Exclusive: Key Real Betis piece keen on leaving club with Barcelona playing catch-up

Real Betis face an uphill task to retain one of their key defenders this summer, as they continue to battle against market forces.

The club hierarchy went over Manuel Pellegrini’s head to sell Luiz Felipe in September, leaving him without one of their best defenders and with just three centre-backs in Chadi Riad, Marc Bartra and German Pezzella. After Bartra picked up a long-term injury, Sokratis Papasthatopoulos was brought in as emergency cover on a free.

Now they could be about to lose another of their key defenders, as Fabrizio Romano exclusively revealed in converstation with Caught Offside. More exclusives can be found in his Daily Briefing.

“I expect big movement around Juan Miranda in January. Real Betis have offered him a new deal but I’m told he’s not accepting it.”

“He’s keen on leaving the club as free agent in June or even in January if clubs will match right fee. AC Milan are the big favourites, they like Miranda as they discussed contract terms with him already.”

There have been reports that Barcelona are also eyeing him as a potential back-up option to Alejandro Balde on the cheap, but those reports have been much less strong that the links to the Rossoneri. The Blaugrana may be on the hunt for a new left-back if they lose Marcos Alonso, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

For Betis, they already have their left-back of the future in Abner Vinicius, in theory. The 23-year-old has played around half of their minutes this season, and was brought in after the departure of the Alex Moreno to Aston Villa. He is yet to convince Pellegrini entirely though, and Miranda for many remains the first choice, although that may change as he edges towards the exit door.


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