Report: Barcelona Rule out Aleksandr Golovin Transfer Amid Chelsea Rumours

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2018

Russia's Alexander Golovin, centre, runs during warming up prior the quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium, in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, July 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
Darko Bandic/Associated Press

Barcelona have reportedly decided not to chase CSKA Moscow starlet Aleksandr Golovin, with Chelsea in pole position to sign the 2018 FIFA World Cup revelation. 

Per Marca's Xavi Hernandez, the Russian is eager to play for the Blues, while Barcelona question his ability to adapt to Spanish football and the Catalan city. Golovin reportedly only speaks Russian, which the team's hierarchy also believes complicates matters.

Golovin was originally expected to sign for Juventus, and CSKA maintain there is no agreement yet with any club:

Chelsea now seem the clear favourites for the versatile midfielder, however, with numerous reports linking the club with the breakout star.

Golovin has long been regarded as the top talent in Russian football and announced himself as a serious prospect in CSKA's UEFA Europa League matches against Arsenal last season.

The 22-year-old further impressed for Russia at the World Cup, especially in the group stages. Per Squawka Football, he played a pivotal role for the hosts:

There's a strong belief the youngster is only scratching the surface of his potential. CSKA have used him in a variety of roles the last few seasons, never giving him the opportunity to develop at a steady pace.

As a result, he's a player without a position who did most of his damage for Russia with his quick feet, technique and vision. Once his new club figure out how to use him and give him time to settle, he's likely to progress a lot quicker.

The fact Golovin only speaks Russian could be a major issue, however, and some Russian talents have struggled to find success once they move abroad in the past. The likes of Denis Cheryshev and Andrey Arshavin are prime examples of top prospects who failed to hit heights expected of them, which makes Golovin a risky signing.

Tifo Football broke down what fans can expect from a tactical sense:

Barcelona never seemed a real possibility for Golovin. This transfer saga has dragged on for some time already, and a solution is expected any day now.

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