Martin Braithwaite has been stripped of his number nine shirt at Barcelona as the alleged Wolves, West Ham United and Burnley target faces an uncertain future at the La Liga giants, as reported by El Diario Vasco.
Once the Denmark international returns to the Camp Nou following his post-Euro 2020 holidays, he is in for a rather nasty surprise.
Braithwaite has donned that iconic number nine shirt since joining Barcelona in highly controversial circumstances from Leganes in February 2020 (yes, February).
But with the cash-strapped Catalans determined to sell the one-time Middlesbrough bench-warmer before the end of August, they have now snatched his shirt and handed it over to a man whose arrival will push Braithwaite down the pecking order.
The 30-year-old, who has been linked with a whole host of Premier League clubs, started only 11 games as Barca finished third behind Atletico and Real Madrid last term.
Those opportunities will dwindle further after Memphis Depay, Barca’s new number nine, joined Sergio Aguero at the Spanish giants.
Will Barcelona sell Martin Braithwaite to West Ham or Wolves?
Sport claimed last week that Braithwaite has now come to the conclusion that a move away from Barcelona would be for the best, having previously indicated that he was ready to stay and fight for his place under Koeman.
West Ham are long-time admirers with Braithwaite’s speed, work-rate and link-play making him an ideal fit for David Moyes’ lone-striker system at the London Stadium.
It emerged last week that Braithwaite will not bend to the will of Jorge Mendes, the Portuguese super-agent who has plenty of influence at both Wolves and Barcelona.
But, given the opportunity, Bruno Lage would surely be tempted by the opportunity to work with a player who could lead the line as a number nine or play alongside the returning Jimenez in a wider role at Molineux.
In other news, Wolves transfer news: Late Kieffer Moore move targeted