Barcelona are seriously interested in signing Juventus star Miralem Pjanic and could use him to replace midfield stalwart Sergio Busquets, according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague. Balague believes another reason Barca want to sign Pjanic is to help the club’s younger players.
Pjanic, 30, has spent the last four years in Turin after joining from Roma.
He is only one year younger than Busquets but the Spain international has received some criticism for his performances this season.
Balague says a swap deal with Juventus is likely due to Barca’s current financial situation.
“[Pjanic to Barcelona rumours] are very true,” Balague said on his YouTube channel.
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“Thirty-year-old Pjanic who is a centre-midfielder who can have offensive and defensive obligations.
“A good engine, lots of quality, lots of running, he can give a lot of good energy to the side, perhaps alongside some of the youngsters that they plan to use from next season, like [Carles] Alena and Riqui Puig, the young may benefit as well.
“Busquets, it could be a replacement for him, they are trying to get rid of Rakitic.
“The idea actually is to get Pjanic, Juventus like all the Italian clubs are very happy with swaps, but Pjanic is one of the ones that Barcelona are talking to Juventus about in exchange of ‘what do you want from us?’.
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“[Jean-Clair] Todibo for instance, who was wanted by Juventus before Barcelona got him, and quite possibly he will become a good centre-back, even though we don’t know yet, he’s got a lot of conditions for it and maybe they’ll need more players.
“He’s a 30-year-old of course whose contract ends in 2023 so there is no rush for Juventus from that point of view.
“But yes they are thinking of a swap, they are negotiating that.”
Meanwhile, former Barca midfielder Ronald de Boer has attempted to explain why Philippe Coutinho struggled at Barca following his move from Liverpool in 2018.
“I think Coutinho was a player where everything [went through] him, every ball went to him at Liverpool,” De Boer told talkSPORT.
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“He could probably do less work, basically what Messi does with Barcelona.
“And the thing is you see how everything works together, it’s like a machine.
“If one is not doing it it’s fine maybe, they can handle that, but if it’s two similar types of players, that they also want every ball and have that special position in the team, then you see how vulnerable a team can be.
“I think we saw that with Barcelona. There’s only one that can do that now and that is Messi.”
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