Ronald Koeman has reportedly turned down the chance to sign Atalanta center-back Cristian Romero and Lille midfielder Renato Sanches for Barcelona in the summer transfer window.
The Catalan giants had considered trying to bring in both players, despite the club’s financial difficulties, but Koeman insisted he was not interested in having either in his squad, as reported by Diario AS.
Koeman was not keen on Romero as the club has already brought in Eric Garcia on a free transfer from Manchester City this summer. The Catalans also have Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo, Oscar Mingueza, and Clement Lenglet in the squad. Koeman is also aware Barca is trying to offload center-back Samuel Umtiti this summer too.
The possibility of signing Sanches has also been rejected by Koeman. The midfielder enjoyed a strong Euro 2020 with Portugal and was seen as a “good market opportunity” by Barcelona.
Koeman is said to be keen on bring in a midfielder, particularly after missing out on Georginio Winaldum to Paris Saint-Germain, but was not convinced Sanches was the right player to reinforce the team’s midfield.
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Ilaix Future In Doubt
The Dutchman’s desire to bring in a new midfielder could be increased if highly-rated youngster Ilaix Moriba departs the Camp Nou this summer. The 18-year-old is facing an uncertain future ahead of the 2021-22 La Liga campaign.
Moriba has been in talks over a new contract but negotiations have taken a “worrying development” and an agreement still seems far away, according to Diario Sport’s Albert Masnou.
Club officials “feel they have done everything they can to resolve this tense situation” but are now set to take a step back. It’s thought the player’s “renewal now looks further away than ever before.”
Barca could look to sell Moriba if he does not renew to avoid the possibility of losing the midfielder for free next summer when his contract expires. The 18-year-old has been left out of the first-team’s pre-season training camp in Germany.
Pjanic Heading Back To Juventus?
Moriba could be followed out of the exit door by Miralem Pjanic. The midfielder is being tipped to return to Juventus after one season at the Camp Nou where he struggled for game time under Koeman.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri seems to have hinted the club is working on a deal to bring Pjanic back, while reports in Italy have sugged the coach has also been on the phone to the midfielder to discuss a move back to Turin, according to Football Italia.
Pjanic is said to be keen to return but would need to take a pay cut. The two clubs could try to seal a deal when the two teams meet at the Camp Nou on August 8 for the Joan Gamper trophy.
The departures of Moriba and Pjanic could increase Koeman’s desire to bring in a midfielder before the close of the transfer window. However, he could also look to Barca B with youngsters such as Nico Gonzalez and Gavi impressing so far in pre-season.