CESENA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 19: Thiago Silva of AC Milan during the Serie A match between AC Cesena and AC Milan at Dino Manuzzi Stadium on February 19, 2012 in Cesena, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
I thought as the season nears it's conclusion maybe the tension of Barça competing for three major tournaments may just be too much for you. So think of this as a piece of light hearted relief. I'm going to be having a look at the names swirling around the rumour mill and clarify which ones in my opinion are more then just speculation.
IN: Thiago Silva - Milan
For me this is a dead cert'. Barcelona are lacking in defensive options and this has been proven by midfielder-turn-defender Javier Mascherano. The ex-Liverpool man has of course done a more then adequate job in the heart of the defence but my worry is if either Carles Puyol or Gerard Piqué are ruled out, we are left with little options. That is why Thiago Silva seems to be a perfect signing.
The 27 year old has made it no secret that he would be interested in a switch from the Rossoneri to the Catalans. A chance to impress would've been the recently past Champions League clashes but Silva was ruled out after aggregating an injury the game before. Make no mistake though the Brazilian has already caught Pep Guardiola's attention, scoring a late equaliser at the Camp Nou earlier this season reportedly caused Pep to inform club president Sandro Rosell that if he is to sign on then Thiago Silva must be on top of the transfer list.
OUT: David Villa
Late last year there were reports that David Villa, frustrated with his new left wing role, was looking for a transfer in the summer. Two English clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool, were quick to throw their hat into the ring. Kenny Dalglish looking to atone for the £35 million mistake that was Andy Carroll while the London club were willing to trade out of form striker Fernando Torres for Villa's services.
But after Villa broke his Tibia during the Clubs World Cup in December, ruling him out for the rest of the season, any deal quickly turned sour. It remains to be seen whether Guardiola would have allowed the all time top Spanish scorer to leave especially as Barcelona have been lacking the width that Villa provides.
Villa himself made no comment over his future instead choosing to focus on his recovery. For now he seems happy at Barça but could become more frustrated with his new role to accommodate Leo Messi taking centre stage. Which may persuade him to leave the Catalan club in the future.
IN: Jordi Alba - Valencia
Like Thiago Silva I think this deal is sure to happen in the summer. Alba has been very impressive at Valencia this season, proven in his magnificent display against AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League.
Being 23, Alba would seem the perfect successor to Erić Abidal. Looking at his style of play it would seem the left back/ left midfielder would fit into the Barça squad. Similar to Dani Alves, Alba loves to attack and is quite happy to push up if he sees the opportunity.
He also has chemistry with most of the core players at Barcelona. Having been part of the Spain squad, Alba is no stranger to players such as Iniesta, Xavi and Fàbregas. Therefore allowing a smooth transition into the Catalan club.
Pep has also spoke of his admiration for Jordi so expect to see the 23 year old follow the same path David Villa tread at the start of the 2010-11 season.
OUT: Pedro Rodríguez
Joining the Barcelona first team in 2008, Pedro earned himself a spot in the starting eleven and continued to perform well under Guardiola. Despite not being the biggest star of the squad Pedro earned Guardiola's trust and the manager was rewarded with Pedro scoring the opening goal in the 2011 UEFA Champions League final.
But Pedro's form has been hit-and-miss during the 2011-12 season. Halted by injury the 24 year old has found starting spots a rarity. Especially with the arrival of Alexis Sánchez and the emergence of Isaac Cuenca and Cristian Tello. A fact that must frustrate the Spaniard.
There would be a number of clubs interested in Pedro were he to decide to leave. English clubs such as Liverpool and Arsenal have expressed an interest while there has also been enquiries from around the continent.
Personally I don't think Pedro will leave in the near future. He seems relatively happy with Barça and has extended his contract to 2016, raising his buy-out clause from €90 million to €150 million during the process.
IN: Robin Van Persie - Arsenal
There is no denying, the Dutchman is in prolific form. Leading the Premier League Top Scorers table, Van Persie has singlehandedly saved Arsenal's season. Of course form like this is guaranteed to turn a few heads and there has been more then one club linked with the striker.
Both Real Madrid and Barcelona have been mentioned while Manchester City have also thrown their hat in the ring. For me I can't see Robin moving to Barça, no matter how much Cesc would like it.
His style does not fit with the current ethos at the club. Van Persie is the centre forward, the one at the spearhead of the attack, the one who you hit the ball to and hope but that style is discouraged at the Catalan club. Besides we already have our deadly finisher in Leo.
Guardiola himself has said he has no intentions of signing the 28 year old, plus the Arsenal star is bound to come with a hefty price tag. Of which Barcelona would not want to fork out unless Guardiola saw the player as essential.
Those are just a few of the big names tossed in Barcelona's direction, both in English and Spanish newspapers. Comment below if you think any other players will be making the summer switch to Barça.
Who would you most like to see join Barcelona?
Thiago Silva (98 votes)
Jordi Alba (99 votes)
Robin Van Persie (20 votes)
217 total votes