Junior Firpo could set for an extended stay at Barcelona following the club’s change of heart upon his potential departure.
A new report from Marca has shed some light on Junior Firpo’s situation at Barcelona. The left-back was initially expected to leave Camp Nou in the ongoing January transfer window, with Granada one of the clubs being interested in his services. However, it appears Barca are now unwilling to offload the defender, amid fears over lack of squad depth.
A primary reason behind the club’s reported change of heart is the lack of a lucrative offer from interested parties. While Granada, as mentioned earlier, have run an inquiry, no one really has tabled an offer that meets Barcelona’s financial demands. As a result, the Blaugrana are now keen on keeping hold of Firpo this month.
The club fears that the potential departure of the young full-back, that too with a lack of a good financial incentive, could usher in more problems at the club. It could primarily strip them of a reliable alternative for first-choice left-back Jordi Alba, especially at a time when Ronald Koeman requires reinforcements in other areas of the pitch.
Indeed, the Catalans have been eyeing a move for a new central defender this month as they look to tackle with the injuries of Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti. Barcelona had identified Manchester City youngster Eric Garcia as a priority target in this winter transfer window, but no progress has been made in that regard.
They have most recently linked with a move for Melayro Bogarde, though the Hoffenheim youngster could only be available in the summer. It is enough to reflect the fact that Barca have had a tough window so far and signing a quality replacement for Firpo could get even more difficult considering the financial climate every European club is going through at the moment.
As for Firpo, an extended stay at Camp Nou might serve as a blessing in disguise. The 24-year-old will be well aware of the fact that any injury to Alba could make him the first-choice left-back during the second half of the campaign, thus giving him one last opportunity to showcase his talents.
While Koeman will be hoping that his side is not dealt with further injury problems, it will be important for him and Barcelona for Firpo to remain vigilant and make the most out of his chances.