One of the key priorities this off-season was signing a right-back who’s defensively responsible, but who’s also capable of joining in attacks and offering some pace down the right wing. Barcelona highlighted Real Valladolid defender Ivan Fresneda early, and now they have reportedly made their first bid for the 18-year-old.
According to Matteo Morretto of Relevo, Barcelona has offered a fixed fee of €8 million with another €10 million in variables. It’s expected that Real Valladolid will counter with an offer that bags when more guaranteed money up front, but there is growing optimism this deal can be done, with the player wanting a move to the La Liga champions.
Barcelona sporting director Deco met with the agents of Fresneda several weeks ago, and since that moment he’s been adamant about signing the young talent, and despite the player not receiving a consensus without the Barca management group, it seems as though Deco has managed to convince the powers that be.
Barca has been limited to just two pre-season games so far this summer, Sergino Dest appeared at RB against Arsenal to start the first game and was thoroughly overmatched by English star Bukayo Saka. Ronald Araujo was then brought in for the second game against Real Madrid, and while he defended resolutely, Barca would ideally prefer him in the centre with Andreas Christensen.
Fresneda offers a cheaper alternative to Manchester City star
According to recent reports, Barca management has been unable to agree on the direction the team should take at right back.
While Deco preferred the youthful exuberance of Fresneda, it was reported that Xavi preferred the experience of Joao Cancelo.
Cancelo is undoubtedly more proven, but with experience comes added cost with Manchester City reportedly looking for €50 million for the Portuguese star. That’s a fee Barca can’t really afford.
Cancelo fell out of favour with Pep Guardiola are City and spent the second half of last season on loan with Bayern Munich, and despite the German champions having an option to purchase they declined to do so.
According to manager Thomas Tuchel, that had nothing to do with his football on the field and while he is a player who wears his heart on his sleeve, and can run people the wrong way, it has more to do with Bayern having alternative options.
Fresneda is still developing both physically and technically, but he already possesses the kind of game that Barca values and his football intelligence and ability on the ball make him a candidate to start from day one.