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Barcelona goalkeeper emerges as a transfer target for La Liga rivals

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La Liga outfit Villarreal could come to the aid of Barcelona in their bid to offload players and trim down their wage bill this summer. As reported by Super Desporte, the Yellow Submarine would be interested in signing backup goalkeeper Neto in the ongoing transfer window.

The Brazilian has completed two full seasons with Barca, having signed from Valencia in the summer of 2019. However, he has constantly been under the shadows of the undisputed first-choice in goal, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, resulting in Neto making fewer than 20 appearances for the club so far

The former Juventus shot-stopper pushed for an exit during the January transfer window, but a move did not materialise. He is once again angling for a transfer away from Camp Nou this summer, and he could finally get his wishes, with Villarreal interested.

The 2020/21 UEFA Europa League winners are looking to bolster their goalkeeping department. Manager Unai Emery sees Geronimo Rulli as his first-choice after the Argentine’s contributions in Europe last term and is set to axe veteran star Sergio Asenjo.

The 32-year-old has had four serious knee injuries in the past and is entering the final year of his contract. So, Villarreal are open to the prospect of offloading him and view Neto as the ideal replacement to come in for the Spaniard.

Neto is keen on an exit, while Barcelona also would not stand in the way of a transfer as player sales are very much necessary for them to incorporate Lionel Messi’s new contract while staying within La Liga’s Financial Fair Play rules.

Villarreal’s interest, thus, comes as a boost for both the goalkeeper and the club. However, as of yet, there have been no talks held between the Blaugrana and their La Liga rivals pertaining to Neto’s transfer, which could change soon, although the Yellow Submarine are currently prioritising a move for a winger, post which they will look at their goalkeeping situation.