According to Catalan newspaper Sport, via football-espana.net, Barcelona have reached a "tentative" contract agreement with Thiago Silva.
President Sandro Rosell had previously told a press conference, via Goal.com, that the club "can afford [Silva's salary], but it could upset the dressing room;" the report in Sport suggests that hurdle has been overcome though.
A five-year deal has supposedly been drawn up for the Brazilian defender to slot into the second tier of Barca's wage structure—alongside Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta—with bonuses in place to compensate for the hit he will have to take on his wage at PSG.
Neymar and Dani Alves, who have been with Silva at the Confederations Cup, may have played their part in convincing him that he should consider swapping France for Catalunya. Alves recently spoke to Radio Montecarlo, via football-espana.net, about Barca's need for him:
We need him to strengthen the team because of all the competitions we are going to be playing in. He would be coming to the best team in the world. I've described the club to him, what he would find here and the advantages of becoming a Barcelona player.
But even if La Blaugrana's marauding right-back has convinced the 28-year-old that his future is at Camp Nou, and even if it is true that the two parties have agreed personal terms, there's still the small case of thrashing out a deal with PSG.
The French champions paid €42 million to land Thiago's signature from AC Milan last summer and, as money is rarely an issue for them, they will be reluctant to let him flee for Barca for any fee that doesn't come close to that.
Barcelona's director of football Andoni Zubizarreta and Rosell have told Tito Vilanova they will do everything possible to bring Silva to the club, with the three of them seemingly in agreement that he is the missing link.
With Carles Puyol's injury-laden season and advancing years, Javier Mascherano's height restrictions and Marc Bartra's inexperience—he's said this week he's keen to learn from any newcomer—a top-quality central defender is needed.
So is Thiago Silva the one?
To argue against him you could suggest that Barca would be better pursuing someone younger. He'll turn 29 in September and has had problems with muscle injuries, according to Transfermarkt, in the past.
On the flip side it's increasingly easy to make a case for him being the finest in his position in the world at the moment. His performances against Barcelona themselves in the Champions League for PSG won him the adulation of European football.
Then there was his performance against Spain in the Confederations Cup final for Brazil; if he's been trying to impress Barca, he's certainly performed in the right matches.
And in a week where Madrid-based Marca have been keen to highlight Barcelona's expensive flops, it's not out of the question that Silva will potentially join them should he end up in La Liga. As things stand though, he's exactly what Barca need, and they'll surely be prepared to take the risk if PSG are willing to talk numbers.
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