Rodrigo gaining ground as Barca look for a striker

The Catalans are interested in the Valencia forward this summer

Rodrigo firmó ante el Getafe uno de sus mejores partidos de esta temporada | LaLiga

Valencia striker Rodrigo Moreno’s chances of becoming a Barça player have grown significantly in recent days.

Javier Giraldo

@javiergiraldo

Barca have begun talks with Valencia to try to undertake the signing of the Brazilian-Spanish striker. With a contract until 2022 and a release clause of 120 million euros, at 28, Rodrigo is one of the attackers who best fits what Barça's sporting directors are looking for.

Rodrigo is liked for his versatility, his ability to work and his ability to associate with his teammates (he has finished the season with ten assists). In fact, he is one of the preferred strikers for coach Ernesto Valverde, to reinforce the attack. He is also the Spain No 9, a detail that reinforces his status.

ALWAYS ON THE TABLE

His last two seasons as a Valencia forward under Marcelino have been excellent: 15 goals in 51 games in the recently concluded campaign; 19 goals in 44 games last year.

Rodrigo’s name has always been on the table of those responsible for Barca planning, but the rollercoaster that the club has been on in recent weeks regarding the future of Ernesto Valverde has affected the Rodrigo idea: after the debacle at Liverpool, with Valverde damaged, the Rodrigo option lost weight.

Now, however, with Valverde reinforced in his position, the Valencia player is one of Barça's priorities. The final of the Copa del Rey in Seville, in which Rodrigo scored his team's second goal, confirmed that feeling in Barça's offices.

PROS AND CONS

As in any signing, the operation has pros and cons: please note the excellent relationship between the two clubs. Over the last few seasons they have become accustomed to signing each other’s players, especially from Mestalla to the Camp Nou (Alcácer, André Gomes and Murillo have been the latest). The great interest shown by Valencia in two Barça players - Jasper Cillessen and Denis Suarez - can also serve to facilitate the operation, although the Dutch goalkeeper's cost is high.

On the other hand, there is an interesting proposal from Roma for Rodrigo: the Italian club would be willing to pay around 70 million euros for the player born in Rio de Janeiro and improve his salary significantly. But fortunately for Barça, Valencia do not need to sell and will listen carefully to the firm proposal that comes from the Catalans.

HE WANTS TO FEEL IMPORTANT

Rodrigo Moreno is seduced by the possibility of becoming a Barça player: his Madrid past does not weigh him down (he played in their youth team before being transferred to Benfica), but he has some doubts about the role that awaits him if he arrives at Camp Nou .

Rodrigo also holds the Spanish national team striker spot and he does not want to stop being that, considering that in 2020 the European Championships will be upon us. Rodrigo knows that he is facing the ideal opportunity to leave Valencia, but he wants to go to a team where he knows he will play.

He does not want to follow in the footsteps of Paco Alcácer, who barely had opportunities to play at Barça and had to look to continue his career in Dortmund, but wants to take a step forward to continue growing without losing presence or minutes. Last year, he was in the orbit of Real Madrid (Julen Lopetegui, who had taken him to the World Cup, was his backer) but finally the operation did not materialize.

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