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La Liga midfield ace remains Xavi’s first option to reinforce Barcelona’s pivot position

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Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images

One of Barcelona’s three identified positions that requires fortification in the summer is the defensive midfield.

Oriol Romeu, the club’s makeshift replacement signing last summer, has failed miserably in filling the void, forcing Xavi to deploy Andreas Christensen in the position.

While the Danish star has done a reasonable job as a stand-in, there is a need for a more sustainable and high-quality recruitment to carry forward the legacy of Sergio Busquets.

Top candidate identified

According to reports from Culemania, there are many candidates Barcelona eye as potential replacements for the defensive midfield. Of them, Martin Zubimendi is the manager’s first choice.

Xavi spoke to Zubimendi last summer when he was linked with a move to Barcelona in an effort to convince the player of a switch. He could do the same this summer as well.

Xavi continues to eye Zubimendi. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

The Real Sociedad star’s release clause stands at €60 million, and it is clear that Joan Laporta and Co. have significant work to complete on the departures front if the move is to be engineered.

The Aleix Garcia factor

The outlet further elaborates that the key for Barcelona’s signing of Zubimendi lies in Girona.

As is well known, Aleix Garcia, Girona’s pivot, can leave in the summer for a fee of just €20 million. While Barcelona do indeed have their eyes on the player, Zubimendi’s move to Barcelona can be made easy if Garcia moves to the Basque outfit.

Moreover, if the Catalans can negotiate a return for Oriol Romeu and facilitate the sales of Pablo Torre and Eric Garcia, they could help push Girona towards parting ways with Garcia.

While the operation is indeed complicated, it is workable if the dominoes fall in the right place. Should it not fall in place, Joshua Kimmich and Guido Rodriguez are the team’s next names in line.

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