With the arrival of Jeremy Mathieu earlier this week, it seemed all was fine and well and Barcelona's search for a new defender was over. No more signings and this was the squad to go with for next season. But with a (very) likely transfer window ban coming Barça's way in the upcoming months, it looks like Andoni Zubizarreta has changed his mind and decided to sign at least one more defender. And he has one name in mind.
It's Paris Saint-Germain's Marquinhos. He is a target since last summer, but Barça lost the battle when the French bought the Brazilian from AS Roma for €32 million. Unable to submit a higher bid, mainly because of the signing of Neymar, Barcelona gave up and let Marquinhos go to Paris. Now, after one year playing mostly garbage minutes in non-meaningful matches, the 20-year-old wants to move to Camp Nou, and PSG knows it.
But the rich people from France's capital made it clear that they don't plan on selling Marquinhos now, even though they have bought another Brazilian, David Luiz, to play alongside Thiago Silva. That will make Marcos sit on the bench a lot more than he might have expected. Doesn't matter to PSG. They won't sell.
Well, they might have no choice but to sell, then. The club is already facing UEFA's penalties for disrespecting Financial Fair Play. Right now, those penalties are not exactly harsh, but if PSG doesn't win the Champions League after spending big again this summer -- they bought Ángel Di María from Real Madrid --, the punishment coming their way will be harder than ever.
They're considering selling Edinson Cavani, but that seems unlikely. The next logical step would be saying goodbye to Marquinhos, since his spot on the squad is too unimportant for such an expensive signing.
That's what Barcelona counts on. And they believe strongly that they'll be able to convince PSG to sell -- they have a €40 million offer from Barça on the table. Zubi has the remaining 40 days of transfer window activities to do so.
Just in case he doesn't, the board has alternatives to Plan A in mind. According to sources, Plan B is indeed Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen, who is also a target from Manchester United. Zubi and Luis Enrique like his leadership skills -- he's the Gunners captain -- and his defending skills, too.
If none of those two work, there's Plan C and Plan D. Juan Cuadrado, the right-winger-that-Barça-insists-on-calling-right-back is always around. Plan D is Daley Blind, who impressed everyone in the World Cup, and who can play as a center-back, a left-back or a midfielder, which gives Luis Enrique the tactical alternatives he loves so much.
Those are the four options. It would be a gigantic surprise if Barça's final signing was a player out of this group.
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