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Barcelona Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of December 2

Jason PettigroveContributor IDecember 2, 2013

Barcelona Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of December 2

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    Is Javier Mascherano on the way to Italy?
    Is Javier Mascherano on the way to Italy?Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Barcelona will enter the transfer window with perhaps a view to offloading one or two players and obtaining another central defender.

    Aside from Marc Bartra, Barcelona's Achilles heel in defence has been in evidence on a number of occasions, and is something that needs addressing urgently to ensure Barca are fighting on all fronts come the business end of the season.

    We've already seen Liverpool start their transfer campaign early by meeting Barcelona officials to discuss Martin Montoya's transfer.

    What other business are we likely to witness over the coming days? Let's take a look.

    Please remember to come back and visit this page as it will be regularly updated throughout the week.

    —LAST UPDATED SATURDAY DECEMBER 7—

     

Javier Mascherano

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    Javier Mascherano could be about to wave bye bye to Barca.
    Javier Mascherano could be about to wave bye bye to Barca.David Ramos/Getty Images

    Despite admitting earlier in the week that he would love to join Barcelona next summer, Napoli keeper Pepe Reina has since issued an invitation to Javier Mascherano to join him in Italy.

    The former Liverpool stopper told Radio Kiss Kiss (h/t FourFourTwo):

    I do keep in contact with Mascherano.

    He's a lovely guy with a winning mentality, a real gladiator.

    Now he plays for Barca and I cannot say more than that, but if he wants to come then I can give him a hand.

    Rafa Benitez is a confirmed admirer of the Argentine and will use Reina's influence to try and get the player to swap Catalonia for Naples.

Pepe Reina

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    Pepe Reina has made his intentions clear.
    Pepe Reina has made his intentions clear.Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Napoli's Pepe Reina has left no one in any doubt as to his future intentions.

    According to Mundo Deportivo, h/t Setanta Sports, Reina wants to return to Catalonia:

    I would love to return to Barcelona. To play at Barca is a privilege.

    But I imagine that my name is on a list with others. Barca is a top club and Victor Valdes’ departure will have alerted other candidates so a return will be very difficult.

    Right now I’m not thinking about it. I was fortunate to play there once and I consider myself privileged to have done that.

    The important thing is that I continue to do well at Napoli.

    Quite what Reina's Liverpool paymasters have to make of his declaration is anyone's guess.

Aaron Ramsey

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    Aaron Ramsey is bang in form and attracting the interests of Barcelona.
    Aaron Ramsey is bang in form and attracting the interests of Barcelona.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Despite costing in the region of £50 million, Simon Jones of the Daily Mail reports that Barcelona are considering a bid for Arsenal's in-form midfield dynamo Aaron Ramsey.

    The Catalans have dispatched a scouting delegation to the Gunners' last four matches, and also to Wales' games against Belgium and Macedonia.

    Jones' report notes that: 

    Barcelona are in the process of re-evaluating a squad that is showing signs of wear and tear.

    Coach Tata Martino has seen his side lose two games in a week and president Sandro Rosell is taking stock with his staff of where and how to strengthen.

Marc Bartra

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    Marc Bartra is set to disappoint Liverpool and Tottenham.
    Marc Bartra is set to disappoint Liverpool and Tottenham.David Ramos/Getty Images

    Barcelona fans might be able to celebrate soon, with the news via Talksport that Marc Bartra is on the verge of signing a new five year deal at the club.

    The player had been unhappy at a lack of match time but has emerged as Barca's best defender this season.

    Both Liverpool and Tottenham were rumoured to be interested in the services of the player, but are set to be disappointed.

Pedro Rodriguez

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    Pedro Rodriguez is unhappy at Barca.
    Pedro Rodriguez is unhappy at Barca.David Ramos/Getty Images

    According to Metro, Pedro Rodriguez will move from Barcelona in January.

    The wide man has been increasingly frustrated at his lack of opportunities this season, and a constant rotation by Tata Martino.

    This has alerted both Arsenal and Liverpool who are very keen to add the player to their rosters.

    Barca will be loathe to sell a player who has served them well over the last few seasons and still has three years to run on his current contract.

Thibaut Courtois

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    Thibaut Courtois could be about to swap Madrid for Catalonia.
    Thibaut Courtois could be about to swap Madrid for Catalonia.Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Thibaut Courtois is an unhappy man. The Atletico Madrid stopper wants his future sorted out sooner rather than later, and Barcelona are ready to step in.

    According to John Edwards of the Daily Mail notes Courtois as saying:

    It is better to play without looming issues in your head at the end of the season. For now, I’m very happy at Atletico Madrid, and I am very happy to play in Spain.

    But Chelsea are one of the best in the world, and that's not something that comes easy, so we will see what happens.

    We have a week off over Christmas, and I will take the opportunity to speak to Chelsea.

    The Belgian does not want to return to England only to keep the bench warm and be understudy to Petr Cech.

    With Barca set to lose Victor Valdes at the end of the campaign, this transfer could come just at the right time for the Blaugrana.

Sergio Aguero

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    Sergio Aguero is not leaving the Etihad Stadium for Camp Nou.
    Sergio Aguero is not leaving the Etihad Stadium for Camp Nou.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Barcelona vice-president Josep Bartomeu has put to bed any notion of his club signing Sergio Aguero from Manchester City.

    He told Mundo Deportivo (h/t ESPN) "No, we have had no contact with him. I can say that the story is not true."

    Aguero had been rumoured to want to link up with countryman Lionel Messi (per Jacob Steinberg, Guardian) but City manager Manuel Pellegrini also denied any knowledge of the transfer: 

    "I don't know anything about that. I don't think Sergio wants to leave. That is not a problem for us. I don't believe in that."

Cristian Tello

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    Cristian Tello has hinted he may be prepared to leave Barcelona.
    Cristian Tello has hinted he may be prepared to leave Barcelona.David Ramos/Getty Images

    Whilst he has been injured for some of this campaign, Cristian Tello has barely featured under Tata Martino when fully fit.

    The Barcelona winger is setting his stall out for a possible move to Liverpool according to Nick Lustig of the Daily Star.

    Said Tello:

    You wait and see how the season goes and if by the end I do not play what I want, I will raise out.

    Taking that step will be quite difficult but I think we appreciate the role of each.

    As the years pass you want the role change and to have more minutes.

    With Alexis Sanchez and Neymar in such fine form, to a lesser extent Pedro, it's hard to see exactly when the youngster will get a look in.

Marco Reus

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    Borussia Dortmund's highly-rated Marco Reus could be on his way to Catalonia.
    Borussia Dortmund's highly-rated Marco Reus could be on his way to Catalonia.Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Barcelona could be involved in a tug-of-war with Manchester United after Mundo Deportivo (h/t Dan Coombs hereisthecity) acknowledged the presence of scouts from the Catalan club at the recent Champions League tie between Borussia Dortmund and Napoli.

    With a paltry release clause of only €35 million, the world's top clubs could meet any demands with ease and this leaves Dortmund vulnerable to offers for another one of their star players.

    Whether the player would agree to such a move is not clear at this stage.

Antonio Sanabria

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    Antonio "Tonny" Sanabria could be about to swap Catalonia for North London with rumours of a potential bid from Premier League leaders Arsenal in the offing.

    David Wright in the Daily Star reports that the player is unhappy about having to play in the Barca B team, and, as a full Paraguayan international, feels he is ready to make the step up to the first team.

    Tata Martino isn't sure the 17-year-old is ready and it is this impasse that potentially will see the player leave if any club activates his €3 million release clause.

Jan Vertonghen

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    Jan Vertonghen possesses all of the qualities Barca are looking for in a central defender.
    Jan Vertonghen possesses all of the qualities Barca are looking for in a central defender.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Another defender that could be on his way out of London is Tottenham Hotspur's dependable Jan Vertonghen.

    Sport, h/t Olly Dawes of hereisthecity note the player is unhappy at having to fill in at left-back rather than being utilised in his natural central defensive habitat, and told the Daily Mail:

    Once there are injuries, I'm the first to fill in the gap. Sometimes it's better if you can play in only one position.

    Other players specialise on one position and they can completely concentrate. I can play at left-back and I can help the team at times. But everyone knows I am not a left-back.

    Available for the Champions League and cheaper than Luiz at £20 million, Vertonghen could be the answer to Barca's prayers.

     

David Luiz

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    David Luiz could be on his way to Barcelona.
    David Luiz could be on his way to Barcelona.Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    According to Spanish daily AS, h/t givemesport, the on-off transfer of the summer could be back on again.

    Chelsea's David Luiz is having a torrid time of it under Jose Mourinho and is likely to jump at the chance to leave Stamford Bridge.

    Whilst the Portuguese is unlikely to want to sell to the club that spurned him pre-Guardiola, a bid in the region of €50 million could well tempt the West London outfit into parting with a player who has no future at the club.

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