24-year-old Tottenham flyer admits he was close to joining Euro giants
By Guy Giles
Tottenham defender Serge Aurier has revealed he was in advanced talks with Barcelona, but believes his reputation scared the Catalan giants off any potential move.
Aurier, 24, joined Spurs on transfer deadline day from Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of around £23 million, and the Ivory Coast international brought with him a bad boy reputation after several incidents while in France.
Aurier was suspended by PSG after insulting then-coach Laurent Blanc and some of his teammates on social media, with one post including a homophobic slur.
The right-back also got on the wrong side of the law after receiving a suspended two-month prison sentence for assaulting a police officer outside a nightclub in Paris.
Aurier, speaking to French TV station Canal+, as quoted by FourFourTwo, said: “I think my reputation made four or five big European sides afraid.
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“I was negotiating with Barcelona, very advanced negotiations. And Barcelona’s people were not sure if I came here things would be different.”
Aurier has divided opinion for Spurs since his signing, with the explosive defender catching the eye with some performances, but leaving much to be desired with others.
But the player himself believes his move to London was the right one as he looks to shake off his tarnished reputation.
He said: “It was the right choice. For me, it was never going to end. After a while, I felt like a prisoner, with a camera on my back.”
In other Tottenham Hotspur news, this mainstay has admitted concerns over his fitness.