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Barcelona rule out move for Premier League midfielder to replace Busquets

Barcelona’s search for a new number has been well-documented. The club are desperately looking for a defensive midfielder that can replace Sergio Busquets in the long run.

The veteran midfielder has been an excellent servant for the club over the past decade. But his contract at Camp Nou expires at the end of the season. Although Xavi is keen on keeping hold of him at least for another season, there are suggestions he may move to the United States.

In light of Busquets’ uncertain future, Barcelona are ready to splash the cash on a new defensive midfielder in the summer of 2023.

One of the targets Barça had in mind was Ruben Neves. The Wolverhampton Wanderers star has been on the radars of the Catalans for a long time, thanks to his consistent performances in the Premier League.

Neves’ aggressive and work ethic in the middle of the park and the fact that his contract expires in 2024 made him an appealing target for Barcelona.

However, according to Javi Miguel of AS, the Catalans are ready to move on from the Portuguese international and target other stars such as Martin Zubimendi.

This is because Xavi considers Neves ‘unsuitable’ for Barcelona. The club have already had a hard time investing in Franck Kessie, who is yet to get used to life at Camp Nou, with reports linking him with an exit in January.

Xavi similarly does not see Neves as the player with the right profile to operate in the pivot position in Barcelona’s 4-3-3 setup. Some reports even claimed that the Barcelona coach may find a new defensive midfielder even if the Blaugrana sign the Portuguese international in the summer.

Therefore, the club are ready to move on, with Zubimendi emerging as the likely option. The Spaniard knows the league well and should not find it difficult to settle into Xavi’s tactical setup.

As for Neves, he was said to be the preferred option of president Joan Laporta. However, it seems like Barcelona have ruled out a move for the Portuguese international.

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