Having missed out on the signing of rumored defensive target David Luiz to Paris Saint-Germain, rumors are increasing that Barcelona could instead turn to the French club’s Brazilian youngster Marquinhos in a deal supposedly worth €20million and full-back Dani Alves, whose contract expires next year.
Following the purchase of Luiz from Chelsea, the 20-year-old has found himself pushed further down the pecking order at the club he signed for last summer for around €30million. Looking to impose himself on the international stage, it is difficult to imagine it being beneficial for his chances of breaking into the Brazil setup, for whom he has made one appearance if he was stuck behind his two main rivals for the center-half position.
PSG, too, need to find some sort of revenue having splashed out such an inflated sum for Luiz, rumored to be around the £40million mark. Already sanctioned by FIFA’s new Financial Fair Play rules, the club cannot afford to continue spending money in the manner which allowed superstars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani to the club in recent years. A profit, plus the potential addition of a right-back, one of the team’s main areas of weakness, would represent good business from a side looking to break into Europe’s elite; a limit on Champions League squad size will severely impair their ability to achieve this ambition in the coming season.
Barcelona find themselves short in defense following the retirement of Carles Puyol and the arguable decline of Gerard Pique, and face a race against time to strengthen their side with a postponed transfer embargo looming in the not-so-distant future.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has been signed to replace goalkeeper Victor Valdes, and Roma’s exceptional Moroccan defender Medhi Benatia is supposedly also on their radar. Alves would be a significant loss for the Catalans, but at 31, his value is only likely to decrease over the coming seasons, and a younger replacement may be sought. Having missed out on any meaningful silverware over the previous season, new coach Luis Enrique is under pressure to deliver long-term success.
Should the deal go through, it would arguably be a success for all parties involved. The defender himself would have a greater chance of first-team football, Barcelona would strengthen an area of weakness and PSG would somewhat appease the watchful eye of Blatter & co. at FIFA. Marquinhos has been quoted as saying “If Barca are so interested in me, this is something that makes me very satisfied” and described feeling “flattered” at their interest, but with his contract running until the summer of 2018, the deal is far from complete.