Photo by Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images

With reports linking Darwin Nunez and Arthur Cabral with a mid-season switch to the Camp Nou, it’s tempting to wonder if Mateu Alemany’s rather pessimistic response when quizzed about the prospect of January signings went somewhat under the radar.

“Today, the possibility of signing (players) in January doesn’t exist,” sighed the Barcelona director, via Marca.

Over a billion pounds in debt, cash-strapped Barca did not sign a single penny in transfer fees last summer. It seems unlikely they will do so in the New Year either.

The focus, behind the scenes at the Blaugrana, has leant heavily on reducing the sort of wage bill that would make a statue cry, searing the fat from a bloated squad.

Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic, Arthur, Nelson Semedo, Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal, Miralem Pjanic and Antoine Griezmann departing since the summer of 2020. 

13 Strange Transfers Football Manager 2022 Predicts By 2026

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13 Strange Transfers Football Manager 2022 Predicts By 2026
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And, yes, we really do appear to be living in a world where West Ham United could consider themselves capable of out-bidding Barcelona.

Boosted by European qualification and the millions of new shareholder Daniel Kretinsky, the days of signing over-the-hill veterans like Patrice Evra and Alvaro Arbeloa appear to have been consigned to the past and not a moment too soon. 

West Ham’s focus, these days, is on exciting young talent boasting substantial re-sale value. Summer recruits Kurt Zouma, Alex Kral and Nikola Vlasic are yet to come into their prime.

The same can be said for Said Benrahma, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen. 

Will Arthur Cabral or Darwin Nunez join West Ham?

According to Swiss publication 442, the Hammers are now turning their attention to a new striker – one capable of easing the crushing burden of expectation on the overworked and injury-prone Michail Antonio. 

Photo by RvS.Media/Basile Barbey/Getty Images

It is believed that West Ham have offered £17 million for Basel’s Brazilian frontman Arthur Cabral, a man with 25 goals and eight assists to his name in just 26 games this season.

Barcelona are interested too but they are yet to match West Ham’s bid. It seems unlikely that they ever will. 

Cabral is not the only Barca-linked poacher on West Ham’s radar too.

According to Record, Benfica’s Darwin Nunez is another in David Moyes’ sights.

Considering that Benfica paid Almeria £20 million for Nunez just last year, he is likely to cost even more than Cabral – which makes sense given his track record in at European level.

Nunez ripped Barcelona apart in a famous 3-0 Benfica victory a few months ago. 

Should Cabral or Nunez join West Ham at some point in 2022, it will highlight just how they have come – and how far Barcelona have fallen.

Photo by CARLOS COSTA/AFP via Getty Images

In other news, After West Ham approach, club explore deal for £17m star’s replacement