Report: Villarreal Prepared To Sell Top Player To Barcelona, But There Is A Catch

Barcelona Manager Xavi Has Overseen 20 Wins This Season
Barcelona Manager Xavi Has Overseen 20 Wins This Season

La Liga outfit Villarreal are reportedly prepared to significantly reduce Alex Baena’s asking price this summer, allowing cash-strapped Barcelona an opportunity to sign him. The Yellow Submarine, however, will only offer said reduced rate if Barca agree to sell one of their promising youngsters to the Castellon outfit.

Barcelona Could Sign Alex Baena In Exchange Of Academy Products

According to Spanish outlet Diario SPORT, Barcelona are looking to bolster their midfield in the summer transfer window and have set sights on Villarreal maestro Alex Baena. The Blaugrana have long been tracking the 22-year-old midfielder but his lofty price tag has so far kept them from making a move for him.

Baena reportedly has a release clause in the region of €55-60 million ($59.31-64.71 million) and a contract with still over four years (June 2028) remaining on it. Thanks to the hefty price tag and length of the contract, Villarreal are in complete control of Baena’s future.

According to the aforementioned report, Villarreal are ready to reduce the asking price to around €40-45 million ($43.14-48.53 million). However, even that price is out of Barcelona’s reach. Luckily for Barcelona, Villarreal are also open to a player + cash deal, which should bring Baena within reach.

As per SPORT, Villarreal are closely monitoring the development of several young Barca youth players who are already part of the Blaugrana’s first team. The Castellon side have a penchant for signing young players and are hoping that Barcelona agree to listen to offers for some of their youngsters. If they are open to parting ways with a player Villarreal fancy, Baena’s clause would come down significantly. In that case, Barcelona will pay a small amount and send a La Masia graduate the other way in exchange for Baena.

The Spain international is reportedly happy at Villarreal. However, he would be excited to wear Blaugrana’s colors if an opportunity was to present itself.

Barca Coach Xavi Admires Baena

After enduring a disastrous trophyless campaign, Barcelona are looking to rebuild in the summer transfer window. According to sources, the Catalans are particularly interested in bolstering the midfield and Xavi is quite interested in bringing Baena on board. According to SPORT’s report, the former midfielder likes Baena very much and feels he would be an excellent addition to the team.

The 22-year-old is a natural midfielder but can play on either wing as well. He passes the ball around with excellent proficiency, slides into little pockets of space, and can create goalscoring opportunities out of thin air. This season, he has played 32 games in La Liga, scoring twice and providing 13 assists.

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