Croatian right back Josip Juranovic is drawing attention from big clubs

Barcelona to rival Chelsea for Celtic's Josip Juranovic?

(Football news) Chelsea along with some other big clubs are reportedly going head-to-head with Barcelona for the signature of Celtic and Croatia right-back Josip Juranovic. The 27-year-old has been an ever-present for the Checkered Ones during their majestic run to the World Cup semi-finals, playing every minute for Zlatko Dalic’s side in Qatar. Juranovic in this year’s World Cup came up with one assist in his side’s 4-1 Group F win over Canada, and he also earned high praise from former players and pundits for his man of the match performance against Brazil in the quarter-finals.

Although Croatia suffered a 3-0 defeat to Argentina in the semi-final, Juranovic will be out of the third-placed playoff with Morocco as he suffered a calf injury. Domestically, the right-back has produced one goal and one assist in 15 appearances for Celtic but he has only started eight of their Scottish Premiership matches. Juranovic played every minute of the Bhoys’ Champions League campaign and he is tied down to Ange Postecoglou’s side until the summer of 2026.

The 27-year-old’s brilliant performances in Qatar have led to interest from Chelsea and Barcelona who have been alerted with Juranovic’s performances. Blaugrana manager Xavi is expected to prioritize the signing of a new right-back in the January transfer window, but Atletico Madrid are also keeping tabs on Juranovic’s future. The Croatia international left Legia Warsaw in the summer of 2021 to sign for Celtic as he went onto win the Scottish Premiership title and Scottish League Cup during his debut season.

Juranovic has a total of six goals and three assists from 50 games in a Celtic shirt over the past one-and-a-half seasons, but Postecoglou’s side are under no pressure to sell the Croatian given his contract situation. Xavi did buy a new right-back in the summer in the form of Hector Bellerin, who arrived on a free transfer after ending his 11-year spell at Arsenal. The Spaniard has only signed a one-year contract at Camp Nou as it is difficult to imagine him earning an extension as he currently struggles to start for Barcelona.

Bellerin has already begun discussions with foreign clubs over a pre-contract agreement in January before leaving on a free transfer in the summer, and Barcelona are understood to have a list of defensive targets which includes the likes of Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot, Borussia Dortmund’s Thomas Meunier and also Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries. Juranovic’s Croatia teammate Josko Gvardiol will also be on Xavi’s radar but the Blaugrana may not be able to financially compete with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea in the race for the 20-year-old RB Leipzig centre-back.

Also read: 2022 World Cup: Croatia and Morocco go head to head in the 3rd place match


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