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Amadou Onana Tops Barcelona’s Wishlist as Deco Eyes Midfield Revamp

Amadou Onana / Getty Images
Amadou Onana / Getty Images

Deco is actively strategizing to bolster the midfield for the 2024-25 season.

Regardless of who coaches Barcelona next season, whether Xavi remains on the sidelines or not, the sports management has been diligently working for months on shaping the squad for the 2024-25 campaign. Deco, the head of the department, has identified midfield reinforcement as a key priority, particularly to address the void left by Sergio Busquets. While Oriol Romeu temporarily filled Busquets’ position last summer, his performance has fallen short due to persistent knee issues, prompting Xavi to experiment with Andreas Christensen in recent weeks, although Christensen is not a natural fit for the midfield role. Although Frenkie de Jong and Gündogan can play in midfield, Deco prefers them in more advanced positions.

According to Ferran Correas of SPORT, Deco has compiled a list of potential midfielders over the months, considering the absence of immediate solutions from the youth team. Additionally, the club must consider financial fair play regulations when making final decisions. At the top of Deco’s list is Amadou Onana, a highly coveted midfielder from Everton known for his physical prowess, positional play, aerial ability, and attacking prowess. Onana, aged 22 and born in Senegal but representing Belgium internationally, has attracted interest from Barcelona. However, Everton values him at €60 million, a figure beyond Barcelona’s budget, although negotiations may proceed if the player’s price decreases. Barcelona is also monitoring Everton’s Premier League status, as a relegation could lower Onana’s price. Other midfield targets include Joshua Kimmich, who Xavi pursued last summer, with reports suggesting Bayern Munich may be willing to sell due to his contract expiring in 2025.

However, Kimmich’s high wage demands and Premier League competition pose challenges. Deco also favors Mats Wieffer from Feyenoord, endorsed by Gio van Bronckhorst, offering positional awareness, passing ability, and versatility at a more affordable price. Lastly, Aleix Garcia from Girona remains on Deco’s radar due to his contributions to Girona’s successful season, despite being more of an attacking midfielder than a traditional central midfielder. With a €15 million release clause, Garcia represents a cost-effective option, with potential player exchanges also being considered in any potential deals.