Barcelona entered the 2012-2013 with the very lofty expectation of capturing three prestigious trophies.
Difficult circumstance surrounded the club, as new manager Tito Vilanova was diagnosed with parotid gland cancer, and had to temporarily be replaced by assistant Jordi Roura. Barcelona also had to deal with injuries to Carles Puyol, David Villa, and even lost superstar Lionel Messi for a stretch.
The Catalans won La Liga, but in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey and Champions League they were thumped by bitter rivals Real Madrid and by Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich, respectively.
For most clubs, winning the league title and earning a semi-final spot in Champions League and the league cup would be a fantastic accomplishment.
But Barcelona are not like most clubs. The club’s supporters expect great success and expect to win in style.
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The club is looking for reinforcements for next season, and there are already reports of a trio of prominent players who could join Camp Nou next season.
Much like other high-profile clubs, Barcelona remain keen on adding Neymar.
The Brazilian starlet has received increased transfer speculation in recent weeks. British media outlets Talk Sport and Daily Mail, along with Spanish daily publication Marca, have linked Neymar to Barcelona with no other club garnering as much discussion of adding the Santos forward.
Neymar, 21, would likely be an ideal complement to Messi, particularly with the production of Villa decreasing in recent months. While Barcelona may be in the lead to add Neymar, Manchester City and Chelsea are also expected to make a lucrative bid.
Perhaps the most notable defender to be linked to Barcelona in recent months is David Luiz. The Chelsea defender, who has scored off two exceptional strikes in recent weeks, is valued at roughly £35 million, according to the Daily Mail. In February, Daily Star reported that Luiz was Barcelona’s top summer target.
There have been reports that 35-year-old Puyol’s career is over, so Barcelona could replace one talented defender with wild hair with another. Like Puyol, Luiz is versatile on the backline, and the 26-year-old may thrive in La Liga where Brazilians are known to prefer to play.
If Luiz is not available, Barcelona could strongly pursue Inigo Martinez.
The Real Sociedad center back has a £25.2 million release clause and is also being courted by Real Madrid, according to Marca. The 21-year-old is considered one of the most promising defenders in Spain, and would provide Barcelona with a much-needed infusion of youth in defense.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are interested in Martin Montoya. Barcelona have also received interest from Inter Milan for the 22-year-old full back.