La Liga heavyweights Barcelona are reportedly closely monitoring the progress of 19-year-old Belgian goalkeeper Maarten Vandevoordt.
According to a report by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Maarten Vandevoordt has emerged on the radar of Barcelona over a possible move in the summer transfer window. The Catalan giants are eyeing the 19-year-old Belgian goalkeeper to replace Neto, who could depart Camp Nou after the ongoing season ends.
Maarten Vandevoordt spent his formative years with three clubs before finding stability at Genk following his move in 2011. And after nearly a decade in the Belgian club’s youth setup, the teenage prodigy made his first-team debut in 2019, aged 17. During the 2019/20 campaign, he became the youngest-ever goalkeeper in UEFA Champions League history.
In the last two years, the 19-year-old has progressed exponentially, making 62 appearances for KRC Genk while keeping 12 clean sheets in the process. Vandevoordt’s progress has not gone unnoticed, with several high profile clubs across Europe scouting his progress. And one of the prospective suitors could be FC Barcelona.
Barcelona might have to invest in a new goalkeeper in the summer transfer window amid uncertainties surrounding the future of Neto. The Brazilian goalkeeper is disgruntled by the lack of game-time coming his way since his arrival from Valencia in 2019.
While Neto was unlikely to ever become the first-choice goalkeeper for Barcelona, his situation has hardly improved despite Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s faltering form in the past year. The 32-year-old will thus seek a summer exit from Barcelona, leaving them searching for a goalkeeper in the transfer market.
Inaki Pena is a highly-rated goalkeeper but is unlikely to make much progress while ter Stegen remains the undisputed first-choice goalkeeper. The youngster could thus benefit from another loan move after returning from his current stint with Galatasaray. As a result, Barcelona might need to enter the market for a new shot-stopper, prompting them to comb the transfer market.
The Catalan giants have drawn up a five-man shortlist to pursue in the summer transfer window, with Vandevoordt emerging as a viable target. Apart from the 19-year-old Belgian goalkeeper, Illan Meslier, Yassine Bounou, Alban Lafont, and Bartlomiej Dragowski are also on Barcelona’s radar. So a goalkeeper could arrive at Camp Nou in the summer to replace Neto.