With the recent addition of Brazilian star Neymar, Barcelona appear to be quite determine to make a serious run at a Champions League title in the 2013-2014 season. The 21-year-old reached an agreement on a five-year deal to team up with Lionel Messi in arguably the most high-profile scoring duo in over a decade.
But Barcelona are in need of more than just a forward. The Catalans are seeking a top-notch center back with Carles Puyol contemplating retirement after knee surgery. The Spanish star has been a key figure in the Catalans’ success since joining the club’s first-team squad in 1999, and Barcelona already lost a long-time full back with the departure of Eric Abidal.
According to Daily Star, new Chelsea boss and former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho's first move will be to send David Luiz to Camp Nou for £30 million. The 26-year-old has been a solid performer for the Blues, and delivered some fantastic goals in the 2012-2013 season. He appears to be the ideal replacement for Puyol, but there are other reported suitors interested in the wild-haired Brazilian. Napoli and Real Madrid, two clubs that will enter next season with new managers, are both reportedly interested in Luiz.
While Mourinho may want to move Luiz, Chelsea can perhaps wait to see if other clubs will show more interest. Daily Mail reported last month that Chelsea wanted £40 million for Luiz, and may feel that they can receive such value if the demand for a center back grows. Luiz may have a larger role for Brazil with the Confederations Cup looming next week, prompting top European clubs to consider acquiring an elite defender.
According to Daily Mail, Barcelona may have interest in another Chelsea player. Kyle Scott, a 15-year-old central midfielder, is being pursued by not just Barcelona, but Real Madrid and Juventus. The English starlet has not signed a professional contract, but must be doing something right if he garnering scouts from Europe’s notable clubs.
Perhaps the most interesting development around Camp Nou is the status of Cesc Fabregas. Reports suggest that the attacking midfielder may be on his way out, and will return to the Premier League. It seems far-fetched that the 26-year-old would go anywhere but back to Arsenal, though Daily Mail has linked him to Chelsea and the Manchester clubs.
Fabregas left north London in 2011, and has performed well for Barcelona, but for stretches he failed to receive playing time behind Xavi and Andres Iniesta. Xavi is 33, and has shown some signs of slowing down a bit, so it may not be in Barcelona’s best interest to let Fabregas leave.
The other big question is whether Arsenal are willing to pay the expensive transfer fee to bring him back. Manager Arsene Wenger reportedly has £70 million to spend this summer, but the club rarely bid over £15 million for a player, and Barcelona are almost certain to demand at least £20 million for the player they paid roughly £35 million for two years ago.
Currently covering NBA, NFL, MLB, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, focusing on trades, controversy, and injury updates. Joined IB Times in August 2012.