Barcelona have reportedly been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of Alfonso Pedraza, with Villarreal unwilling to sell the 25-year-old Spanish left-back.

According to a report by Spanish publication MARCA, Barcelona will not be able to sign Alfonso Pedraza from Villarreal in the January transfer window. The La Liga giants are not interested in parting with the 25-year-old Spanish left-back, having also rejected an approach from Napoli.

Alfonso Pedraza has gone from strength to strength at Villarreal since returning to Villarreal from Real Betis in July 2020. The 25-year-old has established a foothold in the first-team setup at El Madrigal while also becoming a pivotal figure for the Yellow Submarine.

In the ongoing season, the Spanish defender has amassed six assists in 22 appearances across all competitions. Pedraza’s exploits have duly been noted by some of the biggest clubs in Europe, with Barcelona being one of his prospective suitors over a possible January move.

The interest from Barcelona comes in the wake of the inconsistent performances from Jordi Alba in the last couple of years. The veteran left-back has been showing signs of age catching up to him and will have to start getting phased out of the first-team picture in the coming year.

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Barcelona’s prospects in the left-back spot have not been helped by Alejandro Balde’s slow acclimatisation in the first-team setup, with the youngster yet to establish himself in the first-team squad at Camp Nou. As a result, the Blaugrana might need to sign a left-back in the January transfer window to bolster their hopes of securing a strong finish to the season.

But signing Pedraza might be an improbable ask for Barcelona as La Liga rivals Villarreal have no interest in selling the 25-year-old. The Valencian giants have knocked back a formal offer from Napoli while rejecting an approach from Barcelona, forcing both clubs to turn their attention elsewhere.

Interestingly, both Napoli and Barcelona have been linked with Nicolas Tagliafico, who reportedly prefers joining the Catalan club. With the acquisition of Pedraza now appearing to be unlikely, Barcelona might be better off pursuing the Argentine defender, who will also be a cost-effective addition to their squad.

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