FC Barcelona Transfer Rumors: 7 Players the Club Should Target Immediately
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With the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, David Villa, Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol and Daniel Alves, the Camp Nou already has a glittering cast performing on its incredible stage.
This star-studded Barcelona team has taken Spain and Europe by storm and is already considered one of the best teams to ever take the pitch.
Unfortunately this season the Blaugrana have not been as indomitable as in campaigns prior.
So far in 2011, they have dropped points by drawing with Real Sociedad, Valencia, Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao, as well as a disappointing loss to lowly Getafe. All of these combine to 11 points lost in the title race.
Luckily the Catalans are still tied at the top of the table with arch-rivals Madrid at 37 points each, however, the capital club still has one game in hand and will likely clinch the lead at the top with victory.
There is no doubt that Barcelona have the talent to stay at the summit of European football for years to come. Now Pep Guardiola and the Barcelona hierarchy must ensure they have the depth to continue the team's winning ways.
The following are seven signings that will give Barcelona a more multidimensional squad, as well as providing the depth to continue their dominance.
Thiago Silva: AC Milan
Thiago Silva marking Villa
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Position: Center Back
Estimated Cost: €30 million
Thiago Silva would be the single most important signing for Barcelona's extremely talented, yet very shallow, defensive line. Signing the Brazilian would allow the aging Puyol to be rotated with a true centre-back, while taking much of the defensive burden off of Pique.
He would also add a high degree of versatility to the starting XI. On Milan, Thiago Silva has also slotted into the defensive midfield role. He could provide a defensive cover similar to that of Javier Mascherano, as well as a goal-scoring threat off of set plays, similar to Pique.
Lukas Podolski: 1. FC Köln
Podolski on Germany
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Position: Striker, Right Wing, Left Wing
Estimated Cost: €15-20 Million.
Podolski is a name that has been around for a long time. With the German national team, he has been brilliant, scoring 43 goals in 95 appearances.
He is now in the form of his life. This season he has 14 goals in 15 appearances in the Bundesliga, tallying four assists along the way.
This knack for goal scoring, as well as his ability in the buildup play, would add depth and another left-footed option to Barcelona's already stacked attack. He has the ability to lead the offense at striker, or to slot in as a winger.
Bryan Carrasco: Audax Italiano
Position: Right back, Right Wing
Estimated Cost: €10-15 Million
Carrasco is a very intriguing prospect for Barcelona. He provides cover for the right-back position that is currently only occupied by Dani Alves.
As an understudy to Alves, this young Chilean would have the privilege of learning from one of the best right-backs in the game. With their similar style of play as wing-backs, both of these players would thrive as new competition for the right-back position would cause both players to improve as a result.
Carrasco is one of the cheaper options for the position, and with Barcelona's recent expenditures, this could be a very tantalizing option for the club's hierarchy.
Niko Kranjčar: Tottenham Hotspur
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Position: Attacking Midfield
Estimated Cost: €10 Million
This Tottenham want-away is eager to land himself on a team where he can get more minutes on the field.
Unfortunately, this team is not Barcelona. However, Barcelona remains an interesting option for the Croatian. Barca would offer the opportunity at trophies, something that has eluded him throughout his career.
Playing alongside Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas would surround Kranjčar with the world's best midfield. Although he would not start, he would relish in a super-sub role and provide the Catalans a new type of offensive midfielder with a scoring touch.
Mario Fernandes: Gremio
Mario Fernández, Gremio
Position: Centre-Back, Right-Back
Estimated Cost: €20-25 Million
At 6'2" Fernandes' defensive ability can be compared to that of Pique. His height gives him a commanding presence in the back four, and he would prove to be a brilliant backup for Pique and Puyol.
His versatility is also an important trait for Barca. He would be able to provide cover in the right-back position, which Dani Alves occupies alone.
Fernandes would fit in perfectly with the Spanish giants. His aerial skills are important to Barcelona's relatively short roster, and his ability to launch an attack with a long ball from the defensive four adds yet another element of attack.
He was recently subject to a £20 million bid from rivals Real Madrid, but the offer was rejected by Gremio.
At only 21 years old with little big-game experience, mounting a bid worthy of Gremio's acceptance is risky business.
If this move pays off, and Fernandes lives up to his potential, Barcelona may have found an heir to Puyol's throne in this young Brazilian.
João Pereira: Sporting CP
João Pereira, Portugal
Positon: Right Back
Estimated Cost: €7 Million
Pereira is an attack-minded wing-back similar to Dani Alves in that he started as a winger and then moved to right-back.
Who would be better to cover Alves in his absence than a player with similar attributes?
Recently, he has broken into the Portugal national team and has received significant playing time alongside his talented teammates.
The Sporting man is currently in his prime and only has a €7 million release cause, making him a cheap and safe option as a backup to Alves.
Fernando Torres: Chelsea
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Estimated Cost: €20 Million
Torres is a proven talent with immense capability. At Chelsea, he has been surrounded by huge expectations due to his £50 million price tag
Torres has been unable to find the form that made him a world-class striker at Atletico Madrid and Liverpool.
Current Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has decided it is time for the blues to accept a €30 million loss and put Torres on the transfer market for a discounted price of €20 million.
Barcelona spent far more than that to bring in Fabregas and Sanchez, who's talent has served the team brilliantly thus far.
Barcelona would be able to spend the same as they once did to bring in Ukrainian defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy.
Although this time they would have a man who has already proved himself in Spain and on the Spanish national team alongside the majority of the current Barcelona team.
David Villa just announced that he will be out for up to six months with a broken leg, and Torres has the ability to replace his Spanish national team partner in attack.
If Torres were to be able to replicate his pre-Chelsea form for Barcelona, the Catalans would simply be unstoppable.
Who Should Barcelona Sign in January?
Guardiola, Barcelona Manager
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Leave a comment below on who YOU think would be Barcelona's most significant signing.