For some time now the board at Camp Nou has been plotting a minor rebuild of the squad ahead of the 2017-18 season. The idea is to sign two young full backs, one for either flank, and a central midfielder. The latter position is open to question as Barça are considering either an all-rounder who can play in the middle or out wide or a playmaker in the mold of Andrés Iniesta who can also drop back to pull the strings from a deeper role.
What Barça are sure of are the names of their targets. For the right back slot the Camp Nou wants to sign Arsenal’s Héctor Bellerín while Atlético’s left-sided full back Theo Hernández, who has been impressive on loan at Alavés this season, is the primary candidate for the left.
In midfield Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool and Marco Verratti of Paris Saint-Germain have emerged as Barça’s main players of interest to reinforce the midfield positions and have been endorsed by Barça legends past and present.
Arda and Mathieu on the market
However, Barça president José María Bartomeu knows that the club will have to sell before they can splash out in the transfer market. Barça have only about 25 million euros to spend at the moment after landing André Gomes from Valencia last summer and some players will have to be shipped out before Bartomeu can reach for his cheque book. Arda Turan and Jeremy Mathieu are the most likely to leave in the summer and the Turkey international has been the subject of big-money interest from China.
To land Theo Barça will have to meet his release clause of 24 million euros while Bellerín is valued at around 30 million. Any move for Coutinho or Verratti is likely to be considerably more expensive and a lot will depend on how much Barça can recoup in sales as they seek to refresh their midfield options.
- Roque Mesa1007Passes
*Update 30 de abril de 2017