The La Liga Options
Barcelona have spent much of the summer transfer window searching for a striker to back up their MSN trident. As was reported on this blog back in early July president Josep Marie Bartomeu had indicated that the club was looking to sign an additional striker. The names linked at that point included, Kevin Gamiero, Luciano Vietto, Lucas Perez and Gabriel Jesus. Vietto joined Sevilla on a 3 million euro loan with an option to join permanently at the end of the year following an tug of war for his services with the Blagurana, while Kevin Gamiero moved in the opposite direction for 32 million euros.
A Tale of Two Gabis
With Vietto and Gamiero out of the picture, Barcelona looked to Brazil to fill the void for a backup striker. Top of their list were 2 Brazilian players, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Barbosa. The president even went so far as to call Gabriel Jesus “a great player”, while Barcelona had the first option of Gabriel Barbosa as part of the Neymar deal. Unfortunately however it seems neither player will be joining Barcelona as Gabriel Jesus agreed a deal to join Manchester City today for 27 million pounds and Gabriel Barbosa’s agent saying he was open to joining Inter Milan or Juventus.
The Remaining Options
With the aforementioned strikers not likely to join there are a few names still linked with Barcelona.
Luan is one of the brightest prospects in Brazilian football right now who plays for Gremio (The same club that produced Ronaldinho). At just 23 years old he has room to develop as a player and eventually become a starter for the Blaugrana. He scored 17 goals last season and can play both on the flanks or centrally. He is currently with the Brazil team taking part in the Olympics with Neymar leading the charge. What’s more his club Gremio reportedly rejected an offer from Liverpool in hopes of recieving one from the Blaugrana. Some of his better plays can be seen here.
Mario Gomez at age 31 would represent an experienced forward who has scored goals at the highest level for Germany and Bayern Munich including 2 goals at the recently concluded Euro 2016. He spent last season on loan at Besiktas where he scored 28 goals however he would like to move due to the political situation there currently. A Besiktas spokesman confirmed that he was in talks with Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund yesterday.
Another experience striker being linked to Barcelona is Andre-Pierre Gignac (30). Currently playing at Tigres in the Mexican league, Gignac has goals in his blood and has scored 32, 23 and 22 goals in his last 3 seasons and was a member of the French National team that were runners up at Euro 2016. Along with Umtiti and Digne he would represent the 3rd member of the French Euro 2016 squad signed this off season by Barcelona. The Tigres coach confirmed yesterday that the club would not stand in the way of a move to Barcelona.