FC Barcelona are closing in on signing a midfielder dubbed the ‘New Pedri’, according to reports.
ESPN claim on Thursday morning that the Blaugrana have held talks with Las Palmas as per landing Alberto Moleiro, who for his ties to their shared boyhood club has been compared to Barca’s Golden Boy and fully fledged Spain international, Pedri.
Cash-strapped Barca, who are in debts of around $1.5bn, have enquired about the cost of a transfer for the 18-year-old from the Tenerife club and want to do a deal this summer while leaving Moleiro on loan with Las Palmas before he switches allegiances in 2023.
An arrangement of this nature would echo Pedri’s trajectory to stardom, which began when Barca paid a bargain fee of €5mn ($5.35mn) for the then-16-year-old in the summer of 2019 before he officially made his move to Catalonia a year later in 2020.
Tested in preseason by the manager at the time, Ronald Koeman, Pedri soon established himself as a first team regular and one of Europe’s most promising young talents in a whirlwind maiden season that eventually saw him crowned Europe’s Golden Boy.
A month before he won the prestigious accolade in November 2021, Pedri penned a new contract until 2026 with a record-breaking release clause of €1bn ($1.16 billion).
Elsewhere, he has also become a mainstay in Luis Enrique’s national team while handed the number ’10’ jersey.
The kind of money that Barca would have to hand over for Moleiro is currently unknown.
But as a first team regular in a Las Palmas side that just missed out on promotion back to La Liga, while scoring three goals and bagging one assist, he may cost more than Pedri initially did.
By ESPN, Moleiro is described as an attacking midfielder who “has also played wide at times”, and many are quick to highlight that he is completely different to Pedri in profile and playing style.
Were Barca to sign him, though, it would be their second purchase of a promising Spanish midfielder in 2022.
Bought from Racing Santander earlier this year, Pablo Torre is on his way to Barca’s B team and like Pedri will look to impress Koeman’s successor Xavi Hernandez then force his way into the senior fold when preseason starts on July 4.