Sergio Busquets is set to play his final game at Spotify Camp Nou later today. The Spaniard will leave Barcelona at the end of the season and his exit marks the end of an era in the Catalan midfield.
Pedri, Frenkie de Jong and Gavi are special talents in their own right and it is not surprising that they are seen as heirs to Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. It is only Sergio Busquets’ role, thus, which remains without a natural replacement.
According to reports from The Times, the Catalans are eyeing a move for Newcastle United star Bruno Guimaraes. The midfielder signed for the Magpies in January last year for a fee of €42 million and has gone on to be a massive part of Eddie Howe’s team that secured a berth in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
The Brazilian, however, will not come cheap. Barcelona will have to shell out close to €100 million for the midfielder’s services, and the report adds that the Blaugranas are not deterred by the price tag.
Xavi has maintained multiple times that signing a new pivot is his top priority for the coming transfer window. If Barcelona are to spend big on any position in June, it would likely be the defensive midfield.
Guimaraes is capable of playing both as a deep lying playmaker as well as higher up in midfield. He is known for his impeccable passing range, especially his vertical passes that can slice through complete defences. Further, he can play both as a double pivot and a single pivot.
In 31 Premier League appearances for Newcastle this season, the Brazilian has scored four goals and provided five assists. He averages 1.4 key passes per game and has created two big chances.
Defensively, his statistics are impressive. The 25-year-old averages 11 defensive actions per game, winning more than 50% of his duels.