Barcelona have taken their search for a new no. 6 within La Liga, and have identified several players that fit their bill. This list, of course, starts with Martin Zubimendi, who was Xavi’s ideal Sergio Busquets replacement.
The Spanish midfielder, though, will cost at least €60 million as Real Sociedad are not ready to negotiate for him for anything under his release clause. And Barcelona cannot, as of now, afford to shell out that much money on one player.
Lopy: A cheaper alternative
As such, the Catalans have been looking for cheaper alternatives, and had identified one of them in Almeria’s Dion Lopy. The Senegalese international arrived in La Liga this past summer for €6.5 million, and has done rather well for a side that sits rock bottom.
Barcelona had him on their radar for the upcoming summer, but might want to think again, as a report from Mundo Deportivo suggests that Almeria want €40 million for Lopy during the upcoming transfer window.
20% of any money they raise from this transfer will go to Stade de Reims, Lopy’s previous club, who included a sell-on clause in his contract. As such, Almeria want to bring in at least €30-32 million from his sale.
Bundesliga, Premier League teams in race
The 22-year-old midfielder is a man in demand, as the report adds that two Bundesliga clubs, Freiburg and Eintracht Frankfurt tried signing him in the winter transfer market, offering nearly €15 million for his services.
Barcelona, too, approached Almeria with an approximation of an offer, but never formally tabled any bid for the player unlike the German duo.
The Andalusian outfit believe that both Freiburg and Frankfurt will be back in the summer to try to sign Lopy. They also claim to have an offer from a ‘top’ Premier League club for their player.
It seems unlikely that Barcelona will enter into a bidding war with any team this summer, no less for a player that is not particularly proven at the top level.
However, with Almeria bottom of the table in La Liga, they could be forced to slash the asking price on their prized midfielder in the summer in an attempt to recoup some of that lost money from the first division.