BARCELONA

Barcelona target André Gomes valued at €65 million by Valencia

Technical Director Robert Fernández believes the Portuguese midfielder fits the Barcelona mould perfectly but budget constraints make a deal unlikely at this stage.

Barcelona target André Gomes valued at €65 million by Valencia
MIGUEL A. LOPES EFE

Robert Fernández, Barcelona’s Technical Director, is infatuated with Valencia’s 22 year-old midfielder André Gomes. But a transfer to the Camp Nou won’t come easily. AS sources suggest that the Portuguese midfielder won’t be allowed to leave Mestalla for less than €65 million. Valencia don’t plan to sell the player this summer and have already rejected bids from Manchester United and Juventus. They aren’t in any rush and are unlikely to accept anything other than a huge bid from Barcelona. Gomes currently has a €115 million release clause in his contract.

The Barcelona establishment sees Gomes as a player in the mould of club captain Andrés Iniesta, an organiser but above all a dynamic presence in the middle of the park. Two-footed, Gomes’ physical qualities would also stand out in Luis Enrique’s midfield.

André Gomes joined Valencia on a permanent basis in 2015 after a loan spell from Benfica.

Valencia’s summer transfer strategy isn’t all that stands in the way. Despite posting higher revenue figures than expected this year (€670 million as opposed to the forecast €632 million), Barcelona have set a €60 million transfer budget for this summer. Taking into account Marc Bartra’s €8 million move to Dortmund, the club has a budget of €68 million. Having already agreed on a €25 million offer with Lyon for defender Samuel Umtiti, the remaining budget is €43 million.

Barcelona also need a clear-out. The club need to find a buyer for Thomas Vermaelen and, despite Bartomeu’s insistence that he continue, Arda Turan. The Turkey captain has received overtures from Chinese clubs but is keen to prove himself at the Camp Nou. His poor season, compounded by an abysmal Euro 2016 campaign, has driven his transfer value down. Barcelona will be hoping to drive that price back up if they plan to submit a big-one money bid for Gomes.