Barcelona‘s midfield is in a state of flux following the departure of two key players in that role. Firstly, club legend Andres Iniesta called time on his career at the Nou Camp, moving to wind down the rest of it in Japan with Vissel Kobe.
Iniesta will be irreplaceable, of course, but the arrival of Arthur mitigates the blow of losing the mazy dribbler, after the Brazilian midfielder completed his move from Gremio this summer.
But while those moves were expected, Paulinho’s return to China wasn’t. Arturo Vidal is likely an upgrade over the Brazilian, although the Chilean’s spell at the top of his game is drawing to a close with him reaching 31 years of age this year.
Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets are in their 30s as well. It is obvious that both will need to be replaced over the next few years.
The Catalonians have been linked with several players, but one stands above all the rest at the top of their wishlist: Paul Pogba. According to reports, they fancy their chances of landing the 25-year-old this summer.
Barca enjoy a strong, time-trusted relationship with Pogba’s notorious super-agent Mino Raiola. Convincing the Frenchman and his agent to push for a move to Camp Nou does look a little on the easier side at the moment.
United will, of course, be out for their own pound of flesh from Barca, having ponied up cash in excess of £90 million. The Catalan outfit could be lining up money for such a bid already.
They are currently in the midst of offloading players deemed surplus to requirements. While full-backs Lucas Digne and Aleix Vidal have already departed the club, Yerry Mina, Paco Alcacer, and Rafinha are also expected to be on the move.