Barcelona view 25-year-old Spanish midfielder as alternative to Joshua Kimmich: Reports

Hansi Flick
Hansi Flick's side have been linked with Joshua Kimmich for over six months.

Barcelona have reportedly earmarked Valencia midfielder Pepelu as an alternative target to Bayern Munich superstar Joshua Kimmich.

Pepelu, 25, emerged as one of the standout performers in the La Liga this season, helping his team finish ninth in the standings. He scored eight goals and registered one assist in 39 games across competitions.

Now, according to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona scouts have lately been impressed with Pepelu's performances for Valencia. They deem the player as an ideal signing should they fail to lure Kimmich away from Allianz Arena in the upcoming summer transfer window.

A right-footed deep-lying playmaker blessed with passing and work-rate, Pepelu is adept at playing as both a number six and a number eight. Should he move to the Blaugrana, he would offer competition to Ilkay Gundogan and Frenkie de Jong in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Pepelu, who is reportedly valued at €20 million, currently has a contract until June 2028 at Mestalla. He joined Valencia for just €5 million past summer after relishing a fine 2022-23 campaign at Levante UD.

Meanwhile, Barcelona are also keeping close tabs on Real Betis midfielder Guido Rodriguez as a potential defensive midfield target. However, they are expected to face a lot of competition for the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner, whose deal is set to run out next month.

Kimmich, on the other hand, has reportedly popped up as a target for Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) of late. With his deal expiring in 2025, he is set to hold talks with Bayern's board next month.

Barcelona turned down chance to snap up Real Madrid midfielder, suggests journalist

Speaking to Spanish radio network Cadena SER, journalist Ramon Besa revealed that Barcelona decided not to snap up Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich in 2014. He said (h/t Barca Universal):

"I remember the Kroos case a lot because I asked [Pep] Guardiola when [the German] left Bayern Munich and he presented Kroos as an option to Barcelona. The player had the idea of leaving Bayern and he was not sure whether to go to Madrid or Barça. Barça did not know how to bid, there was even talk of the case of [Sergi] Samper as an alternative midfielder. They rejected Kroos."

Kroos, 34, opted to secure a €25 million move to Real Madrid and has lifted a total 22 trophies, including four La Liga titles, for them so far.

The ex-Bayern midfielder will play his final match for Real Madrid in their 2023-24 UEFA Champions League final this Saturday (June 1).

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