Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal has confessed that his side would be a stronger unit had they secured a deal for Juventus centre-back Matthijs De Ligt last summer.
The Spanish champions courted the Dutch international following a hugely successful season at Ajax, in which he captained the club to the Semi-Finals of the Champions League.
Ultimately, De Ligt rejected a move to the Camp Nou in favour of a €75 million switch to Juventus and Abidal has spoken of the regret in failing to secure his services.
“Only time will tell us how good De Ligt can become, but you can approach a player and listen to what he has to say and make him an offer, but the final decision remains his,” Abidal told Mundo Deportivo.
“You can be successful or not, and De Ligt opted for a great team [instead of Barcelona]. I don’t know how well he is performing there, but certainly with him in our team we would be stronger.
“We have to respect the decisions of players, but I hope one day he will join us.”
De Ligt has scored twice in 22 appearances for the Bianconeri this season and has partnered Leonardo Bonucci in defence in the place of long-term absentees Giorgio Chiellini and Merih Demiral.