LONDON ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16: Lionel Messi of Barcelona is challenged by Alex Song of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Arsenal and Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium on February 16 2011 in London England. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
According to reports that originated in Diario Sport, Barcelona are looking to bolster their midfield ranks with a move for Arsenal star Alexandre Song. The reports have been relayed across the world via the likes of ESPN, and if a deal were to be concluded, it would likely cost the Blaugrana €12-20 million. On paper, the move makes sense. Song is a versatile player and could easily fill in as a midfield anchorman or as a makeshift centre-half. He’s a powerful player, but is also good with the ball and in Cesc Fàbregas’ absence last season he chipped in with 14 assists – an impressive figure for a holding midfielder.
However, like virtually all reports in the newspapers at this time of the year, the article comes with no concrete sources. There are mentions of Tito Vilanova, Andoni Zubizarreta and a list of potential targets which seems to have been obtained from the club’s technical secretary, but the chances of such a list being leaked to a tabloid is slim to none at very best. Furthermore, this is from the same paper that suggested Daniel Agger was to sign for Barcelona "within hours" back on the 30th of July, the same paper that claims Neymar is to sign for the club this summer, and the very same paper that in two separate reports has published two separate dates for the length of Alex Song’s contract.
The rumours gained momentum after Sergio Busquets was asked about Song during a press conference yesterday. His answer, which was roughly two sentences of a fairly lengthy session, apparently "confirm" the rumours, at least according to some. That being said, Alex Song has been negotiating a new contract with Arsenal for the best part of six months, and a convenient story linking him with a move to Barcelona would certainly give him leverage in any further talks.
Factor into this that the very same paper ran a story yesterday morning that Barcelona are weighing up a move for Jeremy Toulalan, purely because the club are looking for an inexpensive replacement for Keita, I think we can chalk this one down to silly season nonsense.