To kickstart their summer transfer activities, Barcelona recently unveiled Memphis Depay as the club’s new summer signing. However, in recent days, the Catalans have been linked with more outgoing than incoming players.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the financial situation in Barcelona along with years of financial mismanagement. It is certain that the Blaugrana will first have to sell some players before they can bring in more new faces.
Ronald Koeman will be glad that Lionel Messi is close to extending his stay at the Camp Nou. But in order to challenge for the La Liga title next season, Barcelona must sign reinforcements, especially in defense and midfield. Here is a look at five players who have been linked with Barca this summer:
#5 Alessio Romagnoli | AC Milan
One of the players who has been consistently linked with a move to Barcelona this summer is Alessio Romagnoli from AC Milan. The Catalans reportedly want the centre-back and will send Philippe Coutinho to Italy in exchange.
Romagnoli has refused to sign a contract extension at Milan. With his current deal running out next summer, the club might be tempted to sell their captain this summer in order to avoid him leaving for free in 2022.
In his six years with AC Milan, Romagnoli has made over 200 appearances in all competitions. He is known for his accurate passing and is extremely capable defensively. Last season, the 26-year-old completed an average of 3.5 clearances, 0.8 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per game.
While Romagnoli is an integral player in Stefano Pioli’s team, it appears likely that he might soon be on his way to Barcelona. Ronald Koeman will be eager to improve his squad’s defense after they conceded 38 goals in the previous campaign – the most among the clubs which finished in the top four in La Liga. Barcelona are also in dire need of a left-footed, ball-playing center back and Romagnoli fits that bill quite nicely.
#4 Donny van de Beek | Manchester United
Donny van de Beek‘s first season at Manchester United has not gone according to plan at all. Out of the 38 Premier League games, the Dutchman was in the squad on 34 occasions but started just four games. He also finished the season with only one goal and two assists in 36 matches across all competitions.
Having failed to nail a spot in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI, van de Beek might leave United this summer. He has reportedly been offered the chance to join Barcelona.
The 24-year-old is currently valued at €40 million, but with limited finances, the La Liga giants could push for a loan deal. Reports have also suggested that Barcelona could offer Samuel Umtiti in a swap deal for van de Beek. Umtiti has fallen out of favor at Barcelona and his recent injuries have also forced him to consider a move out of Camp Nou.
Should the deal between the two clubs work out, Barcelona will have a quality midfielder in their ranks. It would also be a good opportunity for van de Beek, who can start afresh after a disappointing 2020-21 season.