FC Barcelona front faces a new transfer window with the ambition to accomplish the signings of players who can take their project to the next level. With the done deals of Íñigo Martínez or Gündogan and Vitor Roque on the way, the Catalans still have work to do in the midst of an array of potential targets.
Barça’s front office is still looking to reinforce several positions: a defensive midfielder, the main priority after Busquets‘ departure; a right-back, an offensive center-mid and, if possible, a left-winger.
The defensive midfielder, a priority for this transfer window:
The defensive midfielder must be and is the maximum priority for this transfer window. Barça’s executives have shown interest in many players such as Kimmich, Zubimendi, Amrabat, Palhinha, Florentino Luis, Guido Rodríguez or Brozovic. For one reason or another, a lot of them have fallen through. Joshua Kimmich would be the safest bet, but he would have to force his way out of Bayern, something that the German is not willing to do.
Realistically, Barça’s current best option is Marcelo Brozović, who will have to choose between them and Al-Nassr.
Koundé will not keep on playing right-back:
In terms of the right-back position, Fabrizio Romano assured that FC Barcelona is the headlining club in the race to sign João Cancelo. Meanwhile, there are reports linking Barça with Real Valladolid’s Iván Fresneda. There is also the option to keep on playing Koundé at full-back, but the player does not seem to be very keen on the idea.
Cancelo is a great player, but if Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel have sidelined him for, apparently, extra-sporting motives, something has to be wrong with the Portuguese. Moreover, with Cancelo, the system that Xavi implemented with a defensive right back: Koundé, and a very offensive left back: Jordi Alba or, especially, Alejandro Balde, would no longer be viable.
Scanning the market to sign an offensive midfielder:
The signing of a central attacking mid was going to be be the crowning jewel of Xavi Hernández’s project. The transfer window began with Messi, who chose to take his talents to Miami, or Bernardo Silva, who is apparently close to making a move to a Saudi Arabian club. Currently, many potential targets have surfaced like Giovanni Lo Celso or, in the las few hours, Arda Güler, Fenerbache’s 18-year-old wonderkid.
Xavi wants a player of their kind who can provide key passes and all the signs point towards Güler as the chosen one. The youngster is very talented, but also inexperienced.
‘First world problems’:
Lastly, the left wing. A ‘first world problem’ as Barça have good players on offense, but Xavi would like to reinforce the position. There are two main options: Abde and Carrasco.
Barcelona’s coach is enamored of Ferreira Carrasco’s game and would love to have him at his disposal. That is why Barça included an 18 million purchase clause for the Belgian as part of the deal that sent Memphis Depay to Atlético.
However, he would rather strengthen other positions, which brings Abde into the scene. There is a lot of chances that he ends up being sold as a result of the interest he generates around the market, but the club’s financial situation makes him a great alternative since he is already owned by FC Barcelona.
A complicated transfer window:
It is important to keep in mind how hard Barça currently has it when it comes to making moves in the transfer market. Not because they cannot afford to make them (it is absurd to think that a club and brand like FC Barcelona does not have any money) but as a result of their salary cap limitations.
Eduardo Romeu, Barça’s financial vice-president, explained that, when the new front office took control of the club, the roster’s payroll was 708 million and that they have managed to bring it down to 528 million.
In addition, the shadow of Bartomeu‘s management is still very present: 51 of the 528 million account for the wages of players who have been discarded by the club (Umtiti, Lenglet, Dest, Collado and Gustavo Maia).
Barça’s board is working hard to allow for an exciting and hopeful transfer window. Big moves are being made in the sporting and economic sides of the project and that effort should be appreciated by Culers.
Translated by Nuño Alonso.
Main image: @FCBarcelona_es.