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Barcelona see €60 million-rated Spaniard as the No. 1 candidate to replace Busquets

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Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

As uncertainty continues to loom over the future of Sergio Busquets, Barcelona are preparing for the next phase without their captain in the ranks.

Busquets’ contract with the Catalan giants expires at the end of the ongoing season. But Xavi Hernandez has made it abundantly clear that he wants the 34-year-old to remain at the club for another year.

However, there is no guarantee that the veteran Spaniard might do so, even though reports seem to suggest that he is leaning towards continuing at Camp Nou beyond the current campaign.

But, in case Busquets ends up moving on in the summer, Barcelona are lining up targets as possible replacements for the long-serving academy graduate.

On Thursday, reports suggested that Villarreal star Dani Parejo has emerged as an option to bolster the pivot position at Camp Nou in the summer.

But, Javi Miguel has reported that in the eventuality of Busquets’ departure, Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi remains Barcelona’s No. 1 candidate to replace their captain.

The report further adds that Parejo is also an option, but only as an alternative if the Blaugrana fail to land their primary target, which happens to be Zubimendi.

The 23-year-old Spaniard has developed into a key cog in the middle of the park at Sociedad under Imanol Alguacil in recent times. Barça’s interest in the midfielder is not new, with reports in the past also suggesting that Xavi is keen on signing him to take over from Busquets.

The update from Javi Miguel reaffirms that stance as it is claimed that Zubimendi continues to remain the first-choice option for Barça to replace their captain.

However, the 23-year-old has a release clause worth €60 million in his contract with La Real, which could become an impediment to the La Liga leaders given their current financial state.

Unless there are big sales in the summer, Barcelona might not be in a position to splash such a sum on a player, which would make Zubimendi’s signing difficult.

Player valuation in title obtained from transfermarkt.com on date of publication.

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