Thiago Silva, A Brilliant Defender With An Insane Price Tag
Thiago Silva is an extremely talented, strong, experienced defender who has been excelling with AC Milan and the Brazilian national team for years. It would be stupid to deny that signing him would mean a leap forwards in terms of squad quality for Barcelona, especially considering how our defense has suffered this season.
In recent days I have heard reports explaining that AC Milan representatives value Thiago Silva at 50M€. In times when the European economy is suffering tremendously, paying that much money for a football player sounds frivolous.
Don't be fooled: AC Milan won't give up their Brazilian defender unless Barcelona (or anybody else, for all they care) present them with a disgustingly insane amount of fresh euros.
To make matters even worse, Thiago Silva reportedly demands a 1M€ wage each month. Does the Brazilian defender really deserve to be paid as much as the one and only Lionel Messi? I definitely don't think so!
Big money in this year's transfer window is only in the hands of multimillionaires who have 'bought' their respective clubs: PSG (who just had a 46M€ offer rejected), Manchester City, Chelsea and Malaga. Considering President Rosell's long-term plan to pay our huge debt off within a reasonable time-frame, it looks like Barcelona simply can't afford to spend that much money on players any time soon.
Barcelona famously have a strict self-imposed 35M€ transfer budget limit per season since Rosell took charge of the club. That allowance can only increase by selling current players - which is why I think the club should be open to offers for players such as Keita, Tello or Afellay.
As things stand, expecting to see Thiago Silva wearing the Blaugrana next season is simply science fiction.
5 Central Defenders Barcelona Should Consider Instead Of Thiago Silva
As I explained in my previous articles, I feel Barcelona need a quality left-back, a central defender and a taller striker - although Tito Vilanova publicly denied the need for a new 'Plan B' attacker, this possibility is still being considered behind closed doors.
If reports are true and Valencia agree to sell Jordi Alba for around 12M€, Barcelona would still have around 23M€ left to invest in a reliable central defender. Not much, but a considerable amount of money if you analyse the market in detail.
Here are 5 central defensive options that Barcelona should consider at this stage:
Javi Martínez: The 23 year-old Basque Giant is my main choice as he has a proven La Liga record and could play as central defender or defensive midfielder if needed. Sure, his Athletic Bilbao buyout clause is 40M€ but I'm sure he can force a slightly cheaper way out of La Catedral if Barcelona went all out for him.
Iñigo Martínez: The Real Sociedad left-footed defender has been followed by the Barcelona scouts for years. Good with the ball and strong in the air, the 21 year-old has even gone on to score 3 goals in his first La Liga season - some of them were spectacular! Currently injured.
Thomas Vermaelen: 26 year-old Belgium international, currently at Arsenal, 40 Premiership appearances and 6 goals this season. Recently signed a long-term contract with The Gunners though.
Neven Subotic: 23 year-old Serbian international, currently at Borussia Dortmund, 16 goals in 182 Bundesliga appearances. One for the future.
Jan Vertonghen: 24 year-old Belgium international, currently captain at Ajax, 240 appearances and a massive 31 goals since his professional debut at just 18 years of age. Tottenham seem to be close to signing him for just 10M€. If Barcelona want him, we need to act fast.
What We Learned
Blowing our whole budget on Thiago Silva would be suicidal. Spending over 46M€ to sign a central defender who has not hinted his desire to come to Barcelona in recent times despite the Blaugrana interest being splashed all over the world's media is a massive mistake, as is wasting time even considering the transfer.
Have the Barcelona scouts missed the brilliant season by Javi Martinez as Bilbao's center-back and how well he relates to the Barcelona internationals when playing for Spain? Surely not.
If Rosell, Zubizarreta and Tito Vilanova are as intelligent as all Cules hope they are, Javi Martinez must become first priority once the signing of Jordi Alba as left-back is completed.
If Athletic Bilbao refused our initial attempts, then Jan Vertonghen from Ajax sounds like a cheaper, reasonable option too.
And if all else fails, Tito Vilanova can always look to our La Masia academy for alternatives - Don't forget players such as Fontas, Bartra or Muniesa will all be first team players after the summer.
Let's hope the Barcelona directors make the right choice: Next season, the first Post-Guardiola project, must be a success in order to ensure a calm, bright future at the Camp Nou.
Have Your Say
What did you think of this article?
Do you think Barcelona should sign Thiago Silva regardless of his price tag?
Who would you prefer for the central defender role: Javi Martinez, Iñigo Martínez, Thomas Vermaelen, Neven Subotic or Jan Vertonghen? Why?
Did I miss out on any important points you would like to share with us?
I welcome and appreciate all respectful feedback.
Posted by: Francesc Tomàs
Founder and Columnist at www.barcablog.com
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