Brazil defender Thiago Silva has revealed that Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova tried to convince him to move to the Camp Nou. The 28-year-old has long been linked with the Spanish champions, with an attempt made to sign him last summer when he had already agreed a move to Paris Saint-Germain. And, after lifting the Confederations Cup, the man widely regarded as the world’s best central defender has disclosed that Vilanova has made subsequent efforts to try and secure his signature.
“Tito is an excellent manager, and a man that I admire,” he said, according to Spanish sports daily Marca. “At the PSG-Barcelona Champions League game I had a brief chat with him and he invited me to play for them. There are no negotiations to be talked about. I'm quite calm about it all and just want to enjoy my holidays. You never know what's going to happen in football, but I'm happy at PSG, and at ease there. I talk with the president every day. I can't see myself leaving.
"It's difficult, not like last year, when Milan wanted to sell me,” he added. “Now it's very different - PSG doesn't want to sell me. I hope it all gets sorted out as soon as possible to be rid of all this incertitude.”
Thiago Silva’s Brazil teammate Neymar, who scored a stunning goal to help his side to victory in the Confederations Cup final against many of his new Barcelona colleagues in the Spain side, has also been speaking about prospective arrivals at the Camp Nou. Recent speculation has suggested that Barcelona are interested in England forward Wayne Rooney should the player end up leaving Manchester United this summer. The 27-year-old is set to discuss his future this week after claims from Sir Alex Ferguson that he asked to leave the club at the end of last season. While a move to Barcelona looks highly unlikely at this stage, Neymar believes he would be a positive signing.
“Wayne is one of the most gifted and technical players in the world,” said, according to the Daily Mail. “Of course he would improve Barcelona. He would improve any club in Europe. And on a personal level, it would be a dream to play with him. I have met Wayne on a few occasions and he seems a good guy but importantly, he is one of the players I admire most in the world.”
Meanwhile, Barcelona-based publication Mundo Deportivo believes that the Blaugrana could make a move for CSKA Moscow creative midfielder Keisuke Honda. The Japan international, who impressed at the Confederations Cup, will be out of contract at the end of December and is thought to be keenly interesting Milan. But with Thiago Alcantara potentially leaving for Manchester United, Honda is suggested as a possible replacement.
As well as Thiago Silva, Barcelona’s search for a central defender is also thought to have taken in Roma youngster Marquinhos. The 19-year-old Brazilian is highly rated, but his agent has cooled talk of a move to the Camp Nou.
"The interest of Barcelona? He is a Roma player and he remains at Rome," Roberto Calenda said, according to Sky Sports. "It is inevitable that there are interests for a player so young and already regular in an important team. He still has a four-year contract with Roma and then I would not do fantasy flights."