With the imminent departure of Sergio Busquets looming just on the horizon, FC Barcelona has stepped up its search for the ideal candidate to replace one of their most decorated players and current team captain.
While this search has taken Barcelona scouts from Ruben Neves to Kante and Jorginho, the latest reports from SPORT suggest that the Blaugrana club might not even have to go to the market to replace Busquets, as there is increasing confidence in the board that Frenkie de Jong would be more than a suitable replacement.
Frenkie de Jong has taken a step up in this season, despite having a difficult start. The last summer window saw constant speculation about the Dutchman leaving the club, and his strained relationship with the club hierarchy because of wage deferrals and other similar problems.
However, Xavi has since experimented with the young player, using him at times as an interior midfielder, while playing him as a single pivot in front of the defense at other times. De Jong has impressed the head coach with his performances in both of these roles.
This preference for Xavi is also being driven by the economic state of the club. Previously, it was stated that Martin Zubimendi was being considered the ideal replacement for Busquets, but his €60 million price tag means bringing him to Camp Nou would be a risky and difficult operation.
Thus, the club is becoming increasingly open to bet on Frenkie de Jong as a single pivot, who will be supported by highly energetic players in Pedri and Gavi in Barcelona’s future midfield.