Sergio Busquets announced last Wednesday that he will leave Barcelona as his contract expires at the end of the season, after 15 years of service at the Blaugrana club.
Replacing the veteran anchorman, who have been a cornerstone of the team for many long years, will be obviously a huge challenge, but the club will have to find a successor for the Spaniard’s role.
Therefore, the signing of Rúben Neves seemed increasingly clear due to the fact that the Portuguese midfielder has become a club signing, necessary for further operations to be carried out and help to complete a summer puzzle, improving the competitiveness of the Catalan roster.
However, as per reports from SPORT, Xavi has his own list of favorites to succeed Busquets, from which the name of the Wolves ace misses. Instead, his list consists of the following three players: Martín Zubimendi, Sofyan Amrabat, and Guido Rodríguez.
Real Sociedad’s Zubimendi is probably the closest to Busquets’s profile, and thus, he is seen as the ideal choice to replace the leaving captain.
However, as he has a contract until 2027 with a buyout clause of €60 million, with the Basque club unwilling to negotiate, his arrival is very complicated and the club don’t see it clear to make such a big investment for the youngster.
Sofyan Amrabat, currently a Fiorentina player, has been one of the breakout sensations of the World Cup in Qatar. Barça already tempted him in the winter, but a move couldn’t materialize due to the Italian club’s objection towards such a departure.
Still, Xavi appreciates the Moroccan international a lot because of his discipline and work rate, but the €40 million price tag cooled down the interest from the club.
Guido Rodríguez, a recent world champion with Argentina, is the third candidate on the Catalan master’s list. The Betis player is very much appreciated because of his positioning and offensive contribution as well, but there is nothing advanced between the parties as the footballer has a contract until 2024 and Barcelona has not yet contacted him or the Andalusian club.
Nevertheless, this trio of Zubimendi, Amrabat, and Rodríguez remains the coach’s favorites, but it has a high possibility that Wolves’ Portuguese star Rúben Neves will end up being the chosen one after all.