Barcelona have been very clear that they will pursue free agents under the guidance of Mateu Alemany, as they attempt to manage their salary limit issues over the coming seasons.
Last summer Barcelona brought in Andreas Christensen and Frank Kessie on pre-agreed contracts, which has so far produced varying levels of success.
Kessie has failed to make a major impact on Barcelona this season, but does have his work cut out. Always likely to be a rotational option at any rate, Gavi, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets are clearly ahead in the pecking order this season.
Meanwhile Andreas Christensen has gone from strength to strength. It was presumed by the vast majority that the Danish defender would be a rotational option himself, with Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde occupying the central roles. Yet Christensen has forced his way into the side, forming a solid block alongside the Uruguayan with Kounde on the right.
Barcelona saw Gerard Pique retire in November after the veteran barely saw any game time until an injury crisis required him to step in. Regardless it seems that Pique was forced out in part for financial reasons, with his delayed salary weighing heavy on the club.
It leaves Barcelona with four central defenders currently, counting the three mentioned and Eric Garcia. Given Garcia has struggled for minutes in recent months, only being used to rest the others, it is surprising that Todofichajes have reported that Barcelona have a pre-contract agreement with Evan Ndicka.
The French centre-back, 23, was an option for Paris Saint-Germain in January but after Eintracht Frankfurt rejected their bid, Ndicka has decided to commit to Barcelona ahead of next season, provided the news is accurate.
It would once again leave the Blaugrana with five central defenders. Despite Araujo’s fitness issues, all signs would point to this being one too many for Xavi Hernandez. With Barcelona struggling to register deals currently due to their salary limit, it would be a questionable use of resources, when the squad could likely do with another right-back, midfielder or forward before a central defender. Especially when considering Xavi has shown that he trusts Marcos Alonso as an emergency centre-back.
Perhaps the Ndicka move is instructive though. If Alemany sees it as necessary to bring in another central defender, it might hint at one of two things.
One of them would be that Barcelona are preparing for a summer departure in that area. While various sources claim the Blaugrana will need to make a major sale next summer, it would be strange to see them let Kounde, Christensen or Araujo out the door. It may be that Garcia looks for a new destination where he can play more minutes. The Catalan defender has been good in fits and bursts, but it looks unlikely he will be a key player at Can Barca for some time.
It could also hint at Barcelona giving up on the idea of bringing in a quality right-back in the summer. With Kounde performing well there, the hierarchy may have decided to roll with the Frenchman on the right as a more permanent solution. It would no doubt be to the chagrin of Kounde, but without the resources to bring in a quality right-back, Ndicka could compete with Christensen and Araujo.
For me it will be a great addition on sporting economic levels – if we sell Kessie for example that will rope in some cash despite getting him for free just lk Aubameyang; the only problem will be signing players who have only 1/2 years left on the high levels. Let’s roping in gud young free players that can generate funds on resale value.. if Ndicka comes in and can perform than Garcia then he shld be sold or use Ndicka as DMF while Kessie leaves..we need striker, 2 wingers and a young RB that can push KOUNDE- kounde ain’t a RB and that flaws is always visible when he overlaps or trying to defend