Ronald Koeman has admitted that Barcelona only learned of Tottenham’s interest in Emerson Royal a few days before the transfer window slammed shut.
Emerson first arrived in Europe in 2019, having been co-owned by Barcelona and Real Betis for the last two seasons.
The right-back enjoyed two impressive campaigns for Betis before the Catalan club exercised the option to buy the defender earlier this summer.
The 22-year-old seemed set to compete with Sergino Dest for a place in Barcelona’s starting lineup this season but Spurs announced on deadline day that they had reached an agreement with the La Liga club to buy the defender for a fee of £25.8m.
Reports indicate that Emerson initially wished to stay at the Camp Nou and fight for his place but chose to join Spurs after holding positive conversations with Fabio Paratici and Nuno Espirito Santo.
The Brazilian arrived at Hotspur Way earlier this week and has been training with the Tottenham squad.
Koeman has now admitted that Barcelona needed the fee they received from Spurs for Emerson to alleviate some of their financial issues.
When asked about the club’s decision to sell Emerson, the Barcelona boss told the print edition of Mundo Deportivo (as relayed by Sport Witness): “We learned about Tottenham’s interest a few days before and then the offer came on the table.
“Knowing that there are players who can act in that position, again it is a help to the club to earn money.”
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Reading between the lines, it sounds like Koeman is saying that Barcelona would have kept hold of Emerson if their finances were in better shape. The 22-year-old will certainly be motivated to prove his former employers wrong and that might well work to Tottenham’s advantage.
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