Barcelona Transfers: 4 Big Names Linked to Team in the Gossip Columns
It has almost been the perfect start to Tito Vilanova's reign as Barcelona's head coach. Undefeated in La Liga with a three-point lead over Atletico and a comfortable eight points over bitter rivals Madrid, things couldn't have gone much better.
Add in the early Champions League qualification as comfortable winners of Group G and you have one of the smoothest transitions possible after the shocking departure of Pep Guardiola.
But that doesn't mean that improvements will not be made—especially with the injury fragility some of the older players are showing.
It's great to see the likes of Carlos Puyol in the squad, but Vilanova may well be looking for some longer-term replacements that aren't available at Barcelona B level.
Here are four moves they could pull off in January.
4. Jackson Martinez, Porto
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According to calciomercato.com, Jackson Martinez will be playing his football at Camp Nou or Anfield in the not-too-distant future.
The Columbian international has been in magnificent form for his club scoring 11 goals in 12 appearances to date and has similarities to Athletico Madrid forward Radamel Falcao.
Porto are currently joint top with Benfica in the Primeria Liga and have already qualified to the latter stages of the Champions League.
But with the striking talent available to Tito Vilanova compared to the drastic shortage Brendan Rodgers currently has at his disposal, one would think Liverpool would be the more likely destination for the 26-year-old.
3. Will Hughes, Derby County
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The England Under-17 international is perhaps a surprising name to many Barcelona fans but Derby County know all about the midfielders talents—and so does Tito Vilanova.
At just 17, he has become a regular for Nigel Clough's side and has made an outstanding impact since making his debut in the final game of the 2011-12 season.
Has already made 18 appearances thus far and looks a fantastic prospect for the future.
Word is that he impressed Barcelona scouts greatly at a recent tournament with England—watch this space.
2. Mathieu Debuchy, Lille
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The French right-back has been linked with a whole host of clubs, and it looks very likely that the 27-year-old will be made available by Lille for the right price.
It could be that Barca firm up their interest come the end of the season, however, if there is an opening before, don't be surprised if they act fast should their hand be forced.
However, with Daniel Alves's performances being of such a high standard, they shouldn't be in too much of a rush to sign a replacement/rival.
1. Neymar, Santos
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This is the first time you've heard about a kid called Neymar right?! OK, maybe not, but a move to the Catalan giants looks inevitable and the January transfer window could be time this blockbuster deal finally happens.
If it does, Barca would almost certainly guarantee themselves dominance for another decade.
Superlatives can't describe what a talent this player is and although he has not proven it at the very highest level, there is no question he would be a huge success should he be granted his big move.
Of course, there are plenty of other interested suitors, but Barcelona remain the clear favourites to sign the forward at a predicted $60 million dollars.
It would be money well spent. Fans would clamour to watch a Messi/Neymar partnership, although any potential deal would probably be offset with the departure of David Villa.