Why Barcelona could lean on Pep Guardiola for Man City raid

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • Updated: 18 Mar 2023 14:12 GMT
  • 3 min read
Pep Guardiola, Barcelona

Barcelona have two problem positions ahead of next summer's transfer window, and both could be helped by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Barca are in the market for a defensive midfield and a right-back.

In the former position, Sergio Busquets is out of contract next summer while Frenkie de Jong remains one of the club's most saleable assets against the backdrop of a crippling financial debt.

In the latter, Hector Bellerin's return from Arsenal on a free transfer didn't work out and Jules Kounde, a centre-back by trade, has deputised in the position since his €50 million arrival from Sevilla last summer.

READ: Barcelona ready to activate €250m super lever to kickstart summer transfers

Barca have been told by La Liga to reduce their debt by €200m, meanwhile, if they want to compete next season in a competition that they lead Real Madrid by nine points in this.

Joan Laporta plans to raise at least that amount by activating yet another 'financial lever' in selling 49 per cent of Barca Licensing & Merchandising (BLM), according to Forbes, but the chances are that free transfers and loans will be the club's only path to new players next summer.

Gundogan and Cancelo to Barca?

And that's where Guardiola comes in, with Ilkay Gundogan and Joao Cancelo potential solutions to Barca's problem positions.

The former is available on a free transfer from 30 June, while the latter is currently out on loan with Bayern Munich after falling out of favour at the Etihad.

READ: Asensio in, Raphina out? How Barcelona could line up next season

Pep could no doubt keep both players if he told them he wanted to, but when Barca publicly courted Bernardo Silva earlier this year he made clear he wouldn't stop his top players from joining his former club.

With Gundogan 32 and Cancelo regarded as a troublesome character - and with Rico Lewis breaking through in his position - neither are likely to be talked into staying.

And Guardiola has previous. Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko joined Arsenal from City for a combined £77m last summer, and now Pep find his former protégé Mikel Arteta leading him atop the Premier League.

Barca may be on the brink of bankruptcy, but don't be surprised to see them sign Gundogan and Cancelo this summer.