Barça’s summer has reached such a state of confusion that when Robert Fernández says “my idea is that one or two more reinforcements will arrive” no one knows if it’s just his idea, Valverde’s idea as well, if Pep Segura thinks the same or if they all share the same idea. The Seri example is just one example of the confusion at the club. Now, the club thinks a deal for Coutinho this week is likely but that a deal for Di Maria will be much more complicated. And it’s not clear why Barça are going to so much trouble.
It’s true that the Argentinian is experienced but his career has gone downhill since leaving Real Madrid. He failed at Manchester United and, despite being in PSG’s first team, he hasn’t been a success there. And while some fans baulk at the thought of bringing in an ex-Madrid player and negotiating with a club that has made Barça look ridiculous this summer – for me these are minor issues – I still don’t know what Di Maria can add to a squad containing Dembélé, supposedly Coutinho, Deulofeu and even Denis Suárez.
Valverde is worried about the loss of attacking threat and penetration following Neymar’s departure. And the two games without Luis Suárez will have added to his concerns, but what does Di Maria offer that Dembélé and Coutinho don’t. In fact, signing a centre back would make more sense and Valverde asked for Iñigo Martínez and it’s not clear why the transfer broke down. If the rumour is true that the club’s decision is based on a Barça player’s insistence, it’s incredible that the club is taking orders from a player.
The issue is that Marlon, the fourth centre back, is already in Nice and Valverde wanted to get rid of Vermaelen, who now looks likely to stay, at the start of the summer. Heaven help us if Umtiti or Piqué suffer a bad injury.
In any case, we just have to wait for the window to shut and hope that when it does Barça have the most competitive squad possible. And that the club then thinks about what’s happened this summer. Because it looks like a joke from the outside.