Barcelona has appointed former Real Betis director Quique Setién as their new head coach, replacing the sacked Ernesto Valverde.
Called’El Maestro’, the 61-year-old, who has agreed to some two-and-a-half-year deal at the Camp Nou will be expected to revitalise the Barça style of play, whilst continuing to dominate on all fronts.
Whilst Setién might not have been a lot of people’s original choice, he’s been identified as the man to bring back and restore the team’s famed fast-paced, high-pressing, incisive-passing style. Here are five players that the Cantabrian could bring into the Camp Nou that January.
Lautaro Martínez (Inter Milan)
With Luis Suárez ruled out for up to four months with a knee injury, Barça are expected to dive into the January transfer window and sign a ready-made replacement for the Uruguayan.
The Catalan giants were keen to prevent transfer activity this winter, but have to check at potential alternatives due to the Suárez situation.
The Argentinian international’s $123million release clause is far from what Barcelona are likely to want to have to pay to bring him to Catalonia, but its vital Setién gets a replacement at the moment.
Martínez could link up with fellow countryman Lionel Messi in the Camp Nou that could be a telling factor. Having netted 10 goals in 18 appearances in Serie A so far this year, Barça must strike swiftly to secure his services.
Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen)
Barcelona are joined by Liverpool in the race for the gifted attacking midfielder. The German international is also a goal for Bayern Munich.
Having made 14 appearances this campaign so far, he has enough experience already to slot into the pressures that would come with wearing the Barça shirt.
With Barcelona’s ageing squad, Setién is very likely to want to invest in the young star earlier, as opposed to later.
Barcelona along with Liverpool stay interested in Valencia youngster Ferran Torres. The 19-year-old, who has a contract until 2021, is one of the brightest young talents in Spain and Los Che are ready to let one of the prized assets leave for the right price.
Ferran Torres (Valencia)
Having made his Valencia first-team senior debut back in 2017 as a 17-year-old, the Spain Under-21 global would cost around $111million. Torres was part of the Spain squad that won the European Under-19 Championship last summer and netted a double in the final against Portugal.
Should Setién bring Torres to Barcelona, he could develop him further into a similar type of player to Kevin de Bruyne or David Silva, the latter who came through the youth ranks at Valencia.
Fabián Ruiz (Napoli)
Manchester United are set to battle it with Barcelona for the help of the highly-rated Napoli midfielder. The 23-year-old would cost around $99million if he makes the move to Catalonia.
Having joined the Italian side from Real Betis in 2018, supremo Aurelio De Laurentiis could well be ready to let the Spain international leave with the Neapolitans keen to reduce their wage bill.
Ruiz has made 17 appearances so far in Serie A and could be the long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets.