Uruguay teenager Santiago Bueno's dream of playing for Barcelona convinced him to snub any advances from other European clubs in joining the Catalan club, the player's representative has revealed. The 18-year-old was signed by the La Liga winners from Penarol on the deadline day in the January transfer window and will initially line-up with the Barca B team with the hope of breaking into the first team.
Bueno signed a three-year deal which will keep him at the club until at least 2019, with an option to further extend it for an additional three seasons. According to Mundo Deportivo, Manchester City's Pep Guardiola was also interested in securing the starlet's signature, who has been dubbed the new Gerard Pique by another of his agents.
Martin Rodriguez Nader, partner at GBG Agency who manages Bueno has outlined how Barcelona have been tracking the youngster for the past two years before firming up their interest last month.
"Barcelona made a great scouting work with Santiago. They have been following him for two years and have watched him in action for more than 20 times, in different countries, like Paraguay, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay," Rodriguez told IBTimes UK. "They have also been monitoring his progress in both domestic and international games, where he has featured for Uruguay U17 and U20. They wanted the player and Santiago dreamt of playing in Barcelona as his favourite player is Gerard Pique."
Rodriguez refused to dwell on any potential interest from other European clubs before signing for Barcelona, but confirmed that Guardiola made no approach in signing his client. However, he confirmed former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez congratulated Bueno after joining the Spanish giants. "Luis Suarez spoke to Santiago after he signed the contract and said 'welcome to the club.' Luis is one of Santiago's idols, also Pique and Diego Godin are his referents," he added.