Barcelona are considering a move for Manchester City youngster, Pablo Maffeo in summer. He plays in the right-back position and is currently serving a loan spell with La Liga side, Girona FC. He reportedly caught the eye of Lionel Messi himself and the Argentine superstar has passed Maffeo’s name up to the Barcelona management. The 20-year-old was caught chatting with the 5 time Balon d’Or winner after the league fixture back in September. When asked about their conversation, Maffeo said, “He asked me how old I was and if I was a Manchester City fan. It is very kind (to say that).”
Maffeo made an impression on Cristiano Ronaldo as well in Girona’s 2-1 win over Real Madrid in October. It was Ronaldo’s stroppy reaction to a dogged marking job that was most telling. The former United man took a swipe at a Maffeo after he crunched into a tackle late in the game and flounced off the pitch shortly afterwards without shaking hands.
The Spaniard is not short of talent on both ends of the pitch. He has grabbed the opportunity to showcase his talents in the La Liga and has made 20 appearances under Pablo Machin. Maffeo made his senior debut for the RCD Espanyol at a young age of just 15. He agreed to move abroad and sign with Manchester City in the summer of 2013 along with his compatriot, Manu Garcia.
He has been capped for the youth ranks of the Spain national team 9 times and is belting out impressive performances on a consistent basis. These are promising signs every scout looks for and after this season his value will rise significantly. Girona and Manchester City have a working relationship due to their joint ownership of City Football Group consisting of Abu Dhabi United Group and Marca.
Maffeo’s future at City is uncertain due to the presence of Kyle Walker and Danilo. The duo arrived at the Etihad in the summer for a total price of almost £80m and Pep Guardiola has already integrated them heavily in all four competitions. The former Barcelona manager also has not been using youngsters into the first team squad judging by the 16-man squad he named in the 1-1 draw against Burnley.
The entire Etihad management operates on purchasing proven talents rather than allowing their youngsters to take up a major role with the club. Maffeo is not expected to develop with a lack of game time in the Premier League and a transfer to a different club might his best option. However, should it be to Barcelona?
The Catalan giants have already signed Nelson Semedo and given Sergi Roberto a contract extension. His only chance for selection will come up if Semedo gets injured and Roberto gets shifted to his most prefered midfield position.
Both the situations are a gamble and Maffeo will have to look into his best options for a prosperous future.
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