18-year-old Barcelona target could cost €15-20 million, Man United, Liverpool also keen

Barcelona bid goodbye to one of their greatest-ever players in Sergio Busquets this past summer and brought in Oriol Romeu as a replacement.

Back at his boyhood club, the 31-year-old former Girona ace has settled in well, but the Catalans do not have a direct backup for him available in the squad.

The likes of Frenkie de Jong, Ilkay Gundogan, and Sergi Roberto can operate in the pivot role, while Xavi also has Marc Casado from the academy.

But reports suggested earlier this month that Barcelona will look for another defensive midfielder in the winter, with several names being discussed.

Arthur Vermeeren of Royal Antwerp has been on Barcelona’s radar for quite some time now, with the club scouting him in Belgium on a few occasions.

Now, Jordi Batalla of Mundo Deportivo is reporting that the 18-year-old Belgian wonderkid could be an option for the Blaugrana come January.

It is claimed that Barcelona have very good reports on the teenage midfielder, who operates in a double pivot for Mark van Bommel’s side, but has drawn some comparison with Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta due to his attacking capabilities.

Vermeeren has a contract with Antwerp until 2025 and the report claims that he could command a transfer fee of around €15-20 million. Moreover, his salary is unlikely to be a big problem for Barça either.

However, Barcelona are not alone in tracking Vermeeren as the report claims that several teams from across Europe are also interested.

Indeed, Premier League heavyweights Manchester United and Liverpool are also following the 18-year-old, as are Brighton & Hove Albion, and Dutch giants AFC Ajax.

Meanwhile, the likes of West Ham United, AS Monaco, and Borussia Dortmund are also believed to have scouted him in the past.

Barcelona will get a closer look at Vermeeren next when they play Royal Antwerp in the UEFA Champions League.

But given Barça’s recent salary cap reveal for 2023/24, a January move appears unlikely, especially if a big fee is involved.


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