Sofyan Amrabat has been one of the standout performers for the Moroccan national team at the FIFA World Cup 2022. The Fiorentina midfielder has been pivotal to the African nation’s run to the semi-finals of the tournament in Qatar.
Naturally, it has put Amrabat on the radars of top clubs across Europe, especially with the January transfer window on the horizon
While Barcelona have been linked with Amrabat’s international teammate Azzedine Ounahi, some outlets in Spain have reported the Catalans’ interest in the Fiorentina ace as well.
At the same time, there have also been links with Barcelona’s rivals Atletico Madrid too.
And ahead of Morocco’s semi-final clash against France, Amrabat sat down for an interview with MARCA during which he discussed the links to Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
“It is a great honour to be linked to such clubs. Right now I am playing for Fiorentina. I have a lot of respect for my club, it’s a great team,” the 26-year-old midfielder said.
“I have a great coach and a great relationship with the owner Rocco Commisso, who brought me to Fiorentina, and also with Joe Barone (General Manager of the club) and Daniele Prade (Sporting Director). I have a lot of respect for them and for the club.”
It was Amrabat’s Morocco that eliminated Spain from the FIFA World Cup. Following that, the midfielder posted an edited image on Instagram in which he was depicted carrying Gavi on his shoulders and off the pitch.
The post generated controversy in Spain and the midfielder has now provided an explanation for the same, as he said: “I manage my Instagram account, but there is another person who also manages it for me. The person who shared that image saw it as a joke.
“I have a lot of respect for Spaniards and when I heard that people weren’t liking it, I deleted it immediately. If anyone was upset, I apologise in the most sincere way. When people were upset, I decided to delete it quickly. I apologise if anyone was upset.”
When asked if he followed any Spanish midfielders as a reference, Amrabat named Barcelona legends Xavi and Andres Iniesta as players he idolised, while also claiming that Pedri and Gavi are very talented individuals.
“Pedri, Gavi… they are very talented players, but personally I liked legends like Iniesta, for example. I also looked a lot at Zidane and Xavi Hernandez as intelligent players,” Amrabat said.
“I watched them a lot. Their movement between the lines was on another level. They won all the titles a player aspires to.”
Barcelona are on the lookout for a new defensive midfielder to replace Sergio Busquets, who is expected to leave at the end of the season when his contract expires. The Blaugrana’s main target to take over from the club captain is Real Sociedad ace Martin Zubimendi.
As for the links to Amrabat, there does not seem to be anything concrete interest at this point in time