Barcelona find themself navigating a tight transfer market due to financial constraints, but that hasn’t stopped them eyeing targets for reinforcement.

According to a report by SPORT, among them is Villarreal’s Alex Baena, a player who has caught the Catalan club’s attention for some time now.

The 22-year-old Baena, hailing from Almería, has been on Barcelona’s radar for several summers, although other roster needs and financial considerations have often taken precedence.

Nevertheless, reports on Baena have been consistently positive over the past couple of years, with many seeing him as a perfect fit for the Blaugrana’s style of play.

The midfielder-turned-winger is admired for his quality on the ball, his tactical awareness, and his ability to operate in multiple positions within a classic 4-3-3 formation. His versatility allows him to slot in as an interior midfielder, where he excels at threading passes between the lines, as well as a false left winger.

Baena committed his future to Villarreal last January, extending his contract until June 30, 2028. While his release clause is reportedly set around €60 million, there’s speculation that his transfer fee could be negotiated for less. However, Barcelona’s current financial state means they are not in a position to pursue his signature at present.

Furthermore, the presence of Joao Felix poses a potential obstacle to Baena’s hypothetical move to Barcelona. Despite their differing profiles, there are similarities in playing style between the Portuguese and the Spaniard. 

Should Barcelona secure Felix permanently, either this summer or the next, Baena’s chances of donning the Blaugrana colours would diminish significantly.

As Barcelona continues to navigate financial constraints, the pursuit of Alex Baena remains on the radar, albeit with obstacles to overcome before any potential transfer can materialize.