Barcelona have “explored the possibility” of signing ex-Real Madrid striker Raul De Tomas as a replacement for Luis Suarez.
New manager Ronald Koeman is keen for the club to bring in a new No. 9 before the transfer window closes on October 5. Barcelona have therefore tried to find out if De Tomas would be interested in a move to the Camp Nou and if current club Espanyol would be willing to let him go, according to Deportes Cuatro.
Espanyol were relegated from La Liga last season and are playing in the Segunda Division in 2020-21. De Tomas is one of the highest-paid players in the league, and the report suggests Espanyol may “welcome” getting the striker off the wage bill.
De Tomas only arrived at Espanyol in January 2019 for a club-record fee from Portuguese side Benfica. He scored six goals in 15 appearances in all competitions for his new club last season.
The striker was also on target last time out for Espanyol. He came off the bench and netted both goals in a 2-0 win over Real Oviedo.
If Espanyol aren’t willing to let him go then it would be difficult for Barcelona to sign De Tomas. The 25-year-old has a €60 million release clause which would put him out of the club’s financial reach.
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De Tomas’s Real Madrid Past
De Tomas is a product of Real Madrid’s youth academy but never managed to make the breakthrough at the Santiago Bernabeu. He enjoyed loan spells at Cordoba, Real Valladolid, and Rayo Vallecano before being sold to Benfica in 2019.
Yet his time in Portugal did not last very long. De Tomas returned to La Liga six months later with Espanyol but could not help keep the club in the Spanish top flight.
Espanyol shelled out €25m to bring him back to Spain, but it’s not clear if they would be willing to part company with the striker for less than his release clause, particularly if the transfer was to local rivals Barcelona.
Koeman Wants a Striker
Meanwhile, Koeman has made it clear he wants to boost his attack despite having Ansu Fati, Martin Braithwaite, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, and Francisco Trincao in his squad
The Dutch coach spoke about the club’s transfer situation after watching his side beat Villarreal 4-0 in their first La Liga game of the season.
He said: “It’s always good to have a true center-forward. We are working on it and let’s hope we can fill that position.
De Tomas is the latest striker to be linked with Barcelona and joins Memphis Depay and Lautaro Martinez on the club’s radar. Yet Barca’s difficult financial situation means it will be tough for the club to complete a deal in the current transfer window.