Barça considers it urgent to improve its defense
Having closed their attack, the Barça team is now working intensely on the additions of Koundé, Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso
Barça does not rest in this transfer market. After the arrivals of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and the continuity of Dembélé, the Barça club now urgently needs to close players who once and for all underpin the defensive plot as soon as possible. It is a key week for Jules Koundé, Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso, three objectives that have been marked in red for months and whose operations have entered the final phase.
"Now it's time to work on defense. Xavi has us oriented to a series of players and I hope that the Catalans can take some more joy, "said Joan Laporta a day after making Lewandowski's arrival official. The maximum president culé is aware of the need that his club has to reinforce a plot that in recent years has been a real headache. Barça has been a fragile team, for whom it was too easy to give scoring chances and last season they received more goals than Real Madrid, Seville, Real Sociedad, Villarreal and Athletic in the league.
The chosen one to take a level jump in defense is Jules Koundé. The Sevilla center-back is one of the most sought-after players on the market and in recent weeks there has been a fierce fight between Barça and Chelsea to get the player. The Londoners reached an agreement in principle with the Seville club for an approximate amount of 60 million and five in variables, an operation that has collapsed in principle due to the firm will of the player to wear Barça. Koundé wants to sign for Barça, he already has an agreement with the entity chaired by Joan Laporta and the only thing missing is for both teams to agree on figures that could be around 60 'kilos' between fixed and variable.
The signing of Koundé is an absolute priority for Xavi. The Tarrasa coach considers it essential to be able to count on the French central defender to form a threesome at the rear along with Ronald Araujo, Christensen, Eric García and Gerard Piqué, who could see his participation relegated as the coach warned him at the time. "I can't make any progress. If any other comes, it will add up. The more the better. There will be many games this year, "said Xavi regarding the arrival of more central defenders after the Las Vegas classic.
The Sevilla center-back is not the only challenge that Barça has set itself for the next few days. The Catalans have been working for months on a task of attrition with Chelsea to incorporate Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso, two 'low cost' footballers but who Xavi considers can contribute a lot in defense. The versatile Navarrese defender, who likes him because of his seniority and experience, has seen how the negotiations have stalled due to the difficulty of the 'blues' in signing Koundé, his natural successor. In the case of the left-back, the main stumbling block is the 12 million euros that Chelsea is asking for, a figure that the culé board of directors hopes to lower to get a player who may be the much-desired alternative to Jordi Alba in the position of lane left handed.
let out before entering
The arrivals section is not the only one that worries Can Barça on the defensive plot. The culés began the summer with the aim of finding a way out for Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti and Óscar Mingueza. At this time, only the first, who left on loan to Tottenham until the end of the season, has found a destination while in the other two cases the operations have stalled and concern to the point of thinking about a possible contract termination to make room for new signings.
Neither of them traveled with the rest of the expedition to the United States and the club is still working to find a way out for them. Clubs such as Celta de Vigo, Monza, Hoffenheim or Genoa were associated with Mingueza, but neither option was fruitful and that has ended up making a Barça impatient that notices how time is upon them.
Umtiti's case is even more worrying. Barça had practically closed its departure to Rennes, but the French team backed down at the last minute due to doubts about their physical condition and at this time Turkey could be the alternative to release a player whose salary, although it was reduced to 2.7 million annually when it renewed until 2026, it remains a difficult mountain to climb for its suitors.