This summer will be a big one for Barcelona. Their current financial predicament means that departures will be required in order to comply with La Liga regulations ahead of next season.
However, club officials are keen to build on this season’s successes so far, as they look to get back among Europe’s elite in the coming years. To do this, reinforcements will be required, with a focus on strengthening specific areas of Xavi Hernandez’s first team squad.
With the finances wrecking havoc, free transfers will be targeted for Barcelona as they look to sign players without making their situation worse. Moves for Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan and Roberto Firmino of Liverpool have been rumoured, but targets have been identified closer to home too.
One name that has emerged for a shock move in recent weeks has been Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio. The 27-year-old is out of contract at Los Blancos this summer, and he has reportedly turned down the club’s first renewal offer.
It was reported earlier this week that Asensio was willing to listen to a contract offer from Barcelona as he looks to plan for next season, and now FootballTransfers have stated that Asensio “will join” the Blaugrana this summer, with Raphinha to be sold as a result.
On the face of it, it is a move that makes very little sense for both Barcelona and Asensio himself. For the club, it is arguable that the 27-year-old is not an upgrade on any of the players that currently occupy the right wing in Xavi’s squad (Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha, Ferran Torres).
Furthermore, it is not a problem position for the club, even if Raphinha is not be sold in order to ease their financial issues. Dembele is undoubtedly first choice, while Torres is a very handy backup option. Looking beyond that, there are youngsters in the academy that could fill in of either are injured or suspended.
Simply, Asensio wouldn’t be a regular starter at Barcelona, and would likely occupy a similar role to the one that he is currently at Real Madrid. He’s at an age where he needs to be playing regularly, especially with his place in the Spanish national team under threat, and it just wouldn’t happen at Barcelona.
There’s little doubt that Asensio is a quality player, and he would be a good addition to the Barcelona squad, but there’s little value in him joining when there is already arguably too many options on the right wing at the moment. It may make sense if the sense that the club can cash in on Raphinha and replace him for nothing with Asensio, but it’d be much more beneficial for all involved if a young player was drafted into Xavi’s squad instead.
Asensio has been linked with a move to the Premier League if he does indeed leave Real Madrid, and that’s certainly a more likely move than Barcelona. He’s been a very good servant for Los Blancos, but it’s understandable if he does decide to move on for more first team opportunities.