Jordi Alba has reportedly turned down the chance to join Inter Milan on loan from Barcelona as he is eager to stay put at Camp Nou this summer.
The transfer market continues to throw surprises, with the latest eyebrow-raiser from the rumour mill involving Jordi Alba and Serie A giants Inter Milan. According to Spanish outlet MARCA, Alba has knocked back a deadline-day proposal to swap Camp Nou for San Siro as he wants to stay put at Barcelona beyond the summer transfer window.
In a startling development, Barcelona and Inter Milan reportedly reached a total agreement for the loan deal of veteran defender Jordi Alba on Wednesday. The 33-year-old is one of the most experienced players at Camp Nou and is regarded as a legend by the Barcelona faithful, having made over 400 appearances over his decade-long service at the club, winning every major club honour under the sun along the way.
However, the veteran left-back has fallen behind youngster Alejandro Balde in the pecking order this season. His performance against Rayo Vallecano on the opening day did not please manager Xavi Hernandez, who has subsequently decided to play Balde in the following two La Liga games.
The 33-year-old has only two years left on his contract with Barcelona, while his drop in form and alleged issues regarding his reservations about taking a wage cut to help the cash-strapped Catalans during the COVID-19-induced crisis have sparked speculation about his future. And, with Barcelona on the cusp of signing Marcos Alonso from Chelsea, it was reported earlier this week that Xavi would be open to offloading Alba in that scenario.
As per the report by MARCA, Barcelona and Inter Milan have already agreed on a loan deal for the Spanish international behind the player’s back. Inter would pay 40 per cent of Alba’s wages, but the left-back’s exit might open the door for Barcelona to pursue Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva, among other deadline-day moves.
From Inter Milan’s perspective, they view the Barcelona defender as a solution only as a backup plan should Bayer Leverkusen make an ambitious swoop for Robin Gosens.
However, in a quick turn of events, or to put it another way, a stumbling block in Barcelona’s plans, the player has rejected a Serie A move as he is content to stay put at Camp Nou, and understands, a late move would scupper his chances of making Luis Enrique’s World Cup squad.
It will be interesting to see if the Catalan giants now force Alba to accept a loan move, especially with Alejandro Balde’s stock rising in the early days of the 2022/23 season. It will come as a huge shock, considering Alba’s standing as a mainstay in Barcelona’s starting XI for the past decade. And swapping him with Alonso would be a big gamble, to say the least.