Believe it or not, those are the players now being linked to Barça, one by ESPN Deportes and the other by Goal.com.
According to ESPN, Barcelona see Kondogogbia and Jean Michel Seri from Nice as alternatives should they not get Verratti. They say Barcelona’s Ariedo Braida met with Inter officials to discuss the possibility of a transfer.
Meanwhile, Goal says Barcelona are targeting Brazilian midfielder Paulinho. Paulinho is known to English fans for a poor spell at Tottenham Hotspur. He now plays in the Chinese League, where he has done well, and Goal says both Barcelona and Bayern Munich are eyeing him.
Both transfer rumors seem absolutely bonkers to me. Neither player strikes me as an FC Barcelona quality player, or as a reasonable alternative to Verratti.
Sure, it could be that Braida met with Inter’s people and, in passing, mentioned Kondogbia as a player he liked. He wasn’t bad last season. Maybe that happened, I don’t know.
But Barcelona actually going through with these purchases? Either this is a whole bunch of nothing or the board is crazy, or maybe I’m crazy. But I just don’t see it.