There is a lot for Barca to unpack in this morning’s Gossip, with Antoine Griezmann said to be up for grabs…
BARCELONA TARGET MAN CITY STAR
Manchester City may have to make sacrifices in the coming months if their Champions League ban is not overturned, and Barcelona are supposedly hoping that Pep Guardiola might give up his single top-class centre-back.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barca are watching the progress of City’s appeal closely with Laporte in mind. The Catalans liked the French defender while he was at Athletic Bilbao but they were not prepared to go as high as City when they signed him in January 2018.
Since the report states that Laporte is happy at City where he is under contract until 2025, it seems the defender would be a long shot for Barca…
BARCA’S BIG NAMES TO TAKE SALARY CUT
Especially given Marca are reporting that Barca are having to hold talks with the big names already on their payroll over a possible salary cut since the club fears being unable to cover their current wage bill while the coronavirus halts the season in Spain.
Apparently, those discussions are said to have been positive, but Barca’s stars are reluctant to offer any guarantees while it remains unclear for how long the shut-down will continue.
GRIEZMANN UP FOR GRABS
Another option for Barca to meet their one billion euros-plus salary obligations would be to trim the fat around their squad. It has been reported that the club are looking to raise around £130million this summer from player sales – Samuel Umtiti and Philippe Coutinho are very much up for grabs – but that was originally being done to fund a spending spree of their own, with Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez most prominent in their thinking.
Sport says Barcelona are also prepared to sell Antoine Griezmann this summer. Barca royally pissed off Atletico Madrid last year when they paid for the France star to activate the £107million release clause in his contract but just a single, incomplete season later, it is reported that they would be prepared to accept £90million to shift Griezmann off the books.
The story is a bit sketchy when it comes to Griezmann’s potential suitors. ‘Clubs like Manchester United, PSG, Chelsea and Arsenal may be interested in buying him’, apparently. Indeed, they might. Griezmann is certainly one who got away for Ed Woodward but you would think even United would shy away if the 29-year-old was to start fluttering his eyelashes at them once more.
LIVERPOOL AND ARSENAL EYE EINTRACHT DEFENDER
Evan Ndicka sounds more like the type of player Arsenal might be interested in. And Liverpool are also said to be sniffing around the Eintracht Frankfurt defender.
That’s the claim of Sky Sports, which reports that the Premier League clubs are joined by Sevilla, Valencia and both Milan clubs in the race for the left-sided centre-back.
Liverpool are likely to be in the market for a defender with Dejan Lovren set to leave Anfield while Arsenal always need centre-backs, despite having an agreement in place should they want to sign Pablo Mari on a permanent basis.
Ndicka, a France Under-21 international, has made 14 Bundesliga starts this season and the 20-year-old can be deployed at left-back too.
AND THE REST
PSG, Real Madrid and Man City are considering a move for Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar… Kalidou Koulibaly is ready to leave Napoli with Man Utd again linked with the centre-back… Real Madrid are eyeing a move for Wolves striker Raul Jimenez… Leeds could move for Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale should they be promoted to the Premier League.