Barcelona have decided. Barcelona want Alberto Moreno. Not to start, perhaps, but as back up to the now 30-year-old Jordi Alba and as a player who can help them bridge the gap until his long-term replacement is brought in in a season or two.
That’s the story in Sport today, who claim that after having had Moreno on their shortlist along with Valencia’s José Luis Gayà, PSG’s Juan Bernat, and Rayo Vallecano’s Alex Moreno, the Catalan giants have decided that Liverpool’s Moreno is their man.
He will be signed to a two year deal, which he is free to do at any point between now and the end of the season—and as a free agent, Barcelona will not have to pay Liverpool the £100M anti-poaching fee set out in the Philippe Coutinho deal.
That clause, meant to prevent Barcelona from even considering signing any Liverpool player through 2020, would only apply if they were to try to sign a player under contract either this summer, next January, or in the summer of 2020.
Moreno, though, is free to join Coutinho on Barcelona’s bench next year—and, just maybe, his presence will help Coutinho to overcome any lingering great sadness that he may have and that may be impacting his performances at Barcelona.
As for Moreno’s role, there had been some speculation he could join Lazio in search of a regular starting role, but if Sport’s story is true it appears a return to Spain—even one that won’t get him starting minutes—trumps playing time for the left back.