Portuguese midfielder the most ‘viable’ Busquets replacement for Barcelona

Barcelona have ambitious plans for the upcoming summer transfer window.

Robert Lewandowski remains at the top of the agenda for the Blaugrana heading into the summer. At the same time, the Catalans are looking to strengthen several other positions in the squad.

Manager Xavi Hernandez has made it clear that he wishes to have two options for every position across the pitch. It has led to the club looking for a new defensive midfielder to cover for and eventually replace captain Sergio Busquets.

Barcelona have narrowed in on three potential options for the role in Ruben Neves (Wolves), Aurelien Tchouameni (AS Monaco) and Martin Zubimendi (Real Sociedad).

However, as reported by SPORT, Barça have identified Neves as the most viable option to replace Busquets in the long run due to their good relationship with Wolves and his agent Jorge Mendes.

In the recent past, Barcelona have done multiple transfer deals with the Premier League club, having sold Nelson Semedo and loaned Francisco Trincao last summer, while they signed Adama Traore on loan in January.

At the same time, Barça president Joan Laporta shares a strong relationship with Jorge Mendes, who represents Neves and has close ties with Wolves as well, having helped them broker deals for several players in the past.

All these factors stack up in favour of Neves being the most viable candidate to reinforce the pivot position in the squad for Barcelona this summer.

However, as per the report, Wolves would demand a sum of €50 million for Neves, something that the Catalans do not intend to pay. Instead, the La Liga heavyweights plan to bring down the price by offering players in exchange as part of the deal.

The names of Riqui Puig, Oscar Mingueza and Nico Gonzalez have emerged as possible makeweights in the transfer for Neves in the summer. The first two are expected to be sold this summer, while Nico could be allowed to leave on loan due to competition for places.

It will be interesting to see if Barcelona are able to strike a deal to sign Neves or are forced to look elsewhere.