Thomas Meunier

Barcelona are set to propose a player swap deal with Borussia Dortmund for Thomas Meunier, according to reports.

The Belgian left-back has emerged as a target for the Catalan giants after a move for Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta fell through, and the swap is likely to see Sergino Dest move in the opposite direction, as reported by Spanish outlet Sport.

After having failed to recruit a right-back this summer to fit his needs, Xavi has deployed centre-back Ronald Araujo on the right of his defence so far this season, with Dest a player he is keen to get off the books.

A deal for Meunier had initially reached a stumbling block, in that the Bundesliga outfit were unsure they could find a replacement in time, and the Blaugrana were unwilling to meet Dortmund’s £12.6million (€15m) price tag.

Meunier has played more than 60 times for the German side despite only joining in 2020 from PSG, and has been Robert Martinez main choice at right-back in what is thought to be the finest Belgian national side in their history.

Xavi has already made it clear Dest does not feature in his plans, having omitted the player in his list of defenders able to play at right-back, and instead saying of Dest: ‘He knows what the situation is,’ according to ESPN.

And with Koeman’s exit in 2021 the American right-back’s position in the squad fell away, and he has featured only 18 times under Xavi.

A right-back has long been on Xavi’s list of demands, but more high-profile moves for Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde understandably required greater attention from the powers that be at Barca.

But that may end up costing the Catalan giants, with just six days remaining before the end of the window.

Xavi had singled out Azpilicueta early in the window when it looked like Chelsea would be willing to sell, but the loss of both Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger left Thomas Tuchel’s own defensive options thin.

And to make matters even more complicated for the Barca manager, he has only been able to register four of his five new signings this window, with Jules Kounde only days away from being able to leave for free if he should remain unregistered.

The Blaugrana will likely need to offload players in order to raise the £17m needed to register the French international defender after joining for £46m from Sevilla.

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