Barcelona Sets Sights on Giovani Lo Celso
Barcelona, having just secured the Spanish League title, is keen to reinforce their squad and establish themselves as a dominant force in international tournaments. To achieve this, the Catalan giants are preparing for an aggressive approach in the transfer market.
Targeting Key Positions
The priorities for Barcelona, as disclosed by Mundo Deportivo, include the recruitment of a central midfielder to replace Sergio Busquets and a creative midfielder who can also operate in an advanced role. The latter position could have been filled by Lionel Messi, who ultimately opted for a move to Inter Miami in the United States following his departure from Paris Saint Germain.
Lo Celso as Xavi’s Ideal Addition
With doubts surrounding the future of İlkay Gündoğan at Manchester City, Xavi sees Argentine midfielder Giovani Lo Celso as the perfect addition to Barcelona’s midfield. Lo Celso, currently in Villarreal on loan from Tottenham, possesses the qualities sought by the coach, including excellent passing ability and an eye for goal.
Familiarity with Spanish Football
The 27-year-old Lo Celso, who emerged from the youth academy of Rosario Central, is well-acquainted with the Spanish League after successful stints with Real Betis and Villarreal. Last season, he contributed two goals and three assists for Villarreal in 29 appearances. He is contracted to Tottenham until 2025.
Uncertain Future at Tottenham
Lo Celso has struggled to establish himself at Tottenham, and Barcelona is eagerly awaiting the decision of Ange Postecoglou, the new manager of the English team, regarding the midfielder’s future. If Lo Celso is deemed surplus to requirements, Barcelona could potentially reopen negotiations with Tottenham. Currently, the Argentine is representing his national team during a friendly tour of Asia.
Alternative Option: Alex Baena
As an alternative to Lo Celso, Xavi has identified 21-year-old Alex Baena of Villarreal. However, securing his services would likely prove extremely challenging due to his long-term contract, which runs until 2028 and includes a release clause of €60 million.