Still under serious financial duress, Barcelona played it smart in the 2023 summer transfer window, exploring free or loan deals for the most part.
They brought in Ilkay Gundogan and Inigo Martinez on a free transfer, while loaning in Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo from Atletico Madrid and Manchester City, respectively. Oriol Romeu was the only player they spent money on, signing him for €4.3 million.
Romeu was brought in an attempt to replace Sergio Busquets in the middle of the park, and has done a rather impressive job in the opening four games of the season.
The former Girona midfielder has exceeded expectations, and serves as a lesson for Barcelona to look at La Liga more often for solutions.
As such, Mundo Deportivo has reported a list of five La Liga players Barcelona have been tracking, and could turn into transfer prospects.
1. Nico Williams (Athletic Club)
Nico Williams is coming off a superb start to the season, where he assisted two goals against Osasuna and got four goal contributions across two matches for Spain during the international break.
His contract comes to a close at the end of the 2023/24 season, and Barcelona have already made contacts with the player’s agent over a free transfer. Athletic Club are keen on handing him a three-year extension, though.
2. Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis)
Barcelona had Guido on their radar in the summer, as well, when in search of a defensive midfielder. His contract, too, ends at the end of the current season, which means his signing will not be a financial hassle, either.
That said, Barça are also keeping an eye on the 29-year-old for January.
3. Alex Baena (Villarreal)
Alex Baena scored one and assisted one goal against Barcelona during the third gameweek of the season, and has seemingly made it to Xavi’s wishlist. However, his contract with the Yellow Submarine ends in 2026, and holds a €60 million release clause.
4. Juan Foyth (Villarreal)
Undoubtedly them most familiar of the five for Barcelona fan, Foyth has been on club’s wishlist for more than a year at this point. Xavi wanted to sign the Argentine to reinforce the right-back position, owing to his technical ability to invert seamlessly and also play as a centre-back.
Signing him will not be easy, either, with a €52 million release clause inserted in his contract that runs until 2026.
5. Aimar Oroz (Osasuna)
Osasuna’s no. 10, Aimar Oroz is projected to have an incredibly high ceiling, and already has eyes of the entire league on him. Barcelona scouted the 21-year-old during the U21 European Championship.
With a release clause of €28 million, the Catalan giants could be on the player’s tail in the near future.