Joan Laporta insists Arda Guler transfer would have been a 'mistake' for Barcelona as he explains why Real Madrid won transfer race

Arda Guler Real Madrid 2023-24Getty Images
  • Barcelona pulled out of signing Guler
  • Madrid's financial offer influenced Guler's decision
  • Barcelona didn't want to overpay

WHAT HAPPENED? Both Barcelona and Real Madrid were ready to trigger Guler's €17.5 million release clause, but Guler ultimately chose to join Los Blancos. Laporta explained that the magnitude of the operation and Barcelona's desire to avoid getting into a "bidding war" with Real Madrid prompted them to pull out of the race. During the tenure of previous Barca president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, the Catalan club were criticised for overspending on several players, and Laporta does not want to make the same "mistake".

WHAT THEY SAID: "We had an agreement with the player, and we were ready to pay Fenerbahce €17.5m," Laporta told Mundo Deportivo. "But then other clubs came in, like Real Madrid, and paid much more. That's when we thought we shouldn't get into a bidding war. We have other good players.

"We moved away from the Guler operation because of the magnitude it was reaching. We thought it would be a mistake on our part. There are more players that I think we can get without entering such a bidding war. We could have come to compete for Guler, but we decided not to. We have a certain line and we don't cross it. Neither with Arda nor with other players who want to come to Barca."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Laporta's remarks reflect Barcelona's cautious approach in the transfer market, as they aim to avoid excessive financial commitments. They are still struggling to meet the Financial Fair Play regulations set by La Liga and it is believed that they must raise €200m (£176m) from player sales before they can get on board any new signings.


Arda Guler Real Madrid Florentino PerezReal Madridjoao laportaGetty Images

WHAT NEXT? Barcelona's decision to step back from the Guler pursuit indicates a more prudent approach to transfers under Laporta's leadership. They have already secured the services of Ilkay Gundogan and Inigo Martinez as free agents and will likely continue to evaluate potential signings while prioritizing financial sustainability and value for money.