Barcelona are continuously linked with some of the best players all over Europe, as Chelsea and Liverpool have found out via connections to some of their best players.
However, Catalan newspaper Sport has gone with a lead story today which suggests five possible transfer targets for Gerardo Martino to go after this winter; Balanta of River Plate, Graziano Pelle of Feyenoord, Artyom Dzyuba of FC Rostov, Aritz Aduriz and Oscar Cardozo of Benfica.
There is not a single Premier League related name on that list, which makes the recent stories about a possible move for Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois hard to understand as Barcelona seem intent on adding to their squad in an attacking sense.
If Barca move for Balanta then that means further relief for Chelsea and Liverpool because of the stories relating back to defenders David Luiz and Daniel Agger over the summer, with the Spanish champions reportedly interested in both.
The report suggests that the defensive signing Barcelona are looking to make is not the main priority.
The defender that comes in will not apparently be anything close to first choice, being seen as a back up to the likes of Gerard Pique and a fully fit Carles Puyol, when available.
Both Luiz and Agger are playing regular first team football at big clubs, with no need or desire to leave.
Cardozo appearing on the list is interesting because he was tracked by several Premier League sides over the summer.
If Barca’s interest in the Benfica star is accurate then any Premier League sides still harbouring an interest in him could find it difficult to convince him to move to England over joining one of the best teams that has ever existed.
Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City were all connected with the Paraguayan during the summer but in the case of Liverpool and City, they will be more than happy with their current attacking setups.
It’s slightly surprising that the names on the list produced by Sport are all lower profile. Considering the magnitude of Barcelona as a football club and as an institution, it would be understandable if they were going after the elite attacking players across Europe.
However, when a side has Lionel Messi and Neymar leading their attack, it’s always going to be difficult for any player coming in from another club to make an impact and get regular first team football.
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