Barcelona is approaching a shock £ 16m movement for Middlesbrough flop Martin Braithwaite outside the transfer window because of a crazy La Liga loophole … so how can the Spanish champions sign an attacker and can Leganes replace their star man?
- Barcelona has permission to sign an attacker because of the injury of Ousmane Dembele
- The Spanish champions have been given until 6 March to sign a new striker
- Former Middlesbrough striker Martin Braithwaite is going to seal a move to Barca
- Leganes could not replace the 28-year-old star attacker Braithwaite
Barcelona comes closer to drawing a striker after La Liga gave the ruling Spanish champions the green light to sign a replacement for Ousmane Dembele.
Former Middlesbrough flop Martin Braithwaite has emerged as the main target of Barcelona with the club approaching his signature.
Here, Sports emails The Spanish expert PETE JENSON answers the most important questions about his possible move while he prepares to exchange Leganes for Barcelona.
Martin Braithwaite has become a shock target for Spanish champions Barcelona
So how can someone who has underwhelmed in Middlesbrough move to Barcelona?
There is a certain despair, that is clearly part of it. Barcelona is ashamed of the situation they are in.
They have the biggest budget in the competition, but they start the last three months of the season with just three attackers and one of them is only 17. But we don’t have to take credit from Braithwaite. He is very impressive in Leganes. If he gets his move, he has earned it.
Braithwaite struggled for goals on Boro, but is now ready to join La Liga giants Barcelona
And it’s going to happen?
Braithwaite shares an agent with Frenkie de Jong, so that has easily opened one channel. And they do not have to negotiate with Leganes if they pay the buyout clause of € 20 million (£ 16 million).
The problem is that they have budgeted at the start of the season to sell a major player (most likely Ivan Rakitic), but despite being left with him for most of the first half of the season, he is not forced off.
It means that cash flow is a problem. They might have to take a credit or think of an unorthodox way to compensate the selling club for the signing to happen.
Getafe’s Angel is also on the agenda and costs less than half. That deal is still not dead.
Back to Braithwaite … would he fit in?
Quique Setien likes him. He is a player who can score goals and take the lead, but can also do other things. Occasionally he played this season from the middle to the front fell deeper or ran wide.
He is someone who could play the position of Luis Suarez, but also operate alongside a center striker. He has eight goals in 23 starts this season, which is good for a struggling team. But it is its versatility that attracts. And he scored against major teams in La Liga – including Barca and Real Madrid.
How would Barcelona compete against Braithwaite in the team?
He will not be able to play in the Champions League. As for UEFA, if you do not sort your team in the two available windows, you will not be able to receive a special injury dispensation in February.
That means he may be playing in league games prior to Champions League games to give Lionel Messi or Antoine Griezmann a rest.
He could play between the Frenchman and Ansu Fati when Messi is sitting on the couch. Likewise, he could stand beside Messi and the younger one when Griezmann walked away from the player.
Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi could be equipped with the arrival of Braithwaite
Could he stay in the team in the long term?
The club tries to sign Lautaro Martinez and / or Neymar. They also have Luis Suarez still in contract and would like to come back and achieve the goals that will take him to the second highest scorer in the club’s history.
It is hard to see how it would not be shipped again in the summer. Barcelona would hope that he had done well enough that the club could make a profit on its £ 16 million price tag.
If he plays well alongside Messi and then has a good Euro 2020, then that will help.
When will this be completed?
The club only got full permission to sign a player on Monday. They now have until March 6 to bring someone in. But it seems that they want to do something sooner than later.
They could do with a story that overshadows the controversy of accusations. They used a social media consultancy to plant stories about enemies of the board.
Setien ideally wants someone in the team for Eibar’s visit this weekend. It is really not necessary to wait longer if a buy-out sum can be collected and paid for.
Quique Setien would like to draw a new striker for their upcoming collision with Eibar
And can Leganes sign a replacement?
No. Braithwaite is their signing, which was permanently picked up from Middlesbrough last summer for around € 5 million, but they would lose it without the chance to get another striker.
Losing him would probably leave their degradation rubber stamp. It will be tough for the club that gives giving a real crack despite a poor start to the season and losing another striker – Youssef En-Nesyri – in the winter window.
Leganes will not be able to replace Braithwaite if he completes a move to the Nou Camp