Barcelona have reportedly set their sights on Newcastle United forward Alexander Isak as a potential long-term replacement for Robert Lewandowski.
Robert Lewandowski joined the Catalan side last summer for £38million after enjoying a trophy-laden eight years with Bayern Munich. However, the Poland international turned 35 last month and is slowly heading into the twilight of his career.
According to the Spanish outlet Fichajes (h/t The Daily Mail), Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez wants Newcastle United’s Alexander Isak to replace Lewandowski next summer.
Isak, 23, joined Newcastle for a club record fee of £63m from Real Sociedad in 2022. He has scored 12 goals in 31 matches for the Magpies but has had to wrestle for a starting role with Callum Wilson, who got the nod ahead of the Swede to lead the attack against Brentford in the Premier League game on Saturday and he repaid the manager’s faith by scoring the decisive penalty.
Isak’s contract in Tyneside runs up until 2028 and Newcastle will be looking to get the same fee they paid if they are to sell the Sweden international amidst interest from Barcelona, the report adds.
Alexander Isak to Barcelona—Right choice?
Barcelona have enjoyed a solid turnaround in fortunes since appointing Xavi Hernandez as their head coach, overcoming a nightmarish couple of seasons on and off the pitch to become the champions of Spain last term.
Despite the club’s financial turmoil, Xavi and his coaching staff have strived hard to achieve stability at Nou Camp.
While there is progress, it is still a long way before Barcelona can truly justify their historical European standing.
Nonetheless, the fans have been pleased by the manner in which Xavi has taken control of the club and made some exciting signings in the last few windows.
There are numerous influential figures at Nou Camp dotted all over the pitch at the moment, whether it be Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde in defence, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri in the middle of the park, or Lewandowski leading the line.
Speaking about Lewandowski, the Pole has been one of the world’s best strikers for many years.He enjoyed a successful debut season with Barcelona, scoring 23 goals in 34 league appearances to help the club win the La Liga title after four years.
But with him turning 35 in August, Xavi is right to start considering options to replace him next season.
Alexander Isak, in that regard, would be a decent fit. Isak is not an out-and-out No.9 as he can operate out wide and tends to drift out to the left often.
Yet, he has shown promising signs of becoming a centre-forward under the tutelage of Eddie Howe at Newcastle.
The Swede has scored 12 goals in 31 appearances for the Toon Army, and had it not been for injury problems, that tally would surely be significantly higher.
At just 23 years of age, Alexander Isak has so many years ahead of him to develop his skills and unlock his true potential.
Considering the brand Barcelona are in world football and the way Xavi is moulding his team, he could be tempted to join if they come calling for his signature.
The ex-Real Sociedad man has the mix of technical skills and physical attributes to become Lewandowski’s long-term replacement at Barcelona.
But, given the Spanish giants’ financial situation, they will have to figure out a way to persuade Newcastle to sell one of their prized assets in 2024.