This summer will be important for both Real Madrid and Barcelona. Both clubs will be looking to strengthen their first team squads ahead of next season, and several positions are likely to be targeted by each team.
Real Madrid are still pushing to sign Jude Bellingham, and the player has been left frustrated with current club Borussia Dortmund in recent days as his asking price continues to rise. Los Blancos will hope to beat Manchester City and Liverpool to the signing of the English international.
Barcelona lost Memphis Depay and Hector Bellerin in January, and both will need replacing this summer. Club officials will also be looking to sign a defensive midfielder, especially if Sergio Busquets decided to leave when his contract expires in the summer.
Neither side is desperate for a central defender, but they have both been linked with a move for Manchester City and Spain’s Aymeric Laporte. Sport report that Laporte could be allowed to leave the Premier League champions this summer if they sign a suitable replacement.
However, both could require one if current players are let go. Nacho Fernandez is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to sign a new deal at Real Madrid, while Eric Garcia could be sold having rarely featured for Barcelona this season.
Aside from Nacho, Real Madrid do have quality in depth in central defence, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger as options for Carlo Ancelotti. On the off chance that Nacho does leave, Rafa Marin could be promoted from Castilla, having impressed from Raul’s side this season.
There’s no question that Barcelona need a quality centre back more. Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde are Xavi Hernandez’s quality options in the heart of defence, although the latter has been forced to play at right back for much of this season.
Garcia and Marcos Alonso are also options for Barcelona, but neither can really be considered as “strength in depth”. As such, Laporte would fit in better at the Blaugrana, although he’s likely to be less of a priority than a right back, which would allow Kounde to play centrally.
However, Barcelona’s financial problems are likely to prevent a deal from happening, unless Man City agree to sell Laporte on a cut-price deal. Furthermore, La Liga president has stated that Barca cannot sign anyone this summer, so they may not be able to do a deal at all.
Real Madrid would be better served diverting funds towards improving their options at right back, rather in central defence. For Barcelona, Laporte is not a priority, and is signings can be made, he should be at the bottom of the list.
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