FC Barcelona are bracing themselves for a West Ham raid, for the services of their second choice goalkeeper Neto this summer.
According to an exclusive report from Mundo Deportivo, West Ham have emerged as a potential destination for Neto this summer. The Barcelona goalkeeper is expected to be offloaded, as the Catalan giants look to cut their costs by getting rid of experienced individuals, especially in the goalkeeping department.
It has put West Ham on red alert, as the Hammers are keen on signing such experienced players that could be useful in helping them in the UEFA Europa League next season. Neto is believed to be among the top candidates, with FC Barcelona hoping to recoup around €12 million for his services in the summer.
Neto initially joined Barca in the summer of 2019, as the main alternative for Marc-Andre ter Stegen and a replacement for Jasper Cillessen, who moved the other way around to Valencia.
The Brazilian, unfortunately, has endured a tough spell at Catalonia, making a total of just 17 appearances in his ongoing two-year stint. He has been trailing ter Stegen in the pecking order, with not many hopes of becoming the club’s number one anytime soon, although the German’s recent injury did offer an opportunity for him to feature in the starting eleven in the final match of the campaign.
Despite his lack of game-time, though, Neto is quite expensive as far as his wage-packet is concerned. Barcelona, therefore, are keen on offloading him in favour of some additional financial boost, and promote youngsters like Arnau Tenas and Inaki Pena.
Such expensive wages, however, won’t be a problem for West Ham, who are looking for someone who can compete with the ageing Lukasz Fabianski in goal next season. Neto’s experience and pedigree at the highest level of football make him an ideal option for the Hammers, although they could potentially face stiff competition from fellow London club Arsenal.
The Gunners are determined to reshape their goalkeeping in the summer – an overhaul that could even lead to the departure of current No. 1 Bernd Leno.
Neto, in that regard, could be an ideal cost-effective option to replace the German international, though any potential departure from the €12 million-rated man will force Barcelona to take a massive gamble with the youngsters, most of who are very inexperienced at the highest level of football.