RONALD KOEMAN is formulating his January wishlist with Shkodran Mustafi one name being eyed by the Barcelona boss.
Injuries to two stars will dominate the Catalans’ transfer business with centre-back Gerard Pique and striker Ansu Fati out until the spring.
Shkodran Mustafi has been linked with a move to Barcelona[/caption]
Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea is also struggling for first-team opportunities in England[/caption]
Memphis Depay is reportedly still Koeman’s preference for a new attacker.
But the club’s desperate financial situation, plus the wealth of other options available to the coach, may make the Dutchman’s switch unlikely.
Pique’s injury, Ronald Araujo’s absence, Samuel Umtiti’s long-term knee problem and a recent knock to Clement Lenglet may see a centre-back favoured.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Koeman has told the club that former Barcelona academy star Eric Garcia is his preferred target.
Manchester City put up a considerable fight to keep the Spaniard in the summer and may continue to do so, even if he can leave for free when his contract expires in June.
Should Garcia remain out of reach, a defender with top-level European experience is thought to be the objective.
Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi and Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger are named as two alternatives.
Neither player is prominent in their manager’s thoughts with Mustafi limited to Europa League outings following his disastrous Premier League return against Leicester.
Likewise, Rudiger has been regularly benched by Frank Lampard with just one league outing to his name.
Vital in any Barcelona bid is the upcoming presidential election, taking place on January 24.
Eric Garcia is thought to want to leave Manchester City[/caption]
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The new chief could decide to forego the club’s ailing economics to oversee a spending spree in the final days of the window.
However, Koeman has been getting on relatively well without Pique and Fati.
Academy prospect Oscar Mingueza, 21, stepped into the defence for the 4-0 wins over Dynamo Kyiv and Osasuna.
And unwanted forward Martin Braithwaite has also made his mark, netting three goals in the past week.
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