According to Mundo Deportivo, despite having already agreed a deal to sign Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen, Xavi is keen on bringing in another, more physical centre-back as a defensive option. The Spaniard views Christensen as a more technical defender, who will compete with the likes of Eric Garcia and Gerard Pique. He’d rather bring in a more physically imposing defender as competition to Ronald Araujo.
According to the report, Barcelona have already shortlisted four players as potential options this summer. The shortlist includes Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, Athletic Bilbao’s Inigo Martinez and AC Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli.
Barcelona are set to allow the likes of Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet to depart the club this summer, with doubts surrounding the future of Oscar Mingueza as well. Xavi is looking to usher in a new era at the club and is prepared to completely overhaul the squad in order to do so.
Each one of the defenders would benefit Barcelona
The Blaugrana would massively improve if they were able to get any of the four defenders on the shortlist.
Koulibaly has long been linked with a move to the Catalan giants and is set to leave Napoli this summer, having already rejected a contract extension from the club. However, the Senegalese defender’s contract is set to run out in 2023 and the Italian club have no intention of letting him leave.
Jules Kounde would provide a younger option and would go a long way in setting the club up for years to come. The Frenchman is only 23-years old and will continuously improve. The only problem with signing Kounde would be the transfer fee as Sevilla will reportedly not accept anything less than €60 million for the defender.
Inigo Martinez would be the cheapest option on the list and the safest bet as the Spaniard is a veteran in La Liga, having played in the league since 2011. The 31-year old would also provide Barcelona with a left-footed option, but wages could pose a huge problem for the Blaugrana due to the difference in tax laws between the Basque country and Catalonia.
Romagnoli is a free agent this summer but is coming off captaining AC Milan to their first Scudetto win in 11 years. It seems likely that the Italian will renew his contract with the Rossoneri, which would rule out a move to Barcelona.
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