Barcelona have reportedly identified Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso as a viable alternative for primary transfer target Jose Gaya.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are intent on strengthening their left-back department in the summer transfer window and have made Jose Gaya of Valencia their top target. However, if they miss out on the Spaniard, the Blaugrana are keeping their options open, with Chelsea ace Marcos Alonso being viewed as an alternative.
Alonso joined Chelsea on the summer transfer deadline day in 2016, arriving from Fiorentina. The Spaniard became a key part of then-manager Antonio Conte’s setup, helping the Blues succeed in the Premier League and FA Cup in his first two seasons. However, following the departure of Conte, the 31-year-old has been unable to nail down a starting berth at Stamford Bridge and has been in and out of the team.
Frank Lampard completely froze out Alonso at one point in 2020, but Thomas Tuchel’s appointment allowed the Spaniard a second lease on life at Chelsea, and he has made the most of it. Even though Ben Chilwell has been preferred when fit and available, the former Fiorentina ace has given a solid account of himself when handed an opportunity.
He has played 30 times in all competitions this season itself, scoring twice and setting up three more goals. However, Alonso will be entering the last year of his contract in the summer and could be allowed to leave, with Chelsea already lining up replacements. This situation has not escaped the attention of Barcelona, who are now eyeing a swoop for him.
Barcelona are in a precarious position with regard to their options in the left-back slot. Jordi Alba is the only senior player in the role as things stand, and the Spaniard has shown several signs of decline in the recent past. Youngster Alejandro Balde lacks experience and has not been trusted by manager Xavi Hernandez.
With Alba displaying signs of slowing down, it is important that Barcelona bring in a new player to cover for him and eventually replace him as the first-choice left-back. Jose Gaya of Valencia has been their preferred target for quite a while now. But amid reports that he could be signing a new contract with Los Che, they are keeping their options open.
Benfica’s Alejandro Grimaldo is a player that Barcelona are looking at, along with January transfer target Nicolas Tagliafico. Along with them, Alonso, too, has emerged as a potential alternative for Gaya. However, the Spaniard would not be a long-term signing for the Blaugrana and only represent a stop-gap solution.
It will be interesting to see if Barça can lure Gaya away from Valencia or are forced to make a move for their secondary targets come summer.