Barcelona are reportedly trailing Juventus and Manchester City in the race to sign Wolves’ winger Adama Traore.
According to a report from ESPN, Barcelona’s hopes of re-signing former academy man Adama Traore have taken a dent as Juventus and Manchester City are currently leading the chase for the Wolves star.
Traore came through the youth ranks at Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy. However, the lack of a clear pathway to the first-team saw the winger leave the Catalans in 2015, signing for Aston Villa. But, having failed to make an impact, the 24-year-old left for Middlesbrough in 2016.
After two years with the Teessiders, Traore made the jump to Wolves in 2018, and he has thrived. While he had a decent enough debut season, the Spaniard has taken his game to a new level in the ongoing campaign. In 32 Premier League games this term, he has netted four goals and set up nine more.
This has led to a number of clubs taking an interest including Barcelona. The reigning La Liga champions have been tracking the progress of their former academy man ever since he left the club. With the future of Ousmane Dembele far from certain, a wide player of Traore’s ilk could be a good addition for the club.
However, as per the report, Barcelona will only make a move to sign the 24-year-old next year, as they are focused on clearing out unwanted players this summer in order to balance the books. This has opened up the window for Manchester City and Juventus to sneak ahead in the race to sign the winger.
Manchester City will be in the market for a new wide player after Leroy Sane completed a transfer to German champions Bayern Munich. Pep Guardiola has Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva as options, while Phil Foden has also been used on the flanks in recent matches.
However, David Silva’s imminent departure would mean both Foden and Bernardo are likely to be used more centrally, which presents the need of a new winger.
Juventus, on the other hand, want to reduce the average age of their attacking contingent, with Cristiano Ronaldo (35) and Juan Cuadrado (32) more or less nearing the final phase of their careers, while Douglas Costa has had a lot of injury issues.
In addition, Federico Bernardeschi has been linked with an exit for some time now, so it would make sense for the Serie A champions to consider bolstering the wide areas with the signing of Traore.
Traore still has three years left on his current contract with Wolves. However, he would be open to leaving the club should they fail to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. They are currently sixth in the table, seven points behind Leicester City in fourth.
As things stand, Barcelona can re-sign the 24-year-old only if he stays put at Wolves for another season. If he decides to move on at the end of the current season, they will pretty much be out of the running, as per the report. It remains to be seen how this transfer saga develops in the coming weeks, given that Liverpool are also eyeing Traore.