If you thought Barcelona was done on the transfer market, think again. The club may have made the summer's biggest splash by adding Neymar, but that doesn't mean Barca is done shopping.
From Reuters (via Sports Illustrated):
"Barca can afford all the transfers the technical staff deem necessary, as has always been the case," Toni Freixa, spokesman for the club's board of directors, told a news conference.
"But we cannot of course tell the market how much we are prepared to spend."
So where should Barca focus on the transfer market? Centre-back, of course.
Carles Puyol is 35 years old and extremely injury-prone, while Javier Mascherano is much better playing as a defensive midfielder. Barcelona desperately needs to add a centre-back to pair with Gerard Pique.
So obviously, Barcelona needs to focus its remaining transfer money on solidifying the center of defense. But who might the club be interested in bringing aboard?
The article goes on to add:
Neymar's Brazil teammate Thiago Silva told reporters this week that Barca coach Tito Vilanova had tried to coax him to the Catalan capital but the centre-back's club, Paris St-Germain, are reluctant to part with him.
Vilanova has seemed reluctant to heap too much responsibility on Spain Under-21 international Marc Bartra. He had a fine European Championship in Israel last month and could play more of a role next season.
Which brings us to our first target...
Thiago Silva, PSG
One of the finest centre-backs in the world, Silva was a key component in Paris Saint-Germain's title-winning season this year and Brazil's Confederations Cup triumph over Spain. He would certainly be a formidable partner for Pique.
Sturdy, both positionally and technically sound, and a very good athlete for the centre-back position, Silva would fit in perfectly at Barcelona. It seems unlikely this will happen—why would PSG let him go after just one season?—but Barca should certainly inquire.
David Luiz, Chelsea
Per Martin Lipton of the Mirror, there have been rumors that new Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho would consider moving Luiz to free up cash to make other moves, though that seems unlikely to happen. Still, it wouldn't hurt Barcelona to ask.
Luiz can at times ignore the importance of his defensive duties, as he fancies himself a threat going forward, but his combination of athleticism and size means he often recovers if out of position and is solid in the air.
Plus, he's become one of the most dangerous long free-kick takers in the world and is versatile enough to slot into the defensive midfield if called upon to do so. His move to the Camp Nou seems a long shot for now, but he should remain an intriguing target for Barcelona.
Mats Hummels, Borussia Dortmund
It's no secret that Barcelona fans would love to see the 24-year-old German international make the move to Barcelona. What has largely remained a secret, however, is whether the club has any interest in attempting to pry Hummels from Dortmund.
For his part, Hummels mooted the possibility of leaving Dortmund for any club (including Barcelona, which he mentioned by name) in May. And it seems unlikely the German side would let him go this summer after Mario Gotze was snatched away by rival Bayern Munich.
Still, the allure of Barcelona and the surely higher wages could be enough to convince Hummels a move abroad was the way to go. Barcelona would obviously love to have him, as he's one of the best defenders in the world today.
Hummels will likely remain in Germany for at least another season, but Barca should certainly make their interest known.
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