Barcelona’s financial difficulties mean the club are continuing to look at low-cost options to strengthen the first-team squad in the summer transfer window ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Real Sociedad winger Adnan Januzaj is a player the Catalans are considering after the Basque side confirmed the former Manchester United man has been released from his contract now the season has ended.
Barcelona have been monitoring Januzaj for “several seasons” and have received “very good reports” on the 27-year-old, as reported by Ferran Correas at Diario Sport. It’s thought the Belgian “fits perfectly into Xavi Hernández’s idea of football.”
Januzaj would be something of a surprise target but his status as a free agent will appeal to the cash-strapped Catalan giants who have already agreed deals for Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen on free transfers. The winger is seen as a “serious alternative” to replace Ousmane Dembele should the forward leave when his contract expires at the end of June.
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Barca Giving Up On Raphinha?
Barcelona had been keen to bring in winger Raphinha from Leeds United to take over from Dembele and had even reportedly agreed personal terms with the Brazil international.
The forward would have been available for just €25 million if the Whites had been relegated, due to a clause in his contract, but Jesse Marsch’s side beat the drop on the final day of the season and will play Premier League football next season.
The Catalans will now have to negotiate a price if they want to sign Raphinha which will be difficult due to the club’s finances. All of which means Xavi “could be forced to have to give up on Raphinha” and may go for Januzaj instead, according to Correas.
Dembele & Adama Traore To Leave?
Dembele future remains uncertain, something Xavi acknowledged after seeing his team beaten 2-0 by Villarreal in the team’s final game of the season. The coach spoke about Dembele after the game and offered his thoughts on the current situation, as reported by Diario AS.
“Everyone goes where they want, even more if the contract ends – look at Mbappé,” he said. “Of Ousmane I can only speak well. He has helped us and has been one more. There is a negotiation through and let’s see how the situation turns out.”
Dembele was left on the bench for the second game running against Villarreal by Xavi which will only fuel rumors the 25-year-old will leave next month. The forward is thought to be keen to play alongside Kylian Mbappe at PSG, as reported by Diario Sport.
Adama Traore is another winger who looks set to leave the club. Traore returned to the club for a second spell on loan in the January transfer window but ended up making onlt four starts and spent most of his time on the bench.
The forward’s loan deal does include a purchase option of €30 million but Barcelona “won’t spend big money on Adama as things stand,” according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano. Traore netted five assists in his first four games back at Barcelona but none in his final 12 appearances.