Ranking Barcelona’s 3 centre-back options in the January transfer market
Barcelona had failed to sign Eric Garcia in the summer transfer window as Manchester City deemed the bid submitted initially was too low for the youngster. Barca was just 2 million euros short of the asking price due to their financial troubles but the Premier League outfit did not agree to a deal. Garcia is a former La Masia graduate and a return to Camp Nou will be magical for the youngster. Moreover, he would have more playtime under Ronald Koeman with a lack of options in the backline.
Defence line: A huge problem to fix for Koeman
The Dutch boss is stuck with Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Ronald Araujo, and Samuel Umtiti as the options for center-back. Umtiti can be counted out as he has not yet made an appearance this season sitting out of action due to injury. Inconsistency has been a problem for the defender since his arrival in 2016. Barcelona may force the sale of the 27-year-old. Ronald Araujo rose through the ranks into the first team but the young Uruguayan is inexperienced and needs to gain more playtime to understand the philosophy of the club. He did perform well replacing Clement Lenglet against Sevilla in a draw.
Eric Garcia will see his contract expire the following year and Barcelona could snap up the Spaniard without paying a single penny to Manchester City. However, the Catalan outfit is interested to bring in a center-back on loan so that Koeman can keep up with this season.
Top 3 picks for a centre-back
There are some prominent names in the shortlist for the possible signing in the January transfer window but it is mainly based upon the transfer budget. Antonio Rudiger is one of the cheapest options to look out for as reported by Metro but he has been replaced by Thiago Silva at Chelsea. The German has not picked up his form with his below-par performances in the Premier League.
Mustafi is the second player to opt for with the Gunner recapturing his form under Mikel Arteta. The World Cup winner had lost reputation due to his silly yet expensive mistakes with misplaced passes and tackles. However, Shkodran has gained momentum, unlike Rudiger. The most comfortable pick for Barca would be Liverpool outcast Joel Matip who has enough experience in top-tier football as well as in the Champions League. Matip was replaced on the arrival of Virgil Van Djik but he is still sharp on his aerial recovery and strong tackles.