FC Barcelona Transfers: 6 Players They'd Pursue If Fans Ran the Team
July is in full swing and you know what that means: transfer frenzy has begun for many teams in world football.
FC Barcelona has already been busy in the transfer window as they brought home former Masia product and Euro 2012's breakout player in Jordi Alba. Without a doubt, it was a great signing.
Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova, club president Sandro Rosell, and the rest of the Barça officials who run the club now shift their focus to the center-back position as they look to find a future full-time replacement to Carles Puyol.
But who are the players that we Culés would sign if we ran the club?
I decided on the six players Barcelona fans would pursue if they ran the club. These are the six players that most Culés have talked about over the past season being signed by el blaugrana. These are players that have a shot of coming to the Camp Nou—some better than others.
That being said, here are the six players FC Barcelona would pursue if fans ran the team.
If you happened to catch my previous article, “Did Barça Go Wrong with Hummels?”, you know that I was disappointed that Tito Vilanova and Barcelona officials did not go after Mats Hummels before he signed an extension recently with German champions Borussia Dortmund.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one that felt this way as many fans reached out to me and agreed Hummels should have been a player Barcelona went after.
Hummels was a hot name before Euro 2012 and before he signed a five-year extension with Dortmund. Most fans agree that Hummels was a better option to sign than AC Milan’s Thiago Silva. Mats is younger and would have come relatively cheaper than Silva. Instead, Barça officials focused their attention on Silva and trying to convince Milan to sell him.
Hummels ended up showing the football world that he is one of the best center-backs in Europe at Euro 2012.
Now that Hummels is signed long-term with Dortmund and Thiago Silva signed an extension at Milan as well, Barcelona is not sure where to turn their attention to. It's still possible for Barcelona to get Mats Hummels for Borussia Dortmund, but the price would easily be beyond €30 million.
I’m sure signing Mats Hummels would have been something most Culés would have taken care of a long time ago if they ran the club.
Edinson Cavani of Napoli is one of the best players in the Serie A and is a favorite name among many Barcelona fanatics who'd love to see the 25-year-old Uruguayan striker at the Camp Nou.
With David Villa getting up in age, many Culés are looking towards the future, and Edinson is a name that would fit well with Lionel Messi and the rest of the club.
Cavani scored 33 goals in 47 games in all competitions, helping Napoli win the Coppa Italia.
Chances of Edinson Cavani going to FC Barcelona are not as far-fetched as most may think. With Napoli selling Ezequiel Lavezzi to Paris Saint-Germain this summer, the club will certainly not be as competitive this league season. It is quiet possible that Napoli will look to sell their prized possession next year to bring in more money for the future.
Edinson would bring height—something Barcelona lacks on offense—to el blaugrana if he were to join them. He could play both winger and striker. One factor to consider is that Barcelona are keen on signing Neymar in 2013. Barça has no real need to sign both Neymar and Cavani this summer, but who knows what will happen next year.
Many Culés want to see Edinson Cavani with Barcelona. While it won't happen this season, don't be surprised if Tito Vilanova makes a push for the Uruguayan next summer, regardless of the Neymar factor.
Mario Gotze from Borussia Dortmund has been a favorite of Culés for a few years now. The German national team player has been followed by many big clubs across Europe including Arsenal, Chelsea, and Real Madrid.
If Barça fans ran the club, Gotze would have been signed perhaps two years ago. The 20-year-old is extremely talented. But would he fit well with the tiki-taka system of FCB?
This upcoming Bundesliga season may be Mario Gotze’s breakout season as he will have more opportunities to shine as Shinji Kagawa was transferred to Manchester United. This will allow Gotze to play his preferred position of attacking midfielder full-time.
In March, Gotze signed an extension with Borussia Dortmund, keeping him with the German champs until the summer of 2016.
Could FC Barcelona make a run at Mario Gotze sometime in the future? Of course. Barring injury, Mario Gotze will only get better and will get more time playing in the German national team as well.
Will Barcelona officials go after Gotze? It’s very unlikely that will happen anytime soon. The Barça midfield has a solid future with Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Busquets, and Thiago Alcantara. Let’s not forget teams like Manchester City, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain will also be looking to buy Gotze’s services as well.
It’s possible Mario Gotze can go to FC Barcelona. But it’ll be a while before Barça makes a move.
A name that many Barça fans would love to see signed with Barcelona is Radamel Falcao. The Colombian striker was a wonder in his first year at Atletico Madrid, scoring 36 goals in all competitions and leading his team to the UEFA Europa League title—his second Europa League title in a row (Porto, 2011).
“The King of the Europa League” is a beast on the pitch with his amazing goals and ability to take on defenses single-handedly. It’s no wonder Culés dream of seeing him team up with Lionel Messi and others to go out and dominate Europe. With David Villa perhaps being sold next season, many Culés would love to see Falcao come in and replace El Guaje.
As much as fans would love to sign Falcao if they ran the team, don’t count on seeing him wearing blaugrana. David Villa still fits better with Barcelona. Also, Barcelona’s top priority next season will not be Radamel Falcao; it will more than likely be Neymar.
And with the way Tito Vilanova will run the same Pep Guardiola-style offense, Neymar is a better fit than Falcao. Edinson Cavani would be a less expensive option than Falcao as well.
Falcao cost Atletico €40 million after they sold Sergio Aguero to Manchester City. Even with the club’s financial issues, I doubt Ateltico will sell Falcao anytime soon.
They sold Kun Aguero to Manchester City just last year.
Don’t expect Atletico to sell their striker a third time in recent years and sell Radamel Falcao to FC Barcelona.
It’s no surprise Barça fans want to see Neymar wearing blaugrana. The Brazilian wizard has been linked with Barcelona for a few years now.
While Neymar has a contract with Santos until the summer of 2014, there are rumors that he could be making his way to the Camp Nou next summer. There have also been rumors that FC Barcelona and Santos have a verbal agreement to transfer Neymar to Barcelona after the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Many fans want to see Neymar join Barcelona as soon as possible, but the team really doesn’t need him this upcoming season. David Villa will return to the team as he is now fully recovered from the broken tibia he suffered in the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup last December. Ibrahim Afellay will also be coming back as well.
This summer was not and is not the summer that Neymar moves to Barcelona. Tito Vilanova made it very clear to everyone that the summer of 2012 was going to be dedicated to improving the defense—the same defense which cost Barcelona so many wins last season.
Jordi Alba was the first signing this summer as the left-back position was a priority after the Eric Abidal health issue. Barcelona has now set their attention to the center-back spot.
Next summer will be a very interesting time as Barcelona will more than likely look to improve their offense. David Villa will be 31 by then and the club may look to sell him as he’ll have two years left in his contract.
Neymar has essentially won everything with Santos as he’s helped them win the Copa de Brasil, Campeonato Paulista and the 2011 Copa Libertadores during his time there.
With his Santos teammate Ganso looking to leave the club this summer as well as the team's elimination to eventual champions Corinthians in this season's Copa Libertadores, 2012 could be the beginning of the end of this Santos team as we know it.
But it could lead to Neymar finally leaving South America and making his much-anticipated debut in Europe with FC Barcelona.
While there are other potential winger/strikers like Radamel Falcao or Edinson Cavani who could make their way to el blaugrana, Neymar makes the most sense, and without question Barcelona will put forth all their effort to sign him next year.
It’ll be an interesting summer in 2013—perhaps "The Summer of Neymar."
One player that FC Barcelona fans want to see now more than ever is Athletic Bilbao’s Javi Martinez. The 23-year-old may be the one player that makes the most sense to go to Barcelona.
With Jordi Alba now signed, Tito Vilanova will look to find a new center-back to eventually replace Carles Puyol. Seydou Keita has now left Barcelona. It would be perfect if Barcelona could find a player that can play both CB and center defensive midfield.
Javi Martinez is that player.
Fans and even the Barcelona media are hoping Barcelona club officials can somehow find a way to sign Martinez. In a interview with Spanish network Cuatro during Euro 2012, Javi Martinez said he spends more time with Barça players than with Real Madrid players. This caused the buzz around a possible Javi-to-FCB transfer.
According to Sport.es, Tito Vilanova has made signing Javi Martinez his top priority.
But with a €40 million buyout clause in his contract with Bilbao, it’s very complicated to bring Javi to Barça. Let’s not forget that Manchester City, Bayern Munich, and Real Madrid are also following Javi Martinez, hoping to sign him as well.
If Barcelona is going to try and sign Javi Martinez, it’ll have to come via some incredible negotiating.
With Barça having a reported €26 million left to spend this summer and Athletic seemingly not budging for anything less than Javi’s €40 million buyout clause, Sandro Rosell could offer €26 million and a player—perhaps Ibrahim Afellay or Cristian Tello.
If Athletic do not want either player, Barcelona could offer the €26 million plus either Marc Muniesa or Marc Bartra to essentially replace Martinez at CB for Bilbao.
The final option could be fork out an extra €14 million from next year’s budget and complete the €40 million to buy Martinez.
If Javi Martinez is not possible, one alternative at CDM is Rennes' Yann M'Vila who, according to MundoDeportivo.com, is now on Barcelona's radar to possibly replace Seydou Keita.
In my opinion, Javi Martinez is a perfect fit because he plays both CB and CDM. I’d love to see Javi replace Carles Puyol as the new CB as well as play CDM when needed. He is just what FC Barcelona needs right now.
His price tag is high, but it's not impossible.
We’ll see what happens.
Follow me on Twitter:@XoelCardenas
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