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Premier League midfield pair on Barcelona transfer shortlist to replace Sergio Busquets next summer

The 34-year-old is in the final year of his contract in Catalunya and the Spanish giants are beginning to consider just how to replace one of the club’s greatest-ever academy products

The evolution of Barcelona has taken off under legendary former midfielder and now manager Xavi after his reign began last season when he showed from the outset that faith in his ability was not misplaced after he pushed his boyhood club into the Champions League places come seasons end.

This summer, the club’s hierarchy continued to back the new manager despite the wealth of financial issues gripping the very heart of the Spotify Camp Nou outfit and supplied the 42-year-old with a cadre of high-profile transfer moves for Robert Lewandowski, Jules Koundé, and Raphinha for a total of over €153m while also securing free transfers for Franck Kessié, Andreas Christensen, Marcos Alonso, and a Barça return for Héctor Bellerín.

But one question still yet to be answered is how Barça plans to move on from another son of its vaunted academy ranks in Sergio Busquets.

Third on the club’s all-time appearance list for both club and country while also the current Barcelona and Spanish national team captain, Busquets has been at the tip of the spear for Barcelona going into his fifteenth season at the club after making his debut in 2008, which has included an astounding 27 major honors for the Spanish giants including eight La Liga titles and three Champions League winners medals.

However, Busquets is entering the final year of his contract with the club with Barça now considering options that can succeed him in the vital holding midfield role.

Though Frenkie De Jong remained after a protracted transfer saga involving Manchester United for the vast majority of the summer window, earlier today it was reported that Barcelona was considering returning to Chelsea and targetting Jorginho to pick up the mantel next season, but now have also been linked with interest in Manchester City star Rodri according to Diario Sport and Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich.

However, the reality that comes with a potential deal for either Rodri or Kimmich would be the fee necessary to prize either player out of the Etihad Stadium or Allianz Arena respectively, and as such, Jorginho would certainly be touted as the most affordable option of the central triumvirate but still commanding respect across the continent on the back of a very credible club and international career.

Jorginho, who turns thirty-one during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar this winter, is also out of contract at Chelsea after the current 2022-23 Premier League season, and given the notion that the Blues conducted a pair of transfer deals this summer that targeted long-term midfield pieces in the vein of Carney Chukwuemeka and Cesare Casadei while still having N’Golo Kanté, Mateo Kovačić, and Mason Mount on the books, it is hardly out of the realm of possibility that the Blues part ways with Jorginho allowing Barcelona to source a viable replacement while still taking into account their financial picture.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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