World Transfer Rumours: Barcelona and Pep Guardiola's 10 Biggest Summer Targets
Pep Guardiola is on top of the European football world. After a little more than a month after Barcelona defeated Manchester United 3-1 in the Champions League Final, the Catalans have a lot to be happy about.
However, now that the season is over, teams are making moves—and as top dog, everyone is gunning for the Catalans. Barcelona has some of the best stars in the world, but do not think that they are satisfied with who they have. Guardiola was given a €45 million transfer budget (which isn't so bad) as they try to work their way out of debt.
Barcelona will be another force to be reckoned with, not only in La Liga, but also in the Champions League as they try to defend their title.
It will not be easy to pull off back-to-back titles (it never is), but here are 10 players the Catalans may be targeting in the summer transfer window.
David Luiz: Chelsea
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Less than half of a year ago, centre-back David Luiz signed a hefty contract with Chelsea FC, but it now seems that Barcelona may be making a run for the 24-year-old.
With what is reported as a £27.5 million transfer for the Brazilian, Guardiola would be strengthening a back line that sees an older Carles Puyol struggling with injury issues.
This would be a pretty big price tag for Barcelona, considering their limit, but Luiz would definitely improve the squad moving forward.
Sergio Aguero: Atletico Madrid
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When Lionel Messi speaks, many hear him—including his team and front office.
It has been reported that Messi is in the process of trying to convince Barcelona into purchasing 23-year-old striker Sergio Aguero. Aguero, the Argentinian teammate to Messi, has been keen on a move to Juventus; however, with Messi speaking up, it might be enough to turn some heads.
Aguero would be a nice addition to the squad, but based on other players they could possibly miss out on, I do not feel that this would be the best transfer deal. I like Aguero, he's a great player—but it might be a little late to join the signature race for him.
Willian: Shakhtar Donetsk
This may not be the biggest of moves that Barcelona could make during this summer's transfer window, but it's definitely a move worth noting. The Shakhtar Donetsk winger, Willian, has expressed his interest and desire to move to the Nou Camp.
In recent weeks, Barcelona have appeared to be ready to make a deal with the 22-year-old Brazilian—and the happiest person about this is Willian. Willian has explained that he understands the Barca level of play and feels he is ready for a challenge and to be a part of a top football club.
Willian would be relatively cheap, so a deal for him would not be bad, but Barcelona are more focused on other transfer possibilities at the moment.
Christian Eriksen: Ajax
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Christian Eriksen is a 19-year-old Danish footballer who has great admiration for the football club of Barcelona. A couple of months ago when rumors sprung up about Eriksen, Liverpool tried to make an offer, but Eriksen said the only team to take him away from Ajax would be Barca.
It seems as if a move to the Nou Camp has been swept under the rug for now, and Eriksen appears happy to stay in Ajax.
Eriksen is going to be an amazing asset in the next two to three years, but right now it seems that the teenager still needs to sharpen his skills. A proper amount of money could lure anyone away from Ajax to Barca, but I believe that with the budget put on Pep, he will not push anything he does not need.
Alex Chamberlain: Southampton
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In the last couple months, Barcelona have been talking about a deal to purchase the England U-21 midfielder, Alex Chamberlain. However, it seems that talks have slowly died as Chamberlain has been making a push for English teams.
Chamberlain is going to have a long storied career, where ever he goes; however, he would have some tremendous mentoring at the Nou Camp.
He is a highly unlikely signee this summer, but it's fun to think about the depth that could have been. As I have said before though, no deal is ever dead.
Gregory Van Der Wiel: Ajax
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Another young Ajax player is on the list, this time it's Gregory van der Wiel. The 22-year-old seems to be a top prospect for the Catalans and would be a nice addition to the left-back situation behind Dani Alves.
The Dutch International still has a few more years on his Ajax contract, but the team would be willing to release him if the price is right. It was reported by TotalBarca.com that Ajax would be happy to release the defender for anywhere between €10-12 million.
Gareth Bale: Tottenham
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Even a Tottenham legend can see Gareth Bale in another jersey. Tottenham legend Glenn Hoddle has expressed that Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit for the Catalans.
Bale is another marquee transfer target of many teams in Europe, but it seems that he would come at too high of price and a switch to the Nou Camp is a stretch.
Bale, in my opinion, would be a nice addition to Barcelona, but I find it hard to believe that he will find himself at the Nou Camp.
Alexis Sanchez: Udinese
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The Spanish giants are said to have made a "definitive" offer to the 22-year-old, Chilean-born Alexis Sanchez.
In what has been a tough, long and brutal race, Sanchez has seen Manchester City (an early favorite) pull out of the race. It has also been reported that Udinese have put a price tag of €40 million on him, but ESPN reports that Barca, the leading candidate, is only putting up €27 million for him—their final offer.
It seems as if Sanchez is a day or so from making his decision, but if I were a betting man, I would start saving my money for his Barca jersey.
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It has been reported that the race is over, but nothing has officially been announced by the team. According to the Spanish paper Marca (via ESPN Soccer Net), Neymar told one of his Brazilian teammates that he "will play for Madrid next season."
Neymar had a price tag of €45 million on his head, but Santos' owner felt that the striker would be with the team through his contract. Seemingly this race is all but over.
Cesc Fabregas: Arsenal
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Barcelona have put out a price of €32 million for the midfielder, with €5 million more in incentives. I feel as if the signing process is a few days away—and the Catalans will finally have the man that they have been trying to nab.
Arsene Wenger has already seemed ready for the departure of Fabregas, by making offers to midfielders Ricky Alvarez and Gervinho.
Expect a decision here in the next few days and for the Nou Camp to have even more of a reason to be excited about this coming season.
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