After Tito Vilanova put pen to paper on two-year deal as the new Barcelona boss last week, the quest now begins to return the club to the pinnacle in both Spain and Europe.

Though Vilanova is seen as coach cut very much from the same cloth as his predecessor Pep Guardiola, the 42-year-old is sure to have his own ideas of the additions required this summer.

Central to Barcelona's transfer plans appears to be recruiting a top class center-back. With talismanic captain Carlos Puyol now 34 and increasingly struggling with injuries it is believed that the Catalan giants are seeking a long-term successor. Certainly not easy boots to fill.

After initially targeting Thiago Silva, who Milan appear to have priced out of a move, Barcelona could face similar frustrations over their pursuit of Javi Martinez.

The Mirror reports that the Athletic Bilbao star is currently proving to be out of Barcelona's price range.

Though primarily seen as a defensive midfielder, Martinez was thrust into a central defensive role for much of last season. And Barcelona has a history of molding holding midfielders into defenders having turned Javier Mascherano into an accomplished performer at the back.

Given Martinez's greater height than the Argentine and high level of technical proficiency he could be a perfect fit in Barcelona's back line.

If the club cannot agree a fee with Bilbao then the Mirror claims that Barcelona has identified three alternatives from the Premier League; namely Thomas Vermaelen, Vincent Kompany and David Luiz.

Certainly Vermaelen and Luiz would fit into the Barcelona style, being exceptionally comfortable emerging forward with the ball. Kompany, solid as a rock and having also played in midfield, would be another good signing.

Vilanova also appears certain to recruit a left-back for the new season. The position has become problematic for Barcelona with Eric Abidal's illness and Brazilian Adriano not seen as a long-term solution.

The Catalans have long been linked with a move for Tottenham's Bale as they believe his pace and attacking instincts could provide a vital thrust from full-back that has been provided to such crucial effect by Dani Alves on the right.

Though their cause may have been helped by Tottenham's failure to qualify for the Champions League and the subsequent sacking of manager Harry Redknapp, a deal does not appear likely.

Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, revealed that Spurs' rumored asking price of £40 million has discouraged Barcelona.

I think it's too expensive for the club, he said, according to Sky Sports.

To my knowledge, the club [Barcelona] has not made any offer for him.

If interested, they would have to put money on the table and then start talking. But it seems that the club is working on the signing of Jordi Alba, a cheaper option.

Indeed Barnett appears to be right, with many reports suggesting that Barcelona is on the verge of signing Valencia's left-back. A fee approaching €12 million has been mentioned, according to ESPN, though some wrangling over the details could be holding up finalization of the transfer.

Plenty of speculation may have suggested otherwise, but the club looks unlikely to be losing right-back Dani Alves. The Brazilian has been strongly linked with big-spending Paris Saint-Germain, but Alves has said he has no intention of leaving the Camp Nou any time soon.

I have a contract until 2016 and I intend to see it out, he told Globo Esporte.

There is a lot of talk about a lot of things, but they are just rumors. There is no substance in them.