Barcelona to step up pursuit of Liverpool star after Deco meets agent

Lfc Rumour (Mark Baldwin)
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The Barca sporting director wants to bring more dynamism to the team (Picture: Getty)



Barcelona have set their sights on Liverpool winger Luis Diaz and Deco has already spoken to the Colombian’s agent, according to reports in Spain.



The Catalan giants are embarking on another summer of upheaval, with Deco set to overhaul the squad following the departure of Xavi.



Sunday’s La Liga match against Sevilla will be Xavi’s final game as Barcelona manager, with former Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick set to replace him.



Deco wants to change the makeup and profile of the squad this summer, with Spanish newspaper AS reporting that Luis Diaz is now his top target.



Barca have always wanted to bring in a new winger, with Xavi’s preference having been Athletic’s Nico Williams, but now their focus is shifting.



Deco believes the team lacks physical power and an X factor, as well as characters and leadership, something he feels Diaz can bring in abundance – and which also prompted their decision to sign veteran midfielder Guido Rodriguez on a free transfer.



The former Portugal international is already believed to have spoken to Diaz’s representatives to ascertain his situation.



Injuries have hampered the 27-year-old’s career on Merseyside but he was a reliable performer this season, scoring eight times and laying on five assists in 32 Premier League starts.

Diaz could be on the move this summer with Barca keen (Picture: Getty)



But Liverpool could potentially cash in on the Colombian, with Diaz not one of the four players new boss Arne Slot is planning to build his side around.



Another dynamic is that Liverpool paid a relatively modest £37.5million to Porto in 2022 and they could demand significantly more now – which would bolster their finances from a Profit and Sustainability Rules point of view.



Barca, though, would expect to face a tough negotiation, particularly now Michael Edwards is back at the club, and still have memories of the protracted – and very expensive – talks that took Philippe Coutinho to Camp Nou.



Moreover, Barca have significant financial issues and will need to sell a player first if they want to sign Diaz while still complying with La Liga’s FFP rules.



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There are two players they are willing to sacrifice, one is centre-back Ronald Araujo – who could command a fee of as much as £80m – and the other is Brazilian winger Raphinha.



The latter has offers from Saudi Arabia and the Premier League, where he played previously for Leeds United, but is thought to be keen to stay at Barca.



Outside of Robert Lewandowski, no other Barcelona player got into double figures for league goals (with Joao Felix, Ferran Torres and Fermin Lopez the next best on seven) but Deco feels Diaz can be more of a ‘killer’ in the final third and provide more firepower.



Barca president Joan Laporta is said to be particularly drawn to Diaz because he is a fan of Barcelona, with his father recently revealing that he supported the Catalan club as a child and would like to move to Spain.



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https://metro.co.uk/2024/05/26/barcelona-step-pursuit-liverpool-star-deco-meets-agent-20913766/

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