Ramon Planes has revealed how Alejandro Balde could have left on loan for Getafe in the summer until Xavi decided he wanted to give the teenager a chance this season.
Balde is in midst of an impressive breakout campaign for Barcelona and is now at the World Cup after being called up to replace the injured Jose Gaya.
Former sporting director Planes has told Onze TV that an exit for Balde was considered but Xavi made it clear he wanted to use the teenager this season.
“I have a very good relationship with him and his family. This summer we were very attentive. We followed Marcos Alonso’s story very closely,” he said.
“I took advantage of this personal relationship to tell him that we liked him very much. There was a possibility that Barça, as they did with Nico and Abde, wanted a way out to look for minutes. But everything changed.
“In football, everything is a matter of key moments. All this indeed hinged a lot on the Alonso case that dragged on throughout the summer. With Marcos and Jordi Alba, Xavi had two very good full-backs. But Xavi wanted to bet on the youngster. He had a very good Gamper and the coach realised that he was at a great level.”
The arrival of Marcos Alonso did look bad news for Balde, but he’s thrived instead and looks to have a big future ahead of him now at the Camp Nou. Barca are expected to hand the defender a new contract after the World Cup.