5) Ruben Neves
The Wolves midfielder has so far shown why he has been considered as one of the most exciting prospects across Europe. He has been impressive in the centre of the park alongside Joao Moutinho and is eye-catching performances have already attracted interest from big giants. Manchester City are reportedly interested in signing the midfielder and will test Wolves’ resolve with a 50 million bid in the January transfer market while Manchester United too are reportedly interested. One club though should be interested is Barcelona. Sergio Busquets has been integral to Barca’s success in the last decade or so but with him now in his 30s,Barca cannot expect him to play at the same level week in week out. This is vital especially in the latter stages of the season when games come in thick and fast. Neves’ addition would not only be a potential long-term replacement but the midfielder will also guarantee quality in the short term.
4) Lautaro Martinez
Luis Suarez once again defied critics by stepping up for Barca in Messi’s absence in the El Clasico. The Uruguayan scored an incredible hattrick to decimate Real Madrid. Like Busquets though, Suarez is now on the other side of 30 meaning that the Uruguayan will need a rest every now and then. Barca have already been on the lookout for a long term replacement for Suarez. They did have a potent striker in their ranks in Alcacer but the club mysteriously let him go and he is now banging goals for Borussia Dortmund. Their search might lead them to Lautaro Martinez, who has been shining for Inter so far. The 21-year old has been likened to Sergio Aguero for his style of play. It is only a matter of time before Martinez’s stock too goes rising up.
3) Alex Sandro
Jordi Alba was at his absolute imperious against Real Madrid with his trademark overlapping runs. But the club desperately lack a quality back up for the Spaniard. Lucas Digne’s departure has left a void in that position for the club. One quality left-back who is likely to be available is Juve’s Alex Sandro. The Brazilian has been at Juve for three seasons now and has developed into a fine left-back. But with the Old Lady reportedly keen on reuniting Ronaldo with Marcelo, Sandro could soon find himself warming the bench in Turin. A move to Barca does make a whole lot of sense both for the player and the club.
Credit to Lenglet, that he is starting to show signs of being the player Barca thought they were signing. But the club cannot certainly rely on Lenglet to make the position his own certainly not when Lenglet has had the kind of underwhelming start to his Barca career. Koulibaly at Napoli has developed into a world-class ball playing centre half, which makes him a perfect fit for Barca. With Pique showing signs of slowing down and Umtiti out injured, Koulibaly could prove an astute addition to the squad.
The teenage sensation is getting better game by game and his progress is particularly daunting considering that despite his age, he is already amongst the very best. A player touted to eventually take over the mantle from Messi and Ronaldo, it is befitting that both Barca and Real have been keen on signing the Frenchman as a potential long-term replacement for their mega-stars. Barca would definitely want to take the leap here given their reliance on Messi and witnessing what has happened to Real Madrid since Ronaldo’s unanticipated departure.