Barcelona chief director Mateu Alemany has admitted that his side are going to be looking to sign several free agents next summer, which could see some Premier League stars become Spain-bound. The Catalan giants are short of funds at the moment but remain keen to back manager Xavi as much as possible.
Barca signed several players over the summer that were free agents, and they are reaping the benefit of that recruitment policy. Barring wages, the moves are largely risk-free and has also provided the team with a very strong core group of players fully committed to the project.
Speaking about those who headed to the Camp Nou over the summer, Alemany said: “They have rejected important offers to come to Barça and we value that. More and more we have to focus on the market of free players.
“This year we have done it with Kessie, Christensen, Marcos Alonso and Bellerín, and there are many more to come.” The message is loud and clear from the Barca boss, and it means several players in England could follow the likes of Marcos Alonso and Andreas Christensen and join Barca – but who? Express Sport takes a look…
Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United are amongst those keeping tabs on Youri Tielemans, though the player has never promised that he would stay in the Premier League if he does leave Leicester City.
The 25-year-old has consistently shown he is an exciting midfielder and Xavi could be willing to adjust his plans to work the Belgium international into his plans. With Sergio Busquets leaving at the end of the season, Barca will need midfield reinforcements and Tielemans could prove exactly that.
Another central midfielder that is out of contract at the end of the season is N’Golo Kante, who is struggling with injuries this season and thus his future is hanging in the balance. Graham Potter has spoken about the value of the France international, but he could feel there is more talented, younger stars available to him with his newfound significant transfer budget.
Kante has been one of the best midfielders in the league since joining Leicester in 2015 and now may be the time for him to conquer another league and provide experience in the centre of the park. United and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly keeping tabs on the 31-year-old.
Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has been linked with a move away from Selhurst Park on countless occasions, though an approach from Barcelona could finally see him leave the club. The winger has been electric in the Premier League over the years and been the face of the club in the league, but his contract running down is a pressing issue for Patrick Vieira’s side.
AS Roma are believed to be keeping tabs on Zaha, with Chelsea also interested in the 29-year-old. Though the idea of featuring in a team trying to reclaim its status as one of the best could prove an interesting proposal to the forward.
Wolves winger Adama Traore rejected a contract extension at the Molineux last summer, leading to him joining Barca on a loan-to-buy deal. However, the purchase clause in the contract was not activated by the La Liga outfit, which could prove a smart piece of business.
Tottenham and Leeds have both been linked with the pacey forward, but Traore’s desire to make it as a Barcelona player has been no secret ever since he left the club for the first time in 2015. Given he knows the club, the style and the manager, this could prove smart business from Xavi.