Following a season which failed to yield a single major trophy, Barcelona are determined to secure the services of a marquee signing this summer - and have identified Manchester United striker Robin van Persie, Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard and Liverpool forward Luis Suarez as potential new arrivals.
The Catalan giants, now managed by Luis Enrique, want an attack-minded player with the ability to make a difference in the final third of the pitch. Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus and Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, a former Real Madrid star, also feature on Barcelona’s summer shortlist, according to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.
However, Barcelona know it would require an extremely difficult - and not to mention incredibly expensive - operation to sign any of the aforementioned players. Liverpool recently rejected an €85 million offer from Real Madrid for Suarez, and the Merseyside outfit are unlikely to accept anything less than a world-record bid from either of the La Liga giants for last season’s Premier League top scorer.
Hazard, meanwhile, recently insisted he is staying with Chelsea, despite his troublesome relationship with Blues’ boss Jose Mourinho. The Belgium international has been strongly linked with a move to French champions Paris Saint-Germain in recent months - and given the fact he grew up supporting the Ligue 1 outfit, it seems unlikely the 23-year-old will end up at the Camp Nou this summer.
Van Persie might have been more obtainable had Manchester United stuck with David Moyes. However, it’s no secret that the experienced Dutch striker has an excellent relationship with Moyes’ successor Louis van Gaal, and the chances of the former Arsenal star leaving Old Trafford this summer now appear very slim indeed.
Over-reliance on Messi
Barcelona, then, would need to offer a significant amount of cash to sign any of their top short-listed transfer targets - and even then there are no guarantees they will be successful. It seems Enrique is keen to ease the burden on star forward Lionel Messi, who become Barcelona’s all-time top scorer last season at the age of 26.
But Tata Martino attempted to do the same thing last season by giving the green light to the purchase of Brazilian sensation Neymar, who experienced a mixed debut campaign at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona, however, are prepared to use classy winger Alexis Sanchez as a makeweight in a deal for any of their top targets. It’s believed both Manchester United and Liverpool are keen on the Chile international.