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Barcelona considering two players as Sergio Busquets’ replacement next summer



Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

With Sergio Busquets’ contract expiring at the end of the season, the Barcelona captain is expected to move on from the club next summer, barring any late surprises.

The 34-year-old has been a mainstay at the club for nearly 15 years and has tasted great success during that period. But, as things stand, he looks set to bid goodbye to his boyhood club in less than a year.

A move to the MLS has been mooted heavily for Busquets, with David Beckham’s Inter Miami FC already being linked. Should he leave, the Spaniard will leave a huge vacancy in the middle of the park for Barça.

And according to MARCA, Barcelona have already set their sights on two possible options to replace Busquets in the summer of 2023. The names being considered by the Catalan heavyweights are Ruben Neves of Wolves and Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi.

Neves has been on Barcelona’s radars for quite some time now and there were links to the Portuguese midfielder even during this past summer window. However, he stayed put at Wolves and continued on his impressive ways.

As for Zubimendi, he has enjoyed a great progression since becoming a first-team regular at Real Sociedad in 2020/21. The young midfielder has a massive release clause of €60 million even though his market value is believed to be around €40 million.

Whether La Real are willing to negotiate a lower fee for him would be the key in determining if Barcelona go after him next summer.

With Neves, Barcelona could have an advantage as he is represented by Jorge Mendes, who has a very good relationship with club president Joan Laporta. However, with no release clause in his contract, Wolves could demand a large fee for him.

From within the club, Barça might look at Frenkie de Jong and Nico Gonzalez as possible replacements for Busquets. The former has looked good in the pivot role whenever he has played this season and the latter, currently on loan at Valencia, has long been spoken of as the heir to the current captain.

So, it will be interesting to see what strategy Barcelona decide to take to replace their long-serving midfielder next year.

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