Barcelona’s shortcomings in midfield are becoming more obvious with every passing week. With Sergio Busquets being the only pivot, the team is struggling to cope with opposition and at least until January, Xavi will have to rely on the veteran’s services regardless of the dip in form.
Once the winter transfer window kicks in, the Blaugrana are planning to add someone who can give Busquets a run for his money mainly because the 34-year-old hasn’t been on the top of his game in the past few matches.
The three-time Champions League winner is getting regular minutes but that is mainly down to the fact that there is absolutely no one in the team who could occupy the space since Nico Gonzalez is out on loan and a certain Miralem Pjanic was sold to Sharjah.
Given the problem at hand, Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona are looking to replicate an old recipe that bore great fruits in 2004 when a certain Edgar Davids joined the team on loan from Juventus.
This time, however, Barcelona have several alternatives. To begin with, Xavi’s personal favourite remains Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi, but the 23-year-old is a regular starter for his team and has just extended his contract until 2027.
On the other hand, Wolves’ Ruben Neves is considered to be a strong option and while his contract ends in 2024, he wants to leave the Premier League side. His agent, Jorge Mendes has already offered his client’s services to Barcelona and the team is currently evaluating the option.
For now, the Portugal international is valued at €40 million, but Mendes’ interference could spin things in Barcelona’s favour, like a loan in January with a mandatory purchase option.
Furthermore, there are other exciting options in the market like Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans and Chelsea’s Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, although the latter could be out of contention as he is set to be sidelined for 3-4 months due to injury.
Tielemans and Jorginho present an interesting case as their respective contracts with Leicester City and Chelsea end in 2023.
So in order for their teams to churn something out of nothing, the Premier League clubs might want to sell their stars midway through the season by pocketing a certain amount rather than losing them for free at the end of the campaign.
The dialogue within the Barcelona management is in transit and by January, one can expect a definitive solution.