Reports: Barcelona make audacious €51m bid for former Real Madrid player
What's the story?
Barcelona have renewed their interest in Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso and are all set to test the Blues resolve in the January transfer window with a massive bid, according to a report in The Guardian, as well as multiple Spanish outlets. Ernesto Valverde has deemed Jordi Alba and Lucas Digne unsuitable to his formation and has identified Alonso as his primary target. The Blaugrana are desperate to land the former Real Madrid player and hope that a €51 million bid will tempt Chelsea into parting with a first-teamer, as they have previously done so with Nemanja Matic.
In case you didn't know...
Alonso spent his youth career at Real Madrid from the age of 9, before graduating to the Castilla side in 2008, aged 18. He was drafted into the senior team by Manuel Pellegrini, who gave the left-back his debut in 2010, at the age of 20. Alonso was sold in the summer after his debut, with Bolton Wanderers the surprise destination - he spent three seasons with the club, before running down his contract and signing for Serie A side Fiorentina in 2013.
A loan move back to the Premier League in January, 2014 for Sunderland sparked his career into life, after which he became a regular for the Viola. Chelsea manager Antonio Conte signed Alonso in the summer of 2016, with the Blues parting with a fee of £24 million.
The heart of the matter
Signing Marcos Alonso might not prove to be such an easy task for Barcelona, as the Chelsea defender had previously rejected the Blaugrana before signing for the Blues. He said, "Well, I think there were some conversations [with Barcelona] but the truth is that at that point it was not in my plans to leave Fiorentina."
"It was only when the interest from Chelsea arrived in the summer when I started to consider to make a change. There were some great teams interested in me in the summer but I decided to join Chelsea because they are a team that I had always liked."
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However, with Antonio Conte's situation at Chelsea increasingly looking untenable, Alonso is said to be considering his future as well and may seek a move back to Spain. Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has been impressed with the defender's ability to play as a left-back and a left-wing-back equally well, as Jordi Alba has struggled with the latter position.
With Michael Emenalo's departure from Chelsea, Barcelona are hopeful that negotiations might be easy, and a bid of €51 million should suffice.
Instead of chasing blockbuster signings, Ernesto Valverde seems to be targeting players who seem perfect for his style of play. Paulinho's signing has already proved to be a masterstroke, with Alonso likely to follow in the same vein.