The World Cup is an excellent opportunity for clubs to observe players in a different environment, and how they adapt to inarguably the biggest stage in football.
With international teams all playing different systems as well – largely conservative -, players have to change their approach towards their own style.
Barcelona will take this opportunity to scout several potential transfer targets, but according to a report by Mundo Deportivo, the Catalans will be keeping a special eye on three Premier League midfielders in particular – Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan, and Youri Tielemans.
Bernardo has been a transfer target for Barcelona for over a year now. The club was close to signing him in the summer, with the Portuguese more than happy with the switch. However, City and Barça did not see eye-to-eye on the price, and were unable to push it through in time.
It is, therefore, not surprising that Barça will continue to scout the Portuguese during this World Cup.
Bernardo is an undisputed starter for Portugal, and will likely start as either the no. 10 or the right-winger in Fernando Santos’ system.
Another long-term target for Barcelona, rumours have it that the Blaugranes want to sign Gundogan as early as this January. The City midfielder is well-versed with playing as both, a central midfielder and a defensive midfielder, and could solve a ton of problems for Barça.
Following Toni Kroos’ retirement from the German national team, Gundo will be fighting with Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich for a starting spot in the starting lineup.
A rather surprising inclusion in this list is Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans. A technical monster, the Belgian fits across any role in midfield, like the former two.
Barcelona’s coaching staff are reportedly fans of the player. With his contract expiring in the summer of 2023, Barcelona will be able to sign him on a free transfer next year, or if push comes to shove, in the winter on a heavily-discounted price.