In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, FIFA recently announced that foreign players can unilaterally terminate their contracts with Russian clubs before June 30, making them eligible to sign for any club in the world.
Following this development, SPORT is claiming that Barcelona could look to sign Brazilian left-back Douglas Santos from Russian outfit Zenit St. Petersburg.
The left-back position has been an area of concern for the Blaugrana with Jordi Alba’s performances being up and down at times and there being no clear backup for the Spaniard in the roster.
Jose Gaya has been identified as a key summer target but there is no guarantee that the Valencia captain will arrive at Camp Nou. Alejandro Grimaldo (SL Benfica), Nicolas Tagliafico (AFC Ajax) and Alex Moreno (Real Betis) are some of the alternatives being lined up.
However, with the recent development surrounding foreign players in Russia, Barça could now look at Douglas Santos as a prospective target, as per the report.
The 27-year-old joined Zenit in 2019 from German outfit Hamburg and has been a regular in the team. He has made 99 appearances for the club, scoring three goals and registering 18 assists.
The defender was previously on the books of Spanish club Granada but spent his entire spell away on loan at Udinese before making the transfer permanent. He also had a stint with Atletico Mineiro in his homeland, Brazil.
Santos’ existing contract with Zenit runs until 2026, but with a termination now made possible by FIFA’s recent announcement, it remains to be seen if there is any movement made by Barcelona to sign him up.