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Barcelona Transfer News: Latest Nathaniel Clyne, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2016

Liverpool's defender Nathaniel Clyne is seen during the UEFA Europe League quarter-final, first-leg football match Borussia Dortmund vs Liverpool FC in Dortmund, western Germany on April 7, 2016.
The match ended with a 1-1 draw. / AFP / ODD ANDERSEN        (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
ODD ANDERSEN/Getty Images

Barcelona have reportedly declined the chance to sign Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne, who is said to be unhappy with the Reds.  

That’s according to Duncan Castles of the Sunday Times, who suggested that despite losing Dani Alves to Juventus this summer, Barca have turned down the chance to bring in the England international.

Here’s his take on the potential transfer in full:

Duncan Castles @DuncanCastles

Barcelona turn down opportunity to sign Nathaniel Clyne. #FCB #LFC #ENG https://t.co/TQOPOmHrM8

It would be a big surprise if Clyne was unhappy at Anfield. The full-back settled in well after making a move from Southampton last summer and maintained a high standard once Jurgen Klopp was appointed.

The former Saints man has brilliant energy and is superb in his forward forays on the right flank. That quality gave the Reds penetration in wide areas, with no natural wingers in the squad last term.

Additionally, Clyne is a full-back who enjoys defending, as he’s sharp in his tackles and quick to read danger.

Clyne performed well under Klopp.
Clyne performed well under Klopp.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Sky Sports News HQ took a look at the player’s statistics following his debut term at Anfield in comparison with England rival Kyle Walker:

Sky Sports News @SkySportsNews

Walker is competing with @Nathaniel_Clyne to start at right-back against Russia. https://t.co/ftxYsEgU4m #SSNHQ https://t.co/po9UWklbtf

Filling the gap left by Alves at the Camp Nou will be difficult. The Brazilian was exceptional in his eight years with the club, cementing his status as the finest full-back in the world and giving Barcelona a magnificent outlet on the right flank.

Even last term, the veteran was excellent. The raw dynamism he had in the peak years of his career may no longer be there, but Alves is still an experienced and intelligent footballer, one who was key to the Blaugrana clinching a league and cup double in 2015-16.

He’s still a regular supplier of assists too, per OptaJose:

OptaJose @OptaJose

8 - Dani Alves has made more assists than any other defender this season in all competitions. Stellar.

Clyne may not be up to that standard yet, but he’s a right-back who could potentially fit in at Barcelona. The England man has an appetite to get forward and the energy to get back. Although Liverpool are a massive club in the Premier League, a move to the Blaugrana would be appealing.

Alves will be tough to replace at Barcelona.
Alves will be tough to replace at Barcelona.PAU BARRENA/Getty Images

Whether it’s Clyne or not, Barcelona need to find a man who can do a similar job to Alves. It’s a search they must carry out carefully, although they’ll be desperate to get done as soon as possible.

   

Manchester City Close to Landing Marc-Andre ter Stegen

According to Rob Draper of the Mail on Sunday, Marc-Andre ter Stegen is expected to complete his move from Barcelona to Manchester City this month to compete with Joe Hart for a starting spot.

Germany's goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is pictured prior to the Euro 2016 group C football match between Northern Ireland and Germany at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on June 21, 2016. / AFP / ODD ANDERSEN        (Photo credit should read ODD
ODD ANDERSEN/Getty Images

According to Draper, City boss Pep Guardiola has “managed to prise Ter Stegen away from Barcelona” and will pay a transfer fee of around £15 million to get the young goalkeeper in at the Etihad Stadium. As Draper noted, the manager has stated that Hart remains the club’s No. 1 choice, although he suggested competition will be key next term.

If City can manage to get a deal done for Ter Stegen for such a meagre fee, it would be a massive coup for the football club. Here is a look at why he’s considered as one of the best young stoppers in European football:

Since moving to Barcelona, the 24-year-old has been deputy to Claudio Bravo, featuring in the UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey matches. However, there have been calls for Ter Stegen to take over as the club’s No. 1 on a full-time basis, per Spanish football expert Sergi Dominguez:

Sergi Domínguez @FutbolSergi

Hope the rumours of Ter Stegen becoming a starter for league and #UCL next season are true. In a for a treat.

It's no surprise that Guardiola is said to be interested in the stopper. While there are still rough areas in his game, Ter Stegen has all the attributes to be a brilliant goalkeeper. Crucially, his distribution is outstanding, an area in which he has the edge on Hart.

Barcelona fans would be disappointed to see Ter Stegen depart, though. As reliable as Bravo has been since joining the club, he’s a goalkeeper who is approaching the twilight of his career. The German is still on an upward curve, and to lose him for as little as £15 million would leave a bitter taste for many.

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