Barcelona interested in Athletic Bilbao’s Yuri Berchiche

Yuri Berchiche of Athletic Bilbao. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Yuri Berchiche of Athletic Bilbao. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /

Barcelona looking to add depth to the left-back position.

Barcelona know that their squad is in desperate need of a revamp with the club already scouting potential reinforcements for next season.

According to Mundo Deportivo, the Catalans are showing interest in Athletic Bilbao left-back, Yuri Berchiche. The scouts at the club have been very impressed with his performances at the Basuqe club and believe he has the level required to play for Barcelona.

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The report also claims that they were looking at Osasuna’s Pervis Estupiñan but are less convinced that he has what it takes to make the jump to an elite club.

Transfer fees are what is scaring clubs like Barcelona away at the moment. So it should be no surprises that Yuri’s release clause is the biggest obstacle to his potential signing.

His release clause is set at €100 million and if he is to leave, Athletic Bilbao are going to want the full release clause paid.

They are a tough club to deal with because they generally don’t want to sell their players because of their policy of only playing with Basque players. When one leaves, they have a more difficult time than most in finding a replacement.

When they do sell, it usually is for the player’s full release clause or close to it. Some examples of that are when they sold Ander Herrera to Manchester United and Kepa Arrizabalaga to Chelsea.

The Catalans want a suitable backup to Jordi Alba.

One of the reasons they are looking into possibly acquiring a left-back is because Junior Firpo will likely be gone form the club comes next season. He’s been constantly linked as being the player included in a deal with Inter Milan for Lautaro Martinez.

Aside from the price, another drawback of Yuri is his age.

Jordi Alba is 31 and still has four years left on his contract. Yuri is 30 and given the age of their squad, Barcelona need to focus on getting younger, not older.

A veteran presence is never a bad thing but it would be a waste of a transfer if Yuri comes in and suffers the same fate as Firpo.

Again, because of the policy at Athletic Bilbao, Barça cannot propose a swap deal because they don’t have a player that they would want.

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Juan Miranda is set to come back from his loan at Schalke 04. It’s time they put more trust in their academy players and see what he can do. They’ve done so, more out of necessity, with Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati and they’ve delivered.