Barcelona Transfer News: Last-Minute Deals Eyed by Luis Enrique Prior to Ban

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistAugust 24, 2014

Spain's player Koke attends a press conference at the Atletico Paranaense training center in Curitiba, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. Spain will play in group B of the Brazil 2014 World Cup. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Barcelona are reportedly still looking at pulling off some last-minute transfer business before the end of the 2014 summer window in the knowledge they won't be able to make any moves in 2015 as a result of a transfer ban imposed by FIFA.

Luis Enrique has identified several remaining targets the Blaugrana will pursue in the next seven days, and while some of the plans appear more reasonable than others, fans will no doubt be happy to know the club is exploring every possible avenue.

Here's the latest transfer buzz surrounding the Catalan giants.



Beck Diefenbach/Associated Press

The transfer of Atletico Madrid's Koke to Barcelona seemed dead just a few days ago, but according to Sport's Francesc de Haro, Enrique is willing to re-open negotiations with the defending Spanish champions:

If Koke and Atleti are open to talking, Barcelona will study a formula in which all three parties can come out happy from the operation. One possibility would be to sign the player this summer and loan him back to the Spanish capital. He could then joing Barca next summer.

The Catalan club, however, need it clearing up that FIFA will not block this kind of operation.

Sport quotes a €50 million price tag for the 22-year-old, who was one of the breakout stars of Spanish football in 2013-14. The midfielder is viewed as a natural replacement for Xavi, who could contemplate retirement at the end of the season.

The youngster ruled out a transfer to the Blaugrana earlier this summer, per De Haro, but a deal that would see him stay at the Vicente Calderon for one more season could change his mind.

Atletico will do everything possible to stop their star midfielder from leaving, however, having already lost several key contributors to the club's title run in 2013-14.

While this deal remains a long shot, Barcelona are doing their due diligence by at least enquiring about a player many see as a future world-class option in the centre of the pitch.


Juan Cuadrado

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - JULY 04: Oscar of Brazil challenges Juan Guillermo Cuadrado of Colombia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between Brazil and Colombia at Castelao on July 4, 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil.  (Photo by Laurence Griffit
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

As shared by Barcastuff, El Mundo Deportivo (article in Spanish) suggests that while a transfer for Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado will be difficult, the club won't stop pursuing the Colombian until the end of the summer window:

The Blaugrana are on the verge of signing Brazilian full-back Douglas, per Sport's Joaquim Piera, but that signing doesn't rule out a last-ditch move for Cuadrado.

La Viola want close to €50 million for the World Cup hero, per El Mundo Deportivo, and with the Catalans facing a transfer ban, the Italians likely won't drop their asking price before the summer transfer window draws to a close.

Cuadrado isn't a natural fit at the full-back position, starting his career there before finally realising his potential in a more advanced role. In Barcelona's system, which is based on passing and movement, he would no doubt shine in an attacking role, but his best position remains as a pure winger.

Barcelona face little competition for his signature, so if both sides are keen on a deal, it would be possible for Enrique and Company to work out an arrangement that suits all parties.


Wissam Ben Yedder

Michel Euler/Associated Press

As reported by L'Equipe (h/t to Get French Football News), Barcelona sent scouts to watch Toulouse's Wissam Ben Yedder, a 24-year-old French forward.

The pint-sized forward broke out in a big way during the 2013-14 Ligue 1 season, establishing himself as one of the top attackers in France. Blessed with pace, technique and exceptional change-of-direction skills, he is reminiscent of Sebastian Giovinco during his time with Parma.

Statsbomb's Ted Knutson is a fan:

Goal's Robin Bairner is impressed with his progression:

Yedder looks ready to move to a bigger club, and while he may lack the quality to be an impact player at Camp Nou in his first season, he would definitely be worth an investment as a squad player and with an eye on the future.

The Blaugrana have plenty of talent in the attacking department and wide areas, so any transfer for Yedder would be made as insurance against the transfer ban, not out of necessity. But for the right price, he could add another strong piece to Enrique's arsenal as he heads into his first season as Barcelona manager.