Barcelona might have to look away from Juan Foyth, with Villarreal unwilling to negotiate a deal for the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner.

According to a report by Spanish outlet SPORT, Villarreal will not open discussions with Barcelona for Juan Foyth. They have told the Blaugrana to trigger the release clause, worth around €60 million, to sign the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner. And that will likely force Barcelona to look elsewhere.

Juan Foyth arrived in Europe when he joined Tottenham from Estudiantes in August 2017. The Argentine international was a promising teenage prospect when he moved to England. But he could never establish a foothold in the first-team squad at the north London club. And he has resurrected his stuttering career since joining Villarreal.

The Yellow Submarine initially signed the 25-year-old on loan in October 2020 before completing a permanent move in July 2021. And Foyth has overcome an injury to enjoy a solid 2022/23 season thus far, with one goal and two assists in 19 outings. He also won the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Argentina. And the player’s progress has captured the attention of Barcelona.

Barcelona attempted to sign Foyth last summer, but a move did not materialise. However, the Catalan giants remain keen on signing the Argentine defender as they seek a solution to their right-back problems. That is hardly surprising, considering Jules Kounde, a centre-back, has been Barcelona’s first-choice right-back this season.

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Sergi Roberto is the only right-back at Xavi Hernandez’s disposal. But the veteran Spaniard is on the wrong side of 30 and no longer a dependable figure. Injuries have also taken a toll on Roberto in the last few years. So right-back has become a problem area for Barcelona, who will prioritise signing Foyth in the summer.

But the Catalan giants have encountered a roadblock in the race to sign the World Cup winner. That is because Villarreal will not negotiate a deal for the Argentine international. And the Yellow Submarine will instead ask Barcelona to trigger Foyth’s release clause. That is an issue for Barcelona as they cannot afford to pay around €60 million to sign one player.

Javier Tebas has insisted that he will not allow Barcelona to sign any player unless they balance the books. And until that happens, the Blaugrana will unlikely shell out €60 million to land Foyth. So they will have to set their sights elsewhere, with Thomas Meunier potentially being a low-cost alternative.

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