Sources: Barça keen on signing DM, full-backs


Barcelona are searching the market for a defensive midfielder and two full-backs as they step up their planning for next season, sources have told ESPN.

Coach Xavi Hernandez wants two players for each position in the squad and feels competition is needed for Oriol Romeu at the base of the midfield.

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Barça are also eyeing a full-back for each side of the back four to improve on Sergi Roberto and Marcos Alonso, who are the backups to João Cancelo and Alejandro Balde.

However, Barça’s financial position means they have to target players who are either without a club or who are moving into the final years of their contracts.

Romeu, 32, joined Barça before the season started as a low-cost option to cover the departure of Sergio Busquets, who left for Inter Miami.

Sources told ESPN that Joshua Kimmich was also offered to Barça in the summer. The Catalan club could not afford a deal at the time but continue to monitor the Germán midfielder’s situation in the belief Bayern Munich could negotiate a transfer at the end of the campaign with his contract expiring in 2025.

Xavi is a big fan of Kimmich, with Arsenal’s Jorginho, Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara and Real Betis’ Guido Rodríguez some of the other names on the table.

The situation is different in the full-back positions, where Xavi is happy with the performances of Cancelo, who is on loan from Manchester City, and Balde.

However, Cancelo’s long-term future is uncertain. Barça don’t have an option to make the move permanent and will have to negotiate a fee with City.

Regardless of that, sources explain Barcelona still want two new full-backs because Roberto and Alonso are both in the final year of their contracts.

Villarreal’s Juan Foyth has always been an option but the cost of a deal could prove prohibitive. Villarreal wanted Foyth’s €54.6 million ($57.88m) release clause last summer and he has a contract until 2026, although Barça believe they could be more receptive to offers moving forward.

The LaLiga side had lost several important players last year, including Giovani Lo Celso, Pau Torres, Nicolas Jackson and Samu Chukwueze, and were reluctant to let anyone else leave.

Xavi also wants a new striker to compete with and eventually replace Robert Lewandowski, with a deal already in place to sign Athletico Paranaense’s Vitor Roque.

Roque, 18, will make the move either in January or next summer, depending on when Barça are able to register him with LaLiga.


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