Ander Herrera and Ilkay Gundogan reportedly top Barcelona’s midfield wishlist for January as they look to compensate for Rafinha’s season-ending injury.
The Brazilian’s ACL tear, coupled with the departure of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta’s advancing years and Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano’s perceived inability to play as a double pivot means La Blaugrana are also keen on bolstering their central midfield options, having initially focused on adding wingers to their squad, claims Mundo Deportivo.
Herrera and Gundogan are understood to be Barca’s joint-top targets, alongside Paul Pogba, Marco Verratti, Lars Bender and wonderkids Riechedly Bazoer and Youri Tielemans of Ajax and Anderlecht respectively.
Gundogan, 24, was reportedly close to joining Barca last year, only for a serious back injury to hinder any move, although club doctors have reassessed the player in a positive light.
Nonetheless, the Germany international extended his contract towards the end of last season and is considered to be playing his best football since the outbreak of his injury.
Elsewhere, Herrera’s rise to prominence at United has prompted Barca’s hand, more so given the 26-year-old has the same agent as Gerard Pique.
The former Real Zaragoza and Athletic Bilbao man arrived at Old Trafford for €36m in the summer of 2014, making it likely that only a significantly-higher fee would be enough to push through with talks.