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Reports: Barcelona and Marseille in talks over potential Konrad De La Fuente loan

Konrad De La Fuente doesn’t figure to be in Barcelona’s first-team plans for the upcoming La Liga season, but the Spanish giants don’t appear ready to cut ties with the young winger, and is reportedly instead pursuing potential loan options for the U.S. Men’s National Team prospect.

Ligue 1 side Marseille has been identified by multiple reports as a potential destination for the 19-year-old winger, with ESPN reporting two days ago that Barcelona had held talks with Marseille about a possible loan with a $5 million purchase option.

According to a report released on Wednesday by Spanish outlet Sport, the talks between Barcelona and Marseille have reached a standstill, though a deal could still be reached after the two sides have had a few days to reconsider their positions.

Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos

Barcelona’s well-documented financial troubles have the club considering any number of options to raise funds, and that includes selling players who aren’t in the team’s immediate plans. Marseille is fully aware of this, and has made the move to try and pry De La Fuente away at a discount price.

De La Fuente has been linked to multiple teams in multiple countries over the past two seasons, this despite having yet to break through with Barcelona’s first team. He did enjoy success with Barcelona B toward the tail end of its most recent season,

The Miami-born winger, who made his U.S. Men’s National Team debut last November, remains an intriguing prospect for Gregg Berhalter, though he isn’t likely to really challenge for a regular position with the USMNT first team until he can find regular playing time, which will require a move away from the Camp Nou.

Comments

  1. Weah was in a similar position when he was a PSG…his move to Lille gave him the opportunity to refine his skills. Even with his injury, Weah was able to improve his game and progress himself as a player. I expect him to make even more progress this upcoming year.
    Konrad needs to be in a situation where he can consistently see 1st team minutes to continue his development. He isn’t/wasn’t going to get that at Barca. If he can achieve that with Marseille than I’m all for it. If he can avoid injury…I’d expect Konrad to make similar/greater improvement that Weah did. At which point he’d be in a position to really challenge for a USMNT roster spot.

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  2. “Young winger” is in the 1st paragraph. “Potential destination for the 19 year old winger” is in the 2nd paragraph. He played winger for Barca B & USA U20s …then he gets compared to 3 RBs? …passing out of the back? What is going on? Name dropping?! Konrad has highlights all over the internet. This is similar to the Tim Weah being the best right sided “defender” comment. Duane Holmes is a 6. Zardes is really a winger, or Nico is a CF. Anyone can look this up, if you’re not interested in watching these player’s matches. Before Razor jumps on my thread, Shaq Moore a 5’ 11’ RB sliding over to CB is different than wingers switching to defensive positions. (See: Tenerife’19-‘20 on a streaming service that shows Segunda division matches). Holmes doesn’t play a midfield position, sitting back protecting CBs. Zardes was never the highest scoring American in the MLS, as a winger for the Galaxy. His success came when GB switch him to CF. Stats show that! Everything I’ve seen of Caen, Nico plays majority as a RW, where he loves coming from outside right, cutting inside left. (Forgot about him in for GC roster) His pass to Dike vs Jamaica, that Dike didn’t convert, shows his comfort at winger. There’s a difference between a player like Arriola playing winger. He hardly scores or assists, but his work rate defensively is great. Plug in Paul in midfield or RB and he’s not a liability in the defensive 1/3. Plugging Weah, Konrad, Holmes in the defense is asking for trouble! In between watching the Euro’s, this is a perfect time to watch USA players abroad, replays of their respective teams matches. I can at least do that, and I’m tech dum! Hopefully, Konrad finds a team where he starts and plays a lot!

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    • I think both Weah and Konrad have had stories written about their clubs trying them as WBs in training but yeah I think some people don’t really pay attention to where our guys really play. Agree on Holmes (not sure why you think I said that), definitely agree on Gyasi (I’m a Crew fan I watch all his matches) I’ll take your word on Shaq (was it a 3 man or 4 man backline when he played CB?), Nico I don’t know, I don’t get BEin but from his YouTube videos his positioning seems pretty even between W and CF (they used a lot of 2 strikers in 2020). I think he could play either for the NT depending on the tactics being used. There are guys that can play different positions when given the chance, who would have thought Busio could play as a 6 a year ago (I don’t think that’s his position with the NT). Look at Luca, everyone thought he was a pretty average wing player and then boom his club moves him to CM and suddenly he’s got NT buzz. But I think there’s probably a reason you heard some smatterings of Weah and Konrad being tested at RB or LB and then never saw it in a game.

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      • I don’t see Konrad that way. Konrad to me his predominant skill sets are the creativity and attacking. His defensive work does not stick out as an upside. In contrast, I have seen Weah hustle around chasing people on defense. He has the work rate and tenacity.

        Would not be my first choice. I would get 2 productive wings either side before I started converting anyone away.

        And to be clear, if the wingbacks can’t mark, you haven’t solved your problem, you’ve just created more Dests and Robinsons whose first instinct is attack.

    • A lot of Zardes’ finishing and technical issues become less important if he’s way wide running in a lot of green space.

      Holmes you could see the tenacity level in his NT cameo. Musah got similarly stuck in on a play the other day. McKennie ran back like 50 yards one time to tackle a guy. People need to quit looking at position data on game logs as definitive and see the skill sets. I started out as a forward but got a lot of my goals either making wide offsides line runs to space or stripping defenders of the ball. I was converted into a wing and a wingback.

      I am not sure Weah is a wingback but he will get up and down the line attacking and chasing his guy.

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      • Gyasi is not good at taking people on or crossing so the two things you need your winger to do he doesn’t. As a winger he’s an older slower Jonathan Lewis. He’s not the best at being a hold up forward either but he’s improved in that regard, his timing and direction of his runs are better than any of the young Fs in the pool and his pressing is very good. He gets criticized for his finishing but some of that is almost always in the right place at the right time. His finishing percentage might not be as high but he gets to a lot more balls than other forwards so he ends up with equal or better production.
        —————————————
        As for Holmes as you know there’s a lot more to being a #6 than just getting stuck in. You need to have a ton of positioning and awareness so you’re in the right spots to get those tackles. Those things are hard to do at the international level if you are never playing there for your club, and your club is even using you as a second striker.
        ———————————
        Lille played a very strong defensive style and Tim really improved his defensive skills this season but he’s not FB other than maybe in an emergency we got red carded and are out of subs kind of thing.

      • i get there is more to being a 6 than tackling but it’s the default wish list. a lot of what people want to see in a US 6 is not the default wish list and then we are poor on midfield defense and stopping transitions unless adams is out there. why? because adams will chase someone down and tackle them. ie does the default thing well. holmes i have watched chase people around and tackle. that is a start. you give him some games and then we see if he is just a hacker or can handle the more subtle things.

        some people love yeuill but all he does is occasionally catch a subtle chess match positioning thing. otherwise he is a sieve. and he has 1 assist for all the supposed passing value. so what. musah or holmes could probably do that too. fwiw the touch 6 thing to me is a contradiction, including how it’s used. you lecture me on what this 6 hybrid would do. you then question if the other guys can do the default stuff. are we going default or are we basically playing a passer at 6? because we have a lot better soccer players sitting around than yeuill, if the idea is not really for him to go around marking people and shutting down every attack with a thumping challenge. as with many things GB it feels caught in the middle between committing to defense or offense and thus is not really useful for either.

  3. I had seen this, and it looked interesting. De La Fuente looked like Next to me. Really, really slick passer, really comfortable on the ball, really good in tight spaces…classic Barcelona player, actually.

    Getting out to Marseille could be really good for him, and could season him enough to get him into the pool enough to be ready in time for Qatar. I think his upside is up there with Dest’s or close to it, and I definitely think it’s higher than a Yedlin or a Cannon and could give the USA another really solid passer out of the back and another guy who can get himself into the attack as well.
    Again, he’s just got that classic Barcelona tight control, sort of glides around. This kid’s one to watch, for sure.

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