Liverpool can benefit from £ 189m Barcelona transfer merry-go-round to sign next top midfielder

When it comes to directions of travel over the past few seasons, Liverpool and Barcelona have looked very different. While one has flown forwards under Jürgen Klopp, the other has regressed significantly thanks to a variety of factors.

Summed up most neatly by the transaction that saw Philippe Coutinho move to Camp Nou for £ 143m with Liverpool using the funds to sign Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker, the transfer policy of each club has perhaps been the most influential reason behind their differing levels of success.

But for Barcelona, ​​things might be starting to change at last. Links with players like Raphinha of Leeds United seem sensible, and the policy of spending mega money – whether through choice or enforcement – has seemingly been shifted.

Under Xavi, Barcelona have stabilized. They have not won the league and were knocked out in the group phase of the Champions League, but with four games left in La Liga, they are three points clear of third-placed Sevilla.

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Barcelona, ​​it seems, are going to qualify for the Champions League again next season, which at one stage seemed unlikely, and there are a number of talented players within their squad that could continue to reverse the decline.

Gavi, according to Fabrizio Romano, is likely to stay at the club and renew his contract. The teenager was always likely to want to stay at Barcelona, ​​and a new deal would presumably remove the remarkably low £ 42m release clause his current contract contains (his £ 54m valuation on Transfermarkt seems fairer).

Pedri (valued at £ 72m by Transfermarkt) is a midfielder who could go on to be one of the very best of his generation, perhaps the biggest of the talents Xavi can call upon and perhaps an heir to his former teammate, Andrés Iniesta – a big statement, but not too big compared to his ability level at the age of 19.

Those two are the jewels in the Barcelona crown, having come through at La Masia and Las Palmas respectively, but there are other important players to build around too.

Frenkie de Jong (who Transfermarkt rates at £ 63m) is another one, though he has been linked with Liverpool and Manchester City in recent days, and while Xavi would prefer to keep him, someone might have to be sacrificed.

Barcelona need to continue to evolve and with limited finances, that means investing sensibly, but investing nonetheless. Whether that means selling one of their £ 189m trio or someone else, it seems likely that the Catalan side are going to have to sacrifice someone in order to conduct the business that Xavi wants.

Among the main names being linked with leading the refresh at the Camp Nou is Valencia playmaker Carlos Soler (£ 45m on Transfermarkt), who is said to be on the radar of both Liverpool and Barcelona. Given he too plays in midfield, Soler is another player to be added into the merry-go-round for players in that position.

Liverpool, Barcelona, ​​Atlético Madrid and Juventus are all set to battle for the signature of the 25-year-old. Earlier in the week, one Spanish news outlet even reported that Soler had an agreement in place to join Barcelona in the summer, but an official statement from the club denied this was the case, adding that they were, in fact, negotiating over a new deal.

Barcelona sporting director Mateu Alemany is said to be a ‘great supporter’ of Soler, with the Valencia man forming a key part of their summer plan too, despite their already well-stocked and talented midfield options.

Soler’s current contract is until 2023 and has a € 50m (£ 42m) release clause, but it has been suggested that he could sign an extension at Valencia with a lower release clause of € 40m (£ 34m). Either way, that would seem a sensible transfer to be considering for both Liverpool and Barcelona.

The latter signing him, though, would only make it more likely that the area for sacrifice would be elsewhere. Assuming Gavi signs a new deal, that would surely rule out him departing despite links with the Reds.

Pedri, another who has been linked with Liverpool, is the player that Barcelona would like most to build around – rightly – and that, therefore leaves De Jong, linked with Klopp’s side sporadically including this week, as the frontrunner.

Whoever it is that has to be sold to fund other moves, it seems that there could be some Barcelona players available this summer if clubs like Liverpool want them – or perhaps Valencia’s Soler should they prefer.

Either way, in sorting out the chaos of the previous few transfer windows, Barcelona might be backed into selling one of their midfield stars or missing out on one of Valencia’s – and it would be remiss of Liverpool not to take a look.

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