A few years ago, I made the mistake of thinking that I knew the meaning of the word "desperation", but as FC Barcelona’s maddening search for a new central defender enters its umpteenth season, I think today might go down as the day that I finally realised my naivety. Desperation isn’t simply a sense of despair; it’s a state of mind that promotes delirium and insanity – clinging at false hope and believing the latest rumour doing the rounds courtesy of our friends at Radio Marca for example.
Forget lost trophies and a number of high profile defeats, perhaps the real cost of Barça’s never-ending search for a centre-half is that collectively, Culés are now clutching at straws, hoping that Marca have finally become a credible source of information? Because after all this time and all this suffering, what Culé wouldn’t want to believe in a happy ending?
In case you missed it, Radio Marca started all this excitement a couple of days ago, "breaking" the news that FC Barcelona will announce another central defensive signing on Thursday, teasing that the name would "shock the world". Indeed, their reveal of that defensive target today has prompted a lot of chatter on social media – the Culé world is abuzz with the rumour that Jerome Boateng might be moving to the Camp Nou.
There have been no prior links; heck, Boateng’s name hasn’t even entered the conversation and with good reason. He’s just won the FIFA World Cup, he starts for arguably the best club team in the world, Bayern Munich and he is probably coached by the world’s best manager in Pep Guardiola. Boateng’s contract doesn’t expire until 2018 and we’ve established long ago that Bayern have no real need for money. This seems like a dead-end, so can we just write off Radio Marca’s rumour as mere speculation?
Holger Badstuber recently made his long-awaited return from injury in Bayern’s preseason tour in the USA and prior to his injuries, Badstuber was an undisputed starter in Bavaria. Meanwhile, Javi Martinez is expected to play a more prominent role in the centre of defense as Guardiola continues to stamp his influence on the Bundesliga champions, and as such, Boateng’s position isn’t as secure as it once was.
With rumours continuing to link Guardiola with a move for another reported Barça target, Mehdi Benatia, Radio Marca are suggesting that as the most valuable asset in the Bayern defense, Boateng may therefore be the most expendable. Culés, don’t hold your breath, but we’ll certainly keep an eye on this rumour as and when it develops.
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