As Barcelona gear up to face Royal Antwerp in their first UEFA Champions League game of the 2023/24 season next week, they will go into the contest at Montjuic with multiple agendas.
The primary aim will obviously be to beat the Belgian champions and secure three points on the night to kickstart the European journey on a positive note.
Along with that, the La Liga champions will also be hoping to get a closer look at one of their midfield targets – Arthur Vermeeren.
Arthur Vermeeren on Barça’ radars
Indeed, according to SPORT, Barcelona have Vermeeren on their radars and will be taking a closer look at the teenage Belgian prodigy when Royal Antwerp pay a visit next week.
Despite being just 18 years old, Vermeeren has already made over 40 first-team appearances for Antwerp, managed by a former Barça star in Mark van Bommel.
The report claims that Barcelona watched the teenager in action for the first time in January earlier this year and were hugely impressed.
Since then, scouts from the club have watched him live on two more occasions while technicians have been going through footage of the player at the club.
Now, they will get a good chance to take a close look at the teenage midfield prospect when Barcelona and Royal Antwerp lock horns next week.
Long-term heir to Busquets?
Previous reports have suggested that Barcelona director Deco likes Vermeeren as a long-term solution for the pivot midfield role.
While Oriol Romeu has been roped in by the Catalans, the Spaniard will be turning 32 years old in a couple of weeks.
So, it makes sense for Barça to keep an eye out on long-term options, with Vermeeren emerging as one.
The 18-year-old’s market value stands at €17 million, but he could command a higher fee as his contract runs until the summer of 2026.