Barcelona endured one of their toughest campaigns last term as they had to settle for a second-place finish in La Liga whilst also being ousted in the quarter-final stage of the Champions League. The club have since seen manager Luis Enrique part ways with the club, and new boss Ernesto Valverde is likely to place emphasis on the bolstering the right-back spot which lacked the thrust provided by former defender Dani Alves. The likes of Aleix Vidal, Rafinha and Sergi Roberto had their chances in the position last term, but none of them were particularly convincing. Calcio Insider looks into three potential targets who could fulfill the right-back void at Camp Nou this summer;
Hector Bellerin – Arsenal: Barcelona have prised away key players from the Emirates over the years, and Bellerin could be the next in line with representatives already in contact with the north London club. However, the Spaniard is unlikely to push for an exit in respect for manager Arsene Wenger, and it would take a substantial bid to convince the Gunners to cash in. Bellerin has six more years left on his existing deal, but Barca remain hopeful that the right-back returns home this summer.
Nelson Semedo – Benfica: The Portugal international has evolved into one of Primeira Liga’s top prospects. Aged 23, Semedo has the time to develop into the mould of a Dani Alves, but his valuation remains a stumbling block for the Spanish giants. He currently has a £52m release clause in his contract, and such a value presents a huge outlay for Barcelona, who are working on a limited budget this summer.
Cedric Soares – Southampton: Probably the cheapest option on the list. Soares has seemingly owned the right-back spot for Portugal of compatriot Semedo. The Southampton defender made a huge impression at the European championships last summer, and he has since attracted interest from top European clubs including Juventus. One stumbling block in the deal could be the Saints themselves, who are reluctant to sell their star players as they have so often done in recent years.
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