Barcelona are pursuing low-cost transfers for at least the net two windows, and as Director of Football Mateu Alemany has shown, he is keen to bring in free transfers.
One player who will be free to negotiate in just over a month is Borussia Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko. The 18-year-old has been in impressive form this season and made it into the Germany World Cup squad.
As per Sport, he will prioritise his continuity at Dortmund, but wants assurances about Champions League football and an affordable release clause, a la Erling Haaland. Should he be available, Barcelona will do what they can to bring him in within their salary structure.
Where exactly would he fit in at Barcelona though? The Blaugrana can already call on significant depth up front and Moukoko would be another piece for Xavi Hernandez to fit in.
Moukoko has six goals and four assists in his 14 Bundesliga appearances this season, just eight of which were starts. That goes to show his goalscoring knack and coming through as a youngster, Moukoko often operated as a lone striker.
Technically gifted and capable with both feet, Moukoko’s movement stands out and he is more than adept at creating space for himself. Generally, Edin Terzic has used him through the middle, although at times Moukoko has fallen to the left side. That was evident in the Champions League against Sevilla when he beat his man and provided an excellent cross during their 4-1 victory at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
If there is a weakness that has been highlighted with Moukoko, it might be his aerial game. While not ideal for Barcelona, theoretically it is not something that Barcelona rely on too much from their forwards.
Capable of gliding past his marker, and with the added advantage of being able to attack with more space, Moukoko could play on the left. Ultimately, he will likely end up being a central striker sooner or later in his career though.
While Ferran Torres, Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha all prefer to play on the right, one generally has had to compete with Ansu Fati for a spot on the left. He could be the back-up to Robert Lewandowski, learning from the Polish striker, but most would consider him too good to be starved of minutes.
If Barcelona did want to bring in the German international, it would likely precipitate the departure of another of their options. That is possible, with Ousmane Dembele likely to either renew his contract or be sold this coming summer.
Even then, Moukoko would have to compete with Ansu Fati for minutes on the left or try to take Lewandowski’s spot from him. Although the pair are different in profile, Moukoko and Fati are somewhat of a duplicate in terms of a role in the squad, as the young rising star up front.
While Moukoko makes sense financially and every club would be delighted to have him on board, it might be a tricky sell to the player himself in terms of his role in the side.