Six priority targets for Barcelona for the summer transfer window – report
With the La Liga title already in the bag, FC Barcelona have already begun chalking out plans for the next season as they look to make tweaks to their squad while also fulfilling the Financial Fair Play requirements.
Following the failure in Europe this season, Barça are convinced that they will be able to build a team that can make a big leap in the continental competitions for the upcoming campaign.
And, in order to do that, the Blaugrana have identified several positions as priorities for the summer window, with players locked in as targets for each of those areas, as per Ferran Martinez of Mundo Deportivo.
With the signing of Inigo Martinez already understood to be closed, Barça are still eyeing six more players.
1. Pivot midfielder – Kimmich or Zubimendi
Xavi, speaking in his press conference on Monday, confirmed that a new pivot midfielder to replace club captain Sergio Busquets will be the top priority for Barcelona in the summer.
The 34-year-old veteran will be leaving as a free agent with his contract expiring on June 30. As such, a replacement for the legendary midfielder is sought, with names like Joshua Kimmich and Martin Zubimendi at the top of the Catalan giants’ wishlist.
But given the challenges expected in pursuit of the aforementioned duo, they have identified alternatives like Sofyan Amrabat, Guido Rodriguez, and Ruben Neves.
2. Lionel Messi
Apart from signing a replacement for Sergio Busquets, another absolute priority for Barcelona is bringing former captain Lionel Messi back to the club. The Argentine’s contract with PSG expires on June 30, and has been heavily linked with a return to his former home.
At the moment, he has no offer from the club. Meanwhile, Barcelona are waiting on La Liga’s green light on their economic viability plan, following which they plan to make a formal approach to the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.
3. Ilkay Gundogan
Another soon-to-be free agent, Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City is a priority target for Barcelona. The 32-year-old would add experience and quality to the midfield unit while also allowing Xavi more room to rest and rotate the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Pedri.
However, the Blaugrana are facing competition from Arsenal in the race for the German international, while Manchester City are also presenting him with a longer contract offer to convince him to snub Barça.
4. Yannick Carrasco
A new left-winger is also understood to be one of the priorities for Barcelona heading into the summer and all signs point towards a move for Atletico Madrid’s Yannic Carrasco.
The Blaugrana have secured a purchase option worth €15 million for the Belgian international already, although they are pushing to lower that to around €10 million. The possibility of a player entering the operation also exists, with Atleti interested in Jordi Alba.
5. Joao Cancelo on loan
The newly-crowned La Liga champions are without a natural right-back in their squad at the moment, something that Xavi is hoping to address in the summer. While it might not be at the top of the priority list, a new right-sided full-back will be sought.
And, Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo, who is on loan at Bayern Munich, is seen as the No. 1 target for the position. The Catalans would ideally want to sign the Portuguese ace on loan and will enlist Jorge Mendes’ help to complete the operation.
As alternatives, the likes of Juan Foyth, Jeremie Frimpong, and Arnau Martinez are on the list.
6. A new striker – Roque or Aubameyang
A new centre-forward is also very much on Barcelona’s agenda for the summer, with their sights set on a move for Vitor Roque. However, with complications anticipated in pursuit of the Brazilian sensation, Chelsea veteran Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is seen as Plan B.
Apart from these six priorities, the potential signing of Ruben Neves to strengthen the midfield unit further is seen as a bonus.