Barcelona are reportedly ready to rival Liverpool in the race to sign Adama Traore, with Wolves prepared to part ways with the Spanish international.
According to a report from 90min, Barcelona and Liverpool could be set to go head-to-head in pursuit of Wolves winger Adama Traore in the upcoming January transfer window.
Traore, who came through the ranks at Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, made four senior appearances for the Catalans before joining Aston Villa in 2015 in search of regular playing time with the first team. He spent a year with the Midlands’ club before signing for Middlesbrough, where he had two seasons, following which Wolves signed him in 2018.
Traore has grown into a devastating winger during his time at the Molineux. Although his numbers don’t really reflect that, the Spaniard has been extremely impressive in his three-year stint with the Black Country outfit, bamboozling defenders with his blistering pace, brute power and close control.
Traore, though, is in the final eighteen months of his contract with Wolves and talks over an extension have not gone according to plans. With manager Bruno Lage not keen on using him regularly unless the contract situation is resolved, it seems like Wolves could now be open to the prospect of cashing in on him in the January transfer window.
Liverpool, credited with an interest in the 25-year-old in the summer, are again touted as suitors for the former Barcelona starlet. The Reds are staring at the prospect of being without two of their most influential attackers in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at the turn of the year due to the pair’s involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Beyond that, there continue to be some lingering doubts over the future of Salah, whose contract runs out in 2023. Even if the Egyptian stays put at Anfield, Liverpool can do with adding another forward to their ranks, considering that they lack quality cover in the wide areas apart from Diogo Jota.
Traore, a player who Jurgen Klopp has previously praised, is very much on the agenda for the Merseysiders, although, as per the report, they rate him at below £30 million, which is not how much Wolves value him. Apart from this obstacle, Liverpool will also have to deal with competition from Barcelona.
New manager Xavi Hernandez is intent on bolstering his wide attacking options, leading to links with several names like Raheem Sterling of Manchester City and Juventus’ Swedish starlet Dejan Kulusevski, among others. The report, however, adds that Xavi is a huge admirer of Traore’s talents and would welcome his addition to the roster at Camp Nou.
Ousmane Dembele continues to be plagued by injury problems, while his contract situation is also yet to be resolved. Ansu Fati, despite his promise and potential, has also struggled with fitness issues of late. So, the Catalans could do with adding another forward to their ranks. And Traore continues to be rated highly at the club, making him a viable target.
However, given the club’s financial situation, a transfer in January could be difficult. Instead, Barcelona might explore the possibility of taking him on loan with the option of signing him permanently at the end of the season.