FC Barcelona are targeting the signing of a midfielder in January according to SPORT.
The Catalans spent just €3.4 million ($3.6 million) on Oriol Romeu this summer, with their economic woes forcing them to call off potential pursuits of Joshua Kimmich and Martin Zubimendi who would cost €60 million ($64 million) or more.
The La Masia graduate bought from Girona has fitted effortlessly into the pivot position as an heir to former captain Sergio Busquets, and has managed to foster a strong understanding with Frenkie de Jong in no time.
Elsewhere in that area of the pitch Ex-Manchester City skipper Ilkay Gundogan arrived free of charge to bolster the center of the park.
He was starting to build a promising partnership with Pedri in the more attacking positions, until the Spain international picked up an injury which should keep him out for a total 6-7 weeks.
Over the international break, Gundogan almost joined Pedri on the sick list when leaving a German victory over France in tears.
His back trouble didn’t prove to be as serious as initially thought, but the frequency with which his playmakers accumulate knocks will push Xavi Hernandez and the board led by President Joan Laporta to look for a low cost midfielder in the winter market.
SPORT reported on Thursday how Barca would not welcome any new arrivals in January window other than Vitor Roque, who Barca agreed to pay a fixed €30 million ($32 million) plus €31 million ($33 million) in variables to Atheltico Paranaenese for.
After La Liga announced Barca’s €270 million ($288 million) salary limit for 2023/2024, the same paper and rival Mundo Deportivo explained that this development might be scuppered as well because of exceeding Financial Fair Play limits, but it reportedly hasn’t stopped the club from looking at what is available as they head to the business end of the season.
According to SPORT, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Joshua Guilavogui are two free agents being studied.
Gbamim, 27, received his football education in the lower leagues of French football. After spending three seasons at Mainz, he played for Everton for four and spent last term on loan at Trabzonspor in Turkey.
As for Guilavogui, he is already familiar with La Liga and spent the first part of Atletico Madrid’s title winning 2013/2014 with the club from the Spanish capital.
Now it is down to Deco to decide which man Barca will approach, if not forced to call off the search altogether.