After enjoying a largely successful January transfer window, Barcelona are sketching out plans for the summer. Much like last summer, the Catalans will once again be targeting free transfer swoops due to their financial situation.
Several soon-to-be free agents have been linked with a move to Camp Nou, with the latest being Inter Milan midfielder Marcelo Brozovic. The Croatian international is widely regarded as one of the best in his position in Italy and Europe and has been an integral member of the Nerazzurri outfit for years.
However, with his contract nearing expiry, speculation over his future has stirred up, Barcelona emerging as a potential suitor. And, we look at three reasons why manager Xavi Hernandez could be targeting a summer swoop for the 29-year-old midfielder.
An opportunity too good to turn down
As iterated earlier, Brozovic is one of the best defensive midfielders going around and has been integral to Inter Milan’s recent success. And the possibility of signing a player of his ilk and pedigree on a free transfer does not come around too often.
Brozovic is in the final six months of his contract with the reigning Serie A champions. While there have been claims that he could extend his stay at the San Siro, an agreement is still some way away from being finalised, thus leaving the door for Barcelona to make a move.
Someone who has played over 270 games for one of the giants of European football and has 70 caps for the Croatian national team, Brozovic, on a Bosman deal, would be a coup for the Blaugrana.
A replacement/alternative to Busquets
What makes Brozovic such an appealing prospect for Barcelona, beyond his potential free agency, is that he fits the profile of midfielders that the club are extensively looking for, for quite some time now.
The Catalan giants are over-reliant on captain Sergio Busquets in the No. 6 position and do not have any proper alternative for him in the roster currently. As he continues to get older with each passing day, it has become important for the Blaugrana to bring in a player, who can allow the manager to rotate Busquets and eventually replace him.
Brozovic is a player who fits to the tee. At 29, he still has plenty left to offer at the highest level and can allow Barcelona to slowly phase Busquets out of the first-team picture over the coming year.
A good fit in Xavi’s plans
Like Busquets, Brozovic excels while playing in the deepest position in the middle of the park. Adept at making ball recoveries and withstanding opposition press, the Croatian international also possesses the range of distribution that allows him to start attacks, control and dictate play from the base of the midfield.
Someone with a calm head on his shoulders, the Inter Milan superstar also brings in his organisational skills to the table when the team are not in possession.
Furthermore, considering that most of Barcelona’s midfielders are still on the younger side, adding someone of Brozovic’s experience and know-how would brush off on player’s like Nico Gonzalez, Pedri and Gavi.