Three Transfers That Barcelona Are Expected To Complete In The Summer
Barcelona have had a poor season by their standards so far. Having crashed out of the UEFA Champions League at the quarter-finals stage, they are set to lose out on the La Liga title as well with Real Madrid the front-runners in the race. The only realistic chance of a trophy for the Catalans remains the Copa Del Rey where they have made it to the finals and will face Alaves. They are expected to win it quite easily.
Manager Luis Enrique has announced that he will be stepping down from his duties at the end of the season and if reports from The Express are anything to go by, it will be current Athletic Bilbao boss, Ernesto Valverde, who will be at the helm of the Blaugrana the next season.
Regardless of who takes over at the Camp Nou, Barcelona will need to be proactive in the transfer market and avoid making the same mistakes they did last summer. The signings of Paco Alcacer, Andre Gomes, and Lucas Digne have all been major flops and only Samuel Umtiti has looked the part in his first season with the Catalans. While some of the fringe players maybe allowed to leave, a number of new signings are expected to arrive. Here are three such transfer dealings that Barcelona are expected to complete in the upcoming window:
Kyle Walker From Tottenham Hotspur
The right-back department has been a big problem for Barca this campaign. Having let go of long-time servant Dani Alves, Enrique decided not to bring in fresh blood in the summer, leaving the team with just one option in Aleix Vidal who has spent almost the entire season on the treatment table, meaning they have had to use Sergi Roberto as the makeshift full-back.
While the Spaniard has done a decent job, a proper right-sided full-back will be a priority for the Catalans and they have earmarked Tottenham Hotspur’s Kyle Walker as their No. 1 target according to The Sun. The 26-year old has easily been the best right-back in the Premier League this season, but a recent tiff with manager Mauricio Pochettino has cast doubts on his future at the North London club.
With the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United also in the tussle for the player, the deal may turn out to be a difficult one to pull off, but Barcelona will need to complete this one if they are to compete better next season.
Oriol Romeu From Southampton
Barcelona are interested in bringing back former academy graduate Oriol Romeu from Premier League club Southampton in the summer, as reported by The Sun.
The 25-year old has grown into one of the most devastating defensive midfielders in the English top flight since his move to the St. Mary’s two years back. The tenacity and the strong presence that he will bring to the midfield is something that Barcelona have lacked in their squad and as a result, they are looking to make a move for him in the summer.
The player too is reportedly interested in a return to his home, after having left the club with just one appearance for the senior team. A lot will hinge on what the new manager will want, but this one is expected to go through if Barcelona come calling.
Vitolo From Sevilla
Barcelona are also reported to be in the hunt for Sevilla’s versatile attacking midfielder along with Manchester City and Atletico Madrid. This is according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo.
The 27-year old Spanish international has enjoyed a good season with Jorge Sampaoli’s side, having managed to score 4 goals and set up a further 9 strikes in all competitions. The reports claim that Barca’s sporting director Robert Fernandez is a fan of the player’s versatility and is keen on completing a move for him in the summer.
The player also revealed earlier that he was flattered by the interest from Barcelona and left the door open for a move in the summer. As quoted by The Express, he said:
“It is always flattering that the big clubs think (about signing me). That’s the truth. It’s nice. My agent deals with these things and I focus on playing football. I have a contract, that’s the first thing, and I am very happy here. But from there, if there are offers and the club listen them, we’ll see what can happen. It is a matter of seeing if there is something interesting for every party.”
When a club like Barcelona comes calling, no player would turn down the opportunity. So it should be easy for the Catalans to complete a deal for the Sevilla man.