca star was considering leaving the Camp Nou over the summer due to a lack of first team opportunities, and the Blues were believed to be his favoured destination.
Roberto was said to have rejected overtures from Serie A champions Juventus but the offer from Chelsea was being seriously considered by the player. At the time however, Barca had just lost Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain and they were determined not to lose another player due to a buyout clause.
The midfielder has a €40m (£35.3m) release clause in his contract, and if the Blues had offered the amount, Barcelona would not have been able to stop a move going ahead. To prevent the sale occurring, the club’s technical director Robert Fernandez sat down with Roberto to convince him he was very much part of new manager Ernesto Valverde’s plans.
During pre-season, the Spanish international had been used sparingly, but was then selected to start in his favoured central midfield role in the first league game of the season against Real Betis.
Roberto scored in that match, but he has subsequently reverted to being played at right back, and was only a substitute again for the game against Eibar on Tuesday night.
His €40m release clause still remains in place, and so far no new contract has been offered to increase the amount. It will be interesting to see what happens when the January transfer window opens.