Ronald Koeman is adamant his Barcelona side needs urgent strengthening – but has strongly suggested moves for two targets look like a no-go this month.
The LaLiga giants have recovered from a shaky start to the season under the Dutchman and now lie third in the table. The club, however, remain in a perilous financial position after their finances suffered following the coronavirus pandemic.
Koeman was desperate to strengthen his defence this month with a move for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia. It’s a similar situation with Wijnaldum, who has also been identified as a key target for Barca.
The pair will both fall out of contract at the end of the season. As such, Koeman admits that while he’d love to sign his targets now, any deals for free agent targets must be held off until the summer.
“My position is known: we lack people, but the economic situation of the club is an influence,” Koeman said.
“I think we all think the same. If no one arrives, I accept it and we continue the same, but if we want more we must sign.”
Asked how he felt about seeing a January swoop for Garcia blocked by his board, Koeman insisted he is simply doing what is right.
“We cannot demand that the Management Board make decisions like this,” he said. “We have concluded that if he is a player whose contract is ending, we must wait.
“If we moved now we would have to pay the transfer fee plus the player’s salary.”
Addressing Garcia’s situation, it seems Pep Guardiola is resigned to the player’s departure this summer.
“I’m pretty sure he’s going to leave at the end of the season,” the City boss said. Now, in this transfer window, it will depend on the clubs. We’ll see until the end of the transfer window.”
That’s also the case with Wijnaldum. Reports last week also stated the player had agreed a pre-contract agreement to join Barcelona.
While the Dutchman soon put out a statement to deny those reports, he did admit there was uncertainty over his future.
And while summer moves cannot be ruled out for either, the prospect of the pair leaving during January do, at least, seem remote.
Barcelona also keen on Aguero
The Argentina star is nearing the end of his contract at the Etihad Stadium, with reports suggesting he will move on.
To that end, Barca are ready to pounce by making their move, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Catalan giants are on the hunt for attacking reinforcements after losing Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid.
Antoine Griezmann has not been at his best since joining the club, while Lionel Messi’s long-term future remains unclear.
To that end, Mundo suggests that Aguero’s arrival would go some way to appeasing the unhappy Messi.
Aguero has been one of the world’s top strikers for a number of years. However, he has consistently been plagued by injury issues.