Barcelona 2017/18 Transfer Plans: Arsenal & Chelsea stars part of £120m summer shopping list
Barcelona are set for a summer of real transition, with the hunt for a new boss already underway after Luis Enrique informed the board he would be leavindg at the end of the season earlier this month. But they are also planning to overhaul their playing staff by raiding sides in the Premier League and the Bundesliga.
Despite a remarkable Champions League comeback in the last 16 against Paris Saint-Germain, real issues have been discovered in the Blaugrana squad this season and a change of direction could well be on the cards. With Sergio Busquets struggling to find his best form, the Metro are reporting an interest from the Catalans in Chelsea enforcer Nemanja Matic, provided they miss out on PSG’s Marco Verratti and will look to do a deal at £35million.
The report claims Mundo Deportivo are reporting the interest, but that Blues boss Antonio Conte sees the 28-year-old Serb as a key man in his Stamford Bridge plans and wants to offer him a significant payrise in a new contract to ward off interest from Camp Nou.
Hector Bellerin of Arsenal is also on their wanted list and would cost around £40million. But Sky Sports claim Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is unaware of interest in the fullback. Although this particular transfer has been mooted previously, it has never come off because Bellerin has denied wanting to return to the club he grew up at. But with Wenger’s own future in doubt, with his contract up for renewal, now could be the time to strike. Barcelona do need cover at right-back, with Sergi Roberto the only option, himself having been converted from a central midfield role.
Aleix Vidal is still out after suffering a serious injury, and Bellerin appears tailor-made for the role. Manchester City, coached by former Barcelona man Pep Guardiola, are also said to be keen on luring him away from North London.
In attack, Barça are looking to strengthen by signing Borussia Dortmund star Ousmane Dembele in a £55million deal. The Daily Mail suggests the Frenchman is a long-term replacement for Lionel Messi, with the 29-year-old said to be delaying on his decision over a new contract.
Messi, alongside Luis Suarez and Neymar, has helped shape Barcelona in recent years, and it would be tough to see Dembele getting a game in the short-term, but he could definitely be a real asset for the club, especially if Thomas Tuchel, his boss at Dortmund, was to take over from Enrique.