Barcelona Identify 3 Potential Busquets Replacements: Report

Sergio Busquets

Getty Sergio Busquets is heading towards the end of his career.

Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets is nearing the end of his illustrious career at the Camp Nou that has seen the 33-year-old midfielder pick up 30 trophies with the Catalan giants.

The Spain international’s contract expires in 2023 and Barca are busy making plans for the future. The Catalans want to bring in a player who can fill in for Busquets while he remains at the Camp Nou and potentially take over when he calls time on his Camp Nou career.

Barcelona have identified Real Sociedad’s Martín Zubimendi, Monaco midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Portugal international Rubén Neves as possible options, as reported by Ferran Correas at Diario Sport.

Zubimendi is the “player that the coaching staff likes the most” and is seen as the midfielder who is most similar to Busquets. However, the 23-year-old is contracted to the Basque side until 2025 and his contract includes a release clause set at 60 million.

Tchouaméni is likely to have a similar price and will also have plenty of suitors after emerging as one of the most talented young midfielders in Europe. Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool are both interested in Tchouaméni who appears destined to leave Monaco this summer.

The third option is Neves who has made it clear he wants to leave Wolves at the end of the season. The midfielder is also unlikely to come cheap but Barcelona and Wolves have a good relationship, after deals involving Francisco Trincao and Adama Traore, which could help any potential move.

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Xavi Talks Replacing Busquets

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez was asked about Busquets ahead of his team’s La Liga clash against Celta Vigo on Tuesday, May 10. The midfielder will miss the match at the Camp Nou due to suspension after picking up his 10th booking of the season.

Xavi told a pre-match press conference that Busquets will be missed and that the club need to be looking ahead to find a replacement for his captain who will turn 34 in July.

“It’s hard to find a substitute for Busquets, someone with his characterisitics. Tomorrow we will miss him but we have various options,” he said. “Busquets won’t be eternal, he’s human like the rest of us, so we need to plan ahead. Barca should, at the minimum, have two players in each position. That’s important. We need to think about the future.”

Barcelona do have plenty of midfield options in the squad already. Xavi can call upon Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, Gavi, Riqui Puig, and Nico Gonzalez, while AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie is expected to arrive on a free transfer in the summer.

Busquets Heading To MLS Next?

Meanwhile, Busquets has been tipped to move to the MLS when his contract expires. Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has reported the midfielder “has been approached” by clubs and “could be an option for June 2023.”

The Barca skipper has spoken about the future in an interview on RAC1 and admitted he could be tempted to finish his career in a different county, per the club’s official website.

“I can still help and still have one more year on my contract. I know that I’m 33. I hope I can go to the World Cup, but we’ll have to see how the next few months go,” he said. “I’d find it very hard to go elsewhere in Europe and play for a team that’s chasing the same things as Barça. I am too much of a Culer. I can only really see myself going to play in a different continent.”

Replacing a player like Busquets certainly won’t be easy for Barcelona, particularly given the club’s large debts and the current financial restrictions imposed by LaLiga.

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