Barcelona are currrently waiting to find out whether Sergio Busquets will renew his deal with the club. It leaves them in something of a tricky situation ahead of the summer transfer window, unable to put into motion their plans should he stay or go.
However the Blaugrana will have identified all of their options regarding replacements for the 34-year-old lynchpin. Various members of the club’s hierarchy have been keen not to rush Busquets’ decision, making it clear that he can remain at the club if he wants – although that may come under condition of a salary cut.
In terms of replacements, one of the names that has lingered around Barcelona, likely due to his agent Jorge Mendes, is Ruben Neves. The Portuguese midfielder looks increasingly likely to exit Wolves in the next couple of seasons and Barcelona might work out for all parties.
However according to Fabrizio Romano, speaking in his daily column, the Blaugrana have their attention elsehwere.
“Rumours on Newcastle and Neves were around also in January but it was never close in the winter transfer window. He’s been discussed with Barcelona but they have different priorities for the summer including Zubimendi, so let’s see how they will decide to proceed.”
Those comments were made to Caught Offside, and while Martin Zubimendi might be their priority, there are a number of factors that must fall into place for the Blaugrana to make a deal happen.
The club claim they will be in a position to sign in the summer, but La Liga President Javier Tebas believes they will need to sell in order to buy this summer.
Even if he is Barcelona’s priority to come in for Busquets eventually too, they will have a hard job of ensuring they are Zubimendi’s priority too. The Basque midifielder is said to be keen on a move abroad and Arsenal are heavily interested.