I came across a very interesting article by Charlie Melman while browsing the net this morning. I also loved Drago's Culé Talk version of events, published here. After reading so much about Barça 2012/13, I couldn't help myself and I ended up pretty much analysing every player is believed to land at our majestic Camp Nou next season!
Here are my thoughts, in no particular order:
1. Van Persie: I think he'll remain at London. Having said that, I'm certain he will sign for Barça if he decides to leave Arsenal. Seeing his friend Cesc winning titles after just one season away from Wenger's claws must hurt, especially after so many years fighting for ‘not-much’ in the Premiership…
2. Rafael and Fabio Da Silva: No chance. If Guardiola wants a replacement for Dani Alves, then Montoya (from our La Masia youth academy) will take the place. The guy is ready and has already played for the senior Spanish side.
3. Adil Rami: Definitely an option as our defensive line has been, by far, our weakest point this season. Pique has been below par this season, Puyol has done well since his injury but is not a 20-year-old kid anymore, Abidal just underwent a liver transplant... Sure, Muniesa, Bartra, Fontas, Jonathan Dos Santos will all be at the first team next year, but all of these La Masia graduates will need experience and playing time before they can be given proper responsibilities!
4. David Luiz: I honestly don’t see why Chelsea would one to sell him and Barca will definitely not buy him at his current price tag.
5. Fernando Llorente: Don’t get me wrong, the Lion King is obviously a great striker but, considering the Ibrahimovic fiasco a couple of seasons ago, I am fairly sure Guardiola learnt that Barca simply don’t need a tall striker – giving Messi more room to combine with Xavi or Iniesta upfront is way more important.
6. Ashley Cole: Never. I think it’s more likely that Barca sign his ex-wife Cheryl instead…
7. Javi Martinez: Yes, please! In my opinion, the best player Barca could attempt to buy this summer. Definitely needed to reinforce our defense, the Tower of Bilbao is experienced at playing at the highest level, able to play in many positions and has played around Xavi, Iniesta, Pique, Puyol and the other Barca internationals with Spain for a while now. My Number One Target!
8. Jordi Alba: Another sure buy. I believe the deal has already been closed, despite lack an official confirmation from both clubs. Could be our new left-footed Dani Alves. I love his spirit and aggressive nature. Also a Spanish international, will definitely be in Del Bosque’s squad for the Euro 2012. Plus, don’t forget this very sharp left-back came from Barca’s La Masia in the first place!
9. Neymar: My opinion on his signing has always been clear: No, thank you. My attitude was based on his rockstar attitude off the pitch. Having said that, the Brazilian is clearly gifted and, if Guardiola thinks he can handle the Pinapple Boy, I would give him my support once he becomes part of our squad. Not the 'Star of the team' or 'The next Messi': Simply one of us. That's enough.
10. Gareth Bale: Despite all the media hype, I don’t see it happening, purely based on the fact every other team in Europe will want to sign him and, let’s face it, teams such as Manchester City, Chelsea, Madrid or even Malaga have got much more money to spend than us. Would be good though!
FC BARCELONA ARE STRONG ALREADY, BUT WE MAY BE EVEN BETTER NEXT SEASON!!!!