Mercato Barça: a new "low-cost" lead to replace Busquets

29/06/23 16:11 by Fabien Borne

Barça's search for a new defensive midfielder to replace Sergio Busquets, who has left for Inter Miami, has been on for weeks, without success. A situation which could lead the Catalan club to fall back on a player trained at La Masia, Oriol Romeu.

Xavi has said it over and over again: his priority at the mercato is to find a defensive midfielder to succeed Sergio Busquets, who has decided not to extend his contract at Barça and to try his luck in America with his friend Lionel Messi's Inter Miami.

Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich) and Martin Zubimendi (Real Sociedad) were quickly identified as Barça's "premium" leads, but both players are too expensive for the reigning Spanish champions, who are obliged to sell and reduce their wage bill to hope to position themselves in this kind of €60 million dossier.

The hottest prospect in recent days has been Marcelo Brozovic, whom Inter Milan are willing to sell for 23 million euros. The Italian club has reached an agreement with Al Nassr for this amount, but the 30-year-old Croatian defensive midfielder has yet to give the Saudi club the green light, although they intend to insist.

Oriol Romeu to replace Brozovic?

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Brozovic already has an agreement with Barça, but has given them a week to make an offer to Inter Milan, failing which he will move to Saudi Arabia. The problem is that Barça need to sell before they can make an offer to Inter, and would like to part company with Franck Kessié, <a href=/news/mercato-barca-a-saudi-club-goes-after-kessie> who also appeals to Saudi Arabia and could leave for around twenty million euros.

For the moment, Kessié is still on the books and Brozovic is on stand-by, prompting the Catalan club to look at cheaper alternatives. The name of Dani Parejo (34), an experienced midfielder from Villarreal, has been linked with Barça, but according to Mundo Deportivo, this is no longer an option (AS claims that the player has turned Barça down).

On the other hand, the Catalan daily claims that Barça could succeed in acquiring Oriol Romeu. Now 31, the current Girona defensive midfielder has played for Chelsea and Southampton after training at La Masia. His release clause is set at 10 million euros, more than Barça can afford. Oriol Romeu is coming off a successful season with Girona and looks a credible option for Barça.