Barcelona are taking on Royal Antwerp in their Champions League opener on Tuesday night, but it may serve as an impromptu opportunity to do some scouting.
For the first time, Xavi Hernandez will be able to set eyes on 18-year-old midfielder Arthur Vermeeren. The Belgian pivot has been making waves in his home country quickly securing a role in last season’s title-winning side.
Vermeeren was suggested for the first time last season, and stands out for his defensive work and ability to distribute the ball after winning the ball back. MD reference Nieuwsblad’s information that Antwerp value Vermeeren at €20m, should they decide to make a move down the line.
That said, with the Blaugrana far in excess of their salary limit this season, most of their efforts are expected to be focused on bringing Vitor Roque to the club. That would likely rule out a move until next summer at least. Meanwhile Vermeeren was also an option under the previous regime of Jordi Cruyff and Mateu Alemany, and it is not clear whether new Sporting Director Deco will be such a fan.