Barcelona are reportedly interested in Lazio star Luis Alberto, with the Catalans proposing a swap deal involving Denis Suarez to sign the former Liverpool man.
According to TransferMarketWeb, Barcelona are taking a keen interest in Lazio midfielder Luis Alberto. The player, formerly associated with Liverpool and Sevilla, is a summer target for the Catalans, with the club looking to offer Denis Suarez to Lazio in a swap deal to land the Spaniard.
Luis Alberto was touted to be a future mainstay in the midfield for Liverpool when he arrived at Anfield from Sevilla. The player though, never truly found his footing in the Premier League and was sent on loans to La Liga, where he did give a decent account of his abilities.
But, it was his move to Lazio that has seen him take great strides towards becoming the midfielder he was always earmarked to be. The 2017-18 season has seen Luis Alberto take on the mantle of being the creator and the finisher, with an amazing tally of 9 goals and 13 assists in Serie A, with 5 assists and a goal in 9 Europa League appearances to his name.
With the Spaniard finally laying his talent on the pitch for all to see, interest in him from the top clubs has ensued. But, perhaps, the biggest of them all is a club he has been at earlier – Barcelona. The player did spend a season on loan at Barcelona B before signing for Liverpool in the summer of 2013.
Barcelona have had a few troubles mapping the replacement plan for their star midfielder and veteran Andres Iniesta. The inability of the likes of Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes to consistently perform at the level required of a Barcelona starter was highlighted again as the Catalans succumbed to a horrific Champions League defeat to AS Roma, getting knocked out despite carrying over a seemingly unassailable 4-1 lead from the first leg.
Arthur has already agreed to move to Barcelona and should be in contention for starting places come next season. Now, make no mistake, Luis Alberto is not a natural midfielder, with the Spaniard revelling in the second striker role, playing on the shoulder of the main striker.
Alberto also has the ability to play in attacking midfield or on the left wing and perhaps it is his ability to play on the left that is interesting Barcelona. While Iniesta has been a central midfielder for ages, Ernesto Valverde has deployed the veteran on the left of a 4-4-2.
And with the legend touted to depart at the end of the season, Alberto is being eyed as a player with the potential to replace Iniesta on the left, with Valverde likely to stick to his 4-4-2.
The swap offer too, makes sense. With Arthur coming in and the natural promotion being provided to Carles Alena, the midfield will get somewhat overstaffed in the summer. Denis Suarez, along with Andre Gomes, seem to be the two potential sacrificial lambs when the transfer window reopens.
Unlike Denis, Gomes already has suitors in the Premier League who will be ready to pay the big bucks for the Portuguese. Thus, Barcelona’s swap offer to Lazio for Luis Alberto, with Denis Suarez moving the other way could be the perfect way for the club to move the midfielder from their books.
The scenario will depend on Lazio’s willingness to part ways with Luis Alberto and Barcelona might have to sweeten the deal with some money along with Denis Suarez to perhaps convince the Italian outfit. This though, looks like a deal that could work for Barcelona and one they could achieve without much hassle during the summer.