Barcelona transfer news: Xavi eyes five free agents with Chelsea, Man City stars wanted and Liverpool, Man Utd to benefit

Xavi Hernandez, head coach of FC Barcelona, attends during the press conference before La Liga Match round 19 at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper

Barcelona are planning to sign up to six players this summer many of whom will be free agents – with stars of Chelsea and Manchester City set to join the first of one now-confirmed new arrival.

The Blaugrana are top of the La Liga with a 12-point advantage on reigning champions Real Madrid. As a result, Xavi’s side will soon be hoping to tie up what will be a first Primeira Liga title for the club since 2017/18.

And that five-year wait will be much celebrated given the club’s recent struggles on and off the pitch.

However, while good times appear back on the field for Barca, behind the scenes there still lurks a major financial peril.

That situation means the club are likely to be required to raise €200m just to get their situation in line.

As a result, star teenager Gavi has recently seen the contract he signed earlier this season blocked, returning the teenage star instead to a ‘academy player’ instead.

And with Barcelona blocked from registering his contract, they remain in danger of losing their £90m-rated star as a free agent this summer. That has seemingly alerted Liverpool, who are reportedly keen to pounce on Barcelona’s misfortune.

As a result of their financial difficulties, the club are unlikely to sign many, if any, players with a monetary value this summer. But that is not to say Barcelona will not be active.

And on the contrary, Barca boss Xavi, alongside president Joan Laporta, is planning what is reported as many as five new signings.

And according to Mundo Deportivo, a large portion of these will be free transfers.

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Barcelona want stars from Chelsea, Man City

Now the Spanish paper claims the first of these signings has been confirmed. And there is a confidence within the the corridors of power at the Nou Camp that a deal for Inigo Martinez is now done.

To that end, the 31-year-old Athletic Bilbao centre-half will reportedly sign as a free agent this summer.

The 19-times capped international has made 465 career appearances and brings a wealth of experience with him to Catalonia.

And Martinez will certainly not be the last free agent they try to sign this summer either.

Indeed, the report claims they are also planning to bring in two midfielders, a striker and a winger this summer.

Next on the agenda will be Manchester City star Ilkay Gundogan. The German’s contract at the Etihad expires this summer and is eligible to make a free transfer move. Pep Guardiola has already as good as given the move his blessing.

As far as a new striker is concerned, that is the one area of the field whereby Barcelona could look to spend some money.

And their No 1 target is Brazilian teenager Vitor Roque, with the 18-year-old a dream addition for Laporta.

Failure to finance the deal could yet see Arsenal pounce for the Athletico Paranaense.

And should they mss out, they will instead look to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back to the club.

The 33-year-old departed the Nou Camp after just six months last summer, sealing a move to Chelsea.

But that move has since gone sour and talk of a free-transfer return is gathering pace.

Man Utd among the sides likely to benefit from Barcelon peril

Barcelona are also looking to at least two more free transfers, though much will depend on departures too.

Marco Asensio, for example, looks a strong contender to fill Xavi’s wish to sign a new winger. Any move from Real Madrid, where he will become a free agent, will be steeped in controversey though.

As a result of their incomings, the club are reportedly looking to offload some of their prized assets.

And Manchester United are among the clubs looking to take advantage with both Frenkie de Jong and Ansu Fati among their targets. Of the pair, a deal for De Jong perhaps looks most promising.

He was wanted by Erik ten Hag last summer, only for the Dutch midfielder to spurn their advances.

However, United’s rapid progress under the former Ajax boss could yet force a rethink for the player. To that end, a €70m transfer remains possible.

Other stars likely to be up for grabs are Ferran Torres and Franck Kessie. Both players are reportedly on Tottenham’s radar, among others.

Barcelona, though, will be loathe to lose Liverpool target Gavi. They’ll do everything possible to reinstate him as a senior player before June 30. A free exit remains a possibility from July 1.

As such, it is shaping up to be a huge summer of change for Barcelona will multiple incomings and outgoings.

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