Barcelona have been quite active in what is expected to be an important summer transfer window for them. The Blaugrana have already signed Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen on free deals, but those are hardly the last they’ll sign.
The La Liga giants’ priority summer target remains to sign a world class striker. In particular, they have earmarked Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski to fill the void up front. The major issue is Bayern aren’t keen to sell.
The Bundesliga side are playing hardball with Barcelona over the Lewandowski deal and doing everything they can to stop this “dream move” from happening. Even after the Polish striker spoke about his desire to leave, he isn’t being granted an easy exit.
Barça will need to pay around €60m (as per Sky Sports) to get a deal done. They don’t want to pay that much for an aging striker. If needed, they might have to start looking for alternatives. Here we look at three cheaper options they can consider.
Barcelona could benefit from Patrik Schick’s arrival
If Barcelona does want to sign a striker that can guarantee them a lot of goals, Patrik Schick is a smart option. The 26-year-old Bayer Leverkusen forward has been on fire the last few seasons. He gained a lot of attention for his heroics for Czech Republic in Euro 2020, scoring 5 goals and ending as the joint-top scorer.
Since then, he has continued being a goal machine at club level. Last season, Schick scored 24 goals and provided 5 assists in 27 Bundesliga appearances, which involved just one penalty goal. Schick is a complete package up-front, boasting the physicality to bully defenders and deft finishing skills.
He is a good distributor in passing too, making him a good fit for Barca’s system. The 26-year-old is valued at around €50m (as per Transfermarkt), making him cheaper than what Bayern Munich are demanding for Lewandowski.
Schick is currently riding high on his peak form and can be a better long-term option for Barça, as well as bang in goals for them constantly, as long as he’d fed well.
Andrea Belotti: Barcelona’s next free signing?
Barcelona’s financial problems mean they have to be really careful with how much they spend on new signings this summer. The two signings they’ve made so far are both free transfers, for which they didn’t have to spend anything in terms of a fee.
Barça can continue their free transfer spree by signing experienced Italian striker Andrea Belotti. The 28-year-old has tons of experience and is a known prolific goal-scorer. In 251 appearances for Torino, his most recent club, the Italian striker scored 113 goals.
Belotti basically led the charge for Torino and was responsible for winning a lot of games. He is an aggressive, energetic forward who loves to be a menace for defenders. The Italian might have spent the entirety of his career in his home country, but could be a very smart signing for Barça.
Belotti can add a lot of positive energy into their attack and be a major goal-scoring source. If Barça can convince him to join them on a free, they can pull off a smart signing that resolves their goal-scoring issues for at least a few years.
A gamble on Mauro Icardi
Mauro Icardi might’ve endured some tormented years at PSG, where he’s been downgraded to a bench-warmer, but his quality can’t be denied. The Argentine striker is up for sale (as per L’Equipe) and wouldn’t cost much because of his lack of game-time last season.
The 29-year-old is still a clinical striker who can guarantee a lot of goals under the right system. For Inter Milan, he scored 124 goals in 219 appearances. Icardi is deadly in the final third, boasting some impressive finishing ability and a tendency to anticipate goal-scoring chances.
He is quick, can distribute the ball well and uses his weight to trouble defenders. Barcelona can definitely sign Icardi for a smaller fee than what they’ll need to pay for Lewandowski. Of course, he isn’t of the same quality, but Icardi’s experience and goal-scoring instincts can make him another prolific source of goals for the La Liga giants.