Barça are working on how to strengthen the squad for next season, especially in certain areas
As the various people who have been in charge of FC Barcelona's sporting management over the years have often said, the club is always obliged to keep an eye on the transfer market, whether it be to try to bring in players for the immediate future or to ensure that no 'bargains' escape in the form of a player whose contract is expiring.
Precisely, and due to the current economic situation, there is a special interest in the latter because if they don't work out they can always end up being sold with good capital gains for the club.
At present, Barça's squad is small but of good quality. Xavi has practically all the positions doubled, his wish, and all of them of players with a certain weight, without too much difference in level between the theoretical starter and the substitute. Precisely because of this, he had in mind to make two rotations per game until the plague of injuries arrived.
But in the current squad, right now there are two starters on loan, Joao Cancelo and Joao Félix, so the management and the coach must be foresighted and work thinking that they might not have them next season. And also, of course, with the players whose contracts are coming to an end.
It is for this reason that the club has among its priorities to reinforce the right-back position and very possibly also the left-back. If his performance continues as it has been and Manchester City do not ask for the moon for his transfer, Xavi would be delighted to continue counting on Joao Cancelo.
He is of a very high level, indisputable (he has played almost everything since he arrived) and his ability to play well both at full-back, in the middle or even as a winger and to do it inside and outside, making him a very valuable player.
But just in case he cannot continue, the club will be forced to reopen old folders such as that of Juan Foyth, who Xavi likes, although they would have to negotiate with Villarreal. As a substitute, and assuming that Sergi Roberto is unlikely to continue, Julián Araujo, on loan at Las Palmas, could be recalled, or a youngster from the reserve team could be promoted.
On the left, Alejandro Balde, recently renewed and is the starter, but it remains to be seen what will happen with Marcos Alonso, whose contract expires in 2024. If he is not renewed, the position will have to be reinforced. In this sense, Àlex Valle, who is performing very well at Levante, could return. Xavi has him in consideration and already took him to the tour of the United States this summer.
This is the position that Xavi wants to reinforce. Simply because it is the only one that is not doubled with a specialist. Oriol Romeu arrived this summer to replace Busquets but the midfielder is already 32 years old and we need to look at more alternatives.
It is in this position where more names have emerged as possible future Barça players. Barça are monitoring Arhur Vermeeren, from Antwerp, and also, as SPORT revealed, have already contacted Corinthians to show their interest in Gabriel Moscardo, a player that Deco has fallen in love with for his good understanding of the game, his technical skills and his incredible personality. Chelsea and other European clubs also have him on their radar but Barça have the 'Deco' factor in their favour.
Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich has also been offered, who was already mentioned last summer and whose contract expires in June 2025. But it is a rather complicated operation due to its high cost and because the player is not sure about leaving the Bavarian club. Another name that has come up to reinforce the position is Sergi Altimira, who was trained at La Masia and now plays for Betis after a spell at Getafe.
Bruno Guimaraes, from Newcastle, also likes the idea, although his signing is almost impossible due to his high price. Although, as we reported today in SPORT, his contract includes a secret clause in Barça's favour. The price for the Blaugrana would be lower than the rest of the clubs, around €65m, although it would still be a prohibitive amount for the club's coffers at the moment.
Guido Rodríguez, who is finishing his contract with Real Betis, would be, economically, the best option of all, although there are doubts in the club about the player.
In addition to the pivot, Xavi would like to have another midfielder with a good touch and good association. His (impossible) dream would be Bernardo Silva and options such as Tottenham's Lo Celso are also being considered. In this position, the market will be scoured, but if not, we will have to look in-house, as in the case of Fermín López.
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