Watford loanee Juanfran Moreno has confirmed that Barcelona were interested in luring him to the Nou Camp but that he has decided to stay at Deportivo la Coruña until the end of the campaign. The Spanish defender went on to suggest that Barca will not sign any right-back cover, even though Aleix Vidal is set to miss the remainder of the season due to an ankle injury.
Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez confirmed weeks ago that the Catalans were considering signing a right-back following Vidal's long-term injury. La Liga allow clubs to make an emergency signing – from the Spanish tournament or a free agent – outside of the stipulated transfer window whenever a player is ruled out for more than five months.
Reports in Spain said that Juanfran was the Catalan's top target, and the former Real Madrid academy defender has now all but confirmed those reports. But he says he will stay in la Coruña as he wants to help Pepe Mel's side avoid relegation to the second division.
"It is flattering that a team like Barcelona showed interest in me," Juanfran said during a press conference on Monday. "But I can say that I'm going to end the season at Deportivo, for sure. It was not the moment to leave in January [when he received an offer from Rubin Kazan] and less is now. I was calm because my intention was never to leave. I also had a good offer to leave in January but I didn't want to leave them and less in February because the club were in a complicated situation."
Eibar's Ander Capa and Malaga's Roberto Rosales were also been linked with Barcelona, but Juanfran suggested that the Catalans have decided against signing anyone, opting instead to stick with the versatile Sergi Roberto until the end of the season.
"There was interest from Barcelona but not a formal offer," the Watford loanee added. "I knew it and Depor knew it. It looks that Barcelona have finally decided to don't sign anyone. Probably they were also interested in other players. My agents came to tell me, to get my opinion. They respected any decision I take and I am grateful for that."
The 28-year-old right-back also suggested that he has no future at parent club Watford, saying that he has a €8m (£6.9m, $8.4m) release clause in his contract. He expects Deportivo to buy him at the end of the season.
"I will probably renew my contract with Deportivo in the summer to stay here many years," Juanfran added. He has spent the last two campaigns on loan at the Galician side.