Barca wanted Valbuena, says agent
Barcelona were interested in bringing Marseille star Mathieu Valbuena to the Camp Nou two years ago, his agent has told French paper Le 10 sport.
Midfielder Vabuena, 28, moved to Marseille from third-tier Libourne five years ago, and swiftly established himself in coach Eric Gerets' plans with a series of impressive performances.
The player soon attracted interest from a range of European clubs, and agent Christophe Hutteau told Le 10 Sport the Catalans had looked at the possibility of signing him.
''Two or three years ago, when Txiki Begiristain [now at Manchester City] was still sporting director in Barcelona, he called me, and we talked about Mathieu," he said.
"He knows him very well, and had always liked him. He asked questions about his consistency and his statistics.
"I'm sure he can play in a team in the European top 10. He is only 28, and everything is still possible."
Valbuena set up 13 goals last season - only Eden Hazard, then playing for Lille, created more - and has already made five this campaign.
He has played 156 Ligue 1 games and became an international shortly before the 2010 World Cup, for which he was part of Raymond Domenech's squad.