Barcelona’s biggest worry heading into the 2023/24 season was reinforcing the team in crucial areas, especially after the departure of several players.
This list included Ansu Fati, Ez Abde, Eric Garcia, Clement Lenglet, Ousmane Dembele, Franck Kessie, Jordi Alba, and most importantly, Sergio Busquets.
The Barcelona captain had been an undisputed starter at Camp Nou for nearly a decade and a half, and his departure left a gaping hole in midfield due to a lack of a natural pivot to replace him.
However, due to the financial crisis at the club, the blaugranes could not afford to buy a big-name replacement. Xavi personally wanted Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi, but his €60 million release clause meant Barça had to go looking elsewhere.
Eventually, they ended up getting Oriol Romeu from Girona for €3.5 million. The Spaniard did pretty well during the opening games of the season, but his performances have only taken a steep decline since then.
Further, Barcelona never considered Romeu as anything more than a stop-gap, with the focus on bringing in a long-term solution in the summer. One of the names on their radar is Joshua Kimmich.
The Bayern Munich midfielder’s contract expires in the summer of 2025, with contract extension talks stalled. Barcelona want to prioritise his signing in the coming summer window, as per a report by AS.
However, the player must show his intention to sign for Barcelona and agree personal terms with them. The Catalans know that if he leans towards an extension negotiations with Bayern, his signing will become very costly.
Barcelona do have a couple of things going in their favour as part of this deal, though.
Firstly, Kimmich does not seem interested in renewing his contract with the Bavarians. He is not particularly happy with his role under Thomas Tuchel, and the two are not on board about him being a natural no. 6.
Secondly, Bayern seem to be interested in Zubimendi for the coming windows. That could either be to replace Kimmich as a natural 6 or pair him up with the German in their 4-2-3-1 system.
If Kimmich refuses to take part in extension talks with the German champions, it would be safe to assume that Bayern will not part with him for anything less than €50-60 million, as they did with Robert Lewandowski.