Barcelona are reportedly considering making a play to sign Brazilian defender Douglas Santos who could soon become available on a free transfer.
According to SPORT, Barcelona are pondering signing Brazilian left-back Douglas Santos, who could be set to terminate his contract with Russian outfit Zenit St. Petersburg.
Due to the ongoing unrest in Russia and Ukraine, FIFA has granted permission to foreign footballers and coaches in the countries to terminate their contracts with their respective clubs and sign for different teams. It has alerted Barcelona, who are now monitoring Douglas Santos and could move for him if he chooses to end his association with Zenit.
The 27-year-old has been with the Russian outfit since 2019, having signed from German club Hamburg. To date, he has featured 99 times for the club, scoring three goals and setting up 18 more. He has made 27 appearances in the ongoing campaign, chipping in with four assists in the process.
Santos made his debut for the Brazilian national team way back in 2016, which remains his only appearance for the Selecao so far. However, his form with Zenit has made him a prospective target for Barcelona.
The Blaugrana are in the market for a new left-back as they look to provide cover and competition for Jordi Alba. Barcelona sold Junior Firpo last summer but did not sign a replacement. Alejandro Balde is still young and inexperienced to be used regularly at the first-team level. It forced the club to look for a left-sided full-back in January, but their search ended empty-handed.
Barcelona are hoping to address the issue and have identified Valencia captain Jose Gaya as their priority target. If they miss out on the Spaniard, they have lined up the likes of Alejandro Grimaldo and Nicolas Tagliafico as potential alternatives.
However, Santos’s potential availability could appeal to Barcelona as they can sign him on a free transfer if he terminates his contract with Zenit. At 27, he is in his peak years and has plenty of experience in European football, which can help the Catalans resolve their problems at left-back. Signing him would allow the La Liga club to rotate Alba and give them time to find a proper long-term replacement for the Spaniard.