Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham benefit from ‘deal of the century’ after Barcelona transfer fail despite Messi intervention

Lionel Messi and Cristian Romero next to the Barcelona badge

Lionel Messi wanted Barcelona to sign Tottenham defender Cristian Romero

Tottenham Hotspur defender Cristian Romero could have joined Barcelona on the advice of Lionel Messi, it has been revealed.

Romero is a regular starter for Tottenham and has been earning plaudits for his performances on the international stage too. Of course, he was a member of the Argentina squad that won the World Cup in December.

During the current international break, he has been described by Messi as the best centre-back in the world. Providing some background, Mundo Deportivo has now explained how they could have linked up at Barcelona.

In the summer of 2021, when Barcelona were desperately trying to renew Messi’s contract, the iconic no.10 recommended that they should make a move for Romero, who at the time was owned by Juventus.

However, Barcelona were focusing more on strengthening their attack than their defence. Therefore, they failed to heed Messi’s advice – and in a further blow, they were unable to register Messi again himself, marking the end of an era.

Instead, Atalanta bought Romero for €16m after having him on loan from Juventus. Their subsequent sale of him to Tottenham for €50m just a year down the line is described by Mundo Deportivo as the ‘deal of the century’.

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Due to the price tag, Romero was once again out of reach for Barcelona. Tottenham have been benefitting from his talents since and he now has more appearances for the club under his belt than any of the other teams he previously represented.

Romero committed to Tottenham

Spurs still have Romero under contract until 2027. Over the summer, he confirmed he had received offers to leave, but is still envisaging spending his prime years in north London.

He said in July: “I always try to give my best. Obviously last season it didn’t always turn out great and you accept that. But I always try to give absolutely everything on the field.

“If I didn’t feel the same passion, I would look to leave the club. Obviously I’m not happy with how last season ended for me and I’m the first to hold my hands up and say it wasn’t the best season but when I got offers from other clubs to move away for this coming season, I said no because I want to have my best years here.

“I really like the Premier League, I really like Tottenham and I want to be here for many more years to come.”

This season so far, Romero has started every Premier League match for Tottenham alongside new centre-back partner, Micky van de Ven.

Tottenham are also looking to the future for their defence by lining up the signing of Luka Vuskovic from Hajduk Split for when he turns 18.