In the midst of the transfer market’s closing days, surprising negotiations and covert dealings continue to unfold, some of which never see the light of day, especially if they do not yield favorable outcomes. One such clandestine move involved Barcelona’s unexpected attempt to snatch Sergi Altimira from Betis in the second week of August. However, the Catalan giants were too late, as Altimira had already committed himself to the Verdiblancos and chose not to renege on his word at the last moment, according to SPORT. Eventually, the talented player, who honed his skills at La Masia, joined Betis for a fee of two million euros, which covered the release clause owed to Getafe, and his signing was officially announced on August 11th.
During the second week of August, Barcelona made contact with Altimira’s entourage, expressing their interest in his future. Having previously been part of La Masia, the player joined Sabadell on a free transfer, but was not re-signed when the opportunity arose. Getafe then secured his services with a two-million-euro release clause, which raised alarm bells at Barcelona. The club’s analysts had been closely monitoring Getafe’s preseason, as they were set to face them as their first opponents in La Liga, and they were astounded by Altimira’s exceptional performance. Consequently, Barcelona inquired whether it was possible to disrupt the deal that had been in progress with Betis for a few days.
Barcelona’s interest caught Altimira’s entourage off guard, not because they doubted the player’s potential to succeed at the highest level, but due to the urgency with which the contacts were made. Nevertheless, Altimira stood firm and chose to join Ramón Planes’ Betis, who had previously signed him from Sabadell at no cost when he was still the sporting director at Getafe. The triggering of the release clause did upset Getafe, as they believed Barcelona had insider information, but the reality is that Altimira is now a proud Verdiblanco. Although he was called up for the match against Atletico Madrid, he did not feature on the pitch.
Altimira is a pivot player in the style of Barcelona. He shone at Sabadell but did not have much luck with the club’s sporting project. Planes, however, knew him well from his time at Barcelona’s youth academy. Altimira is a young player with tremendous potential for growth, and his progress will undoubtedly be monitored closely in the future. If he continues to evolve positively, there is no doubt that Barcelona will once again come knocking, as they did this summer, although his price tag may have skyrocketed. Yes, it was an opportunity missed, but now Barcelona must focus on finalizing two or three departures and potentially making an attacking addition to alleviate their goal-scoring woes.