Barcelona have been very active in the transfer market so far this summer, having already signed Ilkay Gundogan, Inigo Martinez and Oriol Romeu, with a deal for Vitor Roque to join in 2024 having also been finalised.
The reigning LaLiga champions are looking to make further additions, with two positions in particular being focused on: right-back and centre midfield.
The former appears to be more of a priority for Barcelona at this stage, and with good reason. It is an area that has been a problem for several years, ever since Dani Alves departed the club for the first time back in 2016.
Barcelona appear to have settled on a particular strategy for their right-back search: a long-term option. They want someone to make the position their own for the next 10+ years, but also someone that can make an impact on the first team immediately.
Ivan Fresneda certainly fits this criteria, and Barcelona have re-ignited their interest in the 18-year-old, who had an impressive debut season with Real Valladolid in 2022-23, although he was unable to help them avoid relegation from LaLiga.
Barcelona cannot afford to pay Fresneda’s €20m release clause, but Sport have reported that they are looking into different ways of being able to sign the teenager, with a lower fee plus add-ons a likely possibility.
Barcelona are looking to open talks with Real Valladolid over the next few weeks in order to sort out a deal. Fresneda is keen to join – especially so considering he has turned down other offers in the hope of heading to Catalonia – so personal terms won’t be an issue.
If Barcelona can pull a deal off, it would be a magnificent piece of business. Fresneda showed plenty of promise during his first season in senior football, and at Barcelona, he would only get better, especially as he would be training and playing with higher quality teammates.
Fresneda is adept both defensively and offensively, and he would have little problem in adjusting to Xavi Hernandez’s style of play. He would likely play second-fiddle to Jules Kounde at the start of his Barcelona career, but he should have the chance to make the position his own.
Despite just 18, Fresneda will only get better, and alongside the likes of Ronald Araujo, Alejandro Balde, Pedri, Gavi, Ansu Fati and Ez Abde, he could become a staple of the Barcelona starting line-up for many, many years to come.
Even if Barcelona take a little bit of short-term pain in terms of finances, they should be looking to get a deal for Fresneda over the line. The long-term benefits definitely will be absolutely worth it.