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Three midfielders Barcelona can target as Gavi replacement

Barcelona are devastated by the injury blow to Gavi, who is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament on international duty with Spain.

The prodigious midfielder will undergo surgery soon, and reports are stating that the recovery period could last more than eight months.

It has been an injury-ravaged season for the Blaugrana, and the latest setback to Gavi is their biggest yet.

The 20-year-old has become a vital cog in Barca’s midfield, making 111 first-team appearances. He has also been a prominent fixture for the Spanish national team with 27 caps.

The excessive workload on the 2022 Golden Boy winner may have contributed to his injury, with Barca unhappy with the national team for starting him in both European qualifiers despite a place in the next year’s tournament already being sealed.

Problems continue to pile up for Blaugrana manager Xavi, who has been left in the lurch with what seems to be a never-ending injury crisis.

Pedri had just returned to action after months on the sidelines, while Frenkie de Jong is close to recovery from injury. Oriol Romeu’s performances have been subject to scrutiny, which highlights the midfield troubles at Barca.

Ilkay Gundogan has been the central figure in the midfield, while academy graduate Fermin Lopez has also repaid the trust shown by Xavi.

Gavi’s injury will prompt the Catalans to change their priorities in the winter transfer market.

A new midfielder is needed to ensure more depth in the centre of the park and also help the club challenge for multiple trophies.

Barca are hindered by financial difficulties and will likely go after cost-effective signings as in previous transfer windows.

Let’s look at the midfielders the Blaugrana could target after Gavi’s injury.

Giovani Lo Celso

Having been on their radar for a long time, Barca have a great chance to make a move for the Tottenham Hotspur outcast in January.

Lo Celso is way down the pecking order at Tottenham. His fortunes have not changed as Ange Postecoglou has no plans for him.

A loan move has been touted for the cash-strapped Barca, and the Argentine midfielder would be a valuable addition if they manage to strike a deal with the Lilywhites.

The former Real Betis star has also considerable experience in La Liga. He had a remarkable loan stint at Villarreal, helping them reach the 2021/22 Champions League semi-finals.

Arthur Vermeeren

Although different from the profile of Gavi and Lo Celso, Barca could still reap rewards by signing Royal Antwerp’s burgeoning defensive midfielder Arthur Vermeeren.

The Belgian teenager’s rapid rise has caught the attention of the Catalans, who could lodge an offer for him in the upcoming transfer window.

Vermeeren would help Barca solidify the holding midfield position, allowing Frenkie de Jong, Gundogan, Pedri and Lopez to operate much forward with more freedom.

Alex Baena

Villarreal’s Alex Baena has enjoyed stellar growth over the past couple of seasons, establishing himself as one of the finest prospects in La Liga.

Xavi has been impressed by the 22-year-old’s sublime form, as are several other top European clubs.

The Spanish youngster is adept at playing on the wings and as an attacking midfielder and boasts eye-catching attacking and creative numbers.

However, a January move looks unlikely as Baena recently extended his contract with the Yellow Submarine and reportedly holds a release clause worth €60 million.

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