Gica Popescu Confirms Barcelona’s Interest In This Romanian Sensation: Valverde Needs To Make This Happen

CESENA, ITALY - JUNE 21: Ianis Hagi of Romania celebrates after scoring goal 1-2 during the 2019 UEFA U-21 Group C match between England and Romania at Dino Manuzzi Stadium on June 21, 2019 in Cesena, Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

As reported by Sport, Barcelona are interested in the services of Viitorul Constanta’s attacking sensation Ianis Hagi, which was confirmed by the club’s chairman and former Barca player Gica Popescu. “There’s real interest from Spartak Moscow. There’s interest from Barcelona, too.”, he told Romanian TV.

However, it is believed that Barca want to sign Hagi on loan, which isn’t in the club’s best interest. “There have been discussions, but the project from Barcelona doesn’t interest us because they would take Ianis on loan. Ianis has reached an important level”, Popescu added.

Ianis Hagi’s rapid rise to prominence

Ianis is the son of Romanian footballing legend Gheorghe Hagi, who is also the current coach of Viitorul Constanta. A product of his father’s academy, Ianis moved to Fiorentina back in 2016 for a fee of €2 million. But, after failing to break into the Violas‘ first team, the youngster returned to Viitorul at the start of last year.

The 20-year-old was involved in six goals in ten matches in the Romanian league during the remainder of the 2017/18 campaign. But, Hagi took his game to a whole new level last season, when he scored seven goals and provided five assists in 24 matches, helping his team finish fifth in the league table.

However, it was his performances in the recently concluded European U-21 championships that made Hagi one of the most sought-after youngsters in Europe this summer. Indeed, the youngster scored two goals and provided one assist as the Romanian U-21 side managed to live up to the expectations and reach the semi-finals of the coveted competition.

What can Hagi bring to the table?

An attacking midfielder by trade, Hagi is known for his sizzling control on the ball, which, coupled with his trickery, makes him an unpredictable customer for the defenders. He is blessed with a brilliant vision that allows him to create a plethora of chances in the final third. Additionally, the 20-year-old loves to take on defenders while Hagi’s scoring tally is indicative of his knack for finding the back of the net. 

Why Barcelona need to sign Hagi

Ianis and his father are definitely shaping the foundation of Romanian football, which was evident in the country’s recent exploits in the European U-21 championships. Barcelona, in that regard, will provide him with the ideal platform to showcase his talents.

Even though it is unlikely Hagi will be drafted into the starting lineup right from the get-go, the Viitorul youngster has the quality as well as the potential to become an asset to this Barca side that will undergo a massive transition. With the likes of Sergio Busquets, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez nearing the final phase of their respective careers, it is time for fresh blood.

An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.