Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois has claimed his status as one of the best goalkeepers in the world brought unwarranted criticism in the early part of the new campaign.

Former Barcelona director Javier Bordas has revealed that Barcelona allowed Erling Haaland and Thibaut Courtois to slip through their grasp.

Bordas gave a wide-ranging interview to Mundo Deportivo, where he claimed Barcelona elected to sign Ousmane Dembele instead of Kylian Mbappe and the Catalans passed up the chance to secure the services of Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland and Real Madrid goalkeeper Courtois.

Haaland is making waves in the Bundesliga – where has has six goals in as many appearances this term – but Bordas has revealed that Barca felt he was not the right fit for the club.

“They told me he was not the right type of player for Barca,” Bordas said. “I understand that [former president, Josep Maria] Bartomeu pays attention to the technical side. The truth is that players like these could have come, but then you don’t know what performance they are going to give.”

After a rocky period, Belgium international Courtois is showing the kind of form that persuaded Real to sign him from Chelsea in 2018.


Barcelona have one of the world’s best goalkeepers at their disposal in Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but there was the possibility for the club to have the German in tandem with Courtois.

“When I considered a move for Courtois I talked about it before with [former president, Sandro] Rosell,” Bordas said of a deal that was discussed in 2014. “He told me that if we could do something, we would do it.

“I made it possible to bring in Courtois and Zubi [Andoni Zubizarreta, former Barca director of football], with good judgment, said he wanted to sign ter Stegen and we were right because he is the best in the world.

“We decided to bring in someone else, [Claudio] Bravo, a great goalkeeper, but maybe we could have had Courtois and ter Stegen together.”

Spain international Alvaro Morata was another player on Barca’s radar, and Bordas claims he had a deal in place only for Atletico Madrid to swoop with a move for the forward.

“The Morata deal was closed,” Bordas said. “We met with his agent. It was a loan with a purchase option, but we did not get to formalise anything because Atletico found out and given the relationship Juanma Lopez and Morata had with Atletico, they took him away.“

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