The outfit need reinforcements in the transfer market to salvage their season.
FC Barcelona are going through a difficult period, struggling for form and results. Lionel Messi’s departure was a huge setback, as he moved to Paris Saint-Germain at the beginning of the 2021-22 season. Ronald Koeman lost his position as the manager after a string of poor results and underwhelming performances.
The club management appointed the legendary Xavi as his replacement to steady the ship. He was managing Al-Sadd in Qatar before agreeing to lead FC Barcelona and will have the responsibility to guide the club through this transitional phase. One of the key areas the Spaniard must work on is signing appropriate players, who will play a central role in changing the fortunes of the club. The winter transfer window will be the first opportunity for Xavi to sign players according to his ideology and planning.
Furthermore, the financial situation of the club reduces their immediate options to a certain extent. Having said that, here are the five players that FC Barcelona can sign in the winter transfer window:
5. Divock Origi (Liverpool)
FC Barcelona are in immediate need of reinforcement upfront since the news of Sergio Aguero’s heart condition. The Argentine is reportedly set to retire from the game after suffering from a cardiac arrhythmia. Aguero’s arrival at Barcelona was highly anticipated, but now the club must look for an alternative option.
This is where Divock Origi would be a great option for the LaLiga giants. The Belgian striker has not enjoyed regular game-time at Liverpool, despite scoring vital goals for them in short cameos. His contract with the Reds ends in June 2022, which suggests he can sign a pre-agreement with Barcelona and join for free in the summer.
4. Edinson Cavani (Manchester United)
Edinson Cavani is a striking option the club are chasing very openly. The outfit tried to enquire about the Uruguayan’s availability in the summer transfer window, but Manchester United refused to sell. Cavani scored 17 goals and made 10 assists in his first season with the Red Devils. He signed an extension prolonging his stay with the Premier League outfit for another year.
Cavani is out of contract in the summer of 2022, meaning FC Barcelona can sign the player for free, if he does not sign another extension with United, which also seems unlikely. Moreover, the Spanish outfit can bring in Cavani in the winter transfer window for a very nominal fee. He has not started as many games for Ralf Rangnick’s men due to the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo and owing to injuries.
3. Anthony Martial (Manchester United)
Anthony Martial’s agent confirmed a long-suspected rumour that the player is not happy with his lack of playing time and wants to move out in the winter transfer window. The Frenchman will likely move out on loan in the January window, before securing a permanent transfer, depending on the situation at Manchester United. The 26-year-old has gone down the pecking order following the arrivals of Cavani, Ronaldo and the preference for Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho.
Martial needs more game-time to make a strong case for the 2022 FIFA World Cup squad for France. Securing a loan deal would be a win-win situation for all parties involved. Xavi would relish working with a player of Martial’s technical qualities.
2. Donny van de Beek (Manchester United)
Donny van de Beek is another player at Manchester United, who did not enjoy a lot of game-time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He cannot secure a place in the starting lineup over the likes of Bruno Fernandes or Scott McTominay. The Dutchman also needs to play regularly and win a spot in the final squad of the Netherlands for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
FC Barcelona’s midfield needs energy and experience and the manager believes the young players cannot be the pillars through the transitional phase. The 24-year-old is a product of the Ajax academy and could forge a good partnership with his former teammate Frenkie de Jong.
1. Ferran Torres (Manchester City)
Ferran Torres is apparently the first name on the priority list for Xavi since his arrival at the club. The Spaniard is reportedly willing to take a pay cut to have the chance of representing FC Barcelona. Torres has impressed while playing for Manchester City, scoring 16 goals with four assists in 43 appearances.
A deal where Torres comes on loan in January with an obligation to buy looks like the ideal step. Torres is currently recovering from an injury and will return fresh, raring to go. His versatility in attack is exactly what Barcelona needs and such a move could bring their season back on track.