While the January transfer window was a largely successful one for Barcelona, the failure to sign a new left-back was a minor negative for the club.
The Catalan giants were in the market for a new left-sided full-back to compete with incumbent Jordi Alba, who is showing signs of decline in recent times. With Alejandro Balde not deemed ready for a bigger role in the first team, a new player in the position was a necessary addition.
However, despite attempts to sign Nicolas Tagliafico and Alex Grimaldo, a move did not materialise.
Now, according to SPORT, Barcelona have made the signing of a left-back a top priority in the summer and will make a concrete push to bring in Valencia captain Jose Gaya.
The Spaniard has always been the preferred candidate to succeed Alba at Camp Nou but attempts to sign him in the past have proven futile. However, with his contract running out in eighteen months, Barcelona have a great opportunity to snap him up in the summer.
Should he not sign a new deal, Los Che will be forced to sell in order to avoid the risk of losing him for free in 2023. And the Blaugrana are closely monitoring the situation and are waiting to pounce on the chance.
Although, recent reports have indicated that Gaya and Valencia may be close to agreeing a new deal, which would complicate matters for Barça. In such a scenario, the report claims that the Catalan giants would refocus their attention towards Grimaldo.
Like Gaya, the SL Benfica defender also sees his contract runs out in 2023. The former La Masia graduate has no interest in renewing his deal with the Portuguese giants, leaving the door open for a potential return to Catalonia in the summer.
With Benfica also understood to be interested in a few Barça youngsters, the total cost of the operation could be brought down by the inclusion of players.
As things stand, though, Gaya remains Barcelona’s preferred option for the left-back slot and it remains to be seen if they are successful in luring him away from the Mestalla.