Barcelona’s summer target, Miralem Pjanic is reported to be worth around €80m to Juventus with transfer negotiations yet to commence. The Serie A outfit has set the hefty asking price to fulfil their own agendas of going after Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as a replacement. The cards have been dealt and the Blaugrana will have to decide on whether the 28-year-old central midfielder is worth his asking price.
This set of news is conflicting to many due to Barcelona’s recent purchase of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool. With Andres Iniesta gone, the Brazilian was supposed to be the £146m replacement. For the past 6 months, Coutinho was being vetted for that same exact role even though he had to mostly appear from the wide positions.
It is our understanding that the younger and more prolific former Liverpool magician will get reinstated in his more preferable attacking midfield role with players like Paulinho, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets playing alongside or behind him in the midfield trio.
The Catalan giants also have a backup in Dennis Suarez and Andre Gomes and have also made an additional signing in Arthur Melo from the Brazilian side, Gremio. The latter is due to arrive either this summer or after the 2018/19 season.
Ousmane Dembele has the precedence over the rest to take over Neymar’s spot on the left wing and Luis Suarez to continue at the strike. If Pjanic makes his way into the side, it is bound to set off unpleasantries between existing players or could force someone out of the club.
Ernesto Valverde has kept his job after registering a domestic double in the previous campaign. He will have to make a stronger fight towards the European campaign after seriously disappointing the fans with a tragic showing against AS Roma in the quarterfinals last season.
Obviously, Real Madrid’s 3rd consecutive record-breaking UEFA Champions League trophy sets a different tone at the Camp Nou and inside Lionel Messi’s head. Their bitter rivals have dominated the European stage for the past 5 years, winning 4 in that period and extending their tally to 13.
With high minded ambitions, Messi and the rest of the Barcelona camp will be looking to attack the 2018/19 campaign with a distinct advantage over the Galacticos. That would mean further bolstering an already star-stacked lineup.
Pjanic has the technical pedigree to fit into the Barça system but is also not exactly an upgrade to some of the existing players. If neither Rakitic, Paulinho or Busquets quit the Camp Nou anytime soon, the Bosnian could be just a surplus to their present requirements.