Barcelona have identified Cesar Azpilicueta and Benjamin Henrichs as alternatives to Hector Bellerin, according to reports
According to Sport, Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez has begun making a list of potential targets at right back as the Catalans look to solve their right-back issues ahead of the next season.
They claim the Blaugranes are willing to spend a significant amount of money if they find the right player, with Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin – who has been constantly linked with a move back to his former club – a priority target this summer.
Bellerin himself described the fact that Barcelona were interested in him as “special” but given that the Spaniard only signed an extension with Arsenal back in November, tying him down to the club until 2023, the Gunners will flat out refuse to sell the 22-year old, especially given his potential.
Sport state that Barcelona are well aware of the complications involved in signing Bellerin this summer and as a result have begun identifying potential alternatives – which is where Azpilicueta and Henrichs come into the picture.
Sport claim that Barcelona have already scouted Bayern Leverkusen right back Henrichs on several occasions this season and with his attacking ability and technique, feel that he will be a good fit at the club.
Henrichs is highly rated in Germany and was described by Joachim Low as the most improved player in the Bundesliga, but the Catalans will likely face stiff competitions for the 20 year old as Bayern Munich and Manchester City are also interested in signing him.
Sport also state that Cesar Azpilicueta’s entourage have so far refused to deny Barcelona’s interest in the player and given that the Chelsea defender is Spanish, it is definitely a move that would interest him.
At 27 years of age, Azpilicueta is at the peak of his game and his versatility across the back four – he has been impressive in a three man defence this season and has been one of the most consistent full-backs in England since joining Chelsea – is sure to be a huge factor in Barcelona’s interest in him.
Sport claim that while Azpilicueta is happy in London he is open to offers from Barcelona but given that he also signed a new contract in December, Chelsea will be very reluctant to sell him and will not feel forced to do so.
Out of the two players, Henrichs is clearly the easier option for Barcelona and at 20, he could form a part of their defence for years to come. Either way, Barcelona will decide which target to pursue in the summer and there is sure to be plenty of talk about their interest in all three players over the next few months.