Latest Transfer Rumours and Odds from Barcelona
The talk in European football is all about the transfer window at present, and this year it has been even crazier than usual in the wake of Neymar’s record breaking move to Paris St Germain last month.
Of course, the move means that Barca has a huge pile of Euros burning a hole in its pocket, and an equally large Neymar-shaped hole in its starting line up. As the season gets underway and the transfer window begins to swing closed, who is the Spanish team eyeing up? Let’s take a look.
The recent announcement that Barca have closed the deal on Brazilian midfielder Paulinho has galvanised opinion one way or another among fans. Some think Barca were barking to stump up the €40 million buyout clause to release him from his contract with Guangzhou Evergrande after his indifferent time at Tottenham between 2013 and 2015.
Others, however, point out that the midfielder has stood out as one of the top players in an admittedly limited league.
Whichever way you look at it, €40 million is relatively small money in the wake of the Neymar deal. So who is likely to join Paulinho at Barcelona for the season ahead?
The view from the betting sites
In this age of online wagers, the comings and goings of the transfer period attract almost as many bets as the games themselves, and this has certainly been the case this season. A look through the various betting sites 2017 brings us shows a distinct theme when it comes to Barcelona – and that is that Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho looks increasingly likely to be wearing a Barcelona shirt in the nearest future.
Bookmakers are now offering just 8-11 on him completing the transfer, with evens on him remaining at Anfield for another season.
The attention has shifted quickly towards Coutinho after it seemed all but certain that French striker Ousmane Dembélé would be joining from Borussia Dortmund. Some journalists even went so far as to say that he had been seen quite literally packing his bags for the move. However, just hours later, Sky Sports reported that Barca had pulled back, following the refusal of their “last and final” offer of €100 million.
Away from all the drama, other players that are being seriously considered by Barcelona include PSG’s Angel di Maria, Southampton right back Cedric Soares or, as an outside shot, Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen.
The game within a game
With all the distraction of the game within a game that is the transfer window, it is easy to forget that La Liga is already underway. Barcelona needs to hit the ground running to stake a genuine challenge against Real Madrid, and proving they can spend the Neymar funds wisely is key to that.
Never has the transfer window presented such tantalising prospects for the season ahead. It is no exaggeration to say that both sports fans and betting enthusiasts will be watching La Liga with more interest than ever over the coming months.