Serge Aurier is certain that he would be given a chance to move to Barcelona – but his ‘bad boy’ reputation cost him a place in the squad of the Spanish giant and he transferred to Tottenham.
Handed a two-month suspended prison sentence for an attack on a policeman outside a nightclub in the summer of 2016, the Ivory Coast international was also sanctioned by PSG for insulting then-boss Laurent Blanc during the 2015-16 campaign, according to ESPN. He decided to change his club this summer and try to regain his reputation in London with the Spurs.
The Frenchman spoke about his potential transfer to Barcelona as he said: “Yes, I’m certain because the feedback from the clubs with which I had talked was that. ‘They talk about him a lot in France, they talk about him negatively too much, it’s complicated.’ When that was said, I was talking to Barcelona. It was very well advanced, and then there was that that caused a problem. People weren’t sure that if I went there it would be different.”
He also talked about his relationship with his new coach, Mauricio Pochettino: “I’m loving it, I’m smiling again, enjoying it. The coach called me on Facetime, we really had a good laugh that day. He said that in a press conference, but when he called me, we talked about it, we laughed. He said that if I said something like that we would fight. It was done for a laugh. He knows how I am, what I want, where I want to go. When it’s clear like that, there’s no problem.”
In the end, the former PSG player added: “I want to be known for what I do on the pitch, for the pleasure I give to people, for the emotions I give to people, not for that [negative] sort of thing. My reputation had been more tarnished. By staying in France, I could never have changed that. It was better for me to see something different, a new challenge.”