Alfonso Pedraza has reportedly emerged on the radar of Barcelona as a possible alternative for Jose Gaya, who is their priority left-back target.
According to a report by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona seem to be keeping their options open as far as the left-back slot is concerned. While Jose Gaya is their priority, the Catalan giants have also set their sights on Alfonso Pedraza as a possible alternative to pursue in the summer transfer window.
Pedraza joined the Villarreal youth setup in 2011 before making grade in the first-team squad four years later. However, it was not until he returned from his loan spell with Real Betis – his fourth such spell temporarily away from the Spanish club – that he finally managed to establish a foothold in the first-team setup.
This season, Pedraza has made 33 appearances across all competitions for Villarreal, even chipping in with 2 goals and 4 assists. And, his progress in the ongoing campaign has alerted Barcelona of all clubs ahead of the summer transfer window.
Barcelona are set to continue their transition under Ronald Koeman with even more ferocity after the appointment of Joan Laporta as the new president. To that end, there are several positions that are set to be addressed, with the left-back slot being one of them, and for good reason.
Junior Firpo has struggled to make an impression on any of the three managers he has played under so far at Barcelona and it looks like he could be offloaded in the summer transfer window. In addition, Jordi Alba is into his thirties and not getting any younger. As a result, Barcelona need to bolster the left side of their defence this coming summer.
To that end, Jose Gaya is believed to be the priority for the Blaugrana, with the Valencia captain having a €15 million price tag. However, there have been suggestions that Gaya is committed to Los Che, although he could still be cashed in on due to the club’s financial issues.
The uncertainty surrounding the Spanish international, though, has forced Barcelona to look for alternatives as well, with Pedraza emerging as the backup option. The 24-year-old left-back has a similar price tag as Gaya, which might not make a huge hole in Barcelona’s shallow pockets.
The report suggests that Villarreal might not stand in the way of a summer exit for Pedraza either, with Pervis Estupinan being viewed as the long-term left-back solution at the club. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if Barcelona do make a move for him when the summer transfer window opens.