Real Madrid stole their La Liga crown and Chelsea ground them out at the semi-final stage of their Champions League defence – what next for Barcelona?
The Catalan club pride themselves on producing some of the best young talent in the world at their La Masia academy, but a team made up of promoted youth players will struggle to reclaim their lost crowns.
Every team needs outside additions and Barça are no different, but whom are they trying to sign?
GMF has kept its ear to the ground and have come up with five top players the Camp Nou club are reportedly lining up bids for. Here they are:
Thomas Vermaelen, Arsenal
The Belgian has will take the armband from Robin van Persie if the current skipper leaves this summer, which is a fact that could worry some Gunners fans rather than please them, if the recent history of Arsenal captain is anything to go by.
Barça are reportedly looking to shore up their defence with fitness and age issues hanging over Carles Puyol and many reports have suggested Vermaelen has caught the eye.
Daniel Agger, Liverpool
The Reds centre-half is also reportedly interesting La Blaugrana, and would likely be a more realistic option than Vermaelen due to Agger not being involved in Champions League football this season.
New Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will be desperate to avoid losing his most impressive defender, but the reported interest form Manchester City and Real Madrid could make holding onto the Dane difficult.
It’s no surprise that where Real Madrid have been linked with a player who has been labelled one of the best of the world, Barcelona’s reported interest is not far away. The young Brazilian attacker has been wowing crowds at the London 2012 Olympics and Barcelona’s vice-president has said he would like Neymar to join them once the games are over.
Josep Maria Bartomeu openly declared interest in the 20-year-old and claimed the Catalans will be part of any negotiations for him.
Joao Moutinho, Porto
The Portugal midfielder was impressive at Euro 2012, which led to a number of reports linking him with Premier League sides Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, with the latter said to be very close to agreeing a deal.
However, reports are now suggesting Barça manager Tito Vilanova has taken a liking to the hard-working 25-year-old and could be ready to hijack any move to England.
David Luiz, Chelsea
Defence is seen as a priority at Barcelona if reports are anything to go by, as the La Liga club have also been linked with a move for Chelsea’s flamboyant centre-back David Luiz.
The Brazil international has also been linked with a move to Barça’s rivals Real Madrid, but interest from Camp Nou has been reported for some time. Luiz would be a good fit in the ball-playing defence at Barcelona, but has not indicated any willingness to leave.
What do you think of these targets? Would any of them make a difference in Barcelona’s quest to regain their titles?
Leave a comment below to let us know…