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DR Congo star breaks silence on Barcelona transfer talk

Cedric Bakambu, FC Barcelona
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The forward became a free agent at the end of the last year after leaving Chinese side Beijing Guoan.

Cedric Bakambu has admitted that he finds rumors linking him with a move to Barcelona as ‘flattering’.

The DR Congo international is available as a free agent after ending a three-year spell in China at Beijing Guoan in November, a month before his contract was due to expire.

Reports from Spain that month suggested Bakambu was a ‘very strong option’ to replace the now-retired Sergio Aguero. Nothing has materialized at this point, although it’s not the first time the player has been linked to Camp Nou either.

The 30-year-old, however, finds the rumors encouraging as it means that he remains on the radar of clubs in Europe, despite spending the last three years in East Asia.

“Of course, it’s flattering to be associated with Barca,” Bakambu told Foot Mercato.

“Now, it’s not an end in itself, I take it as a source of motivation, it pushes me to perform. It proves that my work in China paid off.

“Despite the fact that I went into exile on the other side of the planet, the European teams still think of Cedric Bakambu and, for me, it’s the fruit of the work accomplished, let’s put it that way.”

How did he do in China?

Bakambu scored an impressive 58 goals in 87 games for Beijing Guoan following his €40 million arrival in 2018. He won the Chinese FA Cup that same year and later finished as the Chinese Super League’s top scorer in 2020.

Before moving to China, Bakambu enjoyed a successful three-year spell at Villarreal. The French-born star became a renowned quality in La Liga, supplying 47 goals in 105 matches for the Spanish club.

He has also played for French side Sochaux and Bursaspor in Turkey before arriving in Spain.

As DR Congo failed to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, Bakambu can focus all his efforts on finding a new club.

A return to Ligue 1 could be a possibility as Lyon, Marseille, and Lille are all reportedly interested in a potential deal.