The Hard Tackle takes a look at the latest Barcelona transfer news doing the rounds, as we approach the summer transfer window.
The summer transfer window might still be a few weeks away, but Barcelona have already kicked into action in the market. Emerson, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia have already arrived at Camp Nou and it is likely that the window will end with a few more being recruited by the Catalan club. At the other end of the spectrum, a number of players have been deemed surplus to requirements and are set to depart.
With Ronald Koeman staying put, Barcelona are eager to complete their transition under the Dutch tactician, as they look to bridge the gap to Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. Challenging on all fronts will be the objective and to that end, it is hardly surprising that the rumour mill is abuzz with speculation surrounding the Blaugrana.
With that in mind, The Hard Tackle brings you the latest on some of the transfer happenings at Barcelona, as the La Liga heavyweights face stiff competition in pursuit of a defensive target while a number of players are a step closer to sealing their exit from Camp Nou.
Manchester United, Tottenham monitoring Alessio Romagnoli
Barcelona might have already bolstered the heart of their defence, but are yet to be done signing centre-backs. With Samuel Umtiti facing an uncertain future at Camp Nou, the Blaugrana wish to sign a left-footed central defender, with Alessio Romagnoli one of the targets to that end. Barcelona though could face competition from Manchester United for the AC Milan captain, as per Mundo Deportivo.
Romagnoli has just one year left on his deal with AC Milan and after losing his place in the side to Fikayo Tomori, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding his future at San Siro. Barcelona have been offered the chance to sign the Italian international and are now considering a summer swoop.
However, with Manchester United and Tottenham keeping tabs on the 26-year-old’s situation as well, the Blaugrana will need to move quickly in his pursuit. That being said, the fact that president Joan Laporta shares a healthy working relationship with Romagnoli’s agent Mino Raiola means Barcelona could be best placed to sign him.
AC Milan contact Barcelona for Junior Firpo
Sticking with AC Milan and a potential dealing between the Rossoneri and Barcelona, we move to the speculations pertaining to Junior Firpo. And as reported by Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, AC Milan have opened talks with Barcelona over a possible move for the young left-back.
The 24-year-old does not seem to have much of a future at Camp Nou after failing to make an impression in his first two seasons with Barcelona. With the Catalan giants in the market for a left-back – Jose Gaya and Nuno Mendes are among those linked – it is highly likely that Firpo will be shown the exit door this summer.
AC Milan are eager to sign a left-back this summer amid Theo Hernandez’s links with Paris Saint-Germain. Even if the former Real Madrid defender ends up staying put at San Siro, the Serie A heavyweights will need to sign a left-back to provide cover for Hernandez, which is why the interest in Firpo makes sense. Will the Rossoneri manage to land the struggling defender?
Barcelona slap €50 million price-tag on Ousmane Dembele
From one potential outgoing player to another, we move on to Ousmane Dembele. The Frenchman was much improved in 2020/21 after a couple of frustrating campaigns. However, his deal will be expiring in a little over a year and Barcelona are seeking clarity over his future. As perFichajes, a €50 million price tag has been slapped on Dembele amid the uncertainty surrounding him.
Barcelona’s priority is still to keep hold of the 24-year-old and tie him down to a long-term deal. However, if the impasse between the two parties continues, the Blaugrana will have no option but to cash in on him. In such a scenario, they will aim to recoup €50 million in exchange for his services.
As for potential replacements, Barcelona have set their sights on Raheem Sterling and could well launch a move for the English international if Dembele calls it quits at Camp Nou. Having said that, it remains to be seen if Dembele chooses to commit his future to Barcelona or if the Catalans end up receiving €50 million by cashing in on him.
Miralem Pjanic wants Italy return
Potential departures seem to be becoming the running theme of our Barcelona transfer roundup and the next rumour falls in the same category. For according to Transfer Market Web, Pjanic is keen on making a return to Italy, with Serie A giants Juventus and Inter Milan interested in signing him.
Pjanic only joined Barcelona from Juventus last summer as part of a deal that saw Arthur move the other way. However, the set of transfers has not worked out one bit for any of the four parties involved. Pjanic, in particular, was merely a bit-part player for Barcelona, with the likes of Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets and Pedri all ahead of him in the pecking order.
Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and Premier League heavyweights Chelsea have been linked with Pjanic as well, but his potential destination appears to be Italy. Serie A champions Inter Milan might be among the unlucky ones to miss out as well, with the player favouring a Juventus return. Barcelona could, therefore, send him back to Turin on a two-year loan deal while turning their focus towards a midfield reinforcement.
Philippe Coutinho wanted by Marseille
Last but not the least, we talk about yet another player who could make his way out of Camp Nou in the summer transfer window. Philippe Coutinho seems to have played his final game for Barcelona and as reported by Mundo Deportivo, he could well be on his way to Marseille in the summer.
2020/21 proved to be another season to forget at Barcelona for Coutinho, who was coming off the back of a decent enough loan spell at Bayern Munich. Ronald Koeman was ready to hand the Brazil international a second chance to prove himself, but a long-term knee injury derailed his campaign before it could even take shape.
Barcelona are now ready to cut their losses on Coutinho, who has been linked with a number of clubs across Europe. However, it is Marseille who could prevail in his pursuit, with Jorge Sampaoli keen on securing his services. Coutinho’s high wages could pose a problem, though, and it will be interesting to see if Marseille president Pablo Longoria is ready to sanction a move to appease the head coach.