Barcelona are interested in signing Eintracht Frankfurt defender Evan Ndicka in the January transfer window.
Frankfurt are enjoying an excellent Bundesliga campaign, in fourth position after 15 games, and Ndicka has been a key factor.
The 22-year-old has played every game for the German club, having played 32 of 34 in the 2021-22 season.
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He had previously been linked with Manchester United as a replacement for Harry Maguire, and is wanted by fellow Premier League clubs Arsenal and Tottenham.
But German outlet SPORT1 are reporting that Ndicka is also wanted by Xavi’s high-flying Barcelona side.
The Catalan club are top of La Liga, with an exceptional defensive record, but they are in the market for a left-footed centre-back.
Andreas Christensen, Eric Garcia, Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo are all right-footed, while former Chelsea man Marcos Alonso is not a natural in the position.
Barcelona want Ruben Neves
Barcelona are also looking at Wolves captain Ruben Neves, despite Xavi’s doubts over his suitability to replace Sergio Busquets in midfield.
Neves has been a long-term target for Barca and was close to joining them last summer, but the club could not afford Wolves’ €50 million asking price and prioritised other arrivals instead.
The La Liga giants outfit are looking to revamp their midfield as Sergio Busquets is likely to depart when his contract expires in the summer, with speculation heavily linking him with a move to MLS side Inter Miami.
“It will be a very difficult game”
— Xavi on being drawn against Ceuta in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey pic.twitter.com/FtNljau5q9
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 7, 2023
However, Spanish outlet SPORT claims that Xavi is desperate for Busquets to stay at the club for at least another six months, although the Barca captain would have to take a wage cut in order to do so.
The report suggests that Barca will be unable to afford Xavi’s ideal replacement in Martin Zubimendi, who will not be allowed to leave Real Sociedad for less than his €60m release clause.
As a result, Barca are exploring cheaper options and, while Xavi would like Busquets to extend his stay for another season, the club may opt to move for Neves.