Barcelona’s hunt for Sergio Busquets’ replacement is well and truly on, with numerous targets being considered by the club.
Although Busquets has yet to officially announce that he will depart the club when his contract expires at the end of the season, reports have stated that he will not renew despite Xavi’s attempts to convince the 34-year-old.
The likes of N’Golo Kante, Martin Zubimendi and Ruben Neves have all been linked with the Blaugrana as his replacement as the pivot in Barca’s three-man midfield. However, there seemed to be one target that club officials favoured above the rest.
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan was deemed to be the player that Barca wanted as their number one target, due to head coach Xavi’s belief that the German’s technical ability suited the role the best.
However, Sport now report that the club will no longer consider making an offer for Gundogan, who would be available for free at the end of the season, with the primary reason for their reluctance being his age. Being 32, and just two years younger than Busquets, Barca have deemed that Gundogan is too old to be signed as a long-term replacement.
This could lead to the German re-signing with Man City, with manager Pep Guardiola said to be very interested in keeping Gundogan at the Etihad Stadium.