Given the incredible success of La Masia academy, Barcelona rarely have to sign young European talent.
The likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi are just three of the whole host of players that have benefited from the facilities in Catalonia.
While this trio, who were named in the top three of the Ballon d’Or in 2010, are often mentioned when discussing La Masia, people often forget about the other incredible talent that has graduated through the famed academy.
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Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique are examples in the current side while former captains Carlos Puyol and Pep Guardiola were also at La Masia.
However, instead of relying on their academy to produce the next generation, Spanish newspaper Sport have reported that Barcelona are currently keen to sign ten young wonderkids from around Europe.
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The report states that technical secretary Robert Fernandez has been keeping a close eye on the hottest prospects on the continent as the club look to purchase them before their value increases.
On the list, unsurprisingly, is Juventus’ Paulo Dybala, who has scored 20 goals in all competitions for the Italian club as they sealed the Serie A title.
However, Sport believes that Ousmane Dembele is the “primary objective” with the 18-year-old currently plying his trade for Rennes in France. They believe the Spanish club have been following Dembele for two years and negotiations are well advanced.
Spanish duo Jorge Mere and Adrian Martin - from Sporting Gijon and Villarreal respectively - are also named.
Before La Masia, Ajax’s academy was probably the most renowned in the world and it appears the Dutch club are working their magic yet again. However, they may struggle to keep hold of their brightest talents with Barcelona eyeing three of them. Riechdly Bazoer, Jairo Riedewald and Anwar El-Ghazi are all on Barcelona’s wish-list.
Completing the list is Liverpool’s Cameron Brannagan, Lyon’s Samuel Umtiti and Bayer Leverkusen’s Wendell.
Planning for the future
Obviously, it’s unlikely that Barcelona will attempt to sign all ten of these youngsters but it seems that they are evaluating them all for the future.
Luis Enrique doesn’t really need to make any major signings this summer with his squad looking pretty strong in all departments. Therefore, looking towards some of these starlets to purchase with a view for the future could be best path to go.
They may have been knocked out of the Champions League but Barcelona are still looking to complete a league and cup double this season. They know that, if they win their final three La Liga matches, they will be crowned champions, while they face Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final on May 22.