10 players who could join Barcelona in January

Martin Macdonald
Mauro Icardi playing for PSG against Angers in Ligue 1

Spanish giants Barcelona are currently in a terrible state financially and it means that they will not be able to spend big in the January transfer window.

At least, that was what many predicted before the Blaugrana somehow pulled off the signing for Ferran Torres from Manchester City for €65 million.

They are affording that deal due to the low upfront payment, but at the time of writing, they are not allowed to register the player yet as they must lower their wage bill first.

Head coach Xavi is desperate for squad reinforcements, particularly in attacking areas, after the Blaugrana were dumped out of the Champions League at the group stage for the first time in 21 years.

FOOTBALLTRANSFERS' MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS IN THE WORLD

They are also way behind the pace set by Real Madrid in La Liga and face a fight just to qualify for the Champions League by finishing in the top four.

In order for Barcelona to conduct any business in January, they will need to reduce their salary expenditure and hope to make some money via player sales, which they have already achieved to a degree with the departure of Philippe Coutinho to Aston Villa and Samuel Umtiti's contract renewal.

Should that happen, this is who they are targeting, with some targets more realistic than others.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been linked with Barca for a while now.

At least, he was the Arsenal captain up until very recently when he was stripped of the title after ongoing disciplinary issues.

Mikel Arteta has subsequently left him out of matchday squads completely and he is widely expected to be moved on in January.

A move to Barcelona could work, but one stumbling block may be that Aubameyang promised his grandfather before he died that he would one day play for Real Madrid.

Alvaro Morata (Juventus - on loan from Atletico)

For the centre-forward position, Barcelona have reportedly identified Alvaro Morata as their number one target for January.

Xavi is a big fan of the player and believes he could be quickly integrated into the squad at Camp Nou due to his relationship with a number of Barca players who also feature for the Spanish national side.

Barca are hoping to convince Juventus to terminate Morata's loan and then convince Atletico to allow him to move to a domestic rival.

It would be an initial 18-month loan before a potential permanent deal, and Morata's future could be linked to that of Antoine Griezmann, who is currently on loan at Atletico from Barca.

Mauro Icardi (PSG)

Barcelona's desperate search for a new centre-forward has seen them turn their attentions to Paris Saint-Germain's Mauro Icardi.

The Argentine is the most recent player to be linked with Barca in the press, and it seems like a deal that could work out for everyone.

Icardi needs to reignite his career as he has dropped down the pecking order at PSG after the arrival of Lionel Messi.

There is some baggage with this one, though, as Icardi is a former Barca player.

Alexis Sanchez (Inter)

Alexis Sanchez played for Barcelona between 2011 and 2014, making 141 appearances, scoring 46 goals and recording 35 assists.

He would subsequently move to Arsenal where he enjoyed success, but his career started to go downhill after an ill-fated move to Manchester United.

In 32 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils he scored just three goals, and as he was on gargantuan wages at the time, scathing criticism soon followed.

Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez would then join Inter on loan and then on a permanent basis, but has never been a key player and was initially behind Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez in the pecking order at San Siro, while Edin Dzeko plays more than him now.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Barca would take Alexis on loan but any deal is complicated by his reported €10 million a season wages.

Edinson Cavani (Manchester United)

Edinson Cavani allegedly wanted to return to South America in the summer, with Boca emerging as a potential destination.

Man Utd convinced the Uruguayan to sign an extended contract in the hope that he would enjoy an injury-free season as their number one striker.

Then, they only went and signed Cristiano Ronaldo which has completely sidelined Cavani.

Yes, he has suffered from injury issues too which is why Ronaldo has played so much, but he is certainly not United's main man in the centre-forward position.

Barca are reportedly willing to offer him an 18-month deal.

Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

Anthony Martial has struggled for game time at Old Trafford and, despite Man Utd hiring a new manager in Ralf Rangnick, the player’s agent, Philippe Lamboley, told Sky Sports that Martial has already made up his mind over his future.

“Anthony wishes to leave the club in January,” said Lamboley. “He just needs to play. He doesn’t want to stay in January and I will speak to the club soon.”

Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial

Everton, Newcastle, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have emerged as potential destinations.

It is tough to see how Barca afford this one, though, unless it's a loan deal.

Karim Adeyemi (RB Salzburg)

Karim Adeyemi has been one of the breakout stars of the 2021/22 campaign, impressing with RB Salzburg.

In 25 starts this season he has scored 18 goals and recorded three assists in all competitions, with his form making elite sides stand up and take notice.

A transfer to Barcelona seems unlikely due to the fee that RB Salzburg would command, but if the Catalan side can get rid of enough players in January they could potentially make it happen.

But, a deal with Borussia Dortmund is reportedly already struck.

Alberto Moleiro (Las Palmas)

Pedri was signed from Las Palmas in the summer of 2020 after impressing for the Canary Islands side, and it is not an exaggeration to say that his talents represent the future of Barcelona.

The Blaugrana are hoping to strike gold again with a swoop for another Las Palmas starlet in Moleiro.

As well as Pedri, he has been likened to Andres Iniesta due to his tendency to drift out to the left and utilise the space on the flank and into the centre.

The Blaugrana have stepped up their efforts to acquire him recently, however, as they have sent scouts to watch him on a couple of occasions, but Las Palmas are hoping to agree a new contract with the player that would treble his release clause.

Agustin Alvarez (Penarol)

Agustin Alvarez is earning a reputation as the new golden boy of Uruguayan football.

The young forward has already made his debut for the senior Uruguay national team and even found the back of the net against Bolivia.

In the 2021 Uruguay Primera Division, he scored 13 goals in 26 matches but his performances in the Copa Sudamericana have been even better, with a tally of 10 goals in 14 games.

Barcelona are interested and the player represents an intriguing option and as Alvarez would be a cheaper option than some of their other targets.

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Cesar Azpilicueta has started just 10 out of the opening 17 matches of the Premier League season so far for Chelsea.

His contract with the club runs out in June of 2022, but according to the Sun, he is eager to move before then to get settled in a new side ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar next winter.

Barcelona are interested in signing him as a free agent in the summer, but any deal could be brought forward as the Spaniard wants to leave Stamford Bridge before then.