Manchester City have reportedly made contact with Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets about a possible transfer.
According to Jordi Gil of Sport, the team former Barca boss Pep Guardiola will manage from next season has been in touch with the Spain international’s representatives “to make it clear that the doors are open in the case that he wants a change of scenery.” However, it’s noted there was no official offer made.
Gil claimed any thoughts of leaving are “not in the player's head,” although he is reportedly waiting for club president Josep Maria Bartomeu to honour his promise of a new contract. It’s also noted Guardiola would not pursue any Barca players aside from in “exceptional circumstances.”
Naturally, Barcelona will be desperate to keep hold of the 27-year-old, who has been a mainstay in the side since Guardiola took charge at the Camp Nou in 2008.
This season he’s been superb. The likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar have been hogging the spotlight because to their exceptional attacking play, but Busquets does an incredible job at knitting the entire team together. His defensive awareness is excellent. As is his ability to drop deep, pick up possession and set forward forays in motion.
Lee Roden of ESPN FC and FourFourTwo thinks the Barcelona man is the standout midfield player on the planet:
Time for your weekly reminder that Sergio Busquets is the best midfielder in the world. Absurdly complete game so far.— Lee Roden (@LeeRoden89) February 3, 2016
For the soon-to-be City boss, who will be seeking to instil a new philosophy next season, having a player who is so influential in the XI would be a major boost.
But Barcelona aren’t in the business of selling their most important players, and alongside the aforementioned attacking trident, Busquets is significant to the team’s success. Few players at the Camp Nou deserve a new deal more than the midfielder, who signed an extension until 2019 in February last year, and after some stellar recent showings, expect his extension to be a big priority.
Another player who is reportedly close to signing a new deal with Barcelona is Neymar, according to vice-president Carles Vilarrubi.
"Neymar will renew his contract," he told Club de la Mitjanit (h/t Chisanga Malata of the Daily Star). "It will be when he wants, and when the club wants. We are absolutely certain. He is committed to the team and is happy with his team-mates. The club gives him a lot of happiness."
As we can see here, courtesy of Sport (h/t barcastuff), it’s expected Neymar’s renewal will see him become the second-highest earner at the football club:
Malata stated the Brazil skipper has been linked with a move away from the Camp Nou, with Manchester United said to be willing to match the forward’s staggering £145 million buyout clause. Here’s a look at why the forward could be deemed to be worth so much money:
Which player is more important to Barcelona?
Neymar is becoming a force of nature on the flank for Barcelona. His dazzling play, ability to leave defenders trailing in his wake and end product make him one of the best footballers in the world. As such, the Blaugrana will be desperate to keep him. There seems to be a confidence he will agree new terms on a contract too.
For the Catalan club, new deals for Busquets and Neymar are likely to mean a sizeable outlay over the next few seasons, but if they’re keen on keeping players of such quality, it seems imperative they spend big.
Should the Blaugrana decide not to splash out on new contracts, other juggernauts on the continent such as City and United will likely be happy to.