Barcelona have reportedly set their sights on Valencia defender Jose Gaya as a potential replacement for Junior Firpo, who is deemed surplus to requirements.

According to a report from Spanish publication MARCA, Barcelona have identified Valencia captain Jose Gaya as one of the potential targets to bolster their left-back department.

The 25-year-old is a product of the Valencia youth academy. Having made his senior debut in 2012, Gaya became a first-team regular from 2014 and has gone on to rack up 243 appearances for Los Che, scoring five goals and setting up 26 more. After being handed the club captaincy this season, Gaya has featured 16 times in all competitions, contributing with three assists.

Barcelona are said to be in the market for a new left-back, with the club deeming Junior Firpo surplus to requirements. The 24-year-old has been at the club since the summer of 2019 but has not been able to displace the ageing Jordi Alba as the first-choice left-back for the Catalan giants.

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With the former Real Betis man failing to make the desired impact and Alba not getting any younger, Barcelona are drawing up plans to replace Firpo in the immediate sense and also secure a long-term successor for Alba. And, Gaya has emerged as a viable target for the Blaugrana.

However, the Valencia skipper is not the only player that Ronald Koeman’s side are looking at. It is claimed that the Blaugrana are also considering Alfonso Pedraza of Villarreal while Manchester City’s Angelino, who is impressing currently on loan at RB Leipzig, is also a transfer candidate.

Given his experience at this level and his proven credentials, Gaya would prove to be a fine signing for Barcelona. At 25, the 12-time capped Spanish international has his best years ahead of him and would be primed to take over as the club’s senior centre-back in a year or two when Alba decides to move on or hang up his boots.

It would also allow academy products Juan Miranda and Alejandro Balde to get more experience and act as understudies for Gaya. But, any move for the Valencia captain is likely to have to wait till the summer transfer window, with Barcelona deciding to not offload Firpo in the ongoing transfer window.

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