Transfer Deadline Day -- the one day per year when real football takes a back-seat, replaced by speculation and baseless rumours. Would you believe that this chaos actually passes as entertainment in some countries? Thankfully, the financial difficulties that plagues the majority of La Liga ensure that most clubs do their business well in advance of the deadline -- with FC Barcelona famous for their lack of last-minute dealings. While there are often a few departures, often on loan, Barca haven't made a deadline day move in, well, forever. Or at least that's what it feels like -- bonus points if anyone can give me an example of Barcelona signing a player on deadline day in the comments section below.
All the most recent comments from the club seem to suggest that this season will be no different -- but you never quite know for sure in football. What if Thiago Silva was bizarrely transfer-listed for example? There's always that minute chance that someone might become available...
Barcelona searched for weeks and months for a new central defender, with Liverpool centre-half Daniel Agger reportedly attracting their interest after the club's failed pursuits of Thiago Silva and David Luiz. However, Barcelona predictably baulked at Brendan Rodger's asking price, with the player reaffirming his commitment to his current club. It seemed as though this deal was dead -- although after Liverpool moved for both Mamadou Sakho and Tiago llori, it's likely that we might see one or two rumours of a Camp Nou switch for Agger throughout the day.
Similarly, this rumour just won't die either. Forget that Chelsea do not want to sell, and that Luiz isn't going to force a move. Also forget that Barca called off their search for a centre-back earlier this summer -- because Luiz is in Barcelona shooting a commercial. Maybe he'll wrap up filming and pop over to the Camp Nou afterwards?
Real Madrid captain and bench-warmer, Iker Casillas is a versatile player -- and according to some reports, he's looking to broaden his horizons and maybe try his hand at playing at domestic level again. Thanks to his rocky relationship with Real President, Florentino Perez, Casillas is unlikely to be granted much game-time at the Bernabeu -- so why not link the Spanish captain with a move to FC Barcelona, were he would probably play second-fiddle to an in-form Victor Valdes? Crazy transfer rumours are the best!
Just like Casillas, Mata is an excellent player who just can't buy a starting place with his club, and given that it's a World Cup year, Mata has therefore been linked with a move to just about anyone. Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Manchester United; why not Barcelona as well?
Not much is known about this mysterious player -- with reports suggesting that he/she/it would be available on a free transfer, which is sure to appeal to frugal Barca president Sandro Rosell. I'd put money on this deal going through.
All joking aside, there may actually be some action on Deadline Day after all, as a couple of fringe players may depart on a temporary basis to gain some more first-team experience. Isaac Cuenca is one of those players -- and while the Catalan is currently sidelined, there were whispers that newly-promoted Cardiff City might be interested in securing his services. If true, expect interest from some lower-level La Liga clubs -- and given Barca's strength in attack, a loan move might not be such a bad idea after all.
Afellay is also sidelined through injury, making a January departure much more likely -- but you never know, Afellay might leave on deadline day for the second season in succession. Last season, Schalke was his destination but his spell at the club was predictably plagued by injuries -- I'd be surprised if he found a move away at this late stage of the window.
Manchester United have tried (and failed) to sign Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas from us this summer -- and if they're really plotting a €30+ million bid for a non-international in Ander Herrera, can you imagine what they might be willing to pay for an established, former Premier League star in Alex Song?
Every year there's always one manager who's utterly hilarious and answers a reporter's question on possible signings with Lionel Messi. After all, the joke was so funny the first time, that they just can't help themselves. Expect to see or hear of Messi sightings in weird places like Accrington.
French newspaper Le10Sport started a rather odd rumour that Paris Saint-Germain were preparing a €40 million bid for Pedro last week -- a rumour that was denied by just about everyone with credibility. But maybe these things take a really long time, and that ridiculous bid will be lodged today?
When David Moyes' bid for Ander Herrera falls through, and when he surely fails in a move for Marouane Fellaini, I wouldn't be surprised to hear of a "last-minute" bid for Cesc Fabregas. I mean Fabregas isn't getting enough game-time at the Camp Nou is he, especially with Neymar in the starting line-up?