Barcelona’s hunt for a forward this summer has been well documented, and the La Liga champions have been linked with a number of strikers across Europe and South America. The latest striker to be linked with a move to the Nou Camp is Valencia’s Paco Alcacer.
The 22-year-old is a product of Valencia’s youth system and has made over 120 appearances for Los Che. Despite the horrendous season that Valencia endured last year, where they finished 12th in the La Liga and had three different managers, it was his best season in his career. He notched up 15 goals in 47 appearances for Valencia and was also named captain by Gary Neville in his short stint as manager.
According to Spanish publication Marca, Barcelona are in negotiations with Valencia over a possible move for the Spanish international. It is reported that he has a €80 million buy-out clause but it is highly unlikely the Catalans will be required to pay the full amount in order to prise him away from the Mestalla. After already having let go of Andre Gomes to Barcelona, Sofiane Feghouli to West Ham United and Shkodran Mustafi set for a move to Arsenal, it is yet to be seen if Valencia allow their captain to move after such a difficult summer. Barcelona youngster Sergi Samper is also expected to feature in the deal, possibly leaving on loan.
Barcelona and Luis Enrique will be all too wary of the consequences they face for being too reliant on the Messi, Neymar and Suarez trio. Should one of them get injured, they have nobody on the bench who would be able to come even close to bringing the same amount of quality to the side. Alcacer serves as a young, talented option who has spent his entire career in the La Liga with Valencia, barring a short stint at Getafe. With 113 league appearances and 33 goals under his belt, should the young Spaniard buy into Barcelona’s philosophy, he would be a good long-term replacement for a 29-year-old Luis Suarez, and allow the Uruguayan to get some much needed rest over the course of the season.