Barcelona and Real Madrid are keen to start their recruitment of stars much younger these days, and the latest on the Blaugrana radar is German wonderkid Florian Wirtz.
In the knowledge that they may struggle to bring in the best players in the world currently, the big two in Spain are attempting to sign top talents earlier. The latest to catch the attention of Barcelona is 19-year-old Wirtz.
Missing much of this season while recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, Wirtz has returned to the side and returned to form at Bayer Leverkusen. Xabi Alonso’s side are on the up, and Wirtz’s performance against Bayern Munich in their 2-1 win made many clubs sit up and take notice.
The track leading to Florian Wirtz is currently 'cold' for Bayern. Player under contract until 2027 and is too expensive. Barcelona have made contact with the player's father/agent Hans Wirtz to enquire about the situation. Summer move is ruled out. Earliest is 2024 [@Plettigoal] pic.twitter.com/mEF1smLJ9S
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) March 20, 2023
According to reports coming out of Germany from Florian Plettenberg (as referenced by Diario AS), Barcelona have been in contact with Wirtz’s father and agent Hans. They wanted to know more about a future move, while Plettenberg remarks that no move will happen before 2024. Bayern are also interested, but the trail is described as ‘cold’ for them.
That timeline probably suits Barcelona, as they would be unable to afford a major bid for Wirtz before 2024 – it may well be a struggle then too. While Wirtz might be one of the most talented players of his generation, it seems unlikely they will prioritise his arrival with Pedri, Gavi and Frenkie de Jong all still with long futures at the club ahead of them.