Analysis: Evaluating Barcelona’s midfield targets ahead of this summer’s transfer window

Mateu Alemany and Deco will have a serious job on their hands this summer, as Barcelona face a very important transfer window, on the back of their first LaLiga title in four seasons.

Barcelona will need to sell players in order to improve their financial situation, but reinforcements will also be required as Xavi Hernandez seeks to have his first team squad strengthened ahead of next season.

One of, if not the most important area that Barcelona will require reinforcements in is midfield. With Sergio Busquets, and possibly Franck Kessie on the way out, at least two new signings would be required in order to replace them.

A replacement for Busquets is the highest priority, and Barcelona’s top targets appear to be Joshua Kimmich and Martin Zubimendi. However, Real Sociedad expect the latter to stay this summer, and according to Sky Germany (via Sport), Bayern Munich have no intention of letting Kimmich leave.

It appears to be very unlikely that Barcelona will be unable to sign either Kimmich or Zubimendi, although the latter would have been an ideal Busquets replacement. As such, other targets will be likely, and Sofyan Amrabat is another that has been heavily linked.

Fiorentina are reportedly open to selling this summer, and if Kimmich and Zubimendi are unavailable, Amrabat could be the next best option.

Although the Moroccan would be a good signing, he is not better than either of the aforementioned two, and the price would have to be right in order for Barcelona to properly pursue a deal this summer.

In terms of Kessie replacements/upgrades, there have been two that are reportedly close to signing. Ilkay Gundogan, whose contract at Manchester City is expiring at the end of the season, has been in talks with Barcelona for a while, and he would be an excellent addition for next season and beyond, despite being 32.

However, given that Man City have offered Gundogan a new contract with better terms, Barcelona’s chances of signing the German international are much lower than before.

The other name that has been rumoured is Ruben Neves. Despite Xavi having disapproved of a deal for the Wolves midfielder, it appears that this one will be happening this summer, as personal terms have been agreed.

Jorge Mendes is Neves’ representative, and the Portuguese super-agent is very close with Barcelona and Joan Laporta, so a deal looks to have been done in this regard.

As a Kessie replacement, he is not too bad but if Barcelona miss out on Gundogan, signing Neves as an alternative would be massively underwhelming. Although he has been impressive for Wolves, he does not improve Barcelona’s midfield, at least on paper.

Alemany and Deco will have their work cut out this summer as they search for midfield targets. It is critical that Barcelona effectively replace Busquets, and signing Gundogan on top of that would represent a successful window, especially if they can also signing Fabricio Diaz.

Tags Barcelona Ilkay Gundogan Joshua Kimmich Martin Zubimendi Ruben Neves Sofyan Amrabat
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