Juan Cuadrado. Lukasz Piszczek. Even Kyle Walker. It seems as though every single right-back in world football has been linked with a transfer to the Camp Nou this summer and as sure as the sky is blue, another report has surfaced in the past couple of days claiming to have identified FC Barcelona’s latest defensive target. His name? Douglas, a Brazilian – of course – who plies his trade for Sao Paulo.
However, this report is different – this isn’t some tenuous link fabricated by the Spanish media, or a story plucked from thin air by the English media – this report has traction and credibility in the form of statements from Sao Paulo’s president, Carlos Miguel Aidar. Speaking at the unveiling of Sao Paulo’s latest signing, former Olympique Lyonnais winger Michel Bastos, Aidar was pressed on Douglas’ future and confirmed that there was interest in the full-back from Catalunya.
Indeed, Aidar is convinced that Barcelona has made preliminary contact with the player himself with regards to a potential transfer and with Sao Paulo ready to negotiate; the ball is in Andoni Zubizarreta’s court.
Naturally, there are obstacles, the first and foremost of which surrounds the future of Dani Alves. As we have noted on multiple occasions, Barça’s interest in procuring another full-back rests entirely upon the future of Dani Alves. It’s influenced our rather public pursuit of Juan Cuadrado, and it has hindered any move we may have been planning to make for Lukasz Piszczek, although there are question marks as to whether Alves’ future will hold similar sway with respect to this potential transfer.
At the age of 24, Douglas is by no means the finished product, even if he has considerable experience in Brazilian football and a season under the tutelage of such an iconic figure as Alves may be the most prudent approach for Luis Enrique and FC Barcelona. Given Martin Montoya’s versatility, Douglas’ arrival may not necessarily impact the Catalan’s game-time as much as some expected leaving one final, predictable, hurdle: price.
Like many others before him, Douglas isn’t actually owned by Sao Paulo; his rights have been divvied up and auctioned off to various sports investment groups in a similar arrangement to Neymar prior to his arrival – and as we saw with the Brazilian boy wonder, or as perhaps Manchester City have discovered with their signing of Eliaquim Mangala, third party ownership can certainly inflate the final price-tag of a player.
With FC Barcelona, nothing is ever concrete. Despite Aidar’s comments, Barça may not make a move for Douglas; for one reason or another, we may rule out a move entirely, or perhaps our interest and the story is a mere ploy, planted in the media to entice Fiorentina to lower their demands for Cuadrado. Whatever the case, this is a story we will continue to follow; keep an eye on our Transfer News Hub, and August Transfer Rumours Storystream for full coverage of Barça’s interest in Douglas and any developments in the Cuadrado saga.
- Do FC Barcelona Really Need Juan Cuadrado?
- Official: Gerard Deulofeu Loaned Out to Sevilla. Making Room for Cuadrado?
- Luis Suarez's Ban Upheld, Will Be Allowed to Train with Barça
- FC Barcelona News: 14 August 2014; CAS Uphold Luis Suarez Ban, Allow the Uruguay International to Train
- FC Barcelona Grades: Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Sergi Roberto, Ibrahim Afellay