If there’s one thing that we learned from Barcelona being allowed their very own February transfer window, it’s that the Catalan giants are in desperate need of bolstering their attacking options.
La Blaugrana were, infamously, given special dispensation to sign a striker after the winter window had closed, following Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez’s season-ending injuries. And the Spanish champions pinched Leganes forward Martin Braithwaite from their La Liga rivals, to provide cover for the remainder of the campaign.
But that move, though potentially devastating for Leganes, was little more than a gap-plugging panic buy. The Catalan side are far from finished in their hunt for a top-class striker.
La Blaugrana has been heavily linked with Inter striker Lautaro Martinez in recent transfer windows, and La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the Italian side may be open to discussions over a possible sale – but they want Frenchman Antoine Griezmann to be thrown in as a makeweight in the deal.
I Nerazzurri are not prepared to be pushed around in these negotiations, and given they would be losing one of Europe’s rising stars, Antonio Conte’s side are not willing to simply hand him over.
For Barcelona however, this may not be as ridiculous a hypothesis as it may first appear. The suspension of Europe’s leagues amid the coronavirus outbreak has had severe implications on clubs’ finances, and subsequently transfer spending is expected to be far more stringent in the coming windows.
So a swap deal including an out-of-sorts Griezmann could help push this deal in the right direction. However, Marca has claimed that Barcelona are not keen on giving up on the French star’s time in Catalonia just yet, and they are planning for life without Martinez instead.
La Blaugrana are sizing up a move for Real Sociedad star Alexander Isak, following his impressive performances in La Liga this season. The Swedish forward has bagged 14 goals this campaign, and his commanding displays have caught Barça’s eye.
There is just one problem, though. Once again, the weight of the fee may prove too costly for his potential suitors, as the 20-year-old’s contract boasts a €70m buyout clause.
Given that Sociedad signed him for €30m in 2019, they’re unlikely to want to lose him for any less than the price quoted in his current deal.
After some poor moves in recent transfer windows, the pressure is on Barça to get this next deal right.