Barcelona will reportedly target Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella as a potential Plan B option to Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz to strengthen that area of the squad.
The Catalan giants remain on course to enjoy a successful season this year if the campaign can be concluded amid the coronavirus crisis.
Quique Setien’s side sit top of the La Liga table and remain in the hunt for the Champions League, and so things could still look pretty positive in the coming months.
However, with Sergio Busquets turning 32 this summer, Ivan Rakitic already 32 and Arturo Vidal turning 33 in May, their current midfield options are ageing with only Frenkie de Jong and Arthur offering a long-term plan.
In turn, they have been heavily linked with a move for Ruiz, as noted by AS, who Setien knows well from their time together at Real Betis.
Given the technical quality, composure and classy ability on the ball that Ruiz possesses, he would arguably be an ideal fit for Barcelona in terms of their style of play.
However, it remains to be seen if he can be prised away from Napoli this summer, as he remains an important part of the side for the Serie A giants.
Perhaps with that in mind, Calciomercato, via AS, report that Barcelona have identified Barella as a possible alternative option to Ruiz if they can’t sign him, with the Italian international impressing this season for Inter.
The 23-year-old has scored three goals and provided six assists in 29 appearances for the Nerazzurri, and although he’s perhaps a little more tenacious than classy compared to Ruiz, he has been effective in the final third as per the stats above, and could be a good option to fill the void that the likes of Vidal or Rakitic might leave behind if they move on.