Are we finally getting a breakthrough in the right-back search? Barcelona today held a two-hour meeting with the agents of Valladolid right-back Ivan Fresneda, with the 18-year-old a top target for the La Liga champions this summer.
According to the report in Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona Football Director Mateu Alemany met with the agents of Fresneda for two hours in an effort to gain momentum in a potential signing.
Fresneda is represented by the LIAN Sports company, and there is hope that this meeting signifies progress, as Barca continues to look for reinforcements down the right with the season just days away.
As we’ve mentioned here on EB a number of times, Barcelona are desperate for a new right-back with Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde showing that their best positions are inside. Neither centre-back looks entirely comfortable out on the right, and Xavi has consistently said that a natural right-back is one of the remaining priorities.
Has Fresneda won the race to be Barcelona’s new right back?
It has been reported that Xavi favoured the signing of Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo, based on his Champions League experience, but the price tag on Cancelo is likely to be double that of Fresneda. With the current state of Barcelona’s finances, spending over €50 million on a right-back is likely not a viable option.
Fresneda is one of the most exciting young defenders in Spanish football and has attracted the attention of numerous clubs around Europe.
Real Madrid were believed to be interested and we heard this week that Chelsea were ready to make a bid for the Valladolid man. It could be that the interest from Chelsea encouraged Bara to quit stalling and make their desire clear.
Fresneda is a naturally gifted right-back who is comfortable on the ball. He’s got plenty of pace in attack but also shows maturity in terms of his positioning and reading of the game.
With Valladolid suffering relegation last season, it was always a case of where Fresneda would move, rather than if he would move. He’s far too good to be playing his football in the second tier of Spanish football.
Barcelona has already had an €18 million feed rejected for the young defender, but most of that sum was based on variables rather than a fixed fee. I wouldn’t expect Fresneda to cost much more than that, but Barca may need to up the upfront cash to get Valladolid to bite.