Xavi and Barcelona sporting director Deco are ‘going to war’ over Ivan Fresneda, according to Spanish media.
The Blaugrana are desperately crying out for a right back and have been since at least last season. Not convinced by Sergino Dest, who has since been shipped off on loan to PSV, Barcelona thought that former Arsenal man Hector Bellerin may provide an answer to their full-back conundrum, but to no avail – the Spaniard was gone after just a few months.
Xavi was keen to add Joao Cancelo in January after the Portuguese had fallen out of favour at Manchester City and the deal was progressing well until the treble winners decided to pull out and Cancelo went to Bayern instead. This summer, the Catalans are in for him once more, but this deal is again not without its problems.
According to Fabrizio Romano, it is only a matter of time before Cancelo can be unveiled as a Barcelona player as part of a loan, but Spanish media is reporting that the decision to sign the 29-year-old has caused some friction behind the scenes.
There have been previous reports that the Blaugrana had initially wanted to target 18-year-old Fresneda, but the surprising sales of Franck Kessie and Ousmane Dembele made it possible to go for Cancelo instead, who is Xavi’s dream signing.
New sporting director Deco, however, believes that Barcelona will regret signing Cancelo over the Real Valladolid youngster, whose release clause reportedly stands at just €20 million.
Sport reports that after a lot of internal debate, “finally, Joao Cancelo was chosen, but Deco believes that the Blaugrana club is making a mistake by not signing the Valladolid right-back whose price may explode in the coming years, which will make it very difficult to sign him.”
“Deco believed more in a Fresneda-type full-back for Barça as an investment in the future. He was clear that he could perform immediately and that he could solve the right-sided issue for years to come with a very economically advantageous transfer.”
“Now, Barça will find it tough to sign Cancelo next year if the purchase option is more than €35m, as it will be. It is quite probable that there is no margin to sign him in 2024 and the problem will continue.”