With their finances in a strained position and the significantly higher power of oil and state-backed clubs to pay a premium for the top footballers, FC Barcelona has embarked on a strategy to sign the up-and-coming players before they become too expensive.
South America is one of the club’s favorite talent-hunting grounds. Currently, there are three South American players with whom FC Barcelona are relatively advanced in negotiations according to SPORT.
Firstly, there is the Brazilian Vitor Roque, who plays in the Center Forward position, and who is preferred by Xavi as a long-term replacement for Robert Lewandowski. The club scouts and coaches are all convinced with the quality that Roque has shown with Athletico Paranaense and the Brazil U-20 team.
He will cost around €30 million, but the Catalans will have to pay the fee in deferrals and might have to increase the bonuses to decrease the upfront amount to be paid to the Brazilian club.
The second advanced operation is for the Uruguayan midfielder Fabricio Diaz. His performances in the South American U-20 tournament caught the eyes of a number of top clubs, including FC Barcelona, and the Catalans are convinced that Diaz would reach their first team in a short period of time.
The operation for his signing is already well advanced, as his agent was previously spotted at the club’s offices. The player will cost around €6 million, and he will be a part of the Barcelona B team at the time of his arrival, before being slowly incorporated into the first team.
Another Brazilian attacker, Angelo Gabriel, is the third player with whom Barcelona are in advanced negotiations. The player has attracted attention for his technique and also has a good left foot, which he has showcased in his appearances in the Copa Libertadores and Sudamericana.
The Blaugranes have a right of first refusal on the player, who currently plays for the Brazilian club Santos FC. The 18-year-old was already close to joining the Catalans when Ousmane Dembele was injured this January, but they decided to allocate all their resources to Gavi’s renewal at that time. Now they will have to make a decision on the player, as he is also entertaining offers from the Premier League.
All of these players are highly talented and have the potential to become the next big name for the Catalan club. However, these operations can only be finalized once the club’s situation regarding the financial fair play rules and their wage cap becomes clear.