Recent reports have seen FC Barcelona sign, and subsequently not sign a Brazilian central defender from Paris Saint-Germain, a Croatian midfielder from Sevilla FC and a Chilean goalkeeper from Real Sociedad. Certainly, while there’s a lot of "noise" surrounding the club’s transfer activity, on an official front, not much is happening at the moment in Catalunya. Marc-André ter Stegen has been signed, as has Alen Halilovic, while there have been a few notable departures – but as of late, it’s gone quiet.
Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that FC Barcelona are yet to sign a central defender, despite the links to Marquinhos. Consequently, we must endure some more transfer rumours – the latest of which sees FC Barcelona linked with a swoop for another Croatian international: Southamption defender, Dejan Lovren.
The talented young centre-back has been linked to Barcelona before; two years into his three year stint with Olympique Lyonnias, Lovren was reportedly being scouted by the Catalans, only for the Blaugrana to lose interest following the departure of head coach, Pep Guardiola. As a result, Lovren stayed in France for another season before leaving for the Premier League and the South Coast of England.
His debut season in England has been an impressive one: Lovren established himself as a key member of a disciplined Southampton defense under the guidance of former Espanyol manager, Mauricio Pochettino and now that Pochettino is gone, the links have resurfaced.
Somewhat outspoken and ill-tempered, Lovren does possess talent and is technically gifted, yet there are question marks over his suitability to slot into the Barcelona defense. Is he an upgrade on Marc Bartra for instance? Probably not – so ultimately, what’s the point?
Barcelona need defensive reinforcements, that much is obvious. However, for a club of this calibre, Zubizarreta, Bartomeu and Lucho cannot afford to settle; with the greatest of respect to Lovren, Barcelona cannot afford to embrace mediocrity.