Oriol Busquets rejected Manchester United & Arsenal for Barcelona

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Manchester United and Arsenal both tried and failed in a bid to prise one of Barcelona's brightest young prospects from La Masia, according to Catalan newspaper Sport.

Oriol Busquets, who is of no relation to Barcelona's first-team star, Sergio, agreed a three-year deal with the Blaugrana despite lucrative offers from the Premier League.

The 16-year-old is one of the most exciting young prospects currently learning his trade in the famous La Masia academy and has been fast-tracked through the system to Juvenil A level, which is just one below Barcelona B.


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Very few players below the age of 17 make it to this level, but Busquets was invited to skip Juvenil B to try and convince him to reject both Arsenal and Manchester United.

It seems that such an offer did the trick as the deals on the table from the Premier League duo were much more lucrative.

Arsenal's history

Barcelona will certainly be happy about keeping one of their best prospects at the club, but the journalists at Sport will certainly be equally as delighted.

The Catalan newspaper has regularly used it's mouthpiece to vilify Arsenal's attempts to steal some of La Masia's best young stars, labelling Arsene Wenger as something of a child snatcher.

To be fair to them, Arsenal have taken Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral, two of which have gone on to be first-team stars.

They also tried to take both Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi at the same time as Fabregas in what would have amounted into a rather incredible triple swoop.

The reason Arsenal are so appealing to young stars is because Wenger has helped to turn so many prospects into genuine stars. Fabregas, who would later go on to captain the Gunners before rejoining Barcelona in a £35m deal, is the best example of that.

Manchester United

Manchester United eventually convinced Pique to leave Barcelona but Sir Alex Ferguson elected to sell him back in 2008, knowing full well that Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand would be his first-choice centre-backs for years to come.

With Louis van Gaal now at the helm, the impetus has changed from blooding youth to buying established stars, meaning Busquets may have had even less chance of first-team football at Old Trafford.


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