Five appealing free agents Barcelona could sign on pre-contract in January

Barcelona operate on a very restricted transfer budget so it would make perfect sense for the Catalans to plan in advance and try to get the best possible deals.

It involves doing a PSG and trying to sign world-class players on free transfer

Here are a few players whose contracts expire in 2022 who Barcelona should consider bringing to Camp Nou.

Mbappe is not on the list because it appears as if he is heading to Madrid, there is no point of dreaming about him. We should probably think about how to stop him when he puts on the Blancos shirt, and our first name on the list could help Barca deal with the Mbappe threat…

🇩🇪 Niklas Sule

Barcelona have conceded 15 goals in La Liga this season. Teams like Athletic, Villarreal and Espanyol—even Espanyol!—have let in fewer goals.

While it’s difficult to lay the blame on defenders, it is clear Barca need improvement at the back. We really miss the Puyol–Pique days when two world-class centre-backs made it difficult for opposition forwards to even get close to Barcelona’s box.

There is a bunch of quality centre-backs among potential free agents (Rudiger, Christensen, Romagnoli, Ginter) but Niklas Sule stands above them all.

Literally, I mean. A 1.95 m giant, the Germany international is taller than most players. His height helps him score (14 goals in 273 games in his career) but, more importantly, he’ll be invaluable against physical teams such as Getafe and Rayo.

Height aside, Sule is one of the best centre-backs in the world in terms of his ability on the ball. Just look at a screenshot from stats website FBRef:

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The numbers in the second column show Sule’s average numbers in a given metric, the third reveals how he fares in comparison to other centre-backs. On every ball-playing metric, the Bayern defender is among the very best in the world.

Exactly what Barca need.

🇦🇷 Paulo Dybala

Another position where Barcelona struggle is the forward line. Koeman’s experiment with playing an out-and-out striker in Luuk De Jong has clearly failed.

Barca need to get back to Guardiola’s idea of a centre-forward who plays as an extra midfielder. And Paulo Dybala is just what the doctor ordered.

The Juventus man excels in half-spaces, he was made to exploit gaps in opposition’s defences and operate between the lines, linking up forwards and midfielders.

A lack of cohesion up front was a source of Koeman’s constant headache at Barcelona. Dybala is precisely what Barcelona need to create patterns out of the Catalans’ disjointed attacking efforts.

In addition to his ability to glue a team together, the Argentine is quite a good finisher, scoring 106 goals in 265 games for Juventus.

Signing someone like Dybala on free agency would be a huge bargain. Take him and run!

🇮🇹 Lorenzo Insigne

Obviously, Dybala alone won’t solve the Catalans’ problems. Barcelona’s attack needs more improvements: sorry dear Goatwaite, sorry Luuk, it’s Project Rebuild at Camp Nou, we’re looking for better players.

Lorenzo Insigne is one. Finally ready to take a step up and move from his comfort zone at a hometown side Napoli, the Italy international is a no-brainer for Barcelona.

His Napoli record speaks for itself: 114 goals and 89 assists in 411 games. He was crucial to Italy’s run to the Euro 2020 final, making life extremely difficult for opposition defenders with his constant runs into the area.

A fleet-footed inside winger with a deadly right foot, Insigne could provide competition to Memphis and Fati.

The only problem with Lorenzo is that he is already 30. But we’re not advocating for giving him a five-year deal here.

Insigne is an excellent player right now, he can help elevate Barca from the place we are in now—hand him two or three years and take the burden of leading the Barca attack off Fati’s shoulders.

🇪🇸 Cesar Azpilicueta

A somewhat wildcard option, the Chelsea skipper could turn out to be a fantastic bargain deal for Barcelona.

A lot has been said about the Catalans’ lacking winning mentality and positive spirit. Very few could change the mood in the dressing room for the better than Azpilicueta, a proven serial winner who has been through everything with Spain and Chelsea.

Add his top mentality to the fact that he is a very good football player capable of operating in literally every position on the pitch and you get a perfect mixture for Barca.

🇨🇲 Andre Onana

Banned from football for occasionally taking his wife’s pills (as he himself says), the Ajax shot-stopper wants a step forward and Barcelona could give him exactly that.

He kept 9 clean sheets in 20 Eredivisie games before his ban and had an 80 per cent save percentage. His numbers were on par with Europe’s top goalkeepers.

Onana has Barca DNA, spending five years at La Masia before joining Ajax as an 18-year-old. He has developed into an excellent goalie in the Netherlands, everyone could see it in the 2018–19 season when Ajax defeated Madrid and Juventus to get into the Champions League semi-finals.

A talented goalie who knows Barcelona and has valuable Champions League experience, on a free transfer… Onana is a steal, especially considering Ter Stegen’s drop in form.

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