Barcelona: Koeman hopes Messi stays for 'many more years'
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Barcelona have surprisingly emerged as potential suitors for Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo. With the summer transfer window now open, Ronald Koeman is looking to strengthen the club. And a major shock could be on the cards with the Real Madrid icon seemingly lined up for a blockbuster move.
According to Spanish newspaper AS, Barcelona are keen on Ronaldo.
They previously tried to sign the forward from Manchester United back in 2006, only to end up missing out after Sir Alex Ferguson made it clear the Portugal international would be staying.
Ronaldo spent nine years at Real Madrid, often hurting Barcelona in the process, and departed for Juventus in 2018.
With the Old Lady looking to balance their finances in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, however, a parting of the ways could be on the cards.
So Express Sport will now take a look at how Barcelona may line up if Ronaldo arrives, Lionel Messi stays put and Manchester City pair Aymeric Laporte and Ilkay Gundogan touch down.
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Goalkeeper: Ter Stegen
Whatever happens at Barcelona this summer, goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen won’t be going anywhere.
The Germany international had to wait a couple of years before making his mark at the Nou Camp, initially arriving as Claudio Bravo’s understudy back in 2014.
But, ever since Bravo’s move to City five years ago, Ter Stegen has been a safe pair of hands for Barcelona.
The Catalan giants had held talks about snapping up Gianluigi Donnarumma to provide competition for the German, who was ruled out of Euro 2020 due to injury.
But the Italy international is far likelier to join Paris Saint-Germain instead having recently had a medical with the Ligue 1 giants.
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Defence: Garcia, Laporte, Pique
Under Koeman, Barcelona have often played with three at the back.
They’ve already bolstered their backline by signing Eric Garcia on a free transfer from Manchester City – but he may not be the only player to swap the Etihad for the Nou Camp.
Barcelona are also admirers of Aymeric Laporte and reports recently suggested the former Athletic Bilbao star was putting pressure on his team to let him go.
Should that happen, Garcia and Laporte would reunite at the back.
And they’d also play alongside Gerard Pique, who is still going strong despite entering the twilight years of his career.
Midfield: Dest, Gundogan, De Jong, Alba
Barcelona are also keen on City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who could follow in the footsteps of Garcia and Sergio Aguero by quitting the club.
And his arrival would mean the La Liga giants being able to manage Sergio Busquets’ minutes more.
The arrival of Garcia at centre-back, and potentially Laporte too, means Barca would be able to play Frenkie de Jong in his natural position.
The Netherlands international was used in defence last term but, if he’s deployed in the middle of the park, will be able to make more of an impact.
And either side of the two central midfielders are expected to be Sergio Dest and Jordi Alba.
Forwards: Messi, Depay, Ronaldo
What a front three this would be.
Messi is expected to stay at Barcelona now, despite previously attracting interest from City and PSG.
The Catalan club have already announced the arrival of Memphis Depay, who is sparkling for the Netherlands at Euro 2020 so far.
And if Ronaldo arrives, he’d be the icing on top of the cake.
Barcelona could feasibly play the 36-year-old in the No 9 role, just like Portugal are doing at the European Championships so far.
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