Barcelona had previously 'explored the possibility' of signing Manchester City's superstar midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, according to the latest information from the Times.
The Belgium international has recently put pen to paper on a long-term deal with fresh terms at the Etihad Stadium, taking the 29 year-old through till 2025 - the year which could mark a decade in Sky Blue for the former Wolfsburg and Chelsea man.
Despite a minor hurdle regarding the potential pay package during negotiations in January, it now appears as though these disagreements were swiftly resolved, with de Bruyne now becoming the best-paid player in the Premier League following his latest deal.
This is according to Paul Hirst of the Times, who reports that after signing a new four-year contract at Manchester City worth £20 million a season or £385,000-a-week, the Belgium star has exceeded the £375,000-a-week contract that David de Gea signed with Manchester United back in 2019 - making him the English top-flight's leading earner.
However, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the run-up to this moment for Manchetser City and Kevin de Bruyne hasn't been without interest from the usual big hitters on the continent.
Hirst reports that La Liga giants Barcelona had previously 'explored the possibility' of signing Kevin de Bruyne from Manchester City, but the Covid-19 pandemic 'snuffed out any chance' they had of signing the midfielder as the Camp Nou debts have risen to £1 billion.
There is an expectation now that Manchester City officials will look to pursue the signatures of several other key stars, as they look to retain player value and players' services for the final two years of Pep Guardiola's reign at the Etihad Stadium beyond this season.
It is understood that the key players in the frame at present include Raheem Sterling, although his talks have been placed on hold until the summer due to representative issues, John Stones, Phil Foden, and Gabriel Jesus.
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