Barcelona are reportedly weighing up the possibility of making a surprise move for AC Milan full-back Ricardo Rodriguez.
Barcelona are in a dilemma right now after Neymar approached them asking to re-sign him this summer. It means their transfer plans will change should they fulfil the Brazilian’s wishes.
Considering they forked out a world-record €222m for Neymar in 2017, Paris Saint-Germain will expect Barcelona to at least match that. Although the forward’s injury troubles in the last two years make him a risk and could, therefore, make the Catalan club reluctant to spend such a huge amount.
Nonetheless, signing Neymar will still command a hefty fee and force Barcelona into changing their transfer plans.
This has led Sport to claim that Ernesto Valverde’s side will drop their pursuit of a quality left-back capable of challenging Jordi Alba at Camp Nou.
Since Lucas Digne departed Catalonia for Everton last summer, nobody has provided Alba competition for his left-back spot in the line-up.
The club’s sole remaining option for the position is 19-year-old Juan Miranda, who did not make a single La Liga appearance last season.
Thus, Barcelona cannot ignore this problem and are now considering cheaper options in case they go ahead with a Neymar deal.
Sport states that the club board have drawn up a three-man shortlist comprising Real Betis’ Junior Firpo and Raphael Guerreiro of Borussia Dortmund, with Rodriguez their latest addition.
But chances of wrapping up a deal for Firpo or Guerreiro appear unlikely. So, Rodriguez is now at the top of the list for an unexpected move.
The 26-year-old has been at Milan since 2017 upon completing an €18m move from Wolfsburg. He’s since made 88 appearances in all competitions at the San Siro and contributed towards 10 goals.
However, Rodriguez’s future is doubtful as Milan are keen on signing Theo Hernandez from Real Madrid.
Now, Barcelona have allegedly made enquiries to Milan over the Switzerland international’s availability and will make a decision within the week.
Arsenal have also expressed an interest in signing Rodriguez, who could form part of a trade deal with Milan for midfielder Lucas Torreira.