Pursuing the services of PSG midfielder Marco Verratti has proven frustrating for the Blaugrana. It’s safe to assume that this deal will not go through as the Parisians have stood firmly against selling the Italian.
Obviously, the Barcelona midfield need a solid addition badly, as otherwise their struggles from this past season could very well continue.
With Iniesta quickly ageing, Verratti not forthcoming, and the likes of Rakitic and Gomes underperforming, here are 3 transfer options Valverde could make-do with in midfield:
The French midfielder has largely flattered to deceive in recent seasons, but there are reports suggesting that he’s in Barcelona’s plan B.
Kondogbia is a fine box-to-box midfielder, and his form during his Monaco years hint at a player with world-class potential. Indeed, while the Nou Camp’s floodlights can make many a good player falter, it could provide just the inspiration that Kondogbia needs to skyrocket his career.
Primarily a defensive midfielder, the 24-year-old also excels in a central midfield role where he is able to connect well with the forwards.
A skillful dribbler, the Inter Milan star oozes gasps in the way he beats his markers.
His ability to lay good passes makes him excel as a number 10, while he also does pretty well as a number 4 with his timely tackles.
Barcelona can do with his strength and tirelessness in a midfield that now seems a complete shadow of its former self.
A goal and 2 assists in 24 Serie A appearances last term are not exactly impressive stats, but if the former Sevilla man is able to discover the form of his life at Camp Nou, then he could be one of their best signings in recent campaigns.
Jean Michaël Seri
OGC Nice’s midfield last season had the Ivory Coast international calling the shots, and it’s no surprise that he’s attracting plenty of interest this summer.
Roma, Tottenham, and Arsenal are amongst suitors willing to lure the 25-year-old to their sides, while Barcelona have also been mentioned in the rumours.
At Camp Nou, Seri could become the Xavi that is badly needed given his keen eye for threading defence-splitting passes.
The midfielder has attempted and completed more passes than any player in the top flight of French football, statistics which support his claim to the throne of the legendary Xavi.
He also contributed 9 assists and weighed in 7 goals in 34 games at the end of an impressive campaign for both club and player.
Seri isn’t the most defensive-minded midfielder out there, but what he lacks in tackles, he makes up for with his ball-retaining ability and excellent distribution—he also created the most chances in this past Ligue 1 season (74).
Will Nice be willing to let such a quality player go? The bigger question here, though, is whether Barcelona would be willing to pay his £35 million release clause. If they do, Seri, who was voted into the Team of the Year for Ligue 1, could very well be a landmark success.
Roma still don’t look capable of breaking Juventus’ Serie A monopoly, and with the recent exits of Salah and Rudiger, it is only right for Nainggolan to follow suit if he ever wants to win medals.
A club like Barcelona could do with a player like the Belgium international. Though at 29, he represents a short-term option, it can’t be denied he is at the peak of his powers, and also looks capable of playing at the top level for at least 2-3 seasons more.
In 37 league games for AS Roma last term, Nainggolan scored 11 goals and assisted 5 others, highlighting the quality of his finishing in the final third.
His overall defensive contributions and ball-retention capabilities are 2 major qualities that would come handy in the Barcelona midfield, and he will without a doubt fit in perfectly at the club. His fighting spirit is also something that could prove beneficial to Barcelona at a time when the club lacks that type of personality.