Paris Saint-Germain have finally tied down Brazilian captain Thiago Silva to a new long-term deal.
Cue images of Barcelona walking away in a sulky mood with their tails firmly between their legs.
This time Barca didn’t get their man.
Silva, 28, signed a new five-year deal and his wages were the big stumbling block as Barcelona couldn’t match PSG’s incredible bankroll. So with the cultured defender staying in Paris, Barcelona are edging closer to the La Liga season with a few defensive problems to sort out.
It’s no secret that the Catalan club wanted to strengthen at the back this summer, and so far they’ve struck out.
With Gerardo Martino now in charge, it seems they will step up up their search for a central defender but losing their top target Silva is a big blow.
Right now Barcelona have Gerard Pique as their only fully-fit and recognized center back. Legendary captain Carlos Puyol, 35, is recovering from a knee operation and Javier Mascherano, also injured for long periods, has been converted from holding midfield to play in the heart of Barcelona’s defense.
Apart from those three, Brazilian Adriano Correia has been a reserve for most of his time at the Camp Nou. And then there’s youngster Marc Bartra, who was thrown in to hep with injuries last season. And that’ it.
(MORE: Monday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup, David Luiz to Bayern? Gustavo to Chelsea?)
For a club aiming to win every single competition domestically and in Europe, they need defensive reinforcements, fast.
What about long-term target David Luiz? Reports this morning suggest Chelsea are willing to part ways with the Brazilian defender and he would probably be okay with a move to Barca. The $60 million asking price may put them off, and Bayern Munich are interested too. But Luiz in the Blaugrana would be a site to behold.
Other than Luiz, a few other names spring to mind. How about Dortmund’s Neven Subotic or Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen? Both are massive units we can dominate in the air and in the tackle, but they can also play the passing style Barcelona look to cultivate from the back and all over the pitch.
Those two, in my opinion, would be good fits and would cost nowhere nears as much as Luiz.
But what other options are out there for Barcelona’s new man in charge? There are plenty of young talented defenders in Spain and Portugal but with Champions League success a must this season, an experienced international defender to compliment Pique is needed.
Expect Barca to be busy in the next few weeks… can they tempt Luiz to the Camp Nou?