Barcelona face financial hurdle & Bayer Leverkusen competition in midfielder pursuit

  • Aleix Garcia is a rumoured summer target for Barcelona
  • Midfielder has had outstanding season with Girona
  • Bayer Leverkusen could financially outmuscle Catalans
Aleix Garcia would be an upgrade for Barcelona
Aleix Garcia would be an upgrade for Barcelona / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Barcelona face both financial challenges and competition if they are to sign reported target Aleix Garcia from regional neighbours Girona this summer.

Veteran midfielder Oriol Romeu has been tipped to return to Girona, the club he joined from in an €8m deal last summer, with Barca searching for an upgrade.

Garcia has been central to Girona's remarkable Champions League qualification and Marca writes that the 26-year-old is liked by both Barca's sporting hierarchy and head coach Xavi. But a valuation in excess of €20m is thought to be potentially problematic at Camp Nou.

That number could even go up if Garcia is included in Spain's squad for Euro 2024. He made his senior national team debut in November 2023 but wasn’t selected for the most recent international break in March, suggesting it is not a likely scenario.

Aleix Garcia
Garcia has helped Girona into the Champions League / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Newly crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen pose the other issue for Barca with rival interest. And where finances will rule out Sevilla and Real Betis, Leverkusen, set to return to the Champions League next season, would have the resources to strike a deal.

Should Leverkusen retain their key performers this summer and strengthen further under the watchful eye of Xabi Alonso, many might consider them dark horse contenders to win the Champions League after an historic unbeaten season in Germany. Alonso's side could even land their first European trophy in 36 years on Wednesday when they contest the Europa League final.

As for Garcia, his path to the top has taken a somewhat circuitous route. He was only 18 when he was poached from Villarreal's academy by Manchester City but made just nine appearances. This is actually his second spell at Girona after a two-year loan from 2017 to 2019, while he also played in Belgium and Romania, before finding his feet back with Girona in Spain’s second tier.