Barcelona are still searching for their long-term Sergio Busquets replacement and the La Liga champions are eyeing a ‘top’ midfielder to fill the void instead of an ‘experiment’, with a number of names being suggested.
Busquets left the Camp Nou at the end of last season following more than 15 years at the club and Barca brought in Oriol Romeu as a stopgap replacement this summer due to their tight financial constraints.
However Barca are still hoping to bring in a big name midfielder next year and they may opt against strengthening in January in order to take their time and identify the right option in the summer.
Teenage sensations Gabriel Moscardo and Arthur Vermeeren have been considered as potential signings but manager Xavi and club director Deco are looking for more proven entities to fill the Busquets void – as long as they have the financial capabilities.
Barca are unlikely to bring in any players in January despite hopes of securing some investment in the coming weeks to ease their economic issues, with any funding likely to be put to ensuring Vitor Roque can arrive at the club with no issues, having agreed to sign for the Catalans earlier this year.
Reports in Spain have linked Barcelona with four players in Particular for their problem position.
Martin Zubimendi (Real Sociedad)
The 24-year-old is considered to be the ideal replacement for Busquets but, despite an appealing release clause of €60 million, Zubimendi has shown no desire to leave Sociedad.
Arsenal are also strongly interested in the Spain international and the Gunners could prove to be a serious threat to Barca, who are unlikely to be able to meet the asking price, having also tried and failed to do so last summer.
Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle)
If Zubimendi’s €60m clause is too high for Barcelona, Bruno Guimaraes’ valuation will undoubtedly be impossible to match despite also having a buyout in excess of €100m in his new contract at Newcastle.
Guimaraes has proven to be an elite midfielder for Eddie Howe’s side since his arrival to England nearly two years ago and the Brazil international has also remained fiercely loyal to the Magpies.
However, Barca are hopeful that they could tempt Newcastle into cashing in on their talisman by offering them the chance to sign one of their long-term targets in Raphinha, although Guimaraes departure is unlikely to be sanctioned for anything less than his release clause no matter what players are offered.
Signed last summer for just over €20m, Ederson has become integral for Atalanta after an unconvincing debut season and the Brazilian is considered a cheaper alternative for Barca.
Previously valued at €25m, it is likely Ederson’s price will rise as his form continues, while more teams such as Newcastle are also monitoring the situation but a move to Barca could be feasible in the future.
Mats Wieffer (Feyenoord)
A versatile midfielder capable of playing as a 6 or an 8, Wieffer has become integral to Feyenoord while also breaking into the Dutch national team since January, attracting Barca’s interest.
The 24-year-old only just renewed his contract until 2027 but he is admired by Barca due to his profile as a player who is performing at a high level while also having the potential to go further, making his signing a feasible option next summer.
Source From: Football Transfer News Archive including Premier League & La Liga
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