14/12/2021; 7:42 PM By : Steven D. Thompson
Xavi hasntified Azpilicueta, Rudiger and Pulisic as players who would do his squad plenty of good.
Barcelona are currently in poor shape. Despite the change of hands, the results are no different from the previous managers. The problem at the Nou Camp is deep-rooted, and no matter the good intentions of the manager Xavi, the team is in no shape to challenge for titles.
Perhaps, it might do Los Blaugrana some good if they stop relieving the good old days when they dominated Spain and Europe. They should work the present situation to the best of their abilities without lofty targets within a short time.
Barcelona's situation shows that success depends more on the personnel at the manager's disposal than the tactics deployed. Plenty of the Barca stars are past their sell-by date and should be put to pasture. With the core of its victorious past all but gone, players like Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets should see the handwriting on the wall. They are not what Barcelona need at the moment.
The club hierarchy understands the club needs to change tact, but they are limited by funds. They have decided to work the market for players who could arrive for free.
Chelsea is on the verge of losing three of its stars, with Barcelona snooping around the team. The European champions have a few players whose contracts are about to expire, and the club has been unable to agree on new deals with them.
Barcelona have made a few of these players’ primary targets to bolster their squad. Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Christian Pulisic are players that Barca manager Xavi is keeping an eye on.
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona has made the duo of Azpilicueta and Rudiger their primary focus to fix their defensive problems. Azpilicueta and Rudiger have yet to agree on new deals with Chelsea and could leave the club for free.
Pulisic has a running contract till 2024 and is only paid a weekly wage of £145,000-a-week. Barcelona does not have the funds to pursue a permanent transfer and would prefer a loan deal.
With limited funds, Barcelona have to work the transfer market to their advantage. It means that players with contracts about to expire, free agents and loan deals would appeal more to the club. The swagger of yesteryears is gone, and the present reality is dim.
Barcelona face a challenge from Spanish rivals Real Madrid for Antonio Rudiger. The defender is unlikely to sign an extension at Chelsea, but it still poses a difficult deal to pull across the line for Barca.
Rudiger currently earns £100,000-a-week, but the defender is holding out for £400,000-a-week. The desires of the 28-year-old make it difficult for Barcelona as meeting the German’s wage demands is an uphill task for the Catalans. Rudiger might also not want to feature for a side that is unlikely to make it to next year’s UEFA Champions League.
Azpilicueta is a more realistic target after falling behind Reece James in the pecking order. He has also not signed a contract extension and could leave for free next summer.