Barcelona 2013: Who Should Be Signed? Who Should Leave?

With the European summer fast approaching that means several things. For me, it means that the Australian winter will soon be here. However, I can't complain too much as a winter's day in Newcastle, Australia (where I live) is still often warmer than a summer's day in Newcastle, England. Of more relevance, is that it also means that the season of transfer speculation is fast approaching. Actually it has already arrived.

As the commentator on ESPN said in the game against Betis, the two most commonly used words in football over the next few months will be "LINKED WITH". Let's try to examine who is going to be "linked with" a move either to or away from FC Barcelona and how realistic are the chances of any of these projected moves actually eventuating. This article based on what I have read in the multitude of Internet articles on this topic.

I personally believe that only a few changes are required to our squad. It is not difficult to work out where these changes should be. With Eric Abidal's liver transport, Carles Puyol's knee problems and Gerard Pique's issues the major area that needs stengthening is our defence, specifically central defence and left fullback. Barcelona has been "linked with" plenty of players and not just defenders.

Possible central defence recruits include Thiago Silva (AC Milan), Jan Vertonghen (Ajax), Javi Martinez (Bilbao) and David Luiz (Chelsea). Of these Thiago Silva is the quality candidate but he will not come cheap. Signing Vertonghen could be more feasable as he only has one year left on his contract.The most applicable comment I have heard about David Luiz is that he is a better player than he is a defender. Barcelona also have a buy-back option for Alberto Botia of Sporting Gijon.

The most mentioned name for the left fullback position is Jordi Alba of Valencia. Some reports indicate that this is already a done deal. That is pure speculation but Alba also only has a year left on his contract and he is originally a La Masia product. Other prominent candidates for the left fullback position are David Alaba (Bayern Munich) and Gareth Bale (Tottenham). For Barcelona to sign Bale they would have to win a bidding war for his services. Given that Barcelona financial position still requires prudence, I see Bale's signing as unlikely especially as these days he is playing more as an attacking midfielder which is aposition we are well resourced. On the other hand, the thought of Gareth Bale as our new dynamic attacking left fullback is very appealing.

It has also been widely suggested that Barcelona are looking to buy a top class striker to boost its attack. The most prominent names mentioned have been Robin Van Persie (Arsenal) (RVP) and Fernando Llorente (Bilbao) as well as Adrian (Atletico Madrid). RVP only has one year left on his Arsenal contract. If he does not extend his contract, Barcelona could well be a possible destination as  RVP is very good friends with Cesc Fabregas. Another possibility that has been mentioned is that Barcelona will look to bring forward the signing of Neymar from Santos. There are very strong rumours that a deal has already been done for him to come to Barcelona in a year's time.

I have left discussion of which players could be leaving until last. The number and identity of any
departures will be determined by the number and identity of new players signing. The player who is most likely to leave is Seydou Keita as he is apparently keen to move to a club where he can be a regular starter. He has been "linked with" clubs such as Liverpool and would represent a value sale.

There are plenty of other names that have been mentioned. The most prominent is that of Dani Alves who seems to have fallen slightly out of favour. He receieved widespread criticism for his silly dance of a goal celebration against Rayo Vallecano and his unnecessary sending off at Real Betis. Of any possible sales,  Dani Alves would be the most lucrative as he has been "linked with" several big spending clubs such as Anzhi and Manchester City. The key decision as to whether Alves is likely to be sold is whether Martin Montoya is deemed ready to replace him.

Gerard Pique has been "linked with" a return to Manchester United. Depending on the quality of defenders bought, this move is not out of the question as Pique has attracted plenty of criticism this year both his form and possible off-field distractions. Having said all that, I hope that both Alves and Pique remain at Barcelona because we could not buy anyone whould be better than their best.

David Villa is another name that has been mentioned as a possible departure. I doubt that this will happen as he needs to show that he has recovered from his injury for another club to offer a fee that Barcelona would accept. If he does recover, I doubt that we could buy a better striker so why sell him.

It would not surprise me if at least one of Pedro, Alexis Sanchez, Ibrahim Affelay, Isaac Cuenca or Cristian Tello is playing for another club next season. In the case of Cuenca and Tello, a loan to a club where they would play regular first team football certainly makes sense.

In summary, Barcelona will be "linked with" plenty of prospective signings and several of our current players will be "linked with" moves to other clubs. We will have to wait to see how many of these moves eventuate.

All that I am certain of is that the more new players we sign the more of our current squad are likely to leave.

Barcelona's future depends on these crucial decisions: Let's hope we get them right!

Posted by: Drago , Columnist at 'Culé Talk'          


  1. Thanks for the article Drago, very insightful as usual.

    I feel Barcelona need a central defender and left back urgently. We can't have a repeat of this season's 'last-minute-rush' to complete a competitive defense line in every match.

    Martinez and Alba are my preferred choices.

    As for attack, Van Persie would be a great addition due to his experience and proven record at the highest level. Saying that, I doubt Arsenal will sell to us again!

    If Pedro and Villa return to form next season, we may actually be OK with the players we currently have, but we will have to wait and see.

    FCB Transfer season is here - Let's hope we can strengthen our team well.

    You can read more about my opinion on the matter here:

  2. I forgot to mention that Adriano has been "linked with" a move to Inter. I hope we keep him as his versatility is an important asset for us.

  3. As for RVP, the key factor is that he only has one year left on his contract. I think he will probably renew but if he doesnt he could well be available.

  4. Nando14.5.12

    My thoughts as far as CB's go:
    Thiago Silva -> Milan would ask for too much.

    Jan Vertonghen -> "Versatile" and affordable.. I don't know if he wants to join though.

    Javi Martinez -> IMO he looks uncomfortable in defense. I still believe he'll move to the EPL, though part of me doubts he'll leave Bilbao this summer.

    David Luiz -> Hasn't impressed me since moving to Chelsea plays like crap for our NT also.. far too erratic.

  5. Anonymous14.5.12

    what about drogba;;;hell add the "english touch" to our attack which cld turn out preety useful i think;;and finally messi wdnt be the only one left scoring goals after hin

  6. Luisao and Philipp Lahm!
    And a new keeper. Pinto is crap, and Valdez is not getting younger. I'd like to see David de Gea on the Barça team.
    And perhaps Eriksen of Ajax as an affordable substitute.

  7. Interesting Piece Drago..

    I think that our priority in the next transfer window is to acquire a center back and a left back. Puyol isnt young anymore a a worldclass center back should be bought since we suffeered a bit last season.. that said I personally would prefer Matts Hummels, but he might not even be an option. Vertonghen is on his way to tottenham, thiago silva wont be sold even if we cough up the 30 million because milan are renewing their squad and wont let their future captain leave. Martinez isnt comfortable playing in defense and he wont add anthing we dont already have (with mascherano and Busquets). without even discussing if he is good enough to play for us, chelsea wont sign a player they bought 6 months ago for 25 million especially with terry aging. Given all that I personally think the answer would be re-signing Botia and giving chances to fontas and barta.
    for the left back position, uli hoeness stated that selling alaba is not an option, and bale is very expensive for us given the temptation man city offers.I like dominico criscito, a reliable defender, but he isnt all that going forward so jordi alba would be just perfect, confident in defending as well as roaming forward, he would be our left side dani alves in is prime.
    midfield is our strongest line, so no reinforcement is needed there.
    an attacker should be signed so that we can have a plan B in case messi's magic didnt yield goals. So this is a very sensitive point as signing any player could prove costly both financially and in terms of team stability and harmony (We havent forgot ibra's effect). A super star is not the solution. So Adrian might be a good acquisition if we are able to sign him for not more than 10 million. After all David villa will be back soon, so along with messi we have plenty of quality upfront.

    My vote is: Botia, and Alba.. with more chances for barta, fontas, Sergi Roberto and to a lesser extent Deulofeu

  8. *chelsea wont even SELL a player they bought ^ months ago..

    talking about david luiz

  9. Anonymous3.6.12

    Barcelona needs defenders. Im tired of seeing puyol and abidal, they arent that good anymore, they are aging. If we get at least J Alba we'll be decent. So the defence is settled, our midfield is good but we gotta know that xavi is getting old, we gotta get thiago more experienced and give fabregas more play time. For attack we gotta pray villa gets into his old form or else we need to sell him. Pedro and sanchez on the wings is a good bet and messi as cf. And wth is pinto still doing here? The b players could be pinto's kids. We gotta release him and give our young keepers more playing time.

    My preferred staring lineup

    alves, mascherano, pique, alba
    xavi fabregas iniesta
    Sanchez messi villa

    What do you guys think?

  10. Anonymous3.7.12

    -- Lloris


    Xavi-sergio busquets-Fabregas


  11. I would say that we need some drastic change in our defence.... We should try for lahm.... Although he ll b too costly.... The midfield is in perfect shape as for atleast 2 more seasions.... In attack we definetly dnt need any rvp or neymer.... Combo of villa messi nd alexis is simply too good.... I think that we also need a good keeper.... Valdes did too many haulers last seasion.... I still cant forget that very first minute goal by benzema in first el classico which we eventuly won bt still such idioticity cant b tolareted at a club like ours.... Viva barca....


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