Cancelo, Soares & Aurier: Barcelona's search for a right-back in January

Albert Masnou

The January transfer window is closing in and Barça, in principle, weren’t planning on getting involved. The summer planning was supposed to be sufficient to see Luis Enrique through the whole season. 

Left with the most complete squad in recent seasons, Barça strengthened across the pitch, except at right-back. And while Sergi Roberto’s taken a step forward, Aleix Vidal is not working and is more out than in. 

Therefore the search for a new right-back who could facilitate a January exit for Vidal is underway. 


Achieving economic balance is decisive for the club, who would rather not spend a euro. The first step is to find a solution for Vidal’s exit. He signed for 18 million euros and the idea is not to lose too much on him. 

The club will look for a minimum of 13 million euros, which will be tricky given his ostracism. A loan until the end of the season is an option to, which would allow Barça to save on his wages. 


Obviously it would interest the club to move Vidal on this winter. It’s now clear that he will not be used by Luis Enrique and the best for everyone is that he leaves in January. 

For now, there have been no firm transfer offers, but there are possibilities of a deal being done. The player has options to go on loan with an option to buy, but still has not held meetings to look deeper into the proposals. 


Meanwhile, Barça are scouring the market for right-backs. There is no doubt that the option they most like is Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin, but the club have practically ruled him out because they have information that he’s close to renewing with the London club. 

Next on the list is Joao Cancelo, the Valencia player who’s well liked by Barça. The problem is his price. 


Cancelo has grown a lot at Valencia and is a key part of Prandelli’s system. The Italian coach uses him as an attacking right winger, pushing him on from his usual right-back position. 

His price is around 25 million euros, but Valencia are interested in Aleix Vidal. It’s a complicated operation, though. That’s because Barça don’t want to invest a euro and everything will depend on Luis Enrique. What’s clear is that it would be a risk to go the whole season with Sergi Roberto as the only right-back. 


There are few affordable options, then. PSG’s Serge Aurier is one player who would not cost too much. The problem is he has a controversial character. He’s a solid right-back, though, and could be available for around 15 million euros. 


There are other players who are being followed such as Southampton’s Cedric Soares, who Ariedo Braida recommended to the club as soon he arrived. Djibril Sidibe (Monaco) and Mario Gaspar (Villarreal) are also on the radar.

All those three would cost more than 10 million euros, although some of them couldn’t play in the Champions League as they’ve already played in it this season with their current clubs. November will be a key month for negotiations. 


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