Man City: Guardiola pays tribute to Aguero after 'fairytale' win
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La Liga giants Barcelona are set for a summer of sweeping squad changes ahead of the 2021/22 season. The Catalan giants are chasing four possible free-transfer targets from the Premier League and Ligue 1.
After Ronald Koeman’s future was confirmed following a series of crunch talks with club president Joan Laporta earlier this week, the Dutchman will now get to work on rebuilding his squad.
Koeman’s primary task will be convincing Lionel Messi to sign a new contract at the Nou Camp, with the 33-year-old’s current deal expiring next month.
However, with no announcement expected until his return from the Copa America, confirmation of Messi’s future will be delayed until July.
That respite from the pressurised Messi situation will allow Koeman time to secure some new faces and build a convincing case to his talisman.
Manchester City hitman Sergio Aguero looks certain to agree a free transfer to the club before he joins up with Argentina, while City teammate Eric Garcia is expected to follow him next month.
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Gini Wijnaldum is also a target following his release from Liverpool, with ex-Manchester United winger Memphis Depay also on Koeman’s radar after leaving Lyon.
The arrivals of Depay and Aguero would create a new look Barcelona attack in 2021/22 alongside Messi, should he stay.
But it would place further doubts over the futures of Les Bleus pair Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele.
Despite turning 33 next week, Aguero is likely to play a starting role in Catalonia, as Koeman seeks to fill the Luis Suarez-shaped void in his team, with Depay and Messi operating either side of him.
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Both Griezmann and Dembele have been linked with exits after an inconsistent end to 2020/21 and United could potentially swoop.
Griezmann was linked with a move to Old Trafford during his time at Atletico Madrid but opted to hold out for a high-profile move to La Blaugrana.
Atletico president Enrique Cezero hinted the club would be interested in bringing him back if Barcelona are open to a swap deal with Joao Felix.
But with Barcelona not interested in bringing more forwards to the club, United have the edge in a straight cash offer, if Barcelona are willing to take a loss in a £70m move.
Dembele’s situation looks clearer for any interested parties with talks over a contract extension currently stalled.
The Frenchman has shaken off the injury problems that dogged his early Barcelona career, but he remains unconvinced over his long-term status under Koeman.
With his current deal expiring in 12 months, Barcelona seem certain to sell him this summer if he rejects their contract offer.
United could secure a deal in the region of £45m, with Arsenal now forced out of a possible move due to their lack of European football in 2021/22.
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