Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo has suggested Barcelona president Pep Bartomeu and manager Luis Enrique will meet today to finalise plans for the club’s final pieces of transfer activity this summer.
MD suggests that the club president has flown to England to meet with Enrique where they will discuss more additions to the squad and there is a boost for Manchester United fans.
“Barca president Josep Bartomeu has touched down in St George’s Park not only to visit the staff on their last day in England but to inform Luis Enrique on the steps the club is taking for the last transfer,” reports MD.
“The Spanish coach believes there are still two positions to be filled, a right sided player and a centre-back – the names on the list are Marquinhos as the principal and Vermaelen as an alternative.”
The fact Barca seem set to go all out to sign Marquinhos from Paris Saint-Germain rather than poaching Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal plays nicely into Manchester United’s hands.
United have been strongly linked with a move for the Arsenal captain, but have had their hands tied over moving on a deal until Arsenal find a replacement.
The idea that Barca only see him as an alternative takes the edge off in terms of getting a deal done quickly because one of the rivals to sign the Belgian aren’t interested in doing a deal at this stage.
Louis van Gaal seemingly sees Vermaelen as a good potential capture because he’d fit well into United’s three centre-back system, he’s a leader and he’s got plenty of Premier League experience.
There have been conflicting reports throughout the summer over Barcelona’s chances of signing Marquinhos, with the latest suggesting that a bid for the 20-year-old has been knocked back.
That offer is though to be in the region of £34 million, which puts the Spanish champions under a little pressure considering the £75 million they forked out to sign Luis Suarez from Liverpool.