La Liga kept Messi at Barcelona, but the talent drain to the Premier League is a concern – ESPN.co.uk

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La Liga kept Messi at Barcelona, but the talent drain to the Premier League is a concern – ESPN.co.uk

Rodrigo Moreno was so sure that he was leaving Valencia for Atlético Madrid that he emptied his locker at Valencia’s Paterna training ground and said goodbye to his teammates, only for the deal to be taken off the table again. With Ángel Correa’s move to Italy falling through, Atlético had been unable to raise the funds to make it happen. “Those who were offering are no longer offering,” said Anil Murthy, the president of Valencia.

That was a year ago. Six months on, Rodrigo was optimistic that he was about to go to Barcelona, only there was a problem then, too, and it was about as basic a stumbling block as there can be.

“We won’t entertain offers which are not backed by money,” Murthy said bluntly. “If you can offer real cash, then great,” Valencia’s president added. “If you can’t guarantee an exact kind of payment, then we can’t go through with it. As a responsible club, before you buy, you must sell. Last time it was Atlético; now it’s Barcelona.”

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The next time, it was Leeds United. Six months on, Rodrigo finally departed Valencia for €40m. He was enthusiastic — he always is —
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