If recent reports are to be believed, Fc Barcelona will be going into the January transfer window with the intention of purchasing a top-level Defensive Midfielder, mainly to replace the now-aged Sergio Busquets.
Recent slumps in performances and perhaps even uncharacteristic quotes while being the team’s captain have been amongst the many reasons why neither fans nor potentially coaching staff at the club consider Sergio Busquets a definitive starter in the team anymore, particularly following El Clasico.
Now, the sporting sector of the club alongside Xavi will be hoping to acquire a possible replacement for the 34-year-old Spaniard in the upcoming winter transfer window. Among the potential targets for the winter, Martin Zubimendi and Ruben Neves in particular are the main names that come up in most reports.
In terms of priority, Zubimendi had been Barcelona’s primary in the summer but he has already renewed his contract with Real Sociedad until 2027. Although, he does have a release clause of 60 million euros in case Barcelona are willing to spend that amount to get his services, as both the sporting sector of the club and analytical reports suggest he’s the closest to a proper replacement for Sergio Busquets.
Another integral reason for favoring Zubimendi would be his experience in La Liga himself. This would help Barcelona to acquire a player that is already familiarised with the league’s culture and tactical expectations, making it easier for him to adjust to another Spanish club, regardless of the sizable difference in pressure and historical importance.
The other main transfer target is all the way in the Premier League, Ruben Neves from Wolves. However, the Portuguese international would also be an expensive acquisition if Barcelona do intend to pursue his signature, as Wolves demand at least 50 million euros to let go of the 25-year-old. He would definitely be the second priority for the Catalans if they fail to get Martin Zubimendi.
One more resort would be to recall Nico Gonzalez from the loan spell, as reports suggest Barcelona are not overly thrilled with the lack of minutes he’s being played for in Valencia.
Nico Gonzalez would definitely be a trustable player to have in the defensive midfielder position, but most of our youngsters lack the maturity and experience to consistently perform at the top level, something that would not be a major concern with Zubimendi and Neves.