As the January transfer window nears its end, Barcelona want to make sure that all their cards have been played right. The technical board will meet today to discuss whether any acquisitions will be made, with Olmo, Pedro and Piatek all being potential options.
Barcelona’s moves in January have not been as heavy as has been seen in previous seasons, but the club has made some interesting moves: dismissing Ernesto Valverde and hiring Quique Setién, going for Matheus Fernandes, and a Barcelona B-striker in Rey Manaj, who would replace Abel Ruiz with the latter closing in on a loan move to Portuguese side Sporting.
Now, the club wants to make sure whether it needs to make more moves in the market before it closes on January 31, especially seeing as Luis Suárez’ injury will see the Uruguayan sidelined for around four months, after an operation on his knee was conducted.
According to Spanish news outlet, Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona’s technical board will meet today to discuss the feasibility of bringing in a new forward to replace Luis Suárez momentarily, and analyze the options in the market.
Three options that are on the table for Barcelona are Dinamo Zagreb, and former La Masia midfielder, Dani Olmo, Chelsea-winger Pedro Rodriguez, and Milan forward, Krzysztof Piatek.
Dani Olmo wants Barça, and Barça want him
Olmo reportedly has garnered interest from AC Milan, but his current club’s president, Mirko Barisic, categorically denied there being any contact from the club and Italy in general, when speaking with Italian outlet, Tutto Mercato Web, Thursday evening.
However, Olmo has, in the past, spoken about his love for Barcelona, hinting that he would love to return if the opportunity presented itself. Barisic has also said that Barcelona knocking on the door for Olmo would be ‘a different matter’.
Moreover, the player’s agent, Andy Bara, has confirmed to Croatian news outlet GOL.hr that there has been an official offer made by Barça to bring the ex-Barça man back to the Camp Nou.
Mundo Deportivo report that Barcelona indeed are interested in Olmo, but are not willing to pay the 30 million euro price tag, his current club has on him. This does seem very likely, especially given that Dinamo Zagreb’s president called the 30 million price tag ‘a good figure’.
So, Dani Olmo reportedly is a target for Barcelona, but it remains to be seen whether they will be able to reach an agreement with Zagreb over a sum that suits all parties.
A return for Pedro Rodriguez could be on the cards
Another option for Barça is Pedro Rodriguez, claims Mundo Deportivo, as the player has offered himself to the club on several occasions, even publicly. It is worth noting that his contract with his current club Chelsea expires in the summer, which means that he is free to negotiate with any club currently.
And, lastly, Krzysztof Piatek reportedly also is an option. With the arrival of Portuguese Rafael Leão, and a dip in form, Piatek has only managed four goals in 18 appearances, of which he has started in 14. He has featured in 73,39 percent of Milan’s matches so far in terms of minutes played, and with the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, his chances of playing time are looking much slimmer. Since the Swedish forward’s arrival, Piatek has featured 55 minutes in the last three games; he was benched for the entirety of the past two games.
A ‘no’ for Paco Alcácer
Due to this, Mundo Deportivo claim that he is an option for Barcelona, as he is not a player relied on by his current club, AC Milan, who now find themselves in eighth in the Serie A table, after their most recent managerial change which now sees Stefano Pioli taking the reins in the Italian club.
A name that has been mentioned is also former Barça and Valencia man, Paco Alcácer. Club sources have however categorically denied interest in bringing the Dortmund forward back to Barcelona, when probed by Mundo Deportivo on Sunday.
Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal’s futures in the air
Barcelona’s midfield has been suffering from injuries, and more recently, suspensions. Frenkie de Jong did not feature in the game against Granada on Sunday, as he had to serve a suspension in the league, and Arthur was not able to start having just returned from his injury. Carles Aleñá has been loaned out to Real Betis for the remainder of the season, and Oriol Busquets is loaned out to Dutch side FC Twente.
This does not leave Quique Setién with many options, and although there have been reports suggesting that both players will stay, especially the Chilean Arturo Vidal, Mundo Deportivo report that Barcelona will discuss the offers on the table for both the Chilean midfielder, and Ivan Rakitic, as well as offers for some of the club’s other players.
Rakitic has, reportedly, garnered interest from French side Paris Saint-Germain and Serie A giants Juventus, whereas Vidal is on Inter Milan’s shortlist. The offers at hand will be discussed by the club at today’s meeting, reports the Spanish news outlet, without any details having been leaked on what the offers entail specifically.
Rakitic’ contract with Barcelona runs out in 2021, having extended his contract back in 2017. As does Vidal’s contract, with the Chilean having signed for Barcelona in 2018, for 18 million euros per Radio Catalunya, after the departure of Aleix Vidal.