Arthur Vermeeren of Royal Antwerp FC during the Belgian Jupiler Pro League match between Royal Antwerp FC and Standard Liege at Bosuil stadium on January 22, 2023 in Antwerp, Belgium.

Six transfer targets Barcelona have been tipped to try sign in January

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has stressed his desire for the club to sign reinforcements in the upcoming mid-season transfer window, following their unconvincing run of form of late.

“I am in contact with the president and with Deco on a daily basis. We will announce what we deem appropriate,” Xavi told reporters.

“They know my position and I know theirs and from there, it is about finding a consensus. Evidently we are losing a footballer [Gavi] for the whole season, and we will see what we can do and we will see if we can bring someone in.”

We’ve taken a closer look at five players Barcelona have been linked with in the January transfer window.

Vitor Roque

We’re cheating a bit here, as Barcelona have already put everything in place to sign the highly-rated young Brazilian. But there’s some confusion as to when he’ll actually arrive, with suggestions that the club will have to wait until next summer for him to join Xavi’s squad.

But new developments mean that Barcelona ought to be able to register Roque in January. According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, key midfielder Gavi will be unregistered after suffering an ACL injury that will keep him sidelined until next season – which leaves room in the squad for the 18-year-old, who will arrive on loan before his transfer from Athletico Paranaense is made permanent in July.

He looks like he can give them the shot in the arm that they need.

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Arthur Vermeeren

The young Royal Antwerp midfielder is coached by former Barcelona midfielder Mark van Bommel and is seemingly in great demand.

Barcelona had been cited as the frontrunners for the 18-year-old Belgian’s signature, despite competition from Premier League clubs such as Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, West Ham and Brighton.

Fichajes report that Barca have “been closely monitoring the talented midfielder for months” but their financial limitations have hampered the club’s ability to make an offer in January. They may be forced into action if they really want him, with suggestions that Arsenal are preparing a €20million bid.

Ian Maatsen

Spanish outlet Sport report that Mauricio Pochettino is keen to bring La Masia wonderkid Pau Cubarsi to Chelsea.

The defender is contracted until 2026 and Xavi is delighted with his progression to date, so it doesn’t appear they’d be in any rush to cash in on him.

But their cash-strapped situation means that they might be forced to consider selling him. Football.London report that Barcelona are “pondering the possibility” of including Cubarsi as a makeweight in their attempts to sign Maatsen.

The Dutch left-back, who can also play as a winger, has barely featured for Pochettino’s Blues this season. Last term he caught the eye of scouts across Europe with a starring role for Burnley as they achieved promotion to the Premier League.

Jadon Sancho

Given how he’s put on the naughty step by Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, it looks increasingly likely that Sancho will depart Old Trafford in a bid to rekindle his career in January.

Although given his lengthy contract and hefty wages, a half-season loan appears the most likely outcome – with a return to Borussia Dortmund and a move to Juventus reported as potential destinations.

According to Sport, “Barca has been informed about his situation like many European clubs that have been contacted by the winger’s entourage, but in January they will not make a move unless there is an unexpected departure, something that is not contemplated.”

Unlikely. But not completely impossible.

Luis Diaz

A number of opportunistic outlets have jumped on recent quotes from Luis Diaz’s father to link the Colombian attacker with a move to Catalonia.

“It is true that Luis is a loyal Barcelona fan and his dream would be to go there,” Diaz senior told Win Sports TV after returning home from his kidnap ordeal.

“That said, I would like to thank Porto and Liverpool for the way they looked after him.”

We’ve no reason to doubt that’s true, but Diaz remains contracted at Liverpool until 2027 and there would have to be a sudden and dramatic shift in Barcelona’s financial situation for them to be in a position to buy him in January. A potential swap deal with Raphinha in January has been mooted, but we can’t see that happening.

One for the future, perhaps. But one to take with a whole ladle of salt for now.

Giovani Lo Celso

Mundo Deportivo report that Barcelona are looking to the Argentina international to plug the midfield gap left by Gavi. He was targeted in the summer and “will be their first-choice target” if they opt to sign a replacement in January.

The 27-year-old has failed to settle at Tottenham, but impressed for the national team and is relatively proven in La Liga across previous stints with Villarreal and Real Betis.

He’s barely featured under Ange Postecoglou this season but may find increased gametime following James Maddison’s injury. The Metro report that Spurs are understood to be keen on keeping Lo Celso until the end of the season

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