Will Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchex still be lining up alongside Lionel Messi by the start of the La Liga season?
With Gerardo Martino and the team already on the next leg of their pre-season preparations, there are just 2 short weeks left for transfers to be completed before La Liga commences once more.
Let's take a look at an ever shrinking list of potential defensive signings, who has been linked to the Blaugrana during the last few days and who may be on the way out of the club.
LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY 4 AUGUST
Barcelona have no intention of selling Cesc Fabregas to Manchester United
The news concerning Cesc Fabregas surely means that we can now put this story to bed.
I would prefer him [Fabregas] to stay with us and I dare say he will, but it’s his decision. He is one of the best players in the squad. I think he will stay. But there’s a part that he has to decide.
I had a short chat with him and told him what I think. Cesc will decide the situation, but it has not occurred to me that I won’t be able to count on him.
Vice-president Javier Faus said:
It's a theme in sports. He has a contract, the club and the coach want him to stay..
Come on, he will stay. The interest is real.
But we have no intention of letting him go.
Cristian Tello has extended his contract until 2018
At the beginning of this transfer window, Cristian Tello was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool.
An increased released clause of €25 million is further testament to the high regard in which the player is held by the powers-that-be at the club.
Tello will be hoping to improve on his appearance record of 34 appearances in all competitions last season.
Gerardo Martino is placing faith in Alexis Sanchez for the coming season
Alexis Sanchez makes up a trio of players that appear to be going nowhere.
Gerardo Martino counts on the player for the next La Liga season which he will play an important part in.
He will have to up his work rate and interplay with performances of similar aplomb to that in the Santos game, to ensure a more regular starting berth .
Barcelona are willing to buy David Luiz—but not at the price quoted by Chelsea
It appears unlikely that Chelsea will now sell David Luiz to Barcelona after Jose Mourinho put a £45million price tag on his head to ward off potential interest from the Catalans.
Dave Kidd of the Mirror reports that Barcelona are indeed ready to do business, but at closer to their own valuation of £30 million.
Having already paid £48m for Neymar, there would appear to be a tightening of purse strings presently at Camp Nou.
Daniel Agger could be the most likely addition to the Barca backline
With Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich placing a £40 million price-tag on David Luiz’s head, Agger represents much greater value-for-money.
Brendan Rodgers will be loathe to lose a player who has been a model of consistency for the Anfield faithful whenever he has played.
Barca fans will be hoping that a deal can be reached sooner rather than later so that the player can begin to feel comfortable in his new surroundings.
Vincent Kompany would represent an attractive proposition in defence—but the player appears to be settled in Manchester
Another day...and another defender seems to fall by the wayside for the Blaugrana.
Barcelona's search for defensive cover grows more urgent by the day but it seems they will have to remove Kompany from an ever-shrinking list.
The player would need to request a transfer to force through any move but his words upon signing his new contract at City 12 months ago suggest this is unlikely to happen:
I have been here since the beginning and I have seen everything at the club change inside and out.
It is good to know that I can be at City for another six years. It is a compliment that the club feels so highly of me. Hopefully in the future I will have a bigger impact.
My family is happy and there are so many more trophies to win at this club – that is why it makes it so special.
Barcelona have received a boost in their pursuit of David Luiz
However, Guardiola now appears to have ruled Bayern out of the running for the player.
He told reporters; "It is not true (that I will be signing Luiz). I have four or five central defenders already and don’t need another one."
This would mean new Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino has a clear run to sign Luiz, yet if a report by Ben Jefferson in the Daily Express is to be believed, then the new man has no intention of signing the player anyway.
Julio Dos Santos is on Gerardo Martino's three man defensive shortlist
The player has form in European football having played for Bayern Munich between 2006 and 2008.
A Paraguayan international, he was named Paraguay's footballer of the year in 2005 and at 30-years-of-age will have the necessary experience that Martino is looking for.
It is expected his hire would represent far better value for Barcelona than a move for some of the more high-profile targets the club have had in mind.
Napoli are ready to splash the cash again—this time on Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez
Benitez has already raided Barca's rivals Real Madrid with the captures of Gonzalo Higuain, Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon in the bag.
After his failure to secure Porto's Jackson Martinez, it appears Benitez is preparing to plunder La Liga yet again and the Chilean has jumped to the head of the queue for the Serie A side.
Manchester United will break their transfer record to secure Cesc Fabregas
How successful any new bid will be is anyone's guess after new Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino was quoted as saying; “I’m not going to involve myself in the club’s accounts, but considering the club has already rejected two offers, I would guess it will reject a third. In other words he will remain here.”
Despite this stance, United remain convinced that Fabregas wants to leave Barcelona which is why they are preparing a bid which will be more than the current club record of £30.8m which they paid Tottenham Hotspur in 2008 to acquire Dimitar Berbatov.
Barcelona will tempt Denis Suarez back to Spain with a £3.5 million bid.
Manchester City's Denis Suarez may well be on his way back to Spain with news via Marca (h/t Matthew Morlidge of the Daily Mail) that Barcelona are preparing to make a £3.5 million bid to for the player.
Celta Vigo sold Suarez to City two years ago, but the 19-year-old midfielder has only made a couple of appearances during that time.
According to the report, Suarez would initially play in Eusebio Sacristan's Barca B side. Far from being seen as a demotion of sorts, the regular game time should see the player's confidence restored and his contribution back to the standard of Spain's Under-20 World Cup campaign, where he was highly impressive.
With just a year left on his contract and no real prospect of getting into the first-team picture in Manchester, Suarez would do well to seriously consider, and accept, Barca's offer.
Cesc Fabregas' situation is shrouded in confusion.
Cesc Fabregas' situation is shrouded in confusion at present with many conflicting rumours doing the rounds.
However, David McDonnell of The Mirror is reporting that United manager David Moyes is prepared to give up the pursuit of the midfielder after having two bids rejected.
Finally, Paul Clennam of Goal.com has a meeting between Fabregas and new Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino pencilled in by Wednesday, after which Fabregas will make his intentions clear.
Should Wayne Rooney leave Manchester United, it would appear that Chelsea is his most likely destination.
It was only a few short weeks ago that Wayne Rooney was being talked about in glowing terms as a potential new recruit at the Camp Nou.
The notion of Rooney in the Blaugrana seemed fanciful at best, and now the news on the player seems to support this.
A second bid from Jose Mourinho is thought to be forthcoming for a player who clearly wants out of his current arrangement.
David Luiz is the subject of a bid from Barcelona...and does not appear to be flavour of the month with Jose Mourinho.
Now Rik Sharma of the Daily Mail quotes Jose Mourinho's assessment of the player:
I like central defenders to be able to play. Again, it is a question of making the right decision.
You’re free to dribble from the back when you have the right conditions. You have to measure the risk.
It is about reading the game. I can’t read it for them. I can only do that for them before and after the game. So they have to make decisions on the pitch.
For David Luiz, that is the important thing—to make the right decision.
It's hardly a ringing endorsement and with other central defensive targets in mind, Mourinho may feel that the time is now right to cash in on Luiz.
Mats Hummels is unlikely to join Barcelona.
During the early part of the close season, Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels was touted as being the central defensive signing Barcelona needed.
No transfer has since materialised, but the player seemed once again to be recently courting the Blaugrana.
According to schwatzgelb.com (h/t Alec Fenn of Goal.com), Hummels admitted to being "fascinated" by Barca:
Of course Barca are one of those clubs that is interesting for a football player.
They are an interesting, fascinating club, nothing more
I don't have a career plan and I will never have one.
In deference to his current employers, Hummels went on to qualify his statement and also make a good case for Dortmund:
Because a lot of players don't deal openly with stuff like that, statements like 'this club is interesting' are directly mis-interpreted into wanting to go there.
If a player gets an offer from Bayern, Barca, Real and Dortmund, the chances for us [Dortmund] are still the smallest.
That is the right way and it is realistic, but I think our new players, like Sokratis [Papastathopoulos] in the defence, can surprise a lot of people.
We did a good job on the transfer market again.
Only time will tell if Gerardo Martino may wish to rekindle any initial interest in the German international.
Newell's Old Boys may be new manager Gerardo Martino's first port of call to push through a transfer deal.
Centre-back Santiago Vergini is coveted by his old manager, and the player could be available at a knockdown price.
SW Lim of Goal.com has noted that the player's agent has talked up a move to Barcelona for the 24-year-old.
Claudio Curti told Todomercadoweb:
We'll see what happens in the coming days.
Could Fernando Torres be about to join Neymar at Barcelona?
Fernando Torres is another player who was touted for a move to Barcelona, but then the rumour mill stopped turning.
However, there is a chance that the player will shortly become available, and at the right price, Barcelona may well still be interested.
Rik Sharma of the Daily Mail notes that at least in private, Blues manager Jose Mourinho wants to replace Torres with Wayne Rooney.
It is Torres' astronomical wages that make any transfer difficult, and so Mourinho's public face belies his true thoughts.
The Portuguese will only tell reporters: "Fernando is more than happy to stay and work hard. If the best for all of us is for Fernando to stay, let's help him and try and get the best out of him."