Barcelona are reportedly plotting a move for Girona forward Cristhian Stuani, who has an expensive £21 million release clause.

According to Mundo Deportivo, as relayed by Daily Mail, Barcelona have identified Cristhian Stuani as their latest target. The Spanish giants are desperate to sign a new forward in this January transfer window after it was confirmed that Luis Suarez would miss four months due to injury.

However, Stuani’s rather expensive £21 million release clause could prove to be a problem in Barcelona’s pursuit of the ageing Girona star. As a result, they have already identified two potential alternatives in Rafael Leao and Gabriel Barbosa.

In that case, Barcelona will certainly rue missing out on signing Stuani last year, when he was reportedly available for just £6 million. The Girona star could have provided them with the ideal depth in the attacking department, mainly thanks to his years of experience at the highest level of football.

Indeed. Stuani is a well-travelled forward, having played for Albacete, Espanyol, Levante and Middlesbrough before moving to Girona in 2017. The 33-year-old has been in fine form since returning to Spain, notably scoring 21 league goals during his debut season for his new club. He followed that up with another impressive campaign in 2018/19, finding the back of the net 19 times.

Stuani headed to Barcelona? (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Stuani headed to Barcelona? (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Hardened by years of experience at the highest of football, Stuani’s maturity and commitment could ideally add a different dimension in Barcelona’s offensive unit.

That being said, it’s high time the Spanish giants look ahead to the future. Two of their main strikers in Lionel Messi and Suarez are already in the final phase of their respective careers, with the latter suffering with a host of fitness problems in the past couple of seasons.

Hence, Barcelona needs youthful exuberance in their attacking unit – someone who can not only provide a prospect for the future but also improve the overall quality of the side. That’s where, one would argue, alternatives like Leao and Barbosa could come into the fray.

Both the players have shown exceptional promise in recent years. But, at the same time, Barca should sign a more well-established individual than Leao while Gabrigol’s failures in Europe raises doubts over his capability of performing in Spain.

Another player Barcelona could potentially target, as an immediate replacement for the injured Suarez is former striker Paco Alcacer. The current Borussia Dortmund is facing an uncertain future at the club following the arrival of Erling Haaland and wouldn’t likely mind a return to Catalonia.

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