The planning for next season's squad at FC Barcelona has changed ever since Neymar became a genuine option. The original idea was to sign a top quality left back to challenge Jordi Alba for a starting role but with resources being poured into other transfers, the club must now look at more economical choices.
One of those is Swiss international Ricardo Rodriguez. The left-back is currently at AC Milan but would be allowed to leave if a fair offer came in. His name has been added to a short list of three and next week should see movement on that front.
Barça know they need to improve their full back situation and Alba hasn't had a genuine challenger for his place in the team since Lucas Digne was sold. Juan Miranda hasn't quite been able to make that step up.
The original decision made by the club was to sign someone with the talent to challenge Alba now but with the potential to be the long-term successor. Junior Firpo, currently at Real Betis, was the clear favourite but his high asking price caused conversations to slow down quite quickly. Barça then moved onto Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund) but once again failed to reach an agreement with his club. Then Neymar was put onto the market and even less money was available to negotiate for a full back.
That's meant they needed to look at different types of transfers. Filippe Luis is an option but he goes against the club's desire to bring down the average age of the squad, not increase it. Now Ricardo Rodriguez is an option because he fits the role of not being too old nor costing a huge sum of money. Milan will need to sell him this window as they have agreed a deal to bring in Real Madrid's Theo Hernandez to cover the left back position.
Ricardo Rodríguez signed forl Milan two seasons ago in a deal worth around €18m. Whereas Alba stands out for his attacking attributes, Rodriguez is better in defence and is capable of slotting in at centre back too.
Barça have asked Milan about his situation but refused to commit on making an offer. Arsenal are also interested in the player and would battle it out against the Catalan club for his signature. What's clear is next week Barça will make their decision known as they look to add a left back to the senior squad as well as another for the B team.