Barcelona identify Arsenal as main rival in Spanish pivot chase


BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 15: Mikel Merino of Spain applauds the fans after the team's victory in the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Spain and Croatia at Olympiastadion on June 15, 2024 in Berlin, Germany.
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Since the departure of Sergio Busquets one year ago, FC Barcelona have a clear area of weakness in their squad, i.e., the midfield pivot position. The Catalans signed Oriol Romeu for this position last summer, but the former Girona midfielder was unable to retain his position in the starting lineup, and the Blaugranes are once again looking for a competent pivot this summer.

Several names have been linked with Barcelona for this position, but it is clear that getting the likes of Joshua Kimmich and Martin Zubimendi will be very difficult for the Catalans. Similarly, they are also facing a lot of difficulties in the pursuit of the Belgian Amadou Onana.

In such a context, a good market opportunity is arising for the Blaugranes in the form of the Real Sociedad midfielder, Mikel Merino. The midfielder, who turned 28 years of age yesterday, is currently a very popular option at Barcelona, with his ability to cover a lot of ground, and also because he is more affordable from an FFP point of view.

His contract with Real Sociedad is going to expire next year, and thus he will be available this summer at a reasonable price. However, Barça is not the only club keeping an eye on his situation in the coming summer transfer window.

Atletico Madrid are also monitoring the player, but according to Mundo Deportivo, it is the interest of Arsenal that is worrying Barcelona as the Catalans believe that the Premier League side can be a threat to their pursuit of the Spanish midfielder.

At 28 years of age, Merino has accumulated a lot of experience in European football, as he has played with Osasuna, Borussia Dortmund, and Newcastle United during his senior career.

Currently, he is one of the pillars of Imanol Alguacil’s Real Sociedad side and is also expected to be an important player for Spain in their UEFA EURO 2024 campaign.

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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