Following Gerard Pique’s retirement in the middle of the season, Barcelona are left with Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen, and Eric Garcia as their central defenders for the rest of the season.
Xavi has also tested out Marcos Alonso in that position multiple times now, even though the fans are far from being on board with that. However, it is clear that the coach wants a left-footed centre-half in his arsenal to build from the back.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Barça are targeting a move for Eintracht Frankfurt defender Evan Ndicka in the summer.
Sport1 reports that the 23-year-old is set to leave the Europa League winners on a free transfer in the summer. Barcelona are leading the race to sign him.
Ndicka has already communicated to the club that he has no intention of signing a new contract, with a move to a bigger club on his horizon. Frankfurt, meanwhile, have not given hope of tying him down to a new deal, but the chances seem extremely slim now.
Barcelona would have faced trouble from Sevilla, who are keen on pursuing Ndicka’s signature in January itself. However, a move away in the winter is out of question for both, the player, and the club.
There are, however, more clubs looking to acquire his services in the summer, including Premier League outfits. Juventus, and especially AC Milan, seem to be right up there with Barcelona, though.
The latter were pushing to sign the French defender last summer, but a move failed to transpire at the time.
With only six months left on his contract, Barcelona – and other interested parties – can directly negotiate a pre-agreement with Ndicka over a potential summer move.
Barça Universal’s take
Left-footed, 23 years old, comfortable on the ball, and maturity well beyond his years defensively – Ndicka seems like the perfect mould for Barcelona. Not to mention he will arrive on a free transfer.
Further, it will also likely mean that Marcos Alonso gets relegated to a bench role behind Ndicka at centre-back, and behind Alejandro Balde and Jordi Alba at left-back.
And while some may argue that Barcelona already have four relatively young centre-backs in their squad, Araujo, Kounde, and even Christensen, to an extent have suffered from recurring injuries in the last two seasons.
Adding another young CB could potentially create some healthy competition. Not to forget, a chance to offload anyone who does not perform up to the mark.