Barcelona won La Liga fairly convincingly last season, but the 7 - 0 drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich meant that an otherwise successful season was marred by a bad result.

Barcelona's attack features some of the world's best players in Messi and Iniesta and has already been bolstered this season by the addition of Neymar. But the defence is where Barcelona has to strengthen at all costs.

Conceding 40 goals in 38 games is not something to boast about defensively, especially when pitted against the top sides in Europe in the Champions League.

Juventus only conceded 24 goals in 38 league games last season and boast one of Europe's meanest defences. So why don't Barcelona look to Juventus to sign a proper, world-class centre-back? Either Chiellini or Barzagli would make it into the current Barcelona squad, but who is better and who would be the transfer Barcelona fans would want?

Giorgio Chiellini is a proven world-class centre-back who is currently at the peak of his career. At 28-years-old he is in his prime years and ready to make a difference.

Marred by injury last season, Chiellini managed just 24 Serie A appearances but still made a big difference, making on average three tackles and interceptions per game.

Chiellini is a rock at the back who would provide stability when it is needed most. His discipline is also admirable- he has only collected a mere five yellow cards in all of his appearances in Serie A.

Chiellini also has superb intelligence and makes quick decisions which make him one of the best in the world in his position. He would also fit Barcelona's philosophy perfectly as he regularly makes short passes in an attempt to move forward. With the Italian being strong aerially, Barcelona will now have more of a threat from set pieces.

Chiellini's value may be a stumbling block at £25 million but with his contract running for two more years, it could be that Barcelona could negotiate a fee suitable for both parties. It would be a large, but a necessary investment by Barca.

If that bid should fail then Andrea Barzagli, who is of almost equal quality to his Juventus team-mate should also be heavily considered by Barcelona's scouting team.

The 32-year-old has been very impressive for Juve in the two full seasons that he has played for the club and boasts many of the characteristics a centre-back for Barcelona needs.

Averaging around 2.1 tackles and 2.6 interceptions per game he is an intelligent defender but different to Chiellini. He prefers to sit back and intelligently break up the opponents attack by reading the game.

Like Gerard Pique he lacks pace but makes up for it with his intelligence. He is less gung-ho than Chiellini in his approach to defending, but is equally capable. His lower price tag also means he is more accessible at a respectable £10.5 million. Should Barca choose Barzagli, his ability to pass and defend will bring more stability to Barcelona's back-line.

Both of these centre-backs are excellent options for Barcelona and in a position that has to be bolstered, they shouldn't hesitate in signing the Italian defenders.

 

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Topics:
Barcelona
Football