FC Barcelona made a surprise signing when they secured the services for Kevin-Prince Boateng on loan from Sassuolo. And one reason why they went ahead with him was due to a phone call from Quique Setién, according to Diario SPORT.
Apparently, Boateng went from “just a name on the shortlist” to being officially signed in just 48 hours. SPORT says Ernesto Valverde’s first choice was actually Carlos Vela. But this option was vetoed by some on the board who said he would cost too much. The other options were Álvaro Morata, who was also ruled out due to cost, and Cedric Bakambu. The former Villarreal player was apparently denied a move by his club, Beijing Guoan.
Boateng’s name then emerged on the list, partly because it would be easier to pull the deal off. However, the coach reportedly had his doubts. That’s when the technical staff phoned up Setién and had Valverde sit in on the conversation, per SPORT. The Betis manager worked with Boateng when the two were at Las Palmas. Apparently, Setien recommended the player for his professionalism and clutch ability. That seemingly convinced the Barcelona manager to give his blessing and the rest is history.
Interestingly, Setién has been rumored as a possible replacement for Valverde were he to choose to leave at the end of the season.