Barcelona will fancy their outside chances of winning the La Liga title after a superb resurgence under manager Xavi. The Spaniard has taken his team up to third in the league table, 12 points behind leaders Real Madrid, but with a game in hand.
On that note, here's a look at the key Barcelona transfer stories as on 28th March 2022.
Barcelona agree personal terms with Robert Lewandowski
Barcelona have agreed personal terms with Robert Lewandowski, according to The Hard Tackle via Sportitalia. The Polish striker is likely to leave Bayern Munich this summer in search of a new challenge. The Blaugrana have reportedly agreed to bring him to the Camp Nou.
Lewandowski first rose to prominence at Borussia Dortmund, before earning a move to the Allianz Arena. The 33-year-old has hit a higher gear with the Bavarians, scoring goals for fun, netting almost 350 goals in eight seasons. That includes 45 strikes this season.
The Poland international has consistently been one of the most lethal strikers in the world in the past few years. Despite being integral to the Bundesliga giants' recent success, Lewandowski is staring at an uncertain future.
The 33-year-old’s current contract is set to expire next summer, but Bayern Munich are yet to tie him down to a new deal. The Bavarians have one eye on Erling Haaland, who has been earmarked as the ideal replacement for Lewandowski. The Polish international is willing to explore new horizons this summer, so the Blaugrana are eager to take advantage.
The La Liga giants are expected to dive for a new number nine this summer, given the shortage of quality in that position. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was drafted in January, but Xavi wants another established striker on his roster. Martin Braithwaite is likely to leave the Camp Nou at the end of the season. Luuk de Jong is also scheduled to return to Sevilla at the end of his loan spell.
Xavi has his eyes on Lewandowski as the solution to his striker woes. Barcelona have acted swiftly to reach an agreement with the Polish international to facilitate a move this summer.
The 33-year-old has reportedly been offered a four-year deal by the La Liga giants. The Blaugrana, though, will have to convince Bayern Munich to part ways with their star man this summer.
Atletico Madrid ready to trigger Antoine Griezmann's €40 million buy option
Atletico Madrid are planning to trigger a €40 million option to sign Antoine Griezmann this summer, according to Barca Universal via El Desmarque.
The Frenchman was allowed to rejoin Los Rojiblancos on loan last summer as Barcelona attempted to trim their wage structure. The 31-year-old has enjoyed a decent season on his return to the Wanda Metropolitano. Griezmann has registered eight goals and five assists in 25 games across competitions.
The loan deal has a €40 million buying clause that will get triggered if the Frenchman is involved in 50% of the games he is available for. The 31-year-old has appeared in 66% of the games and is likely to remain permanently at the club beyond the summer.
The Blaugrana do not have Griezmann in their plans and could be happy to cut their losses at the end of the season. However, his massive wages could be a deal breaker for the Rojiblancos.
Steven Gerrard heaps praise on Xavi
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has heaped praise on Xavi. The Spaniard has masterminded a brilliant turn in fortunes since taking charge at the Camp Nou late last year.
Speaking to Barcelona’s media, the Aston Villa manager labelled Xavi’s appointment as a ‘masterstroke’.
"I think with the appointment of Xavi, I think it was a masterstroke by Barcelona to appoint him. Someone who has got Barcelona in his DNA, someone who has been a world-class player for many years,” said Gerrard.
“He obviously knows the style that all the Barcelona people want to see and after some challenging times, it looks as if they're getting back to where they need to be. They got a huge result against Real Madrid and as a Barcelona fan from afar, it's really good to see them back firing well."
Xavi's men are unbeaten in 12 games across competitions and are in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League, where they'll face Eintracht Frankfurt.