Both Gaya and Soler linked with Barcelona in recent past
Barcelona president Joan Laporta held a meeting with Valencia president Anil Murthy and Joey Lim, according to journalist Gerard Romero.
In the meeting, Barcelona were offered the opportunity to sign midfielder Carlos Soler and left-back Jose Luis Gaya.
It is no secret the Catalan side are looking to reinforce the left-back position with Jordi Alba already on the wrong side of 30. Gaya had long been linked with Barcelona but it appeared he was closer to signing an extension. Soler recently emerged as an option should the club sell Frenkie de Jong. Both of their contracts expire in 2023.
The situation is a delicate one given a report from Superdeporte in which Anil Murthy was overheard saying he would “kill Soler” if he left Valencia without leaving a transfer fee. Valencia has since come out and denounced the audio, claiming it was edited and part of a smear campaign.
Valencia informed Barcelona they would be willing to part ways with Soler and Gaya for €60 million, an amount that was rejected.
As it stands, Barcelona are in no position to spend such high amounts without selling a number of players first. The club are very interested in Gaya while Soler is not considered a priority at the moment.
Gaya had previously been on their list for left-backs but, as mentioned, it was thought he was going to renew his contract. With him becoming available, they are going to carefully study whether or not they can make a bid and if Valencia would be interested in a player swap.
Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso is another left-back Barcelona are targeting and talks between them are advanced. Though they might take a step depending on how things progress, if at all, with Valencia for Gaya.
The 26-year-old Spanish international would be a step up from Alonso and considerably younger. He would also be an ideal replacement for Alba who may only have one or two seasons left at the top flight. Gaya would still be in his prime and could perhaps serve as the in-between should Alejandro Balde continue to develop.
Talks are still in the early stages with Barcelona needing to clear space both in the team and the wage bill. Any additions are being hampered by that at the moment. Once some of that gets resolved, Laporta and his board will have a better idea of what they can offer not only for Gaya but for other targets as well.