Last week Tijjani Reijnders signed a 5-year deal with AC Milan from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar in a deal worth €19 million, but he’s recently revealed that Barcelona made a late attempt to sign him with Xavi personally calling him to try and sell the Barca dream.
In his first interview since making the permanent move to Italy, the Dutch midfielder confirmed to the Gazzetta dello Sport that although his idols were Messi and Iniesta growing up, he’d already mentally committed to the Rossoneri:
"“Xavi called me, but I had already chosen. He had spoken with Moncada and Pioli. I had already decided that I would play for Milan ”"
The 24-year-old midfielder offers extreme versatility, although he spent the majority of his time last year as a central midfielder or defensive midfielder, he’s also made appearances in his career as an attacking midfielder, left midfielder, left winger, right midfielder and right winger.
Reijnders is coming off a fine season in the Eredivisie having scored 3 times and registered 8 assists and would have been a nice addition to the Barca midfielder had he joined.
It’s unclear if the attempt to sign the Zwolle-born man would have been as well as Oriol Romeu or instead of, but Barca missed the boat by joining the conversation too late.
Fermin Lopez impressing Barcelona management
Sometimes missing out on a player can be a blessing in disguise as it allows other players an opportunity to shine.
In many ways, Fermin Lopez possesses a similar profile to Reijnders in terms of the position they play, and according to reports from the USA, the young Barcelona midfielder has been the surprise package of the tour so far.
Lopez will get his first opportunity to shine later this evening as Barcelona take on Arsenal in their first pre-season game of the USA tour.