Barcelona reportedly have a real interest in securing the signing of highly touted defensive midfielder Óscar Zambrano from Liga Deportiva Universitaria who plays their football in the Ecuadorian Serie A.
The report is courtesy of Stalin Cobena, a local journalist in Quinto, Ecuador.
Cobena indicates that the negotiations will continue this week between Barca and LDU, as the two clubs try to find a deal that is mutually beneficial. The Catalan club don’t have a lot of funds to facilitate transfers, but they could include a bigger sell-on free to tempt the Ecuadorian side into selling.
Considering Zambrano has only made a handful of appearances for LDU’s first team, it’s likely that Barca is looking to secure his signature for La Massia where he can continue his development.
Barcelona chasing highly-rated Ecuadorian midfielder
Zambrano is considered a talented youngster who displays the kind of quality on the ball that will translate to the European leagues.
He’s improved his positioning and reading of the game since joining the first team and was a standout performer for Ecuador at the U20 World Cup.
The young pivot has also shown a willingness and competence to move the ball forward and control the tempo and speed of play.
If you watch some Zambrano, you’ll see a physique that’s still developing. Standing at 5’9, he may need to pack on some weight to stand the physical test of La Liga football. But there will be plenty of opportunities to do just that.
Barca’s well-documented financial issues have led them in a different direction when it comes to their recruitment.
Not only has Barca looked to free transfers like Franck Kessie last year and Inigo Martinez this year, but there is a bigger emphasis on youth. Buying players before they become the stars of the future.
They’ve already completed the signing of Vitor Roque, the Brazilian wonderkid who’s tipped for greatness. Over 50% of the fee is based on incentives for the future, and there’s a chance they could look to work a similar deal for Zambrano, although the Ecuadorian isn’t as highly thought of or as accomplished as Roque.