£7.6m Liverpool flop takes swipe at Man City-owned Girona after Champions League heroics

It has been almost decade since Iago Aspas left Liverpool for good, but the forward is still being affected by the power of the Premier League.

The Spaniard arrived at Anfield from Celta Vigo for a reported £7.6million transfer fee back in the summer of 2013 but the move did not work out as he netted once and registered one assist in 15 appearances across all competitions.

Since returning to Balaidos permanently - via Sevilla - in the summer of 2015, Aspas has rediscovered his goalscoring touch. He's hit double figures in La Liga for eight seasons in a row and requires a brace against Valenica in Celta's final game of the campaign on Sunday to keep the run going.

Looking ahead to the 2024/25 season, Aspas has ambitions of helping Celta qualify for European competition - most likely the UEFA Europa Conference League as a result of the club's budget - but concedes it will not be easy especially with new challengers such as Girona emerging.

The Catalonia-based outfit have been the surprise package in the top-flight of Spanish football this term. At one stage they were in the mix to be crowned champions before their form tailed off, although they will participate in next season's Champions League as a top-three finish was confirmed long before they thrashed Granada 7-0 on Friday night.

Of course, Girona are owned in part by Manchester City's Abu Dhabi owners and this relationship doesn't quite sit well with Aspas who has suggested their dream season wouldn't have been possible without the influence of three key players either loaned or sold via Man City including Brazilian star Savio.

Aspas takes swipe at Man City-owned Girona

"By budget we are in the range from ninth to eleventh," Aspas said in an interview with Spanish publication Marca, as per Mundo Deportivo. "Nowadays , the jump to Europe is very difficult due to the difference in budgets and the distribution of money.

"You can get it like Girona, with the support it has from Manchester City, because Otherwise Girono couldn't have those players. I would like to return to Europe but today I find it difficult, I think we have to move between eighth and tenth place."

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