With La Liga giving its approval to FC Barcelona over the economic viability plan, manager Xavi Hernandez, director Mateu Alemany, and all the other key stakeholders will have a meeting tomorrow to discuss transfer strategies, reports Javi Miguel of AS.
Once the contract registrations of stars like Ronald Araujo, Sergi Roberto, Marcos Alonso, and Inaki Pena are taken care of, the focus will move to transfers. And, as per the report, Barcelona have already identified and jotted down their priorities for the summer market.
Top priority: Lionel Messi
It does not come as a surprise to see former captain and club legend Lionel Messi sit atop the priority list for Barcelona heading into the summer. The Argentine international will be a free agent and is also being courted by the likes of Al Hilal and Inter Miami.
However, a move to Barcelona is understood to be the 35-year-old’s priority and he is prepared to wait for the club’s formal offer, which could be sent in as early as tomorrow.
While the club could table an offer, they must still offload players if they wish to successfully register Messi’s signing. But an official proposal will be a major step in the right direction.
Second priority: Pivot midfielder
Xavi has already stressed on this point on more than one occasion. With Sergio Busquets departing, it has become imperative for Barcelona to sign a new pivot midfielder to replace their exit-bound captain.
As things stand, two names are understood to feature on the shortlist – Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich and Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi. The latter has been Xavi’s preferred option to replace Busquets, but his €60 million release clause is seen as a hindrance.
A move for Kimmich has also been talked up by the Barcelona manager, although he said that the German ace must ‘open the door’ if negotiations are to take place over a transfer.
Other names such as Sofyan Amrabat, Ruben Neves, and Guido Rodriguez continue to be linked, but as things stand, it is Zubimendi and Kimmich that are seen as the prime contenders.
Third priority: Interior midfielder, striker, right-back
Once the signings of Messi and a replacement for Busquets are sorted, Barcelona have multiple positions as priorities that need to be reinforced.
For starters, Xavi & co. will look for an interior midfielder which is understandable given that the team had problems when Pedri was out injured this past season. And with Franck Kessie likely to be sold and Pablo Torre loaned out, there will be room for a new central midfielder.
Ilkay Gundogan remains the priority for the position, with reports suggesting that an agreement over a three-year deal is done.
A striker also remains high on the agenda given the lack of backup for Robert Lewandowski. Vitor Roque of Athletico Paranaense has been the main target, but a move for the Brazilian teenager could be hard to pull off. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains a fallback option.
Finally, a right-back is also among the priorities at Barcelona. With Jules Kounde making it clear that he does not wish to carry on playing as a full-back, Sergi Roberto and Julian Araujo are left as the only options. So a new player needs to be signed for the position, with Joao Cancelo a target.