All three candidates in the running to become Barcelona‘s next president have been planning how to reinforce the playing squad for some time.
It’s not an easy proposition given the club’s economic situation, so the priority has to be players whose contract ends in the summer and can be signed on a free.
That, according to Marca, is Victor Font‘s plan. He’s drawn up a list of eight players who fit that bill that Barcelona could target should he be successful in his presidential run at the expense of Joan Laporta and Toni Freixa.
The obvious one is Eric Garcia, who’s been a long-touted target. If it was up to Font the centre-back would already be at Barcelona, but he was overruled by Laporta and Freixa in executing a move for him this January.
He’s not the only Manchester City player Font has his eye on. Another is Sergio Aguero, the 32 year-old Argentine striker whose powers have waned in recent years but is still a killer. He’s also a close friend of Lionel Messi, so it could help Barcelona retain their club captain as well as acquiring a talented player.
David Alaba is a highly-sought after player, publicly wanted by Real Madrid among others. His quality is undisputed, but the issue with the Austrian would be his high salary, expected to be in the region of €10m net per season.
Another footballer clearly wanted by Ronald Koeman and Barcelona is Gini Wijnaldum of Liverpool. Koeman coached him for the Netherlands and the midfielder has so far resisted attempts on the part of Liverpool to renew his deal.
Juan Bernat, Paris Saint-Germain’s defender, is another option identified by Font’s team to reinforce the left-back position. Alaba would be the number-target in that respect, but Bernat is just 27 and is a good option to alternate with Jordi Alba.
Memphis Depay is another player Koeman clearly admires. A deal was close last summer only to be scuppered by a lack of funds. Koeman hopes to be able to bring him in during the summer when his contract with Lyon expires.
Given Neto has requested a move away from Barcelona, goalkeeper is a position that will need to be strengthened, and Font’s team have identified Granada’s Rui Silva as an option.
Finally, Milan midfielder Calhanoglu is also being considered. An attacking midfielder, he has many of the qualities appreciated at Camp Nou and given his contract with the Italians ends this coming summer a move for him could be on the cards.