Braida: ‘Offered Zaniolo and Barella to Barcelona’

Milan and Barcelona’s former Sporting Director Ariedo Braida reveals he offered the likes of Nicolò Zaniolo, Erling Haaland and Nicolò Barella to the Blaugrana.

Braida was appointed Barcelona’s Sporting Director in 2015, a role he’d been covering for more than four years before Barcelona and him parted ways.

“I studied players and I suggested some names like [Erling] Haaland, from Borussia Dortmund, when he was still playing for RB Salzburg. The club said no because he didn’t have a Barça profile,” Braida told Radio Marca.

“From Italy, I also suggested other names, such as [Nicolò] Barella, who is now at Inter, or [Nicolò] Zaniolo of Roma.”

“There was nothing I could do. I was put aside and there were other people in charge of negotiations.”

Braida, a former Milan director, also revealed that Barcelona tried to sign Paul Pogba from Juventus before he joined Manchester United.

“It’s not a lie. It’s true that Albert Soler and I went to Milan to meet Juventus, but despite the talks there was no real intention of signing him. In fact, Pogba ended up staying in Turin that summer.

“I said that he was a great player, I talked about him with Albert Soler, with whom I think I had a good personal relationship, but once again, professionally, we could not work together because I was not allowed to do so.”

Braida sued Barcelona on 1 October 2019 for dismissal without due cause.

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