Paraguayan striker Lucas Barrios is one of Europe’s hottest properties; last season he scored 19 goals in 33 games for current club Borussia Dortmund, and has begun this season in the same fashion, having already netted 9 in 14 for the German league leaders.
Barrios’ prolific scoring record brought him to the attention of a number of Europe’s top clubs; most notably AC Milan, Liverpool and particularly Manchester City. However, the striker has dealt a huge blow to his potential suitors, after revealing today how flattered he was to be linked with a move to Real Madrid.
Speaking to Spanish publication Marca.com ahead of his team’s final Europa League group game against Sevilla, Barrios described Madrid’s interest in him as a “compliment”, apparently making little effort to conceal his delight from the Spanish media.
“Right now I owe Dortmund but clearly I am proud of the interest of Real Madrid”.
Jose Mourinho is reported to have set his sights on Barrios, and will attempt to sign him in January, allowing Gonzalo Higuain to undergo surgery on a persistent injury. The Dortmund striker will cost around 15-20 million Euros.
This will be a blow to Roy Hodgson and Roberto Mancini, who were both keen to bring Barrios to the Premiership in order to strengthen their teams’ attacking options.
However, for City at least, Barrios’ proposed transfer to Madrid does have a silver lining, as Real have now abandoned their pursuit of long-term target, Edin Dzeko. This now leaves the way clear for Mancini to bring the Wolfsburg striker to Eastlands in January, as all other clubs previously interested in signing Dzeko, including Liverpool, have been put off by the player’s price tag, likely to be upwards of £30m.
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