By 90Min
July 19, 2019

Left back is the remaining transfer window priority for Barcelona, as the Spanish champions seek a backup and eventual successor to Jordi Alba.

Following the big-money arrivals of Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann, and transfer of backup goalkeeper Neto, Barça's squad renovation is more or less complete this summer - barring a sensational return for Neymar.

Real Betis and Spain Under-21 star Junior Firpo has long been touted as the most likely left-back signing for Barcelona, but the Andalusians are likely to demand close to the rising star's €50m release clause - amid supposed interest from the Premier League - making him an expensive addition.

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Mundo Deportivo (MD), claim that as an alternative Barcelona are now investigating the enticing option of Bayern Munich's David Alaba. However, that suggestion is totally rejected by rival Catalan football daily SPORT.

The 27-year-old Austrian has been a key performer for the Bundesliga-dominating Bayern in recent years but may see his role changed or even diminished following the arrival of Lucas Hernandez in Bavaria for a club-record fee of €80m.

MD claims that while publicly Bayern have no plans to sell Alaba, the private reality is different. Niko Kovac's side are undergoing a process of 'rejuvenation', while the experienced left back has no plans to renew his current deal which expires in 2021. 

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Back in March, Alaba admitted he could "imagine trying something different" with regards to his future, before name-checking Barcelona (and Real Madrid) as clubs that interested him.


An eight-time Bundesliga winner who also won the 2013 Champions League, Alaba's versatility is another factor that interests Barcelona according to MD. They suggest his ability to play in midfield (as he often does with the Austria national team) as well as in defence is an added plus.


As a final plus point on the Alaba scouting report, while the Bayern star would likely be at least as expensive as Firpo, his age also means he is less likely to stunt the development of youngsters already at the club - such as 19-year-old Juan Miranda.

On the other hand, SPORT say that Alaba is categorically not a target for Barcelona any more. They claim that Alaba was a 'great dream' for La Blaugrana, who made an enquiry 'several weeks ago' regarding the Austrian but found a route to the negotiating table with Bayern 'impossible'.

SPORT do concede that Barça have remained in contact with Bayern, but the situation has not changed, with the Spanish champions unwilling to go above €25m for a new addition at left back.

That low budget has been set due to the ongoing possibility of re-signing Neymar, while also being unable to offload the injury-prone Samuel Umtiti. The report says there is now a list of three candidates for Barcelona to sign, which possibly includes Junior Firpo, although the Betis starlet is not 'first choice'.

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