Barcelona are reportedly interested in PSG’s goalkeeper Alphonse Areola to replace Claudio Bravo.

Spanish publication Sport have claimed that Barcelona are looking at PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola as a potential replacement for Claudio Bravo, who is close to signing for Manchester City. The report stated that Barcelona are looking for alternatives to the Chilean and that the club are considering the French U-20 international to be the understudy to German international Marc Andre-Ter Stegen.

Barcelona have been linked to Pepe Reina, with the former Catalan reportedly establishing direct contact with the hierarchy and offering himself to the club. This news, though, has been rubbished by the player himself as Barcelona see Valencia’s Diego Alves at the top of the list. But Barcelona are also trying to sign Paco Alcacer from Valencia and have reportedly offered €30m plus the services of Munir El Haddadi and Sergio Samper on loan for the two stars.

It is rumoured that while Diego Alves would be free to leave, Valencia are unlikely to budge regarding the sale of Paco Alcacer, which may result in the whole deal falling through. In the wake of this possibility, the Blaugranes’ have set their sights on PSG youngster Alphonse Areola, who belongs to the same batch of French youngsters that won the U20 World Cup in 2013, with the team including the likes of Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne, along with Manchester United’s world-record signing Paul Pogba.

Alphonse Areola was highly rated early in his career but has failed to improve on his potential although, a move to Barcelona might just be able to revive the player's stagnant career. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)0
Alphonse Areola was highly rated early in his career but has failed to improve on his potential although, a move to Barcelona might just be able to revive the player’s stagnant career. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)0

The report does also rationalise Barcelona’s attempt to sign Areola. Even though Diego Alves and Pepe Reina boast of substantial previous experience in Liga BBVA, Alphonse Areola fits the bill of the profile of transfer targets set by the hierarchy as revealed by Professional Head of Sports Alber Soler. Soler had told the press that the club had set a profile of potential new signings, with the targets being in and around the age of 22.

Areola is 23 and fits the profile, unlike Diego Alves and Pepe Reina, who can both be classified as short-term replacements. The French youngster spent the last season on loan at Villarreal and is likely to jump at the opportunity to join his fellow countrymen at Barcelona, especially as his chances of first-team football look bleak in Paris. Areola is currently third choice at Paris Saint-Germain and would love to be second-choice at Nou Camp, where he would be able to fight directly for a spot in the starting lineup.

Diego Alves is still Barcelona’s first priority but if the deal does fall through for the Valencia shot-stopper, the Blaugranes might turn to Alphonse Areola. He would be a long-term fix for the club and is likely to not cost much in terms of transfer fee and wages, with Paris Saint-Germain already having two quality keepers in Kevin Trapp and Salvatore Sirigu.

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