Barcelona have made some wonderful signings over the years. While the likes of Johan Cruyff, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Neymar Jr, and Luis Suárez were proven to be world-class, at the same time, few players will certainly fall into the disastrous category.
Despite being blessed with some of the world’s best coming through the ranks of the famous La Masia youth academy, Barcelona have spent big in the last decade or so. The Catalan giants have spent over €1 billion since the start of the 2014-15 season and only managed to win the Champions League once in that time frame.
Long gone are the days when Barcelona would succeed with the never-ending supply line of La Masia as they had to spent very little as compared to their arch-rivals Real Madrid – who were busy in scooping up the “Galacticos” with big bucks.
In spite of having one of the best squads in Europe, Barcelona’s goal of becoming the undisputed best team in the world is far from reality. The Catalan giants are still in search of the missing links of the jigsaw puzzle – players who can complement their club captain, Lionel Messi – and bring the much-desired Champions League crown back to the Camp Nou.
So, without further introduction, let’s have a look at three realistic signings that Barcelona can pull off in the summer.
#1 Lautaro Martínez
Inter Milan star Lautaro Martínez has been heavily linked with a switch to Barcelona for quite some time now. Martínez, who has made a name for himself in Italy with his ability to breakdown defences on his own, has predominantly seen his name associated with the Catalan giants. After joining Inter from Argentine outfit Racing Club in the summer of 2018 in a move worth €22.7 million, Martínez has already managed to significantly increase his stock.
The 22-year-old has been in scintillating form in the present campaign and has formed a formidable partnership with his partner in crime, Romelu Lukaku. The Argentine star has found the back of the net 16 times in all competitions this season, in addition to providing 4 assists.
Martínez first caught the eye of the Barcelona hierarchy after silencing the Camp Nou crowd just inside two minutes during Inter’s Champions League clash against the hosts back in October. Since then, the hugely talented attacker has been rated as a long term replacement for Luis Suárez, who is believed to be in the twilight stages of his Barcelona career.
According to Diario Sport, Barcelona have offered a cash-plus-players combo package to lure Martínez away from Inter. They have also claimed that the Catalan giants are willing to pay around €60 million-plus two players as a makeweight to land Messi’s compatriot at the Camp Nou. Although it is still early days, Lautaro Martínez to Barcelona seems to be on the cards, given the La Liga champions’ quest to replace their frontline marksman Luiz Suárez.
#2 Miralem Pjanic
Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic is another player who has been hugely linked with a possible move to Barcelona this summer. The 30-year-old Bosnia-Herzegovina international has been a huge hit since his move to the Old Lady from Serie A rivals AS Roma in the summer of 2016. The box-to-box workhorse has braced Juve’s midfield for years now with his all-round ability to dominate the central region of the midfield.
Recent reports have suggested that Barcelona are very much interested in getting the midfielder on board in a swap deal with their 23-year-old Brazilian midfielder, Arthur – who is yet to stamp his authority in a Blaugrana shirt.
Given the current situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a swap deal seems to be much more realistic than clubs splashing out millions in the transfer market. Moreover, recent comments from Juventus sporting director Fabricio Paratici has only added further fuel to this rumour.
“We are speaking with them as we are with many top clubs. It will be a peculiar summer. We need ideas, (something like) swap deals, and other new things for the next summer transfer market.”Paratici told Sky Sport Italia
#3 André Onana
Ajax goalkeeper André Onana’s name has popped out of nowhere to be linked with the Catalan giants. Despite starting his career at the youth level of Barca’s famous La Masia academy, Onana moved to Dutch side Ajax in 2014 and made his Eredivisie debut in the 2016-17 season. Since then, the shot-stopper has been the mainstay between the sticks for the Dutch giants, keeping 74 clean sheets in 178 appearances.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are still trying to negotiate a new deal for their undisputed number one, Marc-Andre ter Stagen, who is reportedly asking for a wage package of around €15 million per year. With Barcelona being partially handicapped with already excessive wages, it seems like the Catalan giants just simply cannot afford a wage package of this magnitude, if the Financial Fair Play regulations are to be taken into account.
In a recent interview with Canal+Afrique, Onana himself has expressed his desire of returning to the Camp Nou.
“Barca is my home. If I have to go back, I will go back. It’s hard to say because, with FC Barcelona, I am still in very good relations with the president, the coaches.”André Onana
It remains to be seen if the talented custodian indeed returns to Barcelona at the end of the season.
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