Cristhian Stuani Addresses Summer Transfer Prospects Amid Barcelona Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 1, 2019

GIRONA, SPAIN - MARCH 10: Cristhian Stuani of Girona FC celebrating his goal during the La Liga match between Girona FC and Valencia CF at Montilivi Stadium on March 10, 2019 in Girona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Girona striker Cristhian Stuani has said there are "a lot of clubs" that want his signature and addressed his summer prospects after rumours of a move to Barcelona were revived.

Stuani is expected to leave Girona this summer after they were relegated from La Liga in 18th place. The former Middlesbrough and Espanyol forward refused to rule out an exit from the Catalan club as talk of a short move to Barca picks back up, per Marca (h/t Football Espana):

"I have not spoken to Girona, nor we have sat down to negotiate, so I do not know what idea they have.

"My priority is with the national team. I've scored a lot of goals, and that's striking. There are clubs that love me, and that's a big compliment.

"It's a difficult moment for me. Here has been a very nice project, and I have bet to be there for many years. The relegation was not planned, and the aim for the club has to be to rise again."

Stuani, 32, has shone for Girona since he left Boro and returned to La Liga in 2017, averaging around 20 goals per season since he moved back to Spain.

Barca manager Ernesto Valverde doesn't boast the most physically intimidating strike force, and Stuani could offer an aerial threat they don't currently have, per WhoScored.com:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Cristhian Stuani: Has scored more headed goals (16) than any other player since the start of the 2017/18 LaLiga season For more player stats -- https://t.co/JgUzqkDuAz https://t.co/BiHXHrZKR9

The Uruguay international admitted in February that Barcelona made an approach for his services during the winter transfer window as they looked to shore up a forward line slightly lacking in cover.

Luis Suarez is the usual frontman at the Camp Nou but has started to show signs of decline. Stuani is no younger than his fellow South American at 32, but he could offer an experienced scoring threat from the bench, one who is already settled in Catalonia and might be content playing fewer minutes.

It took Stuani little time to remind La Liga why he should have been missed during his two seasons in England, having netted 20 goals during his first season at Girona:

He netted 21 times this term to just about beat that tally, 19 of which came in La Liga and left him fifth in La Liga's top-scorer ranks.

Sid Lowe and Phil Kitromilides of The Spanish Football Podcast even discussed the striker as a potential Player of the Year contender:

The Spanish Football Podcast @tsf_podcast

Messi. Aspas. Stuani. Parejo. Molina. We discuss candidates for @LaLigaEN Player of the Season in our #tsfp 🇪🇸⚽🎙️ 2018/19 Awards pod - including Pablo Sarabia... Out now for patrons ➡️https://t.co/QE1nVG21Ir https://t.co/AxxwfNrtXq

Stuani holds a much lower profile than the superstars Barcelona are used to being linked with, but Girona's relegation could lead to an agreeable fee for a player who would reinforce any attack in his recent form.