Spanish news outlet, Don Balon claims that Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has put forth a motion to target Juventus midfielder, Miralem Pjanic ahead of the 2018/19 season. The Argentine feels that the midfield could do with some restrengthening after Andres Iniesta’s departure and Pjanic might be the ideal man to do so.
This certainly is a conflicting bit of news since the Blaugrana have already made provisions for such a possibility. They signed Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool last January for a whopping £146m transfer fee. The Brazilian has been made to play out wide due to Iniesta’s presence but now that the 33-year-old is set to leave, Coutinho might get reinstated in his more preferable attacking midfield role.
Obviously, Real Madrid’s third consecutive UEFA Champions League crown sets a different tone at the Camp Nou and inside Messi’s head. Their bitter rivals have dominated the European stage for the past 5 years, winning 4 in that period and improving their tally to 13 in total.
In the process, Messi’s Balon d’Or count has been matched by his rivalling counterpart, Cristiano Ronaldo which currently stands at 5. This year’s continental triumph places the Portuguese in a more advantageous spot, although the FIFA World Cup could also play a part in the final decision.
Nevertheless, sitting behind Madrid for such a long time has not sat well with the Catalan fanbase. Barcelona have answered back with the Copa del Rey and the La Liga title last campaign but that is never enough.
With high minded ambitions, Messi will be looking to start the 2018/19 campaign with a distinct advantage over the Galacticos. Pjanic could provide the club that but his arrival would hint at someone heading for the Camp Nou exit door.
Currently, the Barcelona midfield is stacked with the likes of Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Andre Gomes, Paulinho and Denis Suarez. The club is also holding out on making Gremio midfielder, Arthur Melo’s transfer official.
Ousmane Dembele has the precedence over the rest to take over Neymar’s spot on the left wing and Luis Suarez to continue in the strike. But the remaining few could have a sure fight on their hands for senior team selection.
Pjanic would also cost the side £50m, not that Barcelona will have many problems in coughing up that amount. Maybe the Catalan side is better off filling Coutinho into the empty role than bringing in the 28-year-old Bosnian.
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