Barcelona were held to a 3-3 draw by Granada at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on Sunday (February 11) in La Liga. Lamine Yamal scored a brace either side of a Robert Lewandowski strike, but it wasn’t enough as the Catalans dropped vital points at home.
Meanwhile, the Spanish champions have been urged to move for Mikel Arteta as a possible replacement for Xavi. Elsewhere, Bayern Munich remain interested in Ronald Araujo.
On that note, let’s take a look at the major Barcelona transfer stories from February 12, 2024.
Barcelona urged to target Mikel Arteta
Former Barcelona left-back Lluis Carreras has advised to club to appoint Mikel Arteta as Xavi’s successor. The Catalans are looking for a new face to spearhead their project, following Xavi’s decision to leave this summer. The Spanish manager has been under tremendous pressure at Camp Nou on the back of an underwhelming campaign so far. He eventually decided last month that the team needs a fresh start under new management.
Barcelona won the league as well as the Supercopa de Espana last season and were expected to hit a higher gear this campaign. However, the Catalans have already exited the Copa Del Rey, while they lost to Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercup final last month. The reigning Spanish champions are also 10 points behind Los Blancos, who are leading the title race after 24 games.
The Catalans are eyeing multiple candidates to replace Xavi, including Arteta, as per reports. The Arsenal manager has vastly improved his team since taking charge at the Emirates in 2019 and has transformed them into title contenders of late. The Gunners narrowly missed out on the Premier League last season and are once again in the mix this year.
Speaking recently, as cited by SPORT, Carreras insisted that Arteta is the perfect man for the Camp Nou job.
“I have made it public, I say it. I have been lucky to have heard him, to have been with him in talks. For me, Mikel Arteta without a doubt. And with a lot of difference over the rest with all due respect to all the tons of coaches who have come out. Mikel knows the club, he has been at Pep’s side, which adds 300% for me. He has gotten Arsenal out of a difficult situation starting from scratch. He has improved the performance of many players,” said Carreras.
Arteta has recently rubbished rumours linking him to the La Liga champions, adding that he is happy at the Emirates.
Bayern Munich want Ronald Araujo, according to journalist
Bayern Munich have retained their interest in Ronald Araujo, according to journalist Florian Plettenberg. The Athletic have reported that Bayern Munich failed with a €80m offer for the Uruguayan defender in January, with Xavi refusing to let him go. However, Barcelona are likely to be open to a summer departure to address their financial woes.
The Bavarians are looking to add more steel to their backline on the back of a mixed season so far. Thomas Tuchel has set his sights on Araujo, who has been one of the stars at Camp Nou of late. The 24-year-old has appeared 25 times across competitions this season for the La Liga champions, registering seven clean sheets.
Catalans want Ferran Torres to stay
Barcelona want Ferran Torres to stay, despite rising speculation regarding his future, according to Mundo Deportivo. The Spanish forward has performed admirably amid the struggles of the team around him and his efforts have turned heads around Europe. There’s a belief that the Catalans could be open to cashing in on him to address their poor finances this summer.
However, the La Liga giants are pleased with the 23-year-old’s versatility as well as his mentality, and have included him in their plans for the future. Torres has scored 11 goals and set up four more from 32 outings this season.