Tottenham & Manchester City target ‘never considered’ leaving Barcelona

Sergio Samper

Barcelona starlet Sergi Samper was linked with a potential move to the Premier League in January but the teenager insists he never considered leaving Catalonia.

The Spanish youngster had reportedly been scouted by both Premier League giants Tottenham and Manchester City in recent months but the Catalan midfielder has dismissed claims he considered moving to England from his homeland.

"It was very clear that I wanted to stay at Barca. I have never considered leaving. My dream is to succeed at Barcelona," he insisted.

Samper still has yet to make a full breakthrough into the senior first team squad at the Camp Nou under Gerardo Martino, but has been impressing with some exceptional displays for Barcelona B making 27 appearances in the Segunda Division as a defensive midfielder.

At 19 years of age there is a bright future expected on the horizon for the Spaniard. A loan move to the Premier League had been suggested in recent transfer windows in order that he could acquire some first-team experience at the top level in other leagues in Europe, but it seems the teenager has no such intentions.

Former Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas went on a ‘scouting mission’ in Spain back in October prior to his dismissal fro White Hart Lane and had been understood to be monitoring Barcelona protégés Javier Esoinosa, Jordi Masip but most prominently Samper.

Prior to that, back in June 2012, Manchester City were rumoured to be taking inspiration from Premier League rivals Arsenal and ‘stealing’ the player described at that time as ‘the nest Xavi’ from Barcelona’s youth ranks.

Such is the expectation for Samper’s greatness following his success in the NextGen Series last term that many were expecting he would go abroad to further his development after Barcelona decided not to promote him to their B team as a 17-year-old which saw City fighting to provide him with a way out.

However, in the last 18 months the youngster has proven his decision to wait it out at the Camp Nou was a good one with his promotion to the B team last year and his success in performing for the reserves attracting the attention of first-team manager Martino.

image: © castroquini-fcb

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