Three years of Pep Guardiola, a glut-load of trophies and four transfer windows with varying degrees of success. For every David Villa and Javier Mascherano, there are big money flops like Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Dmytro Chygrynskiy. The former is an undoubted superstar of the world game while the latter is a rather unknown quantity. Hence it is understandable why FC Barcelona overpaid for Ibracadabra. But acquiring the services of Chygrynskiy (who was cup-tied by the way) for 24 million Euro still defies logic.
One half of Bundesliga’s best center back partnership has yet to celebrate his 23 birthday but is already one of the best young defenders around. The ex-Bayern Munich player has been nothing short of imperious alongside Neven Subotic. In his age group, there are only a handful of players on par with him, if any at all. At 1,91m (6ft 3in) he would provide the Blaugrana height and physicality at the back.
A young German international with title-winning experience, Hummels should be available at a reasonable price. In his case, a reasonable price is anything between 10 and 20 million Euro.
Young and powerful defender who would also provide height 1.87m (6ft 2in, Sakho can also operate as a left-back. At 21 years of age he already offers plenty of experience, being part of the PSG squad since 2007. In spite of his young age he has already captained PSG on numerous occasions.
The difference between La Masia kids Andreu Fontas, Marc Muniesa and Mamadou Sakho, the latter has plenty of experience playing top level football for years. Besides, he is generally perceived to be the second coming of Lilian Thuram. And Thuram was undoubtedly one of the finest defenders of the last twenty years. Unfortunately Lilian Thuram didn’t spend the best years of his career in Barcelona.
Again, Sakho should be available for around 10-15 million Euro. Not exactly cheap but Sakho can only get better.
The oldest and most expensive of the three proposed players, Thiago Silva is already one of the finest center-backs in the game. He didn’t move to Europe until he was 25 it can be argued that only benefited from the extended stay in his native Brazil. While there is an infinite pool of players who made the switch to Europe too early, his arrival was perfectly timed.
Although AC Milan will not even remotely entertain the idea of selling Thiago Silva, anything can happen in football. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, once considered unsellable in the black & blue half of Milan, was sold to FC Barcelona in 2009 only to be loaned out to Nerrazzuri’s most hated rivals, AC Milan.
An offer upwards of 25 million Euro would certainly force AC Milan’s hands, especially with the arrival of Philipe Mexes on a Bosman later this year. The Frenchman is certainly not on Silva’s level but 25 million would come in handy buying some reinforcements in Milan.
At any rate, Pep Guardiola could do no wrong if he would buy any of those three players. Carles Puyol isn’t the youngest, and even though he has retained his class he more likely to get injured due to his age.
I rather buy a long-term replacement now that be forced into a panic-buy at a later point.
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