It’s an exciting time for Barcelona, with a new manager and new personnel bringing about a new start at the Nou Camp.
The Catalan giants failed to add silverware to their overflowing trophy cabinet last term, and the summer transfer window has been the club’s solution to such a problem—bringing in explosive talent from around the world on their quest for redemption.
However, as we enter the final week of the window, there’s seemingly still business to be done, as new boss Luis Enrique looks to turn Barcelona into a team of immortals.
Barcelona are a club that love a Brazilian full-back, and they’re about to add another to their ranks.
Sao Paulo’s Douglas Pereira has been on Enrique’s radar for some time now, and he’s now finally managed to get his man—per Champions League:
An energetic, forward-thinking right-back, Douglas’ reputation has risen from strength to strength in his native Brazil, and with Dani Alves’ Barcelona future coming into doubt, it could well be out with the old and in with the new for Enrique.
The move will likely be completed at the end of this week for a fee worth up to €5.5 million, as the club revealed in a statement—reported via Sky Sports:
Barcelona and Sao Paulo FC have reached an initial agreement for the transfer of Douglas Pereira. The deal will cost Barca €4 million with performance variables of another €1.5 million based on the number of games played. Douglas will travel to Barcelona for a medical at the end of this week, when he will also put pen to paper on a five year deal and be officially presented as the club's latest summer signing.
Douglas will head to the Nou Camp looking to keep both Alves and Martin Montoya out of the side, but the 24-year-old faces a tough task doing exactly that.
Slotting in at one of the biggest clubs in the world as a relative unknown is more or less unheard of, and with Montoya playing well, chances could be few and far between for Douglas.
There have been suggestions that the Brazilian will be heading directly for Barcelona B, but Enrique has signed him for a reason.
It’s Douglas’ potential that has drawn Barcelona to him, and Rupert Fryer of Goal.com believes that he’ll have a part to play at the Nou Camp this season:
He is athletic, adept at finding pockets of space out wide, technically competent and has now drawn inevitable comparisons to Dani Alves. He could feasibly improve exponentially over 12 months or so in Catalonia. Perhaps Barcelona think they may have unearthed a hidden gem.
Time will tell as to just how intelligent a signing it is, but with Barca fans calling to see renowned, world-class names in the famous shirt, Douglas’ capture will hardly have their pulses racing.
More Talent on the Way?
With Barcelona unable to bring any new recruits into their setup from September 1 until January 2016—per The Guardian—the need to invest in stars to keep the club on top of the world game is crucial.
And with that in mind, Sport reported via Twitter last week that some big names could be on the way:
Thursday's cover: TWELVE days to sign... Reus? Koke? Douglas? Cuadrado? pic.twitter.com/XxpLfvANdb— SPORT English (@Sport_EN) August 21, 2014
Sport were certainly right about Douglas’ transfer, but luring the likes of Marco Reus, Juan Cuadrado and Koke to the Nou Camp will be a much tougher task.
With Douglas making his way to Catalonia, it appears that the club’s interest in Cuadrado will cease, but moves for Reus and Koke are still very much a possibility.
Journalist Sergi Dominguez says that Barca are looking to bring the latter in from Atletico Madrid, before loaning him back to the Vicente Calderon—something that he believes isn’t possible, though:
Diario Sport say Barça want to sign Koke and loan him one year to Atlético Madrid. Virtually impossible. Not that simple.— Sergi Domínguez (@FutbolSergi) August 21, 2014
Koke is thought to be the “next Xavi,” so it’s no surprise to see Barcelona chasing him with the midfield maestro himself well into the winter of his career, but it’ll take something special to lure the Atletico man to Catalonia.
However, landing Reus could be considerably easier, with the £28 million buy-out clause in the German’s contract very much within Barca’s budget.
The 25-year-old hasn’t committed his future to Borussia Dortmund as of yet, and Dominguez believes that a move for his signature could be on the cards from Barcelona:
That being done, Barça will now go all-out for Marco Reus [be loaned to BVB for a year] or Cuadrado. Nominal time left...— Sergi Domínguez (@FutbolSergi) August 21, 2014
Such big-money moves don’t happen overnight, which means that Enrique must act quickly if he’s to add to his talented pool of players.
The club’s transfer ban was imposed on them as a punishment for breaching regulations, but if Barca can land some talent in the next few days then it will simply pass them by.