Barcelona have been taught a harsh lesson on how to maintain their finances. The former La Liga champions were left devastated financially, by the previous board. Having said that, the club has made quite a dramatic recovery and are now confident about gathering the minimum required funds to sign a marquee player like Erling Haaland for next term. It was only a few months back that they were considered down and out of the race to sign the 21-year-old.
It is a well-known fact that club president Joan Laporta has made the transfer of Erling Haaland is number one priority. But, the club has also recognised to bring in some immediate defensive reinforcements. Barca have been linked with Jules Kounde, Matthijs de Ligt, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Andres Christensen.
Sevilla are unlikely to listen to any offer below €80 million for Kounde, and more so, if the interest is from a direct rival. Chelsea have been negotiating with Sevilla for almost a year now, for Jules Kounde. This is because the Blues could lose three of their stalwarts in their backline on free transfers next summer. Contracts of Andres Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, and Cesar Azpilicueta expire at the end of this term and there have been no indications thus far they want to continue in the Premier League. It is understood that all three players could seek pastures new.
Barcelona make contact with Cesar Azpilicueta and Andres Christensen
Barcelona are looking to sign two quality defenders in Christensen and Azpilicueta on a Bosman for next term. This would not only provide the Blaugrana with some much-needed defensive backup but save funds for Erling Haaland. Currently, the former La Liga champions are considered to be the favorites to sign the Chelsea duo while Antonio Rudiger is said to be on the radar of Real Madrid.
As per reliable transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona have made contact with the duo but have not yet reached a final agreement with either of them. Romano reports that Christensen will not accept any offers to continue in the Premier League from other teams, but a renewal with Chelsea is not ruled out. A final decision, however, is yet to be made by the player and it is too early to predict anything in his case.
Andreas Christensen won’t consider any proposal from Premier League clubs to respect Chelsea. Barcelona and FC Bayern are both interested in signing him since January – still in talks. 🔵👀 #CFC
Barça have approached both Azpilicueta and Christensen. No full agreement yet. https://t.co/MmWGvQiCvY
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) February 24, 2022
Azpilicueta, on the other hand, is said to be close to joining Barca, with numerous sources claiming that an agreement has been reached between the player and Barca. Spanish outlet Sport understands that a two-year agreement is already in place with the 32-year-old, with an option to extend for another season.
Are Azpilicueta and Christensen good options for Barcelona?
Yes, no doubt about it. Barcelona are trying to offload the likes of Samuel Umtiti, Clement Lenglet, and until recently, Sergino Dest. Umtiti and Lenglet have lost form with the former spending more time on the sidelines than on the pitch, in the last two years. Lenglet on the other hand is no longer reliable at the back of the line and has been linked with a move to Tottenham.
The potential arrivals of Azpilicueta and Christensen will provide Xavi with some much-needed defensive depth. Gerard Pique is also tipped to retire at the end of this season but that is highly unlikely. However, there is no hiding the fact that he will be given a secondary role next season. Apart from potentially signing the Chelsea duo, Barca have also been tipped to sign another quality CB but with a limited, yet feasible budget, it remains unclear as to who would they go for.
A medical student with an avid interest for the game.