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Report: Barcelona made major offer for Paco Alcácer in 2011

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He could have been a part of our offense now.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

While everyone is talking about Munir El-Haddadi being in Spain's national team, most people tend to forget about the other striker of La Roja. His name is Paco Alcácer. He's a talented young man who plays for Valencia. But he could have been a Barcelona player. In fact, that came pretty close to fruition.

In 2011, Alcácer was a 17-year-old phenom in Valencia's youth system. He was considered to be the new David Villa, who had just left the club for Barça that year. He wanted to go to the main squad, but his coaches thought it was too soon. That led to some friction, and Barcelona came in. Òscar García, who was one of Barça's youth coaches at the time, immediately reported the news to Andoni Zubizarreta, the Blaugrana's sporting director, who also had his eye on Alcácer for a while. He wanted Paco to join the team that already had Rafinha, Dongou and Deulofeu at the time.

Paco and Valencia were having trouble negotiating a contract extension. Zubi then started having talks with the club, and he found out that the only way for him to have Alcácer going to Camp Nou immediately was by paying Paco's buyout clause for a U-18 player, which was €9 million at the time. Zubi didn't agree, but he offered €4.5 million to land him in the following year, when his contract was up. Even though he was a free agent, Barça wanted to give Valencia a wealthy compensation.

The deal stalled when Alcácer started showing interest in staying at Valencia. The Catalans kept pushing, and the offer was raised to €5.5 million. Valencia was very inclined to accept. But in the end, it was Paco's call. And the player decided to stay. Zubi pulled out and stopped all negotiations. Alcácer then signed a 5-year deal, with his buyout fee going up to €18 million.

Now, with all the spotlight on him being on Spain's main squad, Valencia already plans to extend his deal until 2019, once again increasing the clause to €38 million. No major European club other than Barça expressed interest in Alcácer so far. But it could change, since Paco is already starting to shine in domestic competition, after a very impressive campaign last season.

Alcácer could have been the new David Villa for Barça. Damn.