Barcelona have already begun working to strengthen the team in the upcoming transfer windows, with the defensive midfield position identified as a key area that needs to be addressed.
Sergio Busquets is out of contract at the end of the season and will likely move on to the MLS, leaving a gaping hole in the centre of the park. Plans are already being made to sign a new pivot midfielder as early as January to cover for the club captain and eventually replace him.
Ruben Neves has emerged as the likeliest candidate for Barcelona to that end, with reports claiming that the Blaugrana already have all the necessary agreements to sign him.
But the problem remains that the club will need to make an important sale in order to incorporate the signing of the midfielder. And, as per SPORT, Frenkie de Jong has once again emerged as the likely candidate that Barça could consider selling.
The midfielder started the season with a reduced role under Xavi after deciding to stay put despite the club’s efforts to sell him. But he has gained a lot of prominence over the past couple of weeks thanks to some stunning performances, especially in the last two matches.
However, despite that, for Barcelona to make room for another midfielder they will need to sell one and de Jong may end up being the sacrificial lamb, given that the club will never sell Pedri and Gavi. Selling Franck Kessie would not help as much in terms of raising funds or freeing up salary mass.
With the funds generated, Barça could then buy two defensive midfielders, one of which would be Neves, and the other could be a player from the South American market.
The Catalans have had their eyes on talents like Danilo, who is a two-time Copa Libertadores winner with Palmeiras at just 21 years of age, while Vasco da Gama’s Andrey Santos is another option, which director Jordi Cruyff is working on already.
What seems clear is that Barcelona will work on bringing two defensive midfielders to ensure that there is depth in position once Busquets departs. And Neves is very much likely to be one of the two players to arrive.