It looks like it’s going to be a busy summer for Barcelona, with the Luis Enrique revolution at the Nou Camp getting underway.
Though the Catalan giants have already secured the services of some of the brightest talents around, you get the impression that Enrique’s shopping spree is far from finished.
Here, we take a look at the latest news on players’ arrivals and assess which stars could be heading for the exit door.
Luis Suarez Latest
The Luis Suarez transfer saga is nearly over, with his £75 million switch to the Nou Camp now imminent.
All that remains now is for the Uruguayan to be unveiled under the bright lights in Barcelona. However, you won’t be seeing that anytime soon, as Eurosport reported:
BREAKING: FIFA have blocked Barcelona's bid to publicly unveil Luis Suarez due to his biting ban.— Eurosport.com EN (@EurosportCom_EN) July 13, 2014
As part of his four-month ban from football for biting Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup, FIFA have blocked Barcelona from officially unveiling their star striker.
FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer dipped into the ins and outs of the ban, saying that it’s more than just what happens on the pitch that Suarez won’t be allowed to take part it, as per Sky Sports: "The ban relates to all football-related activity. He cannot be in a football-related public event irrespective of the venue. He cannot even be involved in a football-related charity event."
Don’t fret, though, Barcelona fans: Suarez will be completing the transfer in the coming days, but who will be joining him in the famous red and blue is still up in the air.
One of the stars of the World Cup, Colombia’s Juan Cuadrado is reportedly another player on the radar of Enrique, and new developments have unfolded in the chase for his signature.
Though Fiorentina have previously been keen to keep their star man in Serie A, it seems that they may now be open to the move, as manager Vincenzo Montella told Sky Sport Italia that Cuadrado’s future is in his own hands, as per Nadia Carminati of Sky Sports: "Should he stay, it will be good. Otherwise, we will seek to replace him. We need to evaluate the player's aspirations and, above all, if there is a club out there that can pay what he is truly worth."
What he is “truly worth” could be an astronomical figure, but Barcelona could be willing to pay over the odds to get their man.
An assist master, the 26-year-old set up the most goals at the World Cup in Brazil, as Squawka Football revealed:
He was absolutely phenomenal in Serie A last term and was creating transfer buzz prior to the World Cup, but his performances there have only enhanced his reputation.
Enrique will have to assess just how big a dent Cuadrado’s signing will have on the club’s finances before he takes further action, but it’s clear that he’d make a big impact in Catalonia.
Alex’s Last Song?
Defensive midfielder Alex Song may well have played his last game for Barcelona, as he looks to be on the way out of the exit door.
Having signed from Arsenal two seasons ago, Song has found chances few and far between since arriving in Barcelona, and Chelsea and Manchester United are reportedly keen to take him off of their hands, according to Mundo Deportivo (via Chisanga Malata of the Daily Star).
Mundo Deportivo revealed that Barcelona are willing to let the Cameroon star depart for £20 million—a fee that appears rather excessive.
Such a high valuation of the player may mean that Barcelona will keep Song in their ranks, and that wouldn’t exactly be a bad thing.
Though a talented midfielder, Song proved during the 2013/14 La Liga season that he has the versatility to adapt to the centre-back role, which could be useful throughout the upcoming campaign.
However, Cameroon teammate Samuel Eto’o believes that Song simply has to leave if he wants his career to progress, as per beIN Sports (via George Ankers of Goal.com): "Song has to leave Barca. At his age, he must play and he could be in the starting XI at any big club."
At just 26 years of age, Song still has a lot of fruitful years ahead of him, but it’s Enrique’s desire to keep him at the club that will decide where those years will be.