Barcelona director of football Mateu Alemany has backed out of a deal to join Aston Villa this summer, sources have confirmed to 90min.
The 60-year-old had been in talks with Villa for a number of weeks and, at the start of May, had agreed to move to England ahead of the 2023/24 season.
Alemany had always insisted he wanted to finish his current work at Barcelona before beginning a new project work with Villa. Even so, the Premier League side believed they had pulled off a major coup in persuading him to link-up with head coach Unai Emery.
Alemany is understood to have visisted Villa’s training ground in Birmingham last week. But, crucially, he left without putting pen to paper on a contract. And now Villa have been rocked by the news that he will instead remain at Camp Nou after talks with president Joan Laporta.
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Alemany’s current deal there is due to expire in 2024 and Laporta had agreed to let him leave early to join Villa. But now has come 180 degree U-turn on his original decision.
90min is told that Laporta always made it clear to Alemany that he would not stand in his way, but also that he wanted him to stay and help build the squad being put together for Xavi.
The news will be a huge relief to Barcelona, who have been working on appointing a new sporting director with Deco in-line to replace Jordi Cruyff. Now Alemany will remain and work with Deco in his soon to be new role.
On this week’s edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Toby Cudworth and Graeme Bailey to discuss all the latest transfer news. On the agenda: Aurelien Tchouameni, Lionel Messi, Moises Caicedo, Rafael Leao, Kim Min-jae, David de Gea, Dusan Vlahovic and more. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!