With the 2021/22 season almost done and dusted, the focus at FC Barcelona will now completely shift towards the summer transfer window that will begin shortly.
And manager Xavi Hernandez has already sketched out his plans for the window, with the Barcelona icon seeking to bring in as many as seven players. However, that number could change should there be any unexpected exits from Camp Nou.
And one player who might end up leaving Barça in the summer amidst the club’s financial difficulties is Frenkie de Jong. The 25-year-old has been a mainstay in the centre of the park since his arrival from AFC Ajax in 2019 in a deal worth €86 million.
However, he has been unable to make the level of impact expected of him. Nevertheless, Xavi considers the Netherlands international a key part of his plans. But at the same time, the manager is also aware of the financial situation at the club and would not be surprised if he were sold.
De Jong has no shortage of suitors either, with Manchester City, Manchester United, and PSG among the clubs monitoring his situation at Camp Nou. In case the club decide to sanction his departure, they have already lined up two midfield replacements, reports Javi Miguel.
As per the AS journalist, Barcelona have identified Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler and Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi as two players that they will look to sign in the summer if they were to part ways with de Jong.
Soler has been linked heavily with a move to Camp Nou of late, with reports going as far as claiming that Barça had already struck an agreement with Valencia to sign the Spanish international and personal terms were also agreed.
However, Los Che have since denied those claims and have insisted that they are trying to negotiate a new contract with their academy graduate, whose current deal runs out in 2023.
As for Zubimendi, he would not exactly be a like-for-like replacement for de Jong, but more of a cover for Sergio Busquets in the No. 6 role. The 23-year-old is a defensive midfielder who could go on to take over the mantle of the anchorman at Camp Nou from the club captain in the long run.
Either way, a move for Zubimendi and Soler would largely hinge on what the future holds for de Jong. If the Netherlands international stays put, Barcelona are unlikely to go after another midfielder, having already secured the services of Franck Kessie on a Bosman deal.