It’s common knowledge at this point that despite their summer spending spree, Barcelona plans to test the waters of the market once again. The Catalans have their eyes set on winning La Liga and want to improve their team so they can take the title away from Real Madrid.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona’s sports department has prioritized two spots for improvement this winter.
Xavi Hernandez and Barça have made it no secret that they are desperate for a right back. The Blaugrana also want to add an inside midfielder to their roster.
The poor performance of summer acquisition Hector Bellerin, who was never a top priority for the club, has necessitated the search for a replacement right-back. The signing of the Spaniard was a last-ditch effort after they missed out on signing top-tier players like Cesar Azpilicueta and Juan Foyth.
Unfortunately, Bellerin’s underachievement has resulted in Xavi having to rely on players like Jules Kounde and Alejandro Balde as temporary right-backs.
In January, it was expected that Barcelona would try to sign a pivot midfielder to replace Sergio Busquets. However, the report claims that Xavi and company are interested in signing an interior midfielder who can help them exert more control and dominance in games.
That’s why they went after Bernardo Silva in the summer, and although doing business with him is still on the table, doing so in the next winter transfer window is seen as improbable. His colleague Ilkay Gundogan, though, has recently been a probable transfer target for the club.
The German international is thought to be a good fit because his playing style complements Xavi’s vision for Barcelona and his experience would serve as a valuable teaching tool for younger players like Pedri and Gavi.
However, the Catalans cannot make any acquisitions without first receiving approval from La Liga. Current president Joan Laporta has declared that they would be unable to make any January signings owing to Fair Play restrictions.
However, efforts are underway to address the subject as the club looks to rectify the issue with La Liga in order to make recruitments. Manager Xavi sees club veteran Sergi Roberto as a potential solution if Barcelona cannot strengthen both positions.
This means that Roberto will be asked to play in the centre of the field, where he is more comfortable if the Catalans acquire a new right-back but are unable to add a new midfielder. In the alternative scenario, where the club fails to sign a new right-back, Roberto will be counted on to fill in at the position where he was performing well prior to his injury.
Barcelona will enter the January transfer market hoping to resolve its financial stability problems and add reinforcements.