Every top manager will tell you it’s crucial to strengthen a team in the summer immediately after it has won a major trophy.
This is surely one of the big reasons why Jose Mourinho, who wanted a couple of big-name signings last summer, failed at Chelsea this season.
And it’s why Luis Enrique completed the signings of Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal last summer - even though treble-winners Barcelona were banned from registering new players until January. Sitting still is not an option.
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According to Mundo Deportivo, Enrique and Barcelona’s technical secretary Robert Fernandez are already considering which players they could sign to improve the reigning European champions this summer.
And the player at the top of their radar is Bayern Munich’s David Alaba.
Barcelona admire Alaba's versatility
Barcelona regard the 23-year-old as the new Eric Abidal and admire his versatility. Alaba is capable of playing at left-back, centre-back and even central midfield.
However, securing the Austria international’s services will be far from straightforward. Alaba is contracted to Bayern Munich until June 2018 and is regarded as one of the German club’s most important players.
Alaba could cost €60m
Mundo speculate that because Alaba has many clubs interested in signing him, including Real Madrid, the defender would cost at least €60 million.
However, the report adds that Alaba would welcome the opportunity to join Barcelona, having spent his entire professional career at the Allianz Arena.
The chance to play alongside Lionel Messi, perhaps unsurprisingly, also appeals to the Bundesliga star.
Barcelona were keen to sign Alaba in 2012
This isn’t the first time that Barcelona have considered signing Alaba.
Back in 2012, shortly after Guardiola left the Camp Nou, Carles Rexach was keen to add the Bayern Munich player to Tito Vilanova’s squad.
However, Bayern made it clear that Alaba was not for sale and Barça subsequently signed Jordi Alba from Valencia instead.
Alba was superb for Barcelona during his first couple of seasons at the Camp Nou, but has struggled for consistency this term.
Alaba happy at Bayern Munich - for now
Alaba would be an upgrade on Alba, although Barcelona have their work cut out convincing Bayern Munich to sell this summer.
“Could I stay at Bayern my entire career? I'm not the type of person who looks that far ahead. I am setting short-term goals instead,” Alaba was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail earlier this year.
“A move to England? I understand why a lot of players are moving there. It's one of the best leagues in the world. But the same goes for the Bundesliga.
“I am not missing anything at Bayern. Everybody who has ever played for Bayern knows how good this club is for its players.
“We are all grateful to be playing for Bayern. Munich is a great place for me.”
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