Here are my thoughts, in no particular order:
1. Van Persie, Arsenal: I think he'll remain at London. Having said that, I'm certain he would sign for Barcelona if he decided to leave Arsenal. Seeing his friend and former teammate Cesc Fabregas winning titles after just one season away from Wenger's camp must hurt, especially considering RVP hasn't won any trophies with The Gunners since 2005.
2. Rafael and Fabio Da Silva, Manchester United: No chance. If Guardiola wants a replacement for Dani Alves, then Montoya (from our La Masia youth academy) will take the place. The Barcelona youngster is ready and has already played for the senior Spanish side.
3. Adil Rami, Valencia: Definitely an option as our defensive line has been, by far, our weakest point this season. Gerard Pique has been below par this season, Carles Puyol has done fairly well since his injury but is not a 20-year-old kid anymore, Eric Abidal just underwent a liver transplant... Sure, Muniesa, Bartra, Fontas, Jonathan Dos Santos will all be at the Barcelona 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, Chelsea: I honestly don’t see why Chelsea would want to sell him and Barcelona will definitely not buy him at his current price tag. A great defender though!
5. Fernando Llorente, Athletic Bilbao: 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.
Having said that, Tito Vilanova may have other ideas in mind. Maybe a change of formation at times, including a taller reference upfront? If our defeats to Chelsea and Real Madrid taught us something is that we need to have a reliable Plan B when things turn ugly. Watch this space...
6. Ashley Cole, Chelsea: Never. I think it’s more likely that Barcelona sign his ex-wife Cheryl instead.
7. Javi Martinez, Athletic Bilbao: Yes, please! In my opinion, the best player Barcelona 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, Valencia: A sure buy. I believe the deal has already been closed, despite lack an official confirmation from both clubs. The Valencia youngster could be Barcelona's 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 Barcelona’s La Masia in the first place!
9. Gareth Bale, Tottenham: Despite all the media articles on the matter, 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, Real Madrid or even Malaga have got much more money to spend than us. Would be good though!
10. Neymar, Santos: My opinion on his signing has always been clear: No, thank you. My attitude was based on his rockstar attitude off the pitch and his inability to decide whether he prefers Barcelona or Real Madrid. Having said that, the Brazilian is clearly gifted and, if Tito Vilanova thinks he can find a space for him in our team, I would give him my support.
The problems would start the very second the media started hyping him as the 'The next Messi' or similar non-sense. In my opinion, he would simply be one more player in a competitive squad. That would be more than enough.
Have Your Say
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How do you feel about the possible signings discussed above?
Do you know of any other players that would make Barcelona even stronger?
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I welcome and appreciate all respectful feedback.
Posted by: Francesc Tomàs
Founder and Columnist at www.barcablog.com
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