It’s that time of the season where transfer talk is in full circulation. Some names are popular when it comes to transfer dealings, Barcelona happen to be one of them.
No, it’s not another “cliche” news on Neymar but Barca could be getting their hands on yet another highly-rated playmaker.
According to a recent report by Mundo Deportivo (translated by The Daily Mail), Barcelona are prepared to fend off stiff competition from Manchester City and Manchester United in the race to land Dinamo Zagreb playmaker Dani Olmo at the end of this campaign. The same source has also mentioned that the Spanish sensation is refusing to pen a new contract extension at Zagreb with his current deal set to run out in the summer of 2021.
The 21-year-old is valued at €35m as per Transfermarkt and would literally be a steal at that price – in this current market. However, Zagreb are widely expected to demand more than that for Olmo who is highly rated already.
Olmo himself has already set the transfer ball in motion after his comments indicated he would be open to a Barcelona return in the nearest future.
‘It makes me happy the idea that Barcelona reconsider the possibility of bringing me home,’ he told Catalan newspaper L’Esportiu h/t by The Daily Mail.
‘My goal is to go to the European Championship [with Spain] and it will be difficult for me if in the next six months I’m only playing in a smaller league, like the one in Croatia.
‘I want to take a step forward. And not only to go to the Euro, but also to keep improving.
‘It’s not that I’m being offered, it’s just that I’m ready to take a step forward in my career.
Olmo’s sensational rise in Croatia
Therefore, the Croat outfit will have no option but to cash in on their prized asset next summer or else risk losing him for free the year after when he will be able to move on a Bosman transfer. The 21-year-old has enjoyed another productive season at Zagreb after putting in a string of prolific performances for Nenad Bjelica’s side so far.
Olmo has played in 22 matches for the Croat giants this term, scoring eight goals while providing seven assists in multiple competitions. His form in the UEFA Champions League group-stages has caught the eye after he averaged 2.2 shots, 1.0 key passes and 3.0 dribbles per game in Europe’s most prestigious competition (via whoscored).
The Terressa-born prospect earned his first senior cap for the Spanish national side when he featured for them in a UEFA Euro qualifying match against Malta back in November last year. He managed to get a goal in the game which has raised his stock even further in his homeland.
What will the Spanish midfield ace bring to his former club?
Having been a La Masia trainee since the age of nine before departing to Croatia as a 16-year-old, Olmo will already know the ideologies and principles of the club. He would naturally have the DNA of the club and that would help him fit in easier and quie quickly as well.
Tactically, Olmo has decent pace and is an excellent dribbler with the ball in the opposition half. He can take up some dangerous positions in the final third and can be a composed finisher in front of the opposition goal. The Spaniard also boasts terrific ball-control and has a low centre of gravity that helps him beat his marker when isolated in a 1v1 situation.
His versatility will also help a great deal. The 21-year-old is naturally an attacking midfielder (No 10) but can play perfectly on both wing flanks as well because he has the pace and skill-set to do so. Having someone that can slot in and fill different formations would be an effective addition. It would also see his chances of game time increase on a personal level.
Will recruiting Olmo be a wise move for the La Liga giants?
Bringing back a player of Olmo’s qualities to the Nou Camp could be a logical decision for Ernesto Valverde as he possesses the range of abilities to succeed at his old club. The Barcelona academy graduate has enjoyed a wonderful couple of years at Zagreb and is ready to take his game to the next level.
Acquiring the services of Olmo could turn out to be a wise move for the Catalans if they can find a way to agree to a potential transfer in the coming months.