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Barcelona monitor Arsenal veteran and six other stars to address key issue in summer

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Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

One of the biggest priorities for FC Barcelona in the summer transfer window is to sign a top-quality defensive midfielder.

Having lost Sergio Busquets last year, Barça have failed to adequately replace him, with Oriol Romeu’s signing not working out, prompting Xavi to use Andreas Christensen as an emergency option in recent months.

As such, it is the main objective of Deco and his sporting staff to bring in a top pivot in the summer, although much will depend on the Financial Fair Play situation Barça will find themselves in.

But, in order to stay prepared for all possibilities, Barcelona are monitoring as many as seven players who could address the major problem in the defensive pivot area for next season, reports Mundo Deportivo.

Jorginho (Arsenal)

The veteran Arsenal midfielder is being considered by Barcelona as his contract with the Gunners expires at the end of the season, meaning he would be available for free.

Jorginho was considered by Barça even before he signed for Arsenal from Chelsea and remains on the agenda even now, although his age (32) could be seen as a handicap. If signed, the Italian, at best, would be a stop-gap solution.

Amadou Onana (Everton)

From one Premier League midfielder to another, Everton’s Amadou Onana is one of the preferred candidates at Barcelona to address the No. 6 position problem.

22 years old, the Belgian international would add physicality and power to the Blaugrana midfield unit while also being an able passer. His price tag of €60 million would be the obvious hindrance.

Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

Joshua Kimmich is not having a good time at Bayern Munich and appears likely to move on at the end of the season, especially with his contract expiring in 2025.

The German international has been a long-admired player at Barcelona and he would be a luxury addition to the club’s midfield unit. However, his price tag and the Catalans’ finances would dictate the possibility of a move.

Aleix Garcia (Girona)

Aleix Garcia on Barcelona’s shortlist. (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

A player much closer to home, Aleix Garcia has grown into a key player for Barcelona’s Catalan rivals Girona and is seen as a cost-effective option to strengthen the midfield this summer.

Although he has more of an attacking profile, Barça believe he can adapt to the pivot role, while also providing options in the interior midfield positions. The Blaugrana believe he can be signed for a fee of €14-15 million in the summer.

Martin Zubimendi (Real Sociedad)

An old dream of Xavi Hernandez, Martin Zubimendi was the manager’s preferred target to replace Busquets last summer, but his €60 million release clause meant a move was not plausible.

The Basque midfielder continues to perform at a high level and is attracting interest from Arsenal and Bayern Munich. Whether Barça can muster up the finances to land him is the big question.

Khephren Thuram (OGC Nice)

One of the newest additions to the list of prospective midfield targets for Barcelona, Khephren Thuram has been performing exceptionally well at Nice and has broken into the France national team as well.

The 23-year-old is under contract with Nice until 2025 and has a market value of €35 million. Not a positional pivot like Busquets, Thuram would offer a different flavour to the Barça midfield.

Stanislav Lobotka (Napoli)

Stanislav Lobotka (29 years old) is a regular at Napoli and was already in the Azulgrana’s orbit when he played for Celta Vigo in La Liga. Manager Xavi praised him when Barça faced Napoli in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.

Furthermore, Lobotka’s agent, Branislav Jarusek, has claimed there have been discussions with Deco about a possible move.

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