Why Douglas Represents Better Transfer Value for Barcelona Than Juan Cuadrado

Rik SharmaFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2014

Douglas is now on Barca's radar.
Douglas is now on Barca's radar.Luis Benavides/Associated Press

Barcelona have ended their interest in Juan Guillermo Cuadrado and are now trying to sign Sao Paulo's Douglas, which could be a good move given the relative costs of the players. 

Catalan newspaper Sport (h/t Ben Green of 101 Great Goals) says that they will pay around €7 million for the full-back.

Cuadrado, Colombia's World Cup star, is still interested in joining Barcelona, but the proposed €40m fee is a bridge too far for them.

They have already spent well over €100m on the likes of Luis Suarez, Jeremy Mathieu, Ivan Rakitic, Thomas Vermaelen and the two goalkeepers, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo. Spending another huge chunk on Cuadrado is not an appetizing prospect.

Barca have spent big on Luis Suarez.
Barca have spent big on Luis Suarez.Michael Sohn/Associated Press

Furthermore, he would be required to play out of position at right-back.

While Cuadrado could do a job there, particularly against teams who come to the Camp Nou to defend, others would prefer a more naturally defensive figure to play in that role.

Douglas, 24, has been likened to current Barcelona star Dani Alves.

If Barcelona cannot shift the Brazilian, then signing Douglas and keeping them both together in the squad this season may prove a useful learning experience for the younger man.

It would also extract the most possible value out of Alves, whose contract expires in the summer.

A deal for Cuadrado is proving tough.
A deal for Cuadrado is proving tough.Fabrizio Giovannozzi/Associated Press

With Barcelona struggling to strike a deal for Cuadrado, they may sign Douglas out of fear that FIFA may reinstate the two-window transfer ban levied on the club earlier this year.

It was removed on appeal while the case is considered, and Barcelona have gone wild in the transfer market to refresh the squad just in case the sanction stands.

Douglas would be comfortable both at right-back and also at right-wing-back should Enrique want to deploy the 3-5-2 that has been suggested as an option.

It is clear that Barcelona still want to add another player, with director of football Andoni Zubizarreta saying that they are looking to create the best squad possible by the end of the transfer window.

"If we can improve the squad, we will do it," Zubizarreta said at a press conference, per Sport. "We always work to have the best possible squad, for the manager to have the best possible optionswe want the best squad on August 31. Football is an uncertain world and the market is still open, but I will not name names."

Douglas can learn from Alves.
Douglas can learn from Alves.Andre Penner/Associated Press

There remains the possibility that Barcelona are trying to scare Fiorentina into lowering their asking price for the Colombian by bidding for Douglas.

The Italians know that Cuadrado will not be at the club forever, and they are trying to capitalise on his fine displays in Brazil this summer to rake in a huge transfer fee.

If Barcelona push for Douglas, perhaps the Viola will relent and tell the Catalan giants that they would be open to accepting a lower offer.