‘I didn’t want to sit on the bench’: Ismaila Sarr reveals he REJECTED move to Barcelona in 2017… instead opting for first-team minutes at Rennes

Ismaila Sarr rejected a move to Barcelona when he moved from Metz to Rennes in the summer of 2017. 

The Watford striker, who scored twice against Liverpool on Saturday, moved to the Premier League club last summer for £40m. 

But two years earlier, after impressing as a teenager for Metz, a number of top European clubs were interested in the Senegalese forward, including Barca, but Sarr turned them down as he wanted to be a first-team regular.

Ismaila Sarr reveals he REJECTED move to Barcelona in 2017 to play first-team football at Rennes

Ismaila Sarr turned down Barcelona’s advances in the summer of 2017 in favour of Rennes

Ismaila Sarr reveals he REJECTED move to Barcelona in 2017 to play first-team football at Rennes

The Senegalese striker stayed in France as he did not want to sit on the bench at Barcelona 

ISMAILA SARR IN 2019-20

Statistics according to Transfermarkt

‘When I moved to Rennes in 2017, it was a last-minute transfer,’ Sarr told Watford’s official website.

‘It is true that I chose Rennes over Barcelona and I made this decision because I didn’t want to go to Barcelona to just sit on the bench or play in the B level.

‘I wanted to play, I just really wanted to play and that’s why I chose to go to Rennes.

‘I heard many good things about the place. I didn’t know anyone there before joining, though. It didn’t matter for me that the club was in France, all I cared about was playing.’

Sarr has scored six goals in 20 appearances in all competitions this season, but didn’t score his first Premier League goal until November. 

He went onto say that he favoured a move to the Premier League last year, as he watched it regularly while growing up in Senegal with his favourite team being Manchester United.

Ismaila Sarr reveals he REJECTED move to Barcelona in 2017 to play first-team football at Rennes

The 22-year-old terrorised Liverpool’s defence on Saturday in a standout display for Watford

The 22-year-old said: ‘It was very important to me, transferring to the Premier League, and even more so being Watford. 

‘I always wanted to play in the Premier League because I’ve always liked it since I was small, and I used to watch it a lot. 

‘I’ve been at Watford for six months now. I haven’t got a favourite moment at Watford though, because every day is great. Every day I wake up to go and train, and that’s great for me.’ 

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