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Free agents Barcelona should target in the 2024 summer transfer window


An emphatic defeat in the Supercopa de Espana was symptomatic of Barcelona’s demise in 2023/24.

At the start of 2023, Barca’s impressive Supercopa triumph over Real Madrid depicted their stellar rise with Xavi Hernandez at the helm, with the blow they landed in Saudi Arabia proving significant as they waltzed to the La Liga title.

Madrid, however, have returned with a vengeance. The recent victory over their Clasico rivals to claim the first piece of silverware on offer this term manifested the distinct gap between the two sides. While Carlo Ancelotti’s side are on the rise, Barca are sinking amid their title defence.

Injuries have undoubtedly played a role – although Madrid have been equally hit by key absences – but Barca’s indifference this term has many suddenly questioning Xavi’s long-term viability.

Should Barca’s struggles continue up until the summer, an overhaul on various fronts, including playing personnel, could ensue. However, finances remain an issue for the Catalan club, so here are four impending free agents Barca should consider on a Bosman.

Guido Rodriguez

Real Betis are yet to tie down Rodriguez to an extension / Fran Santiago/GettyImages

The 2022 World Cup winner has been almost ubiquitous at the base of Real Betis’ midfield since joining from Club America in 2020.

However, the stable holding midfielder has entered the final year of his contract and his situation in Seville has been made more complicated after he broke his leg in December. Rodriguez had once again played a prominent role for Manuel Pellegrini’s side in 2023/24, and should return to action before the season concludes.

Barcelona are said to boast an interest in the Argentine, and it’d be a surprise if they didn’t make a move for the 29-year-old this summer if he doesn’t extend his stay at Betis.

Oriol Romeu has struggled since joining from Girona in the summer, and Barca still have a long, elegant Sergio Busquets-shaped hole in their midfield. Frenkie de Jong and Ilkay Gundogan are both options for the #6 role, but Rodriguez would be a good fit and an upgrade over Romeu.

Jorginho

Jorginho joined Arsenal in the 2022 January transfer window / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

While Rodriguez should be Barca’s priority free agent target at the base of midfield, the club could also turn to Jorginho.

The Italian hasn’t exactly been prominent since joining Arsenal in January 2022, but he’s nonetheless delivered a couple of huge moments on the field and is said to be an invaluable dressing-room presence. Barca aren’t exactly devoid of leaders, but the club has certainly lost a few key voices in recent years.

Jorginho has shown he can still perform at a high level in the Premier League and Champions League, with La Liga potentially suiting him down to the ground at this stage of his career. He won’t be expected to play a starring role in Catalonia, but one similar to his current Arsenal function.

Anthony Martial

Martial hopes to remain in Europe after leaving Man Utd / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

Joao Felix’s lightning-fast start to life in Catalonia hasn’t been sustained, and it remains to be seen whether the luxury forward will be retained for 2024/25 and beyond. Either way, Barcelona need another wide man.

Martial has developed into a #9 at Man Utd, and while many will scoff at his potential signing, the Frenchman still has something left in the tank.

Martial can operate up top as a bridge between Robert Lewandowski and Vitor Roque while also providing an option wide left. A fresh start is what the 28-year-old needs, and he’s supposedly keen to stay in Europe after departing Old Trafford.

This move would boast some similarity to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s switch to Barca in February 2022.

Mario Hermoso

Hermoso is one of several Atletico players out of contract in the summer / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Atletico have a whole host of stars out of contract in the summer, and you suspect they won’t be able to tie them all down to new deals.

Versatile defender Hermoso is thus vulnerable, and the two Clasico rivals would be wise to pursue a free transfer at the end of the season.

The Spaniard has started all but two of Atletico’s La Liga fixtures this term and would be an excellent option for both Barca and Real Madrid. While Hermoso has operated on the left of a back three this season, he can also function in a back four at the heart of the defence or left-back.

Such versatility has to be admired, and Barca require stiffer depth on the left side of their backline. Alejandro Balde has endured a down year, while Andreas Christensen has been unable to sustain his consistent form from 2022/23,

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