The Stoke City full-back is a shock target for the Catalan giants.
There has been a huge void created on the right side of the defense for the Blaugranas after Dani Alves’ departed to the Italian champions in the summer. Aleix Vidal, after his €18 million transfer in the summer of 2015, was touted to be the rightful successor of Dani Alves, but things haven’t worked out as well as one would have thought.
Like Dani Alves, Aleix Vidal was signed from Sevilla, but his move couldn’t have been a more contrast to that of the Brazilian. Vidal had to wait till January 2016 to make his debut for Barcelona as the club were not allowed to register players due to a transfer ban. But soon after his debut, Luis Enrique lost confidence in the player, which has culminated in Vidal being completely ignored by the Barcelona head-coach in the ongoing season.
Aleix Vidal’s agent confirmed his client is indeed available in the market in the upcoming January window after becoming completely out-of-favour at Barcelona. He added talks with various clubs are ongoing, claiming top Italian sides are very interested in acquiring the services of Vidal.
“The player is still likely to be on the market because he’s not in Barcelona’s plans. We still have to find a solution. It’s definitely a rare and a unique chance for Italian clubs.”
“Milan? We’re waiting to see what happens. There are other teams like Inter and Napoli who we can already talk about. Aleix is a player who is very much appreciated, not just by those two clubs but by others as well.”
Sergi Roberto has re-invented himself as a marauding full-back in 2015/16, but some of his defending this season has left a lot to be desired. As such, Barcelona want to improve on that front, with former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson reported to be one of the prime targets for the club, as per English newspaper Daily Mail.
The newspaper states the club will try to loan Aleix Vidal in January and look to bring in an experienced full-back as a deputy to Sergi Roberto. Johnson, in his final year of contract with Stoke, is seen as viable and inexpensive option in the limited shortlist of potential right-backs.
Glen Johnson also has a mark of approval from striker Luis Suarez, who was a team-mate with the English defender during his time at Liverpool. The Uruguayan, in his autobiography wrote, “He (Glen Johnson) impressed me hugely. He has a combination of physical strength, power and intelligence and technically he’s so good.”
Daily Mail also add Shakthar Donetsk’s Darijo Srna is seen as an alternate option, but the Croatian full-back will need to prove his fitness if Barcelona are to make a bid for him.
Barcelona have been linked heavily with Juventus’ Stephan Lichtsteiner among various other defenders. A right-back in the upcoming window looks a certainty for Barcelona, as Luis Enrique plots to address the few short-comings of the team. But who remains the question.