Football   |   May 2, 2023

Barcelona eyes Real Madrid target Gabri Veiga as a potential plan B to Lionel Messi

Barcelona are reportedly eyeing Celta Vigo’s Gabri Veiga as a potential alternative to Lionel Messi, should they fail to re-sign the Argentine superstar. As per a report in SPORT, the 20-year-old midfielder has a €40 million release clause and has been in excellent form, scoring nine goals and providing four assists in 30 La Liga appearances this season.

While Barcelona believe Veiga can be a cost-effective plan B, they are not the only ones interested in the young Spaniard. Real Madrid and Arsenal are also reportedly interested in his services. Follow your favourite La Liga team with attractive betting odds from NextBet.

Xavi, the Barcelona manager, reportedly sees Veiga as an ideal fit for his team. While Messi was originally intended to play as a centre-forward, it appears Xavi may switch things up and deploy Veiga in a more attacking midfield role, with Robert Lewandowski continuing as the striker.

Celta Vigo’s president Carlos Mourino has confirmed the club are aware of the interest in Veiga, but they are not willing to sell the player. He revealed that several top teams, including four from the Premier League, have inquired about the midfielder. Despite the interest, Celta Vigo are determined to keep hold of Veiga, and the player himself appears to be content with the club, having recently attended a Celta B game.

“We don’t want to sell Gabri Veiga, but they are going to buy him from us. And we can’t do anything there. We know some of his offers, and it is impossible to reach them. Gabri is a Celta player, he has that feeling. After the game with Espanyol, he went to see Celta B,” said Mourino.

He added, “There are several teams behind Gabri. Real Madrid? They haven’t asked us, we don’t know if they will have called the player. Of the top 10 in the Premier League, four have asked about him. For us, and to make it clear, he is not for sale. We have nothing to negotiate with anyone. We refer [interested clubs] to the [release] clause. The decision is Gabri’s, he will play wherever he wants.”

Arsenal had reportedly tried to sign Veiga during the January transfer window, but were unable to reach an agreement with Celta Vigo. While Barcelona and Real Madrid may have more financial clout, it remains to be seen if they can convince the Spanish midfielder to leave his current club. Follow NextBet Sports to get more updates on this story.