Barcelona are reportedly set to face competition from Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan for the free transfer signing of Patrick van Aanholt this summer.
According to a report from Spanish outlet Fichajes, La Liga giants Barcelona will have to battle with rivals Atletico Madrid as well as Serie A champions Inter Milan for the signing of former Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt on a Bosman transfer.
Van Aanholt started his footballing education at the academies of FC Den Bosch and PSV Eindhoven in his homeland before securing a move to the Chelsea youth setup in 2007. During his time in west London, the left-back was constantly farmed out on loan as he had spells at Coventry City, Newcastle United, Leicester City, Wigan Athletic and Vitesse Arnhem, while he managed just eight first-team appearances for the Blues.
In 2014, Van Aanholt moved to Sunderland in a permanent transfer and spent close to three years before signing for Crystal Palace in January 2017. The 30-year-old racked up 134 appearances for the Eagles, in which he scored 14 goals and set up six more, establishing himself as one of the more reliable left-backs in the Premier League.
However, the 19-time capped Netherlands international is now out of contract with Crystal Palace and having decided not to pen an extension, if officially a free agent as of Thursday. And, as a result, Van Aanholt is now courting interest from some of the biggest clubs in the land, with Arsenal being linked recently while Barcelona have also shown a strong interest in his services.
Barcelona’s desire to sign Van Aanholt makes complete sense as they are in need of cover at left-back amid the uncertainty surrounding the future of Junior Firpo. The 24-year-old has failed to make any kind of impact during his time at Camp Nou and is expected to be on his way out this summer, with a move to Premier League club Leeds United being touted.
This would leave Barcelona with just Jordi Alba as the natural option at left-back. With the Spaniard not getting any younger, a backup is a must, making Van Aanholt a viable target. Considering the club’s financial situation, the fact that the Dutch defender will cost nothing in transfer fee makes him an even more appealing target.
However, Barcelona are now set to face competition from Atletico Madrid for Van Aanholt’s signing. The La Liga champions are in the market for a new left-back as well, with Renan Lodi not exactly establishing himself as a regular last season. The Brazilian also lacks any cover or competition for the left-back slot, which explains their interest in the former Chelsea ace.
Apart from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan are also queuing up to sign Van Aanholt, having lost Ashley Young this summer, while Ivan Perisic also continues to be linked to an exit. It now remains to be seen if the Blaugrana can stave off competition from the other suitors to capture the 30-year-old’s signing on yet another Bosman move this summer.