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Former Belgium manager advised Barcelona to sign 22-year-old Premier League midfielder in 2022

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Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images

Barcelona are currently looking at a host of options in the holding midfield position in the hopes of improving their squad for the next season. The lack of a natural player in this position, or one that is up to the task has really pulled them back this season.

It boils down to terrible squad planning, though. Sergio Busquets only left the club in the summer after turning 35, but the club had known about his contract expiring in 2023 for years, and about his desire to not continue at the club.

Eventually, they had to scramble and sign Oriol Romeu for €3.5 million from Girona. The Spaniard has understandably not been performing at the level Barcelona would want from him, and is heading towards the exit door in the summer.

And now the Catalans are in the market again, sieving through their shortlist of Joshua Kimmich, Martin Zubimendi, Guido Rodriguez, Wilfred Ndidi, and a certain Amadou Onana from Everton.

The Belgium has been on Barcelona’s radar for a while now, and is one of their top priorities in the summer. However, this is not the first time the two parties have come face-to-face.

According to a report from SPORT, Barcelona had the chance to sign Onana in 2022 when he was breaking out with the Belgian National Team.

Then coach of Belgium, Roberto Martinez, told Barça about the midfielder’s ‘huge’ potential, and advised them to sign him.

Onana was still at Lille at the time, and had just debuted with Belgium. He was attracting interest from a fair few teams, and Barcelona were considering his signing, as well.

Unfortunately, due to their economic conditions, they had to eventually drop out from the race as the player joined Everton that same summer for €30 million.

Two years down the line, Barcelona are still interested in Onana, but his price tag has risen to over €60 million in the summer. Should Everton get relegated, though, it could drop significantly.

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