Barcelona brought in free agents Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay, and Sergio Aguero in the summer of 2021 and look set to follow that trend by targeting free transfers again in 2022.
Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen is set to become Barca’s first signing ahead of the new campaign and the Denmark international looks set to be joined by Ajax full-back Noussair Mazraoui.
The 24-year-old has “decided the next step of his career will be at Camp Nou” and has turned down offers from other clubs because he wants Barcelona, as reported by Diario Sport.
Barca still need to finalize the details of the agreement but Mazraoui is expected to “sign a three or four year deal with the club” once he leaves Ajax at the end of the summer on a free transfer.
Mazraoui “has opted for Barça because he sees the best chance to grow as a player and to win titles” and has been impressed by the way the team have improved since Xavi took over as coach.
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What About Alves & Dest?
The arrival of Mazraoui would increase competition for places at right-back at Barcelona. Xavi currently has Dani Alves and Sergino Dest available but it remains to be seen if either will be at the club next season.
Alves only signed a deal until the end of the 2021-22 campaign when he arrived on a free transfer and will turn 39 in May. However, the Brazil international has played regularly this season and has fitted in well.
Xavi has admitted he would like Alves to stay, if he can maintain his current level, but that no decision has yet been made on the veteran’s future and whether he’ll remain at the Camp Nou.
Dest has been forced onto the bench following the arrival of Alves and appears to be facing an uncertain future again. The USMNT star was linked with a move away in January but ended up staying.
The 21-year-old is now considering a transfer to Serie A side Roma, as reported by Diario AS. A potential Barca swoop for Mazraoui may convince Dest it might be best to move on if he wants to play regularly.
Frenkie de Jong Talks Mazraoui
If Mazraoui does make the move to the Camp Nou then he will be reunited with midfielder Frenkie de Jong. The two played together at Ajax before De Jong joined Barcelona.
The Netherlands international has been asked about the possibility of the right-back heading to the Camp Nou and offered his thoughts on the defender, as reported by Football Oranje.
“Mazraoui is a very good player, with many qualities. I just don’t know if he’s coming to us yet,” he said. “If we can strengthen after this season, we can compete again for all the trophies. For new players, the time is always right to come to Barcelona. Barça is still one of the best clubs in the world, where you can really enjoy the way we play.”