Barcelona Deny They Were in 'Advanced Negotiations' with Serge Aurier

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Serge Aurier of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on October 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Barcelona have denied they were in advanced negotiations to sign Serge Aurier in the summer after the Tottenham Hotspur right-back suggested the Blaugrana were "afraid" of his poor reputation.

A spokesperson from the Camp Nou club said Aurier, 24, and his agent wanted to open negotiations but there were never any formal talks, per Sport: "We never sat down with the player or his representative. They wanted to sit down with us, but we never did anything."

Aurier moved from Paris Saint-Germain to Spurs in August for £23 million to end a three-year spell at the Parc des Princes that was marred by a number of controversies.

Per Jonathan Johnson on ESPN FC, the defender launched a rant against his manager and team-mates on social media, was arrested for an alleged assault on a police officer and regularly exhibited signs of unprofessionalism on and off the pitch.

The Ivorian has played in five of Tottenham's 11 Premier League games this season and three of their four UEFA Champions League matches, per WhoScored.com.

Aurier said to Canal Plus that Spurs were not the only top European club interested in him over the summer (via Josep Capdevila of Sport): "We will see what happens in my future. I think my reputation made four or five big European sides afraid. I was negotiating with Barcelona, very advanced negotiations. And Barcelona's people were not sure if I came here things would be different."

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 21:  Nelson Semedo of Barcelona in action during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Malaga at Camp Nou on October 21, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by fotopress/Getty Images)
fotopress/Getty Images

Barca signed Nelson Semedo from Benfica in July to bolster their right-back ranks and seemingly never had Aurier on their radar.

Given his reputation at PSG, Tottenham and manager Mauricio Pochettino took a risk in signing him. And Aurier has yet to secure a regular first-team spot in north London.

He is, though, a talented player, and Spurs must be confident they can curb his temperament to ensure he becomes a worthwhile signing.