Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner emerge as options for Barcelona

Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner are reportedly on Barcelona’s radar, according to surprising reports.

Barcelona is in the market for a forward and at the top of their list is Raheem Sterling of Manchester City, who has found game time at the Etihad a little hard to come by this season.

It’s not the first time Barcelona is inquiring about the Englishman, however. The club made a move for him last summer but the £45 million price tag was enough to scare Barcelona – who is currently dealing with a financial crisis – away.

The injury crisis at the Catalan club is forcing the management to look for options to shore up their attack in January, however on a temporary basis. Raheem Sterling’s name has come up again but it has now been reported that the deal may be as difficult as it was in the summer.

This has made Barcelona turn their sights to Chelsea’s Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, who, according to ESPN, the club’s management have earmarked as backups to the Manchester City forward.

Ziyech and Werner finding life tough in England

Since both forwards moved to Chelsea last season from Ajax Amsterdam and Red Bull Leipzig respectively, they have found life difficult.

Ziyech’s time at Chelsea has been marred mostly by injury which kept him on the sidelines for most of the first season. Werner, meanwhile, enjoyed life under Frank Lampard but has struggled to convince fellow German, Thomas Tuchel, now at the helm of affairs at Chelsea.

Under Tuchel this season, Ziyech has made 11 appearances for the UEFA Champions League title holders this season but has started only two of those games. Werner on the other hand has made just nine appearances, with six of them coming as a starter. The German forward has also battled some fitness issues but still hasn’t quite managed to convince his compatriot enough to return him to the starting lineup like in the Lampard era.

Barcelona, however, is only interested in a loan offer for these players, as the club’s finances will not allow them to hit the market the way they usually would.

It is worthy of note that Barcelona has been following Hakim Ziyech, who was a member of that brilliant Ajax team of 2018/19, for quite a while and passed up the chance to sign him due to the Eredivisie club’s valuation of the winger at that time.

Chelsea is reported to be open to a loan deal for the Moroccan, however, presenting Barcelona the chance to finally get their man.

Barcelona’s lack of funds may hinder any positive transfer business

The Joan Laporta administration took over a Barcelona that was almost run to the ground by the J.M. Bartomeu administration. The club is billions of Euros in debt, and are struggling to keep the sporting project alive.

Making any signings in the coming winter and summer window at least will be determined by how much of their wage bill they can free up, as they only have a meagre €97 million operating budget for the whole of 2021/22.

Mateu Alemany has already stated to the press that the club is unable to register any new signings as things stand when the transfer window opens in the new year, including Dani Alves who signed on a free earlier in November 2021.

It remains to be seen how much of their current wage bill they can free up to support the signing – on loan or otherwise – of any new players.

 

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