Deco: “We don’t want to sell any top player in the summer.”

An update on Barcelona’s transfer strategy for the summer window has been provided today by sporting director Deco.

Barça will be looking to strengthen their squad in the summer, as they look to bridge the gap between themselves and arch-rivals Real Madrid, who are top of La Liga at the moment. However, the club is yet to appoint Xavi’s successor and therefore the club’s plans for incomings have been put on hold.

Despite this, Deco is aware of the Catalan club’s delicate financial situation and knows the club must sell players before buying any top talents. The Blaugrana decided to bring Vitor Roque’s transfer forward to January, but are yet to make Joao Felix’s and Joao Cancelo’s loans permanent, due to the high asking price of their respective parent clubs.

As reported by Fabrizio Romano, the Portuguese director is adamant that the club want to improve the squad and not weaken it by selling key players.

He said: “It’d be a mistake to sell Araujo and Frenkie de Jong. I’d like to improve the squad and try not to sell players.

“We’d like not to sell any top player in the summer.”

Bayern Munich have made Ronald Araújo a priority target for the summer, while Erik ten Hag would like to reunite with his former Ajax player at Manchester United. The Spanish giants ideally want to keep their important players, as the club looks to return to its glory days by attracting world-class players to replace previous or existing members of the current squad.

Deco ideally wants to bring in a defensive midfielder in the mould of club legend Sergio Busquets, but acknowledges this will be difficult because of inflation in the market for this position.

He added: “It’s almost impossible to replace Busquets. Rodri is the closest but City would never sell him to any club!

“Kimmich is another top player, but it’s also not easy to sign him. Look at how much Chelsea paid for Caicedo, it’s not easy at all.”

When speaking to the press, the Portuguese man also defended his decision to bring Raphinha to the club. The Brazilian has been inconsistent for the club so far and has not lived up to his €59m price tag. At the time of the transfer, Deco was also the agent of Raphinha, but denies offering his client to the club.

The sporting director said: “Arsenal and Chelsea wanted to sign Raphinha. They were both offering way more than Barça.

“It was Jordi Cruyff who asked me about Raphinha for the first time. I never offered Raphinha to Barça.”

Rajan Sangha | GSFN

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