The Hard Tackle takes a look at the latest transfer news surrounding La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid as the summer window looms.
Amid all the excitement surrounding UEFA Euro 2020 and Copa America, the transfer wheel in the market is well and truly running. This is, after all, going to be an exciting yet cautious and steady summer for football, as the majority of the European clubs look to recover from the financial blow they received in the aftermath of the pandemic.
La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are the two teams worth keeping an eye on as they brace themselves for a major squad overhaul following a disappointing 2020/21 campaign.
Barcelona, under the leadership of newly elected president Joan Laporta, have already gotten a useful headstart, securing the services of as many as four players, including Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Emerson Royal and more recently, Memphis Depay. The Catalans are expected to do further business, especially when it comes to offloading fringe players in an attempt to earn additional transfer revenue.
Real Madrid, too, are in the market for several players. The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti has had a major impact on their transfer policy, but with Sergio Ramos announcing his departure, the former Bayern Munich head coach will be keen on bolstering his ranks in both defence and midfield this summer.
So, without much ado, let’s delve into the latest transfer happenings surrounding the La Liga bigwigs.
Barcelona want at least €30 million for Trincao
Starting with FC Barcelona, their plans to thin out the squad are set to involve the departure of several individuals. Francisco Trincao is believed to be one of them, with Sport claiming that the Catalans are at least looking for a fee of around €30 million. The report adds that many Premier League clubs are already exploring the possibility of signing the attacker, who can still fetch a high value on the market.
A product of the Braga youth academy, Trincao, was brought in last summer for a fee of €21 million, in addition to the transfer of Abel Ruiz. The youngster, unfortunately, endured a difficult first season at Camp Nou. He appears to have fallen way down in the pecking order in the current Barcelona attack, especially after the arrival of Memphis Depay.
Ronald Koeman, though, is not averse to keeping hold of Trincao for another season. In fact, the Portuguese’s future could hugely depend on where Ousmane Dembele ends up this summer. Trincao, nonetheless, has no shortage of suitors, with Wolves among the Premier League clubs linked with a move for him this month.
Barcelona among clubs offered a chance to sign Andre Silva
Despite the arrival of Sergio Aguero earlier in the summer, there have been questions marks over Barcelona’s goalscoring department. The club lacks the presence of a young frontman who can hope to emulate the success of Luiz Suarez in the future. According to Fichajes, though, Barcelona are among the clubs who were offered the opportunity to sign Andre Silva in the summer.
Coming on the back of a successful season with Eintracht Frankfurt, the forward is hoping to earn a move to a big club this summer. His agent Jorge Mendes has already offered him to multiple clubs, including Barcelona and Arsenal, who have recently initiated talks over a potential transfer.
Barca, however, have turned down the opportunity to sign the Portuguese frontman. It appears they are unwilling to take the financial risk after signing the likes of Aguero, Depay and Garcia. The Catalan giants, though, have shown a lot of desire to sign another Bundesliga star in Matthias Ginter, with Koeman keen on bolstering his defensive options rather than signing another centre-forward.
Manchester United set to hold a meeting with Raphael Varane
It has only been a few days since Sergio Ramos has announced his departure from Santiago Bernabeu. However, it seems Real Madrid are braced to lose another defender, with Manchester United now set to hold a meeting with Raphael Varane’s representatives after the centre-back rejected a new deal at the Bernabeu, reports Mirror.
After ten years at the club, it appears Varane is looking for a new adventure. His potential departure, though, could leave new coach Carlo Ancelotti devoid of defensive options, despite having secured the services of David Alaba earlier in the summer.
On the flip side, though, Varane’s sale will open up an avenue for Ancelotti to start his rebuild from scratch. The Italian tactician has reportedly shown an interest in bringing Ben White to Spain after being impressed by his performances with Brighton & Hove Albion. He is not the only option either, with Los Blancos also being linked with a move for Manchester City star Aymeric Laporte.
Barcelona prioritising summer move for Jose Gaya
Real Madrid are not the only one looking for defensive reinforcements, however. According to Fichajes, FC Barcelona have now prioritised a move for Jose Gaya, who has been identified as an ideal long-term replacement for the ageing Jordi Alba.
Signing a new left-back is, in fact, the main target for Barca as they prepare for life without Junior Firpo. The former Real Betis youngster hasn’t got going in Catalonia and is not favoured by the club bosses. The Blaugrana, as a result, are ready to cash in on him in the summer, using his sale to fund a move for Gaya.
Unfortunately for Barcelona, the Valencia captain might cost a fortune given the quality and experience he brings to the table. It is, therefore, not a surprise that Koeman and Laporta are exploring other options as well, preferably more cost-effective ones like Alejandro Grimaldo of SL Benfica, who is reportedly available for just €20 million.
Ansu Fati a shock target for Real Betis
Our last news of the day features another Barcelona talent in Ansu Fati. The youngster has widely established himself as one of the most gifted of his generation and is tipped to achieve great things by experts. However, according to El Gol Digital, his immediate future lies elsewhere, with Barcelona discussing the possibility of loaning him out to Real Betis.
It appears Fati’s year-long absence after a serious injury has put question marks over his fitness and quality. New Barcelona president Joan Laporta, in particular, is aware of the difficulties he might face, especially when it comes to game-time, as the club on signing exciting players this summer. They are, in fact, already eyeing up their next attacking target in Germany’s Robin Gosens.
Therefore, a loan move for Fati is now being discussed – a move that will allow the youngster to gain regular game-time with the Andalusian outfit and regain his groove before returning to Catalonia.