BARCELONA – Barcelona has more than Sergio Agüero and Memphis Depay under control, but the Catalan club is at the same time looking for another ‘9’ with more experience who can lead the attack in the long term, according to different sources explained to ESPN.
Neymar is no longer an option after renewing his contract with Paris Saint-Germain and everyone agrees that Erling Haaland would be the ideal ‘9’ to command the Barça attack in the next decade and make Luis Suárez forget.
However, sources acknowledge to ESPN that they are probing other ‘9’ in the market because the idea is to reinforce the attack with two new players and they know that removing the star from Borussia Dortmund this summer will be almost impossible.
In this sense, ESPN already uncovered months ago that Barcelona’s technical secretariat is closely following the evolutions of two young talents such as Alexander Isak, from Real Sociedad, and Darwin Núñez, from Benfica.
Barça is also studying other options for more consolidated forwards in the elite and a nearby source acknowledges to ESPN that Gerard Moreno would fit that profile.
The Spanish international has scored 27 goals in 42 games this season and has led Villarreal’s path to the Europa League final, but his past at Espanyol raises some doubts.
The same source slides ESPN that there are other names on the list but the final decision will not be made until we know what happens to a Lionel Messi, who on June 30 ends his contract with Barcelona.
The search for a young ‘9’ capable of leading the culé attack in the long term is being carried out in parallel to the conversations with Agüero and Depay.
A source acknowledges to ESPN that it is very likely that at least one of the two attackers will arrive at Barcelona this summer because they are considered good market opportunities since they would arrive for free after finishing their respective contracts with Manchester City and Lyon. However, whether Barça ends up signing only one or both of them will depend largely on the bid for Haaland, the search for the other alternative ‘9’ and Messi’s decision.
Barça has had several meetings in recent weeks with both Kun and Depay’s surroundings and a source confirms to ESPN that the conversations have been positive.
The two attackers have made it clear that they want to play for Barça even though they have offers from other clubs and both would even be willing to make an economic effort to play at the Camp Nou.
Agüero has already shown his level both in the League and in a great one like Manchester City and he knows Messi well.
A source acknowledges to ESPN that in the sports management there is no total consensus on his signing because in the summer he will be 33 years old and this season he has only scored four goals due to numerous physical problems.
However, they value that a forward of their prestige is willing to cut his salary and consider that in the short term it would improve the benefits of a Martin Braithwaite who has barely scored 7 goals this season.
In fact, whoever arrives to reinforce the attack, the idea of Barcelona is to make money with the Danish forward since they also have the return after injury of Ansu Fati.
For his part, Depay, who has scored 21 goals this season, is more versatile and at 27 he still has room for improvement, but his time at another big club like Manchester United was unsuccessful.
Ronald Koeman, who trained him in the Dutch national team, is his main supporter but a source acknowledges to ESPN that his signing is not directly linked to the future of a coach who has been touched after the latest disappointments against Granada, Atlético de Madrid and Levante.
Thus, Haaland continues to be Laporta’s great dream, but the new president of Barcelona is aware that the club’s economic situation will not allow large outlays and looks favorably on two proven footballers who would arrive for free.
Both operations are on the right track but the final decision depends on a Laporta who today is also considering whether to give Koeman another chance or whether to start a new project with another coach. ESPN revealed on Thursday that Hans-Dieter Flick was recently polled but club sources do not rule out that the Dutch coach will finally continue due to the lack of alternatives to replace him.