Tottenham defender Serge Aurier has instructed Canal+ that his unhealthy boy popularity price him a transfer to Barcelona.
Aurier joined Spurs from Paris Saint-Germain in the summertime to flee the highlight in France the place he had courted controversy. Handed a two-month suspended jail sentence for an assault on a policeman outdoors a nightclub in the summertime of 2016, the Ivory Coast worldwide was additionally sanctioned by PSG for insulting then-boss Laurent Blanc throughout the 2015-16 marketing campaign.
His lack of professionalism was additionally roundly criticised for taking practically 10 minutes to heat up and are available off the bench in its place throughout a Ligue 1 recreation at Lorient final season.
With Dani Alves having arrived at PSG in July to offer additional competitors for locations at right-back together with Belgium worldwide Thomas Meunier, Aurier sought an exit. He says Barcelona would have been his vacation spot had the La Liga membership not been delay by the damaging headlines.
“Sure, I am sure, as a result of the suggestions from the golf equipment with which I had talked was that,” Aurier stated when requested whether or not he thought his popularity had price him a transfer to one of many world’s high 5 golf equipment.
“‘They discuss him lots in France, they discuss him negatively an excessive amount of, it is difficult.’ When that was stated, I used to be speaking to Barcelona. It was very nicely superior, after which there was that that brought on an issue. Folks weren’t positive that if I went there it could be completely different.”
Nonetheless, a spokesman for Barcelona has denied the membership have been ever occupied with signing the full-back earlier than he accomplished his transfer to Tottenham.
“We by no means sat down with [Aurier] or his representatives,” the spokesman instructed Diario Sport. “They needed to take a seat down with us, however nothing ever occurred.”
The 24-year-old has averted controversy since his transfer to Tottenham final summer season, serving to the membership make a powerful begin to the season in his eight appearances thus far.
“I am loving it, I am smiling once more, having fun with it. The coach referred to as me on Facetime, we actually had an excellent chuckle that day,” Aurier stated with regards to Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, who had publicly acknowledged he would “kill” him if he insulted him on-line.
“He stated that in a press convention, however when he referred to as me, we talked about it, we laughed. He stated that if I stated one thing like that we might battle. It was accomplished for amusing. He is aware of how I’m, what I would like, the place I wish to go. When it is clear like that, there is no drawback.”
Aurier added: “I wish to be recognized for what I do on the pitch, for the pleasure I give to individuals, for the feelings I give to individuals, not for that [negative] type of factor. My popularity had been extra tarnished. By staying in France, I might by no means have modified that. It was higher for me to see one thing completely different, a brand new problem.”
Boyhood PSG fan Aurier didn’t, nonetheless, rule out the opportunity of returning to the Parc des Princes someday after being instructed by PSG chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi he could be welcomed again.
“No matter what occurred, it stays the membership of my coronary heart,” Aurier, who signed a five-year deal at Spurs, stated. “I am not towards a return, they’re my associates, like my brothers. I take note of what PSG does, and concerning the long run, we’ll see.”
ESPN FC’s Barcelona correspondent Sam Marsden contributed to this report.
Ian is ESPN’s French soccer correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman