Joan Laporta provided an accurate picture of Barcelona’s transfer plans heading into the summer transfer window when he spoke to the press earlier this week.
The president of the Catalan Club confirmed that a No. 9 and a right-back would be the primary targets come June. He maintained that the midfield was the most complete department in the squad with no further need for signings.
SPORT brings forth a contrasting report that reveals a possible area of difference between the manager and president. According to the outlet, Xavi Hernandez is insistent on bringing in a new midfielder. The Spanish tactician feels that the squad requires a new presence to take them to the next level and render them competitive in Europe.
Ilkay Gundogan, in that sense, is a player who appeals to Xavi. The Manchester City player ticks all the boxes the Barcelona coach demands from experience, his contractual situation and tactical familiarity.
At 32 years of age, the German international would be one of Barcelona’s oldest midfielders next season if he makes the move. Yet, he has shown no signs of slowing down at Manchester City this season with six-goal contributions in 19 Premier League starts.
The veteran also arrives with the inbuilt advantage of knowing the team’s playing style. Having played under Pep Guardiola for over six seasons, he is well-accustomed to possession-based and quick-combination football.
Gundogan’s contract with Manchester City runs out in the summer, opening the window for Barcelona to sign him on a free transfer. Thus, his signature would be economically feasible for the Blaugranas who find their hands tied in terms of summer splurging.
Martin Zubimendi and Bernardo Silva are some of the other names that interest Xavi. However, both players would not come cheap in the summer, practically ruling out a potential transfer. Given the difference between Laporta and Xavi’s assessment of the situation, it remains to be seen as to who prevails.