BARCELONA manager Ernesto Valverde confirmed he tried to sign Alvaro Morata in January as a “second striker”.
Instead the Spaniard, 26, joined Atletico Madrid on loan from Chelsea – who ditched the ex-Juventus man in order to recruit Gonzalo Higuain.
Speaking ahead of Barcelona’s Nou Camp clash with Atletico, Valverde revealed he wanted to sign Morata to provide back up for Luis Suarez – but instead brought in Kevin-Prince Boateng.
Valverde said: “It’s true there were conversations with him but also with other players. He signed for Atletico Madrid, he is playing in the starting 11. Good.
“Here he was supposed to be the second striker, a different role than he has with Atletico. Every player must think about what he wants.
“Sometimes there are just meaningless conversations. We finally signed Kevin-Prince. We hope he can help us.”
Morata’s decision to join Atletico in search of regular football instead of providing backup for Barca has afforded him eight La Liga appearances scoring four goals.
While Boateng has appeared just twice for Barcelona – once in the league and in the cup.
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La Liga champions Barca lead the way on 70 points, with Atletico training in second eight points adrift.
While Morata has found a new lease of life in Madrid, ending his rocky two seasons in London, his replacement Higuain has suffered a similar inconsistent scoring run.
The Argentine, 31, has netted just three times in 11 appearances for the Blues, despite showing positivity off the ball, finding the back of the net has not been as easy.