Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Premier League stars who have been linked with a move to Barcelona

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Throwing away a three-goal lead against Celta Vigo when heading into November’s international break, Barcelona will be desperate to get Xavi’s tenure underway with a real flurry.

Marking their return to action this weekend only just in the top-half of the La Liga table, it has been no secret that the Spanish giants have found themselves in the midst of a real nightmare over the past months.

Still struggling to adjust to life following on from Lionel Messi’s departure over the summer, the former European champions appear in a real uphill battle if they’re to secure a top-four finish this season.

While both starlets Pedri and Gavi might have been the only real positives for Barcelona so far, it has been reported that Xavi will be able to add to his squad when the January transfer window reopens.

Despite still dealing with some worrying financial issues, we have taken a look at a handful of Premier League stars who have been linked with a move to the Nou Camp.

Raheem Sterling – Manchester City

Almost forced out of Pep Guardiola’s side following the £100million arrival of Jack Grealish over the summer, Raheem Sterling has quickly become the forgotten man at Manchester City.

While the 26-year-old might have been a real hit following his move from Liverpool back in 2015, he has only managed to muster a handful of Premier League appearances this season.

With Guardiola making no effort to play down speculation regarding a potential move away for Sterling, the one-time QPR starlet has also made it clear to the City hierarchy that he is not interested in signing a new deal with the defending Premier League champions.

Heavily linked with a move away from the Etihad when the January window reopens, reports from across Europe over the past months have suggested that Barcelona are keen on striking a deal.

With Sterling making it clear that he is desperate to get regular first-team action ahead of next year’s World Cup finals, a report by Sport stated over the weekend that the England winger is ‘crazy’ about the prospect of a move to Catalonia.

Hakim Ziyech – Chelsea

While there might have been much excitement around Chelsea fans when Hakim Ziyech’s £33.3million move from Ajax was completed back in February 2020, the Moroccon winger has failed to find his feet.

Only showing the odd glimpse of the player that helped spearhead Ajax’s stunning Champions League charge three years ago, it has been widely reported over the past few weeks that the 28-year-old is keen on securing a move away from Stamford Bridge.

Failing to play his way into Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI, Catalan daily Sport, via AS, reported over the weekend that Barcelona could be looking to offer Ziyech a fresh start in Catalonia.

Although that report might also suggest that Xavi is keen on fellow Chelsea stars Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi, it is likely that Tuchel would preferably let Ziyech leave out of those three options.

Yet to record a single goal or assist and managing to muster just 181 minutes since opening the 2021/22 campaign, Barcelona could be looking to test the Blues’ resolve when the window reopens in six weeks.

Thiago – Liverpool

Making a cameo appearance off the bench in Liverpool’s 3-2 win away at West Ham when heading into the international break, it is fair to say that Thiago has failed to win everyone over since making his Premier League arrival.

Regarded to be one of the best midfielders in European football when he arrived at Anfield back in September 2019, the 30-year-old has continued to struggle with injury issues.

Once regarded to be one of the best talents to come out of La Masia, Thiago was in fact tipped to be Xavi’s long-term heir at the heart of Barcelona’s midfielder following his emergence.

Enjoying a blockbuster time during his tenure at the Nou Camp, the Spanish international won six La Liga titles, three Champions League medals and the Copa del Rey four times during his eight years spell.

However, with Xavi now in charge, Sport also reported over the weekend that Barca’s new boss has made it clear to club President Joan Laporta that he wants Thiago to come back home in January.


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan



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