Tactical Insights

Surprise African star ‘wanted’ by Barcelona

FC Barcelona reportedly want to sign Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (left).

FC Barcelona reportedly want to sign Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (left).

A surprise African star could be set to join FC Barcelona, with the Spanish giants reportedly keen on signing the player at the end of the season.

For the better part of the past five seasons, Barca have adopted a strategy of targeting and signing players who are out of contract, such as Ilkay Gundogan, Inigo Martinez and Andreas Christensen.

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Further examples of such free-agent signings also includes some who have since departed the Camp Nou, including Franck Kessie, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero.

The Blaugrana are now reportedly set to continue that trend, with their limited financial capabilities looking set to yet again impact their recruitment plans for next season.

According to international journalist Ekrem Konur, Barca now want to sign Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting when his contract at Bayern Munich expires at the end of the campaign. 

Goalscoring has been an issue for Xavi Hernandez’ side this term, with Robert Lewandowski failing to find the required consistency he showed in previous years.

The Blaugrana have also lost their alternative forward, Ferran Torres, through injury.

Choupo-Moting previously deputised for Lewandowski at Bayern, and played a similar role for Paris Saint-Germain in the past.

The 34-year-old was also surprisingly linked with a move to Manchester United in January, although nothing concrete materialised from that situation. 

The forward was notably dropped from Cameroon’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations squad, something that left his father, Just Moting, in shock. 

He told Radio Balafa: “I was a little surprised. Eric Maxim was also surprised. I don’t know why he wasn’t selected. He doesn’t know why either. We have no proof. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk. However, we tried to follow everything. He was pre-selected.

“Two days before Rigobert Song’s list came out, we learned through social networks and newspapers that he might not be selected.

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“Every coach wants to have the best players. Unless they are undisciplined. But nothing shows that Choupo-Moting could harm the team. It’s clear that the coach wanted Choupo to come, but it was the others who didn’t want him. The coach wanted to make it clear that he could not do otherwise.”

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