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Barcelona Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Joao Cancelo and Stephan Lichtsteiner

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2016

GIJON, SPAIN - OCTOBER 16: Joao Cancelo of Valencia CF reacts during the La Liga match between Real Sporting de Gijon and Valencia CF at Estadio El Molinon on October 16, 2016 in Gijon, Spain.  (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Barcelona are reportedly hoping to recruit a right-back in January to replace Aleix Vidal and have identified Valencia's Joao Cancelo and Juventus' Stephan Lichtsteiner as two of their options.

According to Javier Giraldo of Sport, the Blaugrana "have sounded out" Cancelo, but Los Che are reluctant to part with another key player after Barca bought Paco Alcacer in the summer.

Lichtsteiner is their second option—the right-back is struggling to get in the Bianconeri's side following the arrival of former Barca defender Dani Alves.

Giraldo adds the club have also drawn up a mystery third option "who could become the surprise of the winter market."

Of Cancelo and Lichtsteiner, the former would undoubtedly be the better choice, but his signing would be more difficult to pull off.

Here's a look at the pair's numbers this season, courtesy of Squawka:

Cancelo vs. Lichtsteiner 2016-17 League Stats
CanceloLichtsteiner
Minutes792461
Apps116
Tackles174
Interceptions192
Clearances96
Take-Ons311
Chances Created65
Pass Completion70%81%
Squawka

Lichtsteiner is an experienced campaigner, but at 32, he'd only be a short-term solution.

Further, the right-back has endured a noticeable decline in recent times—football writers Adam Digby and Andrew Gibney noted his struggles in Juve's recent clash with Napoli:

Adam Digby @Adz77

Sad to see the player Lichtsteiner has become. Really should cut ties in the summer, he's finished.

Andrew Gibney 🦄 @Gibney_A

Why was Lichtsteiner even there? Poor defending. Lovely finish from Callejon. Napoli 1-1 with Juve.

As for Cancelo, he would provide much stronger competition for Sergi Roberto, and at 10 years the Swiss player's junior, he would not only be a long-term capture, but he also has room to develop his game further.

Here's a look at the qualities he could bring to the Camp Nou:

The Portuguese defender's marauding runs forward are somewhat reminiscent of Barca legend Alves, and like the Brazilian, he could help provide support and width to their attacking play.

Valencia's desire to keep him is understandable, particularly after seeing Alcacer and Andre Gomes join the Catalan giants in the summer—losing yet another important player to them would be highly damaging both to their prospects on the field and the morale of their fans.

Signing him—particularly in January—will be tricky, though it appears the club are considering more than just he and Lichtsteiner, so they may well pursue one of their other options.

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