Barcelona are reportedly preparing a contract offer for AC Milan playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu after their pursuit of Georginio Wijnaldum fell apart.
According to a report from Spanish publication El Gol Digital, La Liga heavyweights Barcelona are readying an offer for Turkish international Hakan Calhanoglu as they look to snare him away from AC Milan on a free transfer.
Calhanoglu has been with Milan for four years now, having signed from Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen and has grown into an integral part of the Rossoneri team. The 27-year-old has especially enjoyed a fine run over the past eighteen months or so, playing a key role in Stefano Pioli’s side finishing second in Serie A and returning to the UEFA Champions League for next season.
However, having helped them through to Champions League qualification for 2021/22, Calhanoglu might not be at the club when the new campaign rolls along. Indeed, the Turkish international is in the final few weeks of his contract with AC Milan and talks over a new deal have not panned out as expected. With his future far from secure, Barcelona are now plotting a swoop for the playmaker.
Barcelona have made an addition to their midfield one of the priorities for the upcoming summer transfer window. To that end, the Blaugrana had been heavily linked with a move for Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum, who was also set to be available on a free transfer. And for the longest time, it looked like the Dutchman was bound for Camp Nou, only for him to perform a last-minute swerve and agree a move to PSG instead.
Barcelona, having been left stranded by Wijnaldum’s change of mind, have turned their focus towards Calhanoglu as an alternative. The 27-year-old is best-utilised as a No. 10, which would allow manager Ronald Koeman to switch to his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. At the same time, he is also adept at playing as an advanced midfielder in a three-man unit or on the left flank, providing tactical flexibility to the coach.
Besides, at 27, Calhanoglu still has his best years in front of him and given his goal contributions for Milan, has the potential to be an upgrade over Wijnaldum, who is in his thirties already. Barcelona had established contact with the Turkish star’s agents to assess the possibility of a move and are now said to be preparing a contract offer for the midfielder.
However, Barcelona are set to face strong competition for his signing from La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid, with Diego Simeone also keen on signing the AC Milan star on a free transfer. It now remains to be seen if the Blaugrana are able to convince Calhanoglu to make the switch to Camp Nou or are forced to look at other options like Gonzalo Villar of AS Roma.