Man Utd emerge as shock contenders to sign Barcelona legend who has one simple demand
A Barcelona legend will change clubs this summer and Man Utd have emerged as a shock contender to satisfy his only demand.
It’ll be all change once again at the Camp Nou this summer. Club legends leaving is nothing new, with the likes of Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi all taking their leave in recent years.
However, two club icons are poised to leave at the same time this summer – Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets.
Left-back Alba, 34, has been on Barcelona’s books ever since arriving in a €14m deal from Valencia back in 2012.
Alba has gone on to lift six LaLiga titles, five Copa del Reys and one Champions League while in Catalonia. However, despite having a year remaining on his contract, a parting of ways has been confirmed.
Indeed, a Barcelona statement recently confirmed Alba will see his contract mutually terminated when the current campaign concludes.
A club statement read: “FC Barcelona would like to publicly express its gratitude to Alba for his professionalism, commitment and dedication, and his ever-positive and friendly relationship with all members of the Barca family, and wishes him every fortune in the future.
“Barca will always be a home for you, Jordi.”
The BBC speculated the reason behind the split is Barcelona moving to shed salary in the hopes of falling in line with LaLiga’s financial regulations.
Alba remains a high-level operator when fit, though has taken a backseat to rising academy graduate Alejandro Balde this season.
Fabrizio Romano confirmed Alba will not retire and is now assessing his options. Spanish outlet Sport detail four potential next steps and Manchester United are reportedly among them.
Indeed, the publication state possibilities open to Alba include Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Man Utd and signing up in the Saudi Pro League.
Alba was previously ‘offered’ to Inter last season, though took a dim view of joining the Italian heavyweight. The situation may have changed given their presence in this year’s Champions League final, though it’s just as likely Alba’s negative outlook on moving to Italy has remained.
Joining Atleti would see Alba follow in the footsteps of former Barca teammate, Luis Suarez. However, Sport declare his one demand is continuing to play at the ‘highest level’ and it could be argued that constitutes playing for Man Utd.
Indeed, the Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world and Man Utd are arguably the world’s biggest club.
What’s more, United are all but assured of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. They require just a point from their two remaining games to see off Liverpool’s late charge.
Of course, the elephant in the room is the fact Erik ten Hag already has Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia on the books. Brandon Williams is also in situ, though rarely gets a look-in these days. Alex Telles will be sold upon returning off loan from Sevilla.
At Alba’s advanced age (34) it seems unlikely he’d displace Shaw in Ten Hag’s strongest eleven. United also have a chequered recent history when signing global superstars at the tail end of their careers.
The Cristiano Ronaldo debacle is a sore spot that won’t soon be forgotten and United took giant strides forward when Ronaldo was out of the picture.
As such, a move for Alba appears a touch fanciful at this stage despite the fact he’ll not cost a transfer fee.
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