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Transfer Talk: Midfield stars who could replace Busquets at Barca
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Cian Cheesbrough
Sofyan Amrabat has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona
Sofyan Amrabat has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona

Sergio Busquets' departure this summer will leave Barcelona with a void to fill in their midfield.

Busquets, 34, will leave the Blaugrana at the end of the season after 18 years at the Camp Nou, graduating through their La Masia academy before going on to make over 700 appearances and win 31 trophies.

As they look to secure the LaLiga title by beating rivals Espanyol on Sunday, we look at who the Catalan giants could replace their legendary No5 with.

Sofyan Amrabat

Fiorentina ace Sofyan Amrabat appears to be the most likely candidate, with the Moroccan World Cup star gaining plenty of admirers.

The powerhouse midfielder was the standout performer of the Atlas Lions' run to the semi-finals in Qatar last year and Barca were said to be keen on adding him to their squad in January.

Amrabat would undoubtedly provide some physicality to manager Xavi's engine room but the Serie A club's £34million asking price could prove an issue given Barca's financial struggles.

Ruben Neves

Ruben Neves has enjoyed another impressive campaign for Wolves
Ruben Neves has enjoyed another impressive campaign for Wolves

Ruben Neves remains Wolves' talisman at the heart of their midfield and admiration from a host of European giants is not going away.

The 26-year-old Portuguese technician has attracted interest from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United but reportedly has his heart set on a switch to Catalonia.

With the ability to protect the back four, pick out a long-range pass and a penchant for a spectacular goal, the 39-cap international would undoubtedly be an exciting addition.

Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan is another Premier League star linked with the exit door this summer despite proving a valuable member of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City side.

The German has been a key man in four title-winning campaigns and edged his team closer to another with a match-winning brace against Leeds last Saturday.

Though he generally features as one of City's more advanced midfielders, the ex-Borussia Dortmund maestro certainly has the skillset to take on Busquets' deep-lying playmaker role.

N'Golo Kante

N'Golo Kante is facing an uncertain future at Chelsea
N'Golo Kante is facing an uncertain future at Chelsea

Free transfers remain the more attractive avenue for the cash-strapped Catalans and a move for out-of-contract Chelsea livewire N'Golo Kante is reported to be among their considerations.

The 32-year-old could depart Stamford Bridge this summer as the Blues look to balance the books following their raft of incomings over the last two transfer windows.

Regarded as one of the finest players in his position when on top form, injuries have restricted the French World Cup winner to just seven league appearances this term so a move would represent a gamble for Barca.

In-house options

The LaLiga champions in waiting could well pass the baton on to one of their current stars in order save money this summer.

Frenkie de Jong has featured alongside Busquets in a deeper role this term and the Dutch international could be the ideal candidate to fill in at the base of midfield.

Last summer's signing Franck Kessie has struggled to forge a regular role for Xavi in his first season and the former AC Milan man might fancy himself to take on the mantle if he stays put.

The Blaugrana also have the returning Nico Gonzalez to consider. 

La Masia graduate Gonzalez, 21, has enjoyed an impressive campaign on loan at Valencia in a defensive midfield role and will be keen to make the step up when he is back at his parent club.


BarcelonaChelseaFiorentinaWolverhampton WanderersManchester CityLaLigaPremier LeagueRuben NevesIlkay GuendoganN'Golo Kante
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