Barcelona has already confirmed the arrival of Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia on free transfers from Manchester City this summer but could be set for some more arrivals from the Premier League champions.
Club president Joan Laporta met with Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola at the Legends Trophy golf tournament in Mallorca and discussed transfers, according to journalist Gerard Romero at Catalan radio station RAC1.
Guardiola informed the Barcelona president that there are seven Manchester City players available for transfer before the start of the 2021-22 season, provided the right offers arrive.
Barcelona has already been linked with a move for center-back Aymeric Laporte who has lost his place in the team following the arrival of Ruben Dias. The Portugal international has formed a strong partnership at the heart of the City defense along with John Stones.
Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus are also options for Barcelona, according to Diario Sport. The Catalans have also considered England international Raheem Sterling, as reported by Sky Italia’s Matteo Moretto.
Another player to be linked with a move to the Camp Nou is Riyad Mahrez. The winger’s name cropped up when the two clubs were discussing the possibility of a move for Gundogan, according to El Chiringuito’s Jose Alvarez.
Reports in England have also suggested the two clubs could be planning a swap deal that would see Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo head to Barcelona with Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele moving in the opposite direction, as reported by Sport.
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Laporte ‘Told He Can Leave’
Barca has already signed Aguero, Eric Garcia, and Emerson Royal this summer but Laporta has hinted more signings may arrive. However, the club’s enormous debts mean any big name transfers would need Barca to offload players first.
Yet the chance to bring in a player of the calibre of Laporte must surely tempt Laporta, particularly as Barca’s vulnerability in defense was on show yet again last season and proved costly in La Liga and the Champions League.
With 34-year-old Gerard Pique heading towards the end of this career, Samuel Umtiti looking a shadow of his former self due to injuries, and Clement Lenglet yet to really convince in the backline, an experience center-back could prove an astute invesment.
Laporte told Manchester City six months ago he wanted to leave and was told he can go if a suitable offer arrives, according to Sam Lee at The Athletic. The former Athletic defender is tempted by a return to La Liga.
Barcelona To Sell Lenglet & Umtiti To Buy Laporte
Yet funding a deal for Laporte will be difficult. The center-back cost Manchester City a club record £57.2 million when he moved from Athletic to the Etihad Stadium in January 2018.
Barca could raise funds by trying to offload Lenglet and Umtiti, according to Javier Miguel at Diario AS. Laporte would then join Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo, Garcia, and Oscar Mingueza as the club’s central defensive options for next season.
Of course, Laporte is unlikely to lack for offers if he does decide to call time on his Manchester City career. The defender has won three Premier League titles and the FA Cup with City and will be going for glory with Spain at the 2020 European Championship this summer.