Barcelona face a new goalkeeping dilemma for the summer


BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 28: Inaki Pena of FC Barcelona makes a save from Fabio Cardoso of FC Porto during the UEFA Champions League match between FC Barcelona and FC Porto at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on November 28, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

As the current season reaches its final phases, the planning for the next season is fully underway at FC Barcelona. The Catalan club is exploring its options to bring in a midfield pivot, a winger, a fullback, and another interior midfielder, as these positions have been identified as the most in need of reinforcement.

However, in addition to these positions, another position in which the club is considering making some changes is that of the goalkeeper. Interest in Ter Stegen from Saudi Arabia has raised uncertainty about his future at Barcelona, but for now, it is his deputy who’s future is being considered at the club.

As Mundo Deportivo has reported, the Catalans are debating about the future of the second goalkeeper, Inaki Pena. The young goalkeeper had some good matches in Ter Stegen’s absence earlier in the season, but gradually his performances started getting shakier, and the team conceded a lot of goals with him between the sticks.

Thus, Barcelona are considering whether they should get a more experienced replacement for the Spaniard. The Blaugranes are also concerned that Pena will start asking for more minutes as years go by, and also understand that now is a good time to sell him as his stock is high after he got a string of impressive first-team appearances this season.

Pena has a contract with Barcelona till 2026, but if Barcelona decide to get a replacement for him, there are several interesting options already available in the market. One of the names that can rouse the Catalans’ interest is Luis Maximiano, who is playing for Almeria on loan from Lazio.

Maximiano is not too high on Lazio’s list of goalkeepers, and will also be looking to leave Almeria if the Spanish club is relegated this season. Thus, the 25-year-old can be a realistic option for Barcelona, even though his current contract at Lazio goes till 2027. Barcelona have already scouted him in the past.

Similarly, there are other interesting options available in the market as well. One of the most notable goalkeepers who can arrive at Barcelona for free is the Spaniard David de Gea.

Having run out his contract with Manchester United, the 33-year-old keeper is now without a team, and his experience of playing at the highest level makes him a very attractive option.

Two players from the youth sides, 17-year-old Diego Kochen and 19-year-old Ander Astralaga are also performing well in Barcelona youth ranks, but their relative lack of experience at a high level goes against them at this time.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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