Barcelona are keen on a January swoop for £16m-rated Basel striker Arthur Cabral as they grapple with a striker injury crisis… despite cash-strapped Catalans being in £1.15BILLION of debt
- Cabral, 23, is a key target for new Barcelona manager Xavi, claim Sport
- Catalan giants are short up front and are keen to add more firepower
- Both Ansu Fati and Martin Braithwaite are currently sidelined through injury
- President Joan Laporta said debts have risen to a staggering total of £1.15bn
- Barca can sign players, but they must offload the likes of Philippe Coutinho first
Cash-strapped Barcelona have no money to sign players, but that isn’t stopping the club being linked with new additions ahead of the January transfer window.
Basel striker Arthur Cabral is understood to be a key target for the Catalan giants, as they look to add more attacking reinforcements, according to Sport.
The report claims that the Brazilian is ‘in pole position’ to put pen-to-paper on a move to the Nou Camp, with negotiations already at an advanced stage, despite club CEO Mateu Alemany previously stating that they can’t make signings this winter.
Arthur Cabral (right) previously in action for Basel in the Europa Conference League
Cabral has proved a prolific goalscorer since joining Basel from Palmeiras back in 2019
Cabral, 23, joined Swiss Super League side Basel in 2019 from Palmeiras, and has netted a staggering 23 goals, contributing to eight assists so far this season in all competitions.
Who is Arthur Cabral?
Born: Campina Grande, Paraiba, Brazil
Former clubs: Ceara, Palmeiras
Current club: Basel
Height: 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Former Barcelona midfielder Deco, who is the head of scouting for Brazil and Portugal at the club, is a keen admirer of the attacker and believes he could fit the bill.
Basel are likely to be willing to sell their highly-rated star given his contract is up in the summer of 2023, or they risk losing him for free. The Swiss champions want in the region of €15-20million for his services.
Barca will have to sell before they buy, however, to be able to fund a move for the attacker given their financial problems.
One player who continues to be linked with a move away from Catalonia, is Philippe Coutinho, despite the player insisting he is going nowhere this January.
The 29-year-old has found game time limited so far this season, with starlet Gavi, 17, and 19-year-old Nico Gonzalez ahead of him in the pecking order.
The former Liverpool midfielder is a target for Newcastle United, and should he depart, this will free up funds for the club to make a move for Cabral.
Philippe Coutinho looks set to depart, with a move back to the Premier League looking likely
Ansu Fati winces as he goes off during the game against Celta Vigo with a hamstring issue
Golden Boy winner Pedri is also out at the moment, leaving Barcelona short of options up front
Xavi is currently short of numbers in attack, with 18-year-old Ansu Fati recently picking up a hamstring problem, having previously been out for a year with a knee injury.
Teammate Martin Braithwaite, 30, also remains sidelined until the new year at the earliest, with Golden Boy winner Pedri, now joining the pair on the treatment table.
Should Cabral swap Basel for Barcelona, he would become Xavi’s second signing after the capture of club legend Dani Alves earlier this month, who previously spent eight years at the Nou Camp between 2008-16.