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Barcelona’s hunt for summer midfield reinforcement

Amadou Onana (left), Aleix Garcia (middle), Dion Lopy (right) / Edit done by PureBlaugrana
Amadou Onana (left), Aleix Garcia (middle), Dion Lopy (right) / Edit done by PureBlaugrana

Barcelona is tracking three midfielders to reinforce the squad this summer.

Securing a top defensive midfielder was one of Xavi Hernandez’s explicit requests that couldn’t be fulfilled due to FC Barcelona’s financial constraints following Sergio Busquets’ departure last season. Joshua Kimmich of Bayern Munich and Martín Zubimendi of Real Sociedad were the favorites of the Catalan coach, but neither was a pipe dream given the club’s economic situation. Eventually, Oriol Romeu from Girona arrived due to his familiarity with the Barça system, having been developed in La Masia, with just a €3.4 million investment. The Ulldecona native performed well in the first month until Frenkie de Jong got injured, after which Xavi started fielding Ilkay Gündogan and the Dutchman in front of the defence. However, a week after announcing his departure at the end of the season, Xavi opted for Andreas Christensen as the pivot.

Only an exceptional performance from the Dane until the end of the campaign could prompt Barcelona to reconsider their intention, regardless of the coach, to sign a top-notch midfielder. Naturally, the new Barcelona coach will have a say before making a significant signing in a strategic position for the club, especially considering the current footballing landscape where physicality is increasingly prioritized alongside technical quality. Therefore, aware of the deficiencies in that position, the sporting direction has been working for months to explore market options in line with Barcelona’s financial capabilities for the upcoming summer.

According to Fernando Polo of Mundo Deportivo, Amadou Onana, a Senegalese player naturalized Belgian from Everton, is in pole position among Barcelona’s favorites. There are very positive reports about him, according to Fernando Polo of Mundo Deportivo. At 22, he has established himself in the Premier League. The Barcelona club has been aware of his situation for months, but the competition, especially from English clubs with greater financial power than Barcelona, is undeniable. The uncertainty at Goodison Park, with the team in the relegation zone just one point above safety, might help reduce Onana’s cost if the Blues drop to the Championship, but Chelsea is also keeping tabs.

The player’s will should tilt the balance when the time comes. His contract expires in 2027. Another more affordable option is Dion Lopy, a Senegalese player from Almería, bottom of La Liga and almost certain to drop to the second division. At 22, he was a frustrated target in January, and his path remains open for the summer. His release clause is €40 million, but it’s assumed his probable departure wouldn’t reach that figure. Besides these two names, the sports management is monitoring some young pivots. Aleix Garcia, confirmed by Deco, is the name highlighted in red to strengthen the midfield position. The Girona midfielder is highly regarded at Barcelona, where they value his progression and outstanding season with the La Liga runner-up. At 26, with a contract until 2026, he is already an international player, and his cost would range between the €20 million in his release clause claimed by Girona and the €14 or €15 million believed by Barcelona as the final price.

Furthermore, the operation could be made more affordable with players of interest at Montilivi such as Eric Garcia and Pablo Torre, currently on loan there, Oriol Romeu, who couldn’t return to Girona in January, and even Mika Mármol, loaned by Barcelona to Las Palmas and highly praised by Quique Cárcel, Girona’s sporting director.