Four transfer operations that could take place between Barcelona and Inter after Porto meeting
Barcelona president Joan Laporta and sporting director Mateu Alemany were in Porto recently to meet Jorge Mendes to talk about several players, including Ansu Fati, Joao Cancelo, Alejandro Balde, Bernardo Silva, and Lamine Yamal.
They also attended the Champions League round of 16 second leg tie between Porto and Inter Milan that ended in a goalless stalemate.
According to SPORT, though, it seems the Barcelona officials also met with the directors of Inter Milan to discuss potential summer transfers. Four names were on the table during this meeting: Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, and Marcelo Brozovic.
Arriving on a free transfer, Kessie was not expected to break through Barcelona’s side easily with Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, and Gavi competition for that role. He took his time, and has finally established himself as a sort-of-important player in the squad.
However, with Barcelona needing to sell players to raise money, his name is among the first on the list of potential departures. Inter were also interested in signing him in the winter, but the move never transpired.
Barça were also in talks with Inter over a potential swap deal involving Brozovic, but the Ivorian international seems to be happy in Spain right now. The Serie A giants continue to keep tabs on him alongside Napoli and Juventus.
Kessie is not interested in a summer departure, though, and recently talked about it in an interview, saying, “It never even crossed my mind to leave Barcelona. I’m a Culé and I plan to stay here for many years.”
Currently on loan at Lecce, Umtiti seems to have revived his form in the Serie A. He has commanded three clean sheets in 14 games for the 15th-places side, and is suddenly on the radar of a fair few clubs.
Inter seems to be one of them, as they are looking to bolster their team amidst financial issues. Umtiti could be a huge addition for them on a minimal fee, or even a free transfer.
Lecce are interested in retaining the player this summer, but face competition from AC Milan and Inter, who are keeping tabs on his performances and fitness.
Umtiti has a contract with Barcelona until 2026, but is expected to be part of a bunch of players that are offloaded this summer to make room in the wage bill while raising money from player sales.
Alba was expected to be Barcelona’s first-choice left-back going into the 2022/23 season, but has been playing second fiddle to Alejandro Balde. As such, the veteran has been reduced to just 16 appearances, and ten starts in the league this season.
“Alejandro Balde is a good kid. He has a lot of potential and a bright future,” he said about the 19-year-old.
Inter were rumoured to be interested in Alba last summer, too, and had reached an agreement in principle with Barcelona. The player refused to move, though, and we can expect a similar story this summer, as well.
With his contract expiring in 2024, the 33-year-old has no intention of leaving the Catalan capital even if it means he will continue to warm the bench for the next season.
Brozovic’s story this season has been rather similar to Alba. The Croatian was the undisputed first-choice defensive midfielder for Inter coming into the season, but an injury at the wrong time made way for Hakan Calhanoglu to win his place in that position.
The World Cup finalist has been reduced to a second-choice role now, and could be on the move as early as this summer.
Barcelona are one of the parties interested in his signature. Understably so, too, given they are on the lookout for a replacement for Sergio Busquets.
Despite being 30, Brozovic fits the sporting profile Barcelona are looking for as a high-volume passer and defensively solid pivot. He could prove to be an excellent short-term option while the club lines up their finances before returning to the market later.