Barcelona Transfer Rumours: Players Linked to the Blaugrana
The summer transfer window may be closed already and the winter transfer season is a few months away, but that does not stop the rumor mill from spinning.
A club like Barcelona always has people talking about potential comings and goings at the club.
With a weakened central defense and rather disappointing attack, there are even more reasons to think a midseason purchase could be made.
Below are a two players continuously linked with La Blaugrana who could be playing at Camp Nou come August at the latest.
Apologies to fans, but this one just won't go away, not until the Brazilian superstar leaves Santos.
Neymar's transfer saga has gone on for years and has taken many twists and turns over that span.
At one point, it seemed the teenager was one the verge of signing for Real Madrid, but the apparent arrogance and lack of respect from Florentino Perez scuppered the deal and put Barcelona in the driver's seat.
Santos are convinced that they can hold on to their most prized asset until after the 2014 World Cup, but that didn't stop Robinho from giving his two cents on the matter to Brazilian newspaper Lance (h/t ESPN Soccernet).
In all truth, the Brazilian club is in great shape financially, much better than the vast majority of major European clubs in fact.
They do have the power here and only a very unhappy Neymar forcing his way out of South America would take that away.
While the star forward will miss his long-time friend and teammate Ganso—who recently left for Sao Paulo to replace Lucas—chances are he will stay content for a bit longer.
But as comfortable as Santos are and as happy as Neymar currently is, money still talks in football and if La Blaugrana—or any other club, for that matter—gives an offer too good to refuse, the Brazilian could be playing in Europe before the World Cup.
Who do you think will be Barcelona's next signing?
According to Spanish football transfer insiders Punto Pelota, when Barcelona club officials contacted Athletic Bilbao about their star striker, Atletico were unwilling to negotiate unless clubs were going to meet his €36 million release clause (h/t InsideSpanishFootball.com).
With El Rey Leon refusing to sign a contract extension in Basque Country, he will be able to leave on a free transfer next summer when his contract expires on June 30.
Athletic Club risks missing the chance to make a sale and bring in a large sum of money if they fail to sell him this winter so look for a deal to be made.
One clear possibility is for the striker to move to Barcelona. The Catalans do not employ a pure striker and have shifted David Villa to the wings.
While Llorente would not be an uncontested starter, he would bring tremendous value off the bench and provides a great alternative attack when he does start.
The Lion King would give Barca that aerial threat that they are lacking so much right now and also gives them a big, strong target man to leave alone up front when usual attacking options are silenced—what could be considered "plan B."
Still missing the mark
Barca are, at this point, well aware of where the team's greatest weakness lies—central defense.
Coming into the season, Barcelona were treading on very thin ice by having a terrible mix of center back options to manage all competitions.
Without buying a new CB, Tito Vilanova was left with a 34-year-old who was never expected to play a full campaign, two youth products who are still very unproven, two converted defensive midfielders and a recovering Gerard Pique.
Now that three of those six options are out with injury, two being Pique and Carles Puyol, La Blaugrana are on the verge of realizing just how damaging their lack of focus on defense has been.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?