Barcelona Transfer Rumours: 10 Bold Predictions for the Blaugrana's Offseason

Luis HerreraAnalyst IApril 27, 2011

Barcelona Transfer Rumours: 10 Bold Predictions for the Blaugrana's Offseason

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    BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 23:  David Villa (2nd R) of Barcelona celebrates scoring his sides opening goal with his teammates during the la Liga match between Barcelona and Osasuna at the Camp Nou stadium on April 23, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Ja
    Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

    In recent weeks, Barcelona’s lack of depth in certain positions has become clear, threatening to derail the fantastic season the Blaugrana club has had so far.

    The Catalan side will surely be a very active participant in the upcoming transfer market and we already can figure a few movements they will probably do.

    Let’s take a look at the Blaugrana’s offseason.

1. Cesc Fabregas Won't Arrive

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    BLACKPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 10: Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Blackpool and Arsenal at Bloomfield Road on April 10, 2011 in Blackpool, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
    Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    Cesc Fabregas has been linked to Barcelona for years, but Arsenal’s coach Arsene Wenger has made clear that the Spanish midfielder is one of the cornerstones for the Gunners.

    After one more season without titles, I doubt Arsenal will be willing to let go their biggest star.

2. There Will Be More Signings Than Youngsters Promoted

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    In the past years, there has been a comparison between Barcelona and Real Madrid’s transfer policy: “cantera vs cartera” (Spanish for “youth squad vs wallet”).

    Los Culés have trusted their youngsters to cover the first squad absences and it has worked well, with the appearance of players like Pedro Rodriguez.

    However, this season Barcelona has struggled with its depth, constantly using players out of their regular positions to cover injuries or bans.

    Barcelona B has done great in the Second Division, but I don’t see many of its players having much playing time with the first team next season.

    We can expect at least five or six “middle-class” signings to reinforce the Blaugrana’s bench.

3. ...but Thiago Will Be a Starter at the End of the Season

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    A CORUNA, SPAIN - JANUARY 08: Thiago Alcantara of Barcelona in action during the La Liga match between Deportivo La Coruna and Barcelona at Riazor Stadium on January 8, 2011 in La Coruna, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
    Angel Martinez/Getty Images

    Thiago Alcantara will be promoted full-time to the A-squad this June. I think he will be a regular in the starting XI by the next June.

    The son of Mazinho is a special player and many see him as Xavi Hernandez’s heir apparent, although he plays a bit forward.

    Thiago is stronger than what his small frame would suggest, has great passing and good shooting. He has been outstanding with Barcelona B and should be a success with the first squad.

4. A Central Defender (or Two) Will Be the Priority

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    AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - AUGUST 25:  Jan Vertonghen of AFC Ajax in action during the Champions League Play-off match between AFC Ajax and FC Dynamo Kiev at Amsterdam Arena on August 25, 2010 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Im
    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Most than any other position, Barcelona needs to sign a central defender.

    Every time Carles Puyol got injured Pep Guardiola had to move a player from another position to cover his absence. Gabriel Milito will depart in the summer and Marc Fontás doesn’t look ready to be the third central defender in the rotation.

    Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen, Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross and AZ’s Hector Moreno would be nice young options who could take Puyol’s spot in one or two seasons.

5. Bojan Krkic Will Leave

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    MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 16: Bojan Krkic of Barcelona waits in the substitutes bench before the start of  the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 16, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    After four seasons with the first team, Bojan has been unable to consolidate as an important piece of Pep Guardiola’s scheme.

    Most of his appearances have been as back-up and, although he has some important goals in his career, he is still not what Barcelona expects him to become.

    The team is high on him, so I see him going on loan to a minor team where he can be an indisputable starter and return in 2012 to take a bigger role in the Blaugrana’s attack.

6. Barça Will Look for a Striker

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    NAPLES, ITALY - APRIL 03:  Edinson Cavani of Napoli  celebrates after scoring the goal 2-2 during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and SS Lazio at Stadio San Paolo on April 3, 2011 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
    Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

    Even if Bojan stays, Barcelona needs more depth in the attack.

    Edison Cavani has had a great season with Napoli and will surely be a top target in the transfer market.

    Javier Pastore is another good option. Funny thing, both are owned by Palermo.

7. Jonathan Dos Santos Will Leave Too

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    SEVILLE, SPAIN - AUGUST 14: Jonathan Dos Santos of Barcelona during the Supercopa, first leg, match between Sevilla and Barcelona at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium  on August 14, 2010 in Seville, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Three years ago, Giovani Dos Santos had a lot of activity in his rookie season with Barcelona, but he decided to leave for fear of losing playing time. He ended watching most Tottenham games from the crowd.

    His little brother is also a bit impatient. Jonathan Dos Santos made a big soap opera after being left out of the Mexican National Squad for the World Cup in the last cut (he has yet to return to El Tri) and has had to settle for Barcelona B in the past two seasons, with a few callings to the first team.

    I think Jonathan will follow his brother’s steps and look for more opportunities elsewhere. Let’s hope he picks the right team.

8. Guardiola's Heir Will Arrive to Barça B

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    MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 26: Head coach of Barcelona Josep Guardiola answers a question during a press conference at Real Madrid's Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, ahead of Barcelona's UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg match against Real Madrid, on April
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    There have already been many rumours about Pep Guardiola’s departure from Barcelona.

    I think he will stay for the next season, but that will be the last.

    Guardiola’s heir apparent was Luis Enrique, currently at charge of Barcelona B, but he already announced his departure after the end of the season and has been linked to many First Division sides.

    Anyway, after the success Guardiola had with the first team after being at charge of the B squad, the board is willing to repeat the formula.

    The next Barcelona coach will get a year in the organization to prepare for the job.

9. Gareth Bale Could Become "the Left-Footed Alves"

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20:  Gareth Bale of Spurs in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on April 20, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Even before Eric Abidal’s absence, I felt Barcelona’s weakest link was the left back spot.

    Don’t get me wrong: Abidal is very good, but I don’t see him in the same league of Dani Alves.

    Barcelona could have a left-footed version of the Brazilian star by signing the Tottenham’s wing-back, who will definitely be one of the most coveted targets in this transfer market.

10. There Will Be at Least One Bidding War with Real Madrid

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    VALENCIA, BARCELONA - APRIL 20:  Daniel Alves (L) of Barcelona and Angel Di Maria of Real Madrid competes for the ball during the Copa del Rey final match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Mestalla on April 20, 2011 in Valencia, Spain. Real Mad
    Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

    I know, this is not even a bold prediction.

    Last season Barcelona beat their rivals in the fight for David Villa and both teams will probably compete for the services of one star.

    Even if they don’t actually go for the same player, our friends in Diario Marca and Sport will make sure we believe they are trying to steal one gem from the rivals hands.

So, What Do You Think?

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    VALENCIA, SPAIN - APRIL 20:  FC Barcelona are seen after  being defeated  at the end of the Copa del Rey Final between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Mestalla on April 20, 2011 in Valencia, Spain. Real Madrid won 1-0.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Im
    David Ramos/Getty Images

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    Also read:

    - La Liga Title Race: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid Head-to-Head Analysis