A few weeks ago, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Ajax right-back Noussair Mazraoui would be headed to FC Barcelona. Not anymore. Per Bild, Bayern Munich are in advanced negotiations for the 24-year-old, with coach Julian Nagelsmann having already called the player in in an effort to convince him.
This wouldn’t be the first time Bayern and Barca have clashed over the signing of an Ajax right-back. The last time it happened, Barca came out on top with the signing of Sergino Dest. Now, with recent reports indicating that Bayern have matched Barca’s salary offer to Mazraoui and the influence of Mino Raiola in negotiations, things may be more even this time round.
The influence of the agent could be key to the whole thing. As discussed before, Mino Raiola represents both Mazraoui and another top Bayern target — Ryan Gravenberch. Bayern are aggressively pushing to sign Gravenberch this summer, and have already held meetings with Raiola over the same. Could they have worked out a deal over Mazraoui too? Agents like Raiola have enormous influence over where their clients end up, so maybe he could nudge Mazraoui into Bayern’s path in return for a stronger bid for Gravenberch.
Of course, Raiola’s not the only factor — Barcelona will be watching this transfer with great interest. They want a right-back too, but unlike Bartomeu, Joan Laporta doesn’t seem like the type of executive who will be willing to overpay massively to get a deal done. If Bayern and Barca’s salary offers to the player end up being the same, then the final destination could end up being a matter of the slimmest of margins.
We’ll keep you updated as the story develops.