According to SPORT, Barcelona are following the progress of Boca Juniors midfielder Alan Varela and have received ‘excellent’ reports on the 21-year-old.
Varela is a defensive midfielder who trained at the Barça Academy in Buenos Aires before being absorbed by Boca Juniors as part of an agreement that exists between the two entities.
The youngster has grown into a regular in the centre of the park for the Argentine giants, racking up more than 70 appearances in which he has one goal and three assists.
Varela’s eruption as a top talent in Argentina has not gone unnoticed, with several clubs from Europe casting admiring glances towards the 21-year-old.
And, according to the aforementioned report, Barcelona are also following the young midfielder and have very good reports on him from their scouts and trainers in Argentina, which has alerted the sports department.
Barça are in the market for reinforcements in the pivot position as they seek a long-term replacement for captain Sergio Busquets.
Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi has emerged as the priority candidate for manager Xavi Hernandez and director Jordi Cruyff. However, the Blaugrana are looking at several other possible candidates, with Varela being one among them.
The 21-year-old is already being linked with a move to SL Benfica as a possible replacement for Enzo Fernandez, who was also on Barça’s radars but could be headed for Liverpool.
Boca Juniors, for their part, are said to be asking for around €15 million for their midfield prodigy. The report states that Barcelona scouts believe Varela is mature enough to make the jump to Europe. But whether the Catalans are willing to take a punt on him remains to be seen.