With the difficulties in agreeing a deal with Manchester City for João Cancelo and the lack of consensus between the key decision makers when it comes to Real Valladolid’s Iván Fresneda, Barcelona have reportedly added a new target for the right-back position: Mallorca’s Pablo Maffeo, according to Javier Miguel of Diario AS.
Maffeo’s name, which was offered to Barça as an option by the player’s camp (according to Gerard Romero), came up during a meeting between Barça’s sporting director Mateu Alemany, director of football Deco and manager Xavi Hernández on Tuesday to discuss the current state of the club’s transfers, and there seems to be an agreement between all three that Maffeo would be a good addition to the squad.
More importantly, the Catalan full-back would be a low-cost alternative to Cancelo and Fresneda. The report says Mallorca would welcome offers between €6 and €8 million, and Maffeo’s miniscule salary compared to most of the Barça squad would make his addition easy in relation to Financial Fair Play.
The former Man City and Stuttgart full-back has established himself in La Liga with Mallorca and is known for his defensive aggression, which has been in full display in high-profile clashes with Lionel Messi in the past and Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior last season.
The player’s profile is appreciated by Xavi, who wants a more defensive right-back to help balance Alejandro Balde’s attacking instincts on the left. Maffeo’s addition would allow Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo to play as full-time center-backs, while not compromising the principles of the coach’s system.
It doesn’t seem as though Maffeo is a priority right now, but it is still a name to keep in mind if the preferred targets are not signed.