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Barcelona could sign Portuguese midfielder in January to replace Busquets

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Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

While Barcelona have had a solid summer of recruitment, one position that remains unaddressed is the backup for club captain Sergio Busquets.

Barcelona had been linked with several names such as Aurelien Tchouameni and Martin Zubimendi, among others. However, due to there being a need of addressing more immediate concerns the pursuit of a long-term heir for the veteran midfielder was put on the backburners.

However, with Busquets’ contract set to expire next year, Barça are now planning to bring in a player to replace the Spain captain during the January transfer window itself rather than waiting for next summer, reports SPORT.

And, as per the report, the Catalan giants’ preferred player for the role is none other than Wolves and Portugal midfield mainstay Ruben Neves.

The 25-year-old had been linked with a move to Barça this summer, while the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal were also interested. However, he is likely to stay put at the Molineux for the time being due to Wolves’ demands for their prized asset.

However, with Barcelona needing to sign a new long-term replacement for Busquets sooner rather than later, they plan to revisit their interest in Neves during the January transfer window right after the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The report further adds that everything has already been discussed with the 25-year-old Portuguese international over a potential transfer to Spotify Camp Nou. And while it was initially planned for the next summer, the move could now be made as early as January 2023.

Busquets started the new season on a disappointing note, as he was sent off against Rayo Vallecano in the season opener. He will now miss the upcoming clash against Real Sociedad, with either Miralem Pjanic or Frenkie de Jong expected to fill in for him at the Anoeta.

Neither of them is seen as a long-term option as a replacement for Busquets. So, Neves has been the chosen one and a move could be accelerated in January.

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