Barcelona to use De Jong connection to beat Arsenal to AFCON star

Willem Leijgraf
Willem Leijgraf
  • Updated: 1 Mar 2024 10:13 GMT
  • 3 min read
Frenkie de Jong

PSV's Ismael Saibari has come into the spotlight at Barcelona, Moroccan media report.

The Spanish top club have chosen the 23-year-old attacking midfielder and winger in their search for reinforcements for next season despite the fact that, in September, PSV and Saibari reached an agreement on a contract extension. As a result, he is still under contract at the Philips Stadium until 2028.

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Barcelona are reportedly monitoring several Eredivisie players, with Saibari only mentioned by name. The Moroccan international has the same agent in Ali Dursun as Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong, which means the lines of communication are shorter.

READ MORE: ‘Barcelona will never become Ajax’

However, it is unknown whether the Blaugrana have already contacted Saibari and his management. Additionally, it is also unknown whether PSV have already informed Barcelona about Saibari's asking price. He currently has an Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) of €7.5 million.

Ismael Saibari
© IMAGO - Ismael Saibari

Saibari's season so far

Although Saibari has not been without controversy under Peter Bosz this season, he has proven his worth in Eindhoven's service several times in recent months. The playmaker has played in 28 matches to date, 15 of which as a starter.

He has recorded eight goals and five assists this term. Saibari had to miss five competitive PSV matches this season due to international commitments with Morocco at the Africa Cup of Nations, making two appearances for his country.

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Saibari started the season with a contract until 2025, but this changed in September. The creator signed on for three more years and received high praise from director of football Earnest Stewart.

"He is eager to learn, can withstand stress and, above all, extremely driven. That combination makes him a player that we definitely wanted to retain for a longer period of time," said the director.

In January, Saibari was tipped for Arsenal stardom by former Feyenoord striker Ali Boussaboun: “I wouldn't be surprised if Arsenal pick him up after the season. If PSV sell him for less than €60m, they will have failed."

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