How Barcelona almost sold new-found star for less than €600,000

Fermin Lopez was unknown 12 months ago. The Barcelona youngster was on loan at Linares in the third tier of Spanish football. Even after graduating to the first-team back at his parent club last summer, he had largely filled a fringe until recently.

The 20-year-old has established himself as a regular starter since March, finding the net in four of Barca’s last eight La Liga games – including one against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

But things were seemingly close to being very different for him.

A report originally from Polish outlet Meczyki claims that Rakow Czestochowa agreed a deal with Barca for Lopez in April 2023 as they became Ekstraklasa champions for the first time. The proposed fee is said to have been under €600,000, but the deal subsequently fell apart. The supposed reasons were changes to Rakow’s technical staff and doubts whether Lopez would improve the squad.

Fermin LopezFermin Lopez

Fermin Lopez has scored at the Bernabeu this season / David Ramos/GettyImages

In hindsight, it seems a questionable decision from Barcelona for being willing to sell him for so little, and from Rakow not to better judge his potential given his recent impact in La Liga. At the time, Lopez was a teenager with only 40 senior appearances to his name and no top flight experience.

Now, his long-term future is very much tied to Barcelona. He signed a new four-year contract until 2027 last August that included a €400m release clause, some difference from that apparent €600,000 fee just four months earlier.

Xavi is also a big admirer, waxing lyrical about the player following his latest goalscoring turn in the win over Valencia at the start of this week.

“Fermin hardly loses the ball, I personally love him, that is why we have given him the opportunity this season. He is a player for the present and the future,” the head coach said.


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