Transfer Moves Barcelona Should Make Before the FIFA Ban Starts

Rik SharmaFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2014

Koke (right) is on the hit-list.
Koke (right) is on the hit-list.Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

On Wednesday, Barcelona received the bad news from FIFA that they will be banned from making any more signings until January 2016 once the summer transfer window shuts.

It means they must take action between now and the end of August unless they are prepared to go that long with the squad they currently have.

The club have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the sanction from FIFA issued in April because of Barcelona's transfers involving young players from overseas.

Per Sport, Barcelona put out a statement that read, "FC Barcelona cannot agree in any way with the resolution that goes against the spirit of our Masia (Barcelona's youth academy), an example of academic, human and sporting development, recognised worldwide." 

But even though the Catalan giants may be fully convinced they have done no real wrong, they need to be prepared for the consequences of their actions.

That means looking at the squad and deciding which areas need to be reinforced to take the team through a time period spanning almost a year and a half.

One clear objective is central midfield. The purchase of Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla this summer has helped somewhat, but according to Sport, they are also interested in Koke.

Ivan Rakitic is going to be important.
Ivan Rakitic is going to be important.Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

Toni Juanmarti and Esther Blasco wrote, "Barcelona will submit a strong offer for the Atletico midfielder which will help the deal progress quickly."

The Atletico Madrid midfield star could eventually be Xavi's successor for Spain, and if Barcelona get their way, he could fulfill the same function at club level, too.

As mentioned in the Sport article, the plan is to sign Koke now and then loan him back to the Rojiblanco for the season.

That way, he can join the side when he is needed most and not overcomplicate the central midfield selection process for manager Luis Enrique this year.

Rafinha and Sergi Roberto are two young players in the first-team squad who might be able to stake a claim for a permanent place in the side this season.

Marco Reus is another player in a similar position to Koke. He could play for a bigger side than Borussia Dortmund, but Barcelona don't need him at the moment.

With Dani Alves looking set to stay at the Camp Nou, interest in Juan Guillermo Cuadrado seems to have cooled a little.

Dani Alves is set to stay.
Dani Alves is set to stay.David Ramos/Getty Images

As Sport say, the Colombian costs too much for Barcelona to pay at the moment. Instead, they have made a move for Douglas, the Sao Paulo full-back.

They may also allow him to stay in Brazil for another season on loan until Alves leaves at the end of next year.

Alternatively, they could try and negotiate a similar deal with Fiorentina for Cuadrado, with some of his fee knocked off in exchange for permitting him to enjoy one more season with the Viola.

One area of the team which looks well-stocked is the forward line.

Barcelona's buying policy this summer was a clear reflection of their fear about the transfer ban, which had been frozen while they appealed to FIFA over the decision.

As well as two goalkeepers, they also picked up two central defenders and a striker—Luis Suarez.

Luis Suarez is a key signing.
Luis Suarez is a key signing.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

While some claimed Barcelona didn't need the Liverpool forward, his presence now gives the attack a veritable sheen and added flexibility.

If at some point between now and January 2016 the club decide to play with an out-and-out striker, now they have one.

With Gerard Deulofeu on loan at Sevilla this season, his return will be an added boost next summer if the ban is still in place.

Other than that, the club should be able to make do with what they have and any promising La Masia graduates like Munir El-Haddadi, Alen Halilovic and Alex Grimaldo.