Getafe president Angel Torres says the club came close to signing Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi on loan as well as having a verbal agreement to appoint Pep Guardiola as manager.
Torres has a close relationship with former Barca president Joan Laporta and was hopeful of luring two of world football’s biggest names to the club.
Messi was just 17 when he first broke into the Barca first team in 2004, with Torres revealing he wanted the Argentine to gain some valuable senior experience with his Madrid-based side shortly afterwards.
“In Messi’s first or second year [in the first team], we came really close to bringing him to Getafe on loan,” Torres told Marca .
“In the end, [then manager Frank] Rijkaard didn’t agree to it and we were left with just our desire.”
Despite that disappointment Torres again approached Barca in the summer 2008, this time for Guardiola.
Torres had identified the Manchester City boss as a potential successor to Michael Laudrup, who was expected to replace Rijkaard at Camp Nou.
The former Denmark international was in demand after a fine debut campaign at Getafe, guiding the club to the Copa del Rey final and the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.
“One day, [Barcelona sporting director] Txiki [Begiristain] was at a European draw in Switzerland and the idea was that Laudrup would go to Barcelona and we would get Guardiola as a replacement because, to start with, Laporta wasn’t convinced by Pep at all,” Torres said.
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