Boca Juniors talent included in Barcelona shortlist for Sergio Busquets replacement

Barcelona continue to search for the answer to the looming problem in their midfield, with the latest name to come out located in Argentina.

Following the rapid rise of Enzo Fernandez with Argentina and Benfica, it might have encouraged clubs to look more closely at Boca Juniors’ Alan Varela.

The 21-year-old actually attended one of Barcelona’s international academies in Buenos Aires before moving to Boca, as per Sport, where he has continued to grow at the base of midfield. Far smaller than Busquets, Varela does have a similar technique that has developed at the base of midfield in front of the defence.

Sport say that Boca are looking for €20m, but Fabrizio Romano has contrasted that information by claiming that he has a $15m release clause in his contract.

Barcelona turned down the opportunity to sign Fernandez previously as they did not want to spend a similar amount on a player that might have struggled to adapt from Argentina. While that may look like an oversight, given Barcelona’s tight finances, it makes sense.

They will be forced into a similar debate over Varela. Of the options that would cost money to replace Busquets, whose contract is expiring in June, he would be on the cheaper end of the scale. The risks – lack of experience in Europe, youth, level – are obviously higher as a result.

Stylistically, he does seem to have a similar ability to measure a pass perfectly, as Busquets does. Far younger, Varela also has the pace to get around the pitch and shut down attacks too.

Whether that translates to a different football is an unknown. Looking at Barcelona’s recruitment so far, the Blaugrana are attempting to win things in the immediate present. That might hurt Varela’s chances of moving to Barcelona, as Xavi Hernandez, already dealing with a young squad, may prefer a more experienced option.

Tags Alan Varela Barcelona Boca Juniors
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