FC Barcelona Line Up Uruguayan Wonderkid As Busquets Pivot Replacement And Reportedly Know Asking Price

FC Barcelona are reportedly lining up Uruguayan wonderkid Fabricio Diaz as a potential heir to pivot Sergio Busquets and already know his club’s asking price.

Diaz has recently impressed at the South American U20 Championships for his country, where he helped them finished runners-up to a Brazil team led by top scorer and another Barca target in Athletico Paranaense’s Vitor Roque.

Whereas his Curitiba club could demand up to €40 million ($42.3 million) for Roque, however, Diaz’s employers Liverpool de Montevideo would be happy to accept a much lower €6 million ($6.3 million) for their midfielder, according to SPORT.

The Catalan newspaper says that Barca have been tracking Diaz for some time, but is at the South American U20 Championships where the 20-year-old really made the footballing world take notice of him.

Despite playing in the deeper defensive midfield position of pivot, Diaz finished with five goals in eight matches which put him just one behind joint top scorers Roque and Andrey Santos.

Diaz also provided two assists for his teammates at the competition in Colombia, and Barca could have finally found a long-term heir to Busquets here.

The 34-year-old’s contract expires in June this year. And even if Busquets renews, the Blaugrana need someone to later partner Frenkie de Jong in the four-man midfield system that has had much to do with their rise a nine-point lead at the summit of the La Liga table.

Approaching Diaz also makes sense for Barca considering their financial predicament. They have been warned by the Spanish top flight’s president Javier Tebas that they must shed €200 million ($211 million) from the wage bill ahead of next term, which makes a coup for Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi – who has a €60 million ($63.4 million) release clause – complicated.

Diaz would cost 10 times less that value and is worth a punt given how things turned out with his compatriot Ronald Araujo.

Barca paid Boston River a paltry €4.7 million ($5 million) for the defender in 2018, who has since become one of the best in his position in world football while tipped to don the captain’s armband when Busquets finally departs.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomsanderson/2023/03/09/fc-barcelona-line-up-uruguayan-wonderkid-as-busquets-pivot-replacement-and-reportedly-know-asking-price/