The rumour mill keeps turning apace and the name of Yannick Carrasco won’t go away as far as Barcelona are concerned.
It’s believed that the Catalans have been interested in the 29-year-old for some while now, having negotiated an €18m buy option for the player when executing the Memphis Depay deal with Atletico Madrid.
However, any deal for the Belgian international doesn’t appear to make an awful lot of sense at this point.
Clearly, he has bundles of La Liga experience which is in his favour, however, for most of the second half of the 2022/23 campaign he’s operated as a wing-back, a position which Barca have adequately covered.
Assuming he would therefore be bought as a winger, one has to look at his advancing years and drop off in pace as reasons why the deal doesn’t really need to be done.
If the physicality that he often displays for Atleti was a pre-requisite for Xavi, it would still be an odd deal to do, but would make a little more sense.
Yet all of Barca’s wide men currently - Ansu Fati, Raphinha, Ferran Torres and Ousmane Dembele - aren’t renowned for their physical output.
Perhaps a move for Carrasco might suggest that the coach is going in a different direction in terms of what he expects from players in those positions.
Ez Abde is due back at the club after the completion of a successful loan spell at Osasuna.
Aside from scoring some important goals for the team from Pamplona, he quickly won over the home crowd at El Sadar thanks to a mix of blistering pace, no little skill, and his desire and will to win.
Ask any football fan... if you have a player that always gives 100 per cent, they’ll be forgiven for most things.
‘Everyone loves a trier’ or so the saying goes, and Abde has been much more than that for Osasuna.
From Xavi and the club’s perspective, the loan has worked out brilliantly and the player returns much the better for it.
If the general feeling is that youth players at Barca supplemented by two or three experienced heads is the way to go, then surely it’s a no brainer for everyone concerned.
Given the financial mess that Barca are still in, they simply can’t afford to be signing players such as Carrasco that perhaps won’t offer as much overall value as required, purely because he’s the bigger name.
He has contributed more goals this season for Atleti it’s true (via WhoScored), and that might be the only logical reason why he is still apparently being considered.
Abde has shown beyond doubt that he’s ready to take on more responsibility. Sure, he’s still a little rough around the edges, but there’s nothing in his game that Xavi can’t smooth out.