Top three: Carles Puyol replacements
Barcelona opinion: David Luiz, Vincent Kompany and Mats Hummels all feature
With long-serving club captin Carles Puyol turning 35 in April, Barcelona have been seeking a replacement for their captain.
We look at three reported targets for the Catalans:
Reports of their interest in Luiz have been circulating for some time now, and previous manager Roberto Di-Matteo dismissed such reports as early as August of last year. Since then however, the departure of Di Matteo and the arrival of 'interim' manager Rafa Benitez has seen Chelsea slip to fourth in the Premier League and crash out of the Champions League at the group stages.
Despite a busy summer in the transfer window and a fantastic start for the Blues and their new signings, they have slipped down the table. The arrival of Demba Ba in January has not currently been enough for them either, and they now see London rivals Tottenham Hotspurs ahead of them in the Premier League. It is little wonder, having fallen off the pace as they have, that their Brazilian international defender Luiz is linked with a move again.
Borrusia Dortmund defender, and German international, Mats Hummels is another to be linked with the Spanish giants. At 24, he has already won a domestic double with his club last season, and helped them into the knock-out stages of the Champions league this season. But with the league dominance from Bayern Munich this season, Hummels could favour a move given the prospect of one, especially to Barcelona.
With his domestic success already, his chances of Champions League glory could be enhanced by a move to the Catalans should the opportunity appear for him.
Quite amazingly Barcelona have also been linked with a move for Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany. Reports suggest that their interest has been mentioned to Txiki Begiristain, Manchester City's sporting director, and of course, a former Barca man. A move for Kompany is highly doubtful, having signed a long-term deal less than a year ago and winning Manchester City's first title with them for 44 years last season.
Not even the connections involved between the two clubs could persuade City to part with an undoubted prize asset such as Kompany, and for such a little fee as well, is quite insulting.
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