Barcelona Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of January 6
Tata Martino has had a half season to mould his side into what he is looking for, and can now make considered decisions on whether he needs to add depth to the squad.
Should he spend the Blaugrana euro in order to make a successful push on all fronts in the second half of the season, or does the roster have enough about it already?
Let's take a look at who is being linked with the club this week, and as usual please keep checking back throughout the week for updates.
—Last update: Thursday January 9—
With Jose Mourinho uncertain of making a higher bid, the door has opened for the Catalans to make a move for the player.
In a new twist, it now seems that the Italians would be willing to keep him.
According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Liverpool Echo), Rafa Benitez would be willing to pay the €6 million asking price to secure the stopper on a permanent basis, thereby ending Reina's dream of finishing his career in Catalonia.
According to AS (h/t Football Espana), Nemaja Vidic is interesting Barca and a host of Europe's other top clubs.
With the 32-year-old a free agent in the summer, his agent his confirmed that Vidic will not sign a new contract. Silvano Martina said:
Right now I would rule out a contract extension with United.
Given his situation, Vidic has several teams interested in him. He’s a great player and will have no trouble finding a club, so we’re calm.
With Barca's need for a powerful central defender obvious, they may decide to move ahead of the pack by closing a deal for the player in this window.
It's taken a while to conclude but the deal for Antonio Sanabria to leave Barcelona is virtually done.
The Italians had tried, and failed, to reach a prior agreement, but have now accepted they will need to pay the €3m release clause to secure the player's services.
A deal is likely to be completed within the week.
A player dubbed "the new Arjen Robben" could be on his way to Barcelona.
Despite having a contract at the Dutch club until 2016, it's thought that any transfer fee will be well within the reach of European football's superpowers.
The player himself made his intentions clear when he told Dutch daily De Telegraaf:
Catching Barcelona’s attention is great and gives me extra motivation.
Ultimately we all want to end up at a club like that. On the pitch you can’t think about it though, you just have to stay calm and do your thing.
That notion has been dispelled according to the man himself as he told Sky Sports:
I read in the papers that we are close to a deal for Mascherano, David Luiz and Mata, but that is not true. It is very difficult to get players like that.
On most of the players linked with Napoli, there isn't a real interest from us.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen
Borussia Monchengladbach have been informed by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen that he does not wish to accept their new contract offer.
Barcelona have been heavily linked with the 21-year-old as a replacement for Victor Valdes, and according to Goal.com, 'Gladbach Sporting Director Max Eberl expects the young keeper to end up in Catalonia:
Ter Stegen will leave Borussia. Marc has informed us that will not accept our offer of a new contract.
Marc's decision not to renew does not surprise us. I assume he'll join the club he has been linked to.
The rumours connecting Javier Mascherano with his former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez just will not go away.
According to Tutto Napoli (via Sport, h/t Barca Blaugranes), the Napoli manager will tempt Tata Martino to part with the Argentine defensive midfielder by offering him Colombian utility player Juan Camilo Zuniga in exchange.
Whether Martino would be open to such a proposition, or a straight cash deal is not clear, but there is little doubt that Benitez wants a reunion with Mascherano in Italy.
Castles goes on to suggest (via his Sulia page) that Blues manager Jose Mourinho's public position is he doesn't want the player to leave:
The kid is a good kid. He works hard, and of course it is not an easy situation not to be playing every time. And if he does very well for us – not for him, but for us, which is the most important thing – I love it.
I keep saying that I want him to stay. Today he trained in a fantastic way.
Although the truth is likely to be very different as the "Special One" seeks to mould the team in his own image.
With Martin Montoya's contract talks having stopped, there are no shortage of takers for the right-back.
At the moment everything is stopped [regarding a renewal with Barcelona].The situation is clear - if we cannot reach an agreement on a new contract, Montoya will be free to find a new club. It's a complicated situation.
Possible future in Italy for Montoya? Every day I have to clarify the situation of Martin, who has been requested by three clubs in Serie A.
Montoya also has enquiries from other major European leagues, not just Serie A.