FC Barcelona have clear objectives regarding the summer transfer window and the priorities may seem shocking.
In the past few weeks, Barça was involved in the Messi saga even before the transfer window opened. There were reports being published every hour saying something different. However, now both the Argentinian superstar and Miami FC have made official their agreement which will see Leo playing in the MLS.
Now that the possibility of Messi coming back to Barcelona is gone, the club must now focus on other objectives. According to the Spanish reporter Javi Miguel from AS, the Catalans have ruled out signing a right-back and left-winger. In turn, the main priorities are a new pivot in the midfield, an offensive midfielder, and a striker.
The right-back (RB) position is one where the club has not had a reliable player in many seasons. During this past year, Jules Koundé did an amazing job covering that area. Nevertheless, it is not his natural position in the defense and he has been vocal about it. Sergi Roberto could play in that position, but Xavi sees him as a midfielder. This would leave the young Mexican defender, Julián Araujo as the only natural RB in the squad.
Furthermore, it has been rumored that Íñigo Martínez will arrive as a free agent to bolster the middle of the defense.
In the middle of the pitch, Busquets will leave a big gap. According to multiple reports, both Kimmich and Zubimendi are favored by Xavi to replace the no. 5. But, from a financial standpoint, both operations seem rather unrealistic. Another player that is also being constantly linked with Barcelona is Rúben Neves. In the case of the Portuguese player, his agent Jorge Mendes has been working hard to land his client with the Catalan giants. Finally, Sofyan Amrabat seems to be one of the main candidates to arrive at Barça and fill the position of pivot. He would possibly be the cheapest of all the options.
On the other hand, according to the report of Javi Miguel, Barcelona would also be interested in bringing on an offensive midfielder. A player that has a lot of people excited is Ilkay Gündogan. The 32-year-old has been having a spectacular season with Manchester City, scoring and assisting in crucial matches. Mundo Deportivo has reported that Barça is offering Gündogan a three-year contract in order to sway him away from City as a free agent, and that the player has given his go-ahead. The club expects to push forward with the deal after the Champions League final.
Regarding the forward positions in the squad, the club has not deemed it necessary to search for a new left-winger. According to Javi Miguel, Ez Abde will come back to Barça as a “low-cost” option. The Moroccan winger had a good season with Osasuna, displaying his prowess in the one-on-one and his amazing skills. Even though he does not have that much experience, Abde knows the style of play that the Catalan side would demand from him and could become a valuable asset.
Finally, the center forward position is one where Barcelona will look to bring someone new. The young Brazilian, Vitor Roque is seen as the ideal type of player to fit in the style of football Xavi wants in the team. During his interview with Gerard Romero and Jijantes FC, the Spanish manager gave a hint regarding Roque “There’s control around the situation. We’ve been waiting for him, and we’ve got it all under control. The financial situation will be decisive.”
Although Barcelona have made their intentions clear, they still massively depend on the financial aspect. This key factor could be the difference between having a great transfer window or a catastrophic one.