Barcelona are one of the biggest football clubs on the planet but attracting players to Camp Nou has been a difficult task this summer. The Spanish side have been linked with a number of big names but, with the exception of Borussia Dortmund youngster Ousmane Dembele, they are yet to make major strides in the transfer market.
In years gone by, Barca have always managed to attract the biggest and the best players in the business but this has been a very challenging summer.
Neymar’s mammoth £198 million departure has had an adverse effect on Barca’s transfer activity – everybody else is now trying to rip Ernesto Valverde’s side off. Six months or so ago, Barcelona might have been able to sign Philippe Coutinho for £70 million.
But now, Liverpool are rejecting offers in excess of £130 million for the Brazilian – it is a very tricky situation for the Spanish outfit.
Angel di Maria Deal Looks Close
According to reports, former Real Madrid star Angel di Maria looks set to join Barcelona in what would be a colossal deal in the context of European football. Having signed Neymar and now hunting Kylian Mbappe and Fabinho, Paris Saint-Germain need to balance the books and Di Maria could be the one to leave Parc des Princes.
Di Maria’s experience of Spanish football and culture will appeal to Valverde and familiarity with Lionel Messi is also huge. The Argentinian duo could prosper at Camp Nou and Barca fans may soon forget about Neymar if Di Maria hits the ground running.
At the time of writing, he is an EVS money shot to join Barcelona this summer whilst a stay at PSG is shorter at 4/5. The Spanish giants will be desperate to make a marquee signing before the end of the summer and Di Maria can be that guy; at the very least, he would rattle a few cages over at Santiago Bernabeu...
Liverpool Refusing To Budge On Coutinho
The Reds have been quite adamant and firm from the start: Philippe Coutinho is NOT for sale at ANY price. Jurgen Klopp is building a title-winning squad at Anfield and the Brazilian has a key role to play in the future.
With Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, Liverpool have one of the strongest attacking units in European football but Barcelona could yet convince the Reds to sell up.
With Dembele now officially a Barca player, the Spanish giants may turn their full attention to Di Maria rather than Coutinho. Liverpool have played hardball and the Reds appear intent on keeping the Brazilian at Anfield – it may be time to give up on this particular pursuit.
At 1/2 to join Barca, 888sport are banking on Coutinho’s actions to force Liverpool to give in to his demands. Should the Brazil star make another public statement referencing his desire to move to Camp Nou, Klopp may have no choice but to act.
Are Barcelona In Decline?
To suggest that Barcelona are in decline may be a little harsh but they certainly aren’t the European powerhouse that they were two or three years ago. Neymar’s departure signals the end of the “MSN” era and Valverde will need to muster all of his experience and La Liga knowledge to lead Barcelona back to the top.
Signing either Angel di Maria or Philippe Coutinho will help his cause. Barcelona must prove that they can still compete in the transfer window without being ripped off and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see one of their two main targets join in the near future. When Barca want somebody, they usually get them...