Barcelona Transfer News: Spanish Champions Must Delay Search for Elite Defender
Spanish champions Barcelona must must delay their search for an elite centre-back until the window reopens in January.
With veteran centre-back Carles Puyol nearly back to 100 percent and Barcelona looking stout in defense ahead of the 2013-14 season, Barca have plenty to feel good about as the summer transfer window comes to a close.
According to Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express, Barca have sent scouts to watch talented Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala, a target of several big-name clubs who could potentially be signed for £12 million.
But Jefferson also adds that it's quite possible that new Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino might opt to wait until January to bolster the club's defense instead of settling for a second-tier or less-accomplished player:
Barcelona have been in the market for a new defender this summer but had stated their willingness to wait until January before splurging on reinforcements with Carles Puyol nearing a return to fitness.
However, missing out on Luiz and Agger isn't crippling for Barcelona. Puyol's eventual return will buy Barcelona some more time to scout and target players before potentially spending in January.
Plus, earlier this summer, Martino hinted that he wouldn't mind putting the search on hold for a few months, per The Daily Mail's John Drayton: "We have Puyol, Pique, Mascherano, Bartra, even Adriano. If there's an injury, January transfer window is only a few months away."
Martino makes a great case for staying patient, pointing to several players who can step in if Puyol isn't 100 percent.
The Barca defense has covered for him so far, holding up extremely well through the club's first few meaningful matches this summer. Lionel Messi and company have outscored their first two La Liga opponents 8-0, dominating possession as always and giving opponents few looks at the goal.
Barca conceded just one goal in two matches against Atletico Madrid en route to claiming the Spanish Super Cup.
While the opposition is sure to improve in the Champions League group stage and against top-flight domestic clubs like Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Villarreal, Barca have enough talent to survive until the winter transfer window opens.
There's no denying that the club need a significant boost at the back if they hope to conquer Europe this season, but for now, Barcelona have enough offensive firepower with Messi and Neymar up front to outscore weaker opponents and stay afloat without a reliable centre-back making key stops consistently.
Martino will need to revisit Barca's defensive issues in January in order to ensure that Barca are prepared to survive the critical moments in the big matches later this season, but for now, the Spanish champions would be foolish to settle for whichever promising defender they can get their hands on.
Instead, remaining patient and delaying the search until the winter makes the most sense.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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