Coutinho quiere jugar en el Barça

Careful with the fax machine

OPINION

@SPORT_Lmascaro

On 31 August 2015, Madrid were involved in one the biggest farces in modern football history. They were unable to sign David De Gea at the last minute because they sent the paperwork to La Liga too later – the fax machine wasn’t working. Two years later the goalkeeper is still at Manchester United. Remember this story as an extreme example of bad planning, and the dangers of last minute deals. Because right now, Barça are involved in a similar race against time. The improvisation we used to laugh at in Florentino Pérez’s Real Madrid is now Barça’s modus operandi. The arrivals of Coutinho, Di Maria and Lemar, and the departures of Arda Turan, André Gomes and Douglas, could all be finalised in the dying moments of the transfer window. Or not. Because that’s the risk you run doing deals at the last minute. Ask Real Madrid…

Barça are still negotiating for important reinforcements with time running out: Coutinho remains the priority but names like Lemar and Dybala are now being mentioned. Although this could be as a ‘distraction’. These are players Valverde needs to improve the team and that Messi ‘is demanding’ so he can feel happy on the pitch again. Barça were slow to react to Neymar’s departure but the truth is signings were needed even when the Brazilian was here. And Barça have not made them. And now they’re rushing, like a desperate student cramming the night before an exam. We’ve all been there but it’s rarely a good idea in the long term. Especially not when it’s Barça’s future in play, not a good or bad mark. But let’s hope that Barça have checked their fax machines. We don’t want them to break down at the worst possible moment…

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