Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona continues pursuit of Silva; Götze introduced at Bayern; and more

ThiagoSilva1-JapanConfederationsCup (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

With Barcelona looking for defensive upgrades, the recent performances of Thiago Silva for Brazil at the Confederations Cup have made up the club’s mind on who to go after.

Though the 28-year-old signed a big money, €42 million ($54.4 million) transfer last season to Paris Saint-Germain, he’s reportedly being chased by Barcelona, who need to beef up their defense as Carles Puyol and continues to age and slow down, while Gerard Pique had a few poor performances this season in key matches.

According to reports in Spain, Silva would cost upwards of €32 million ($41.4 million) for Barcelona to sign, forcing the Spanish club to sell off current first-team players David Villa and Thiago to bring in enough money to finance the transfer. The club spent €57 million ($74 million) earlier this summer to sign Neymar.

Though Silva’s agent Paulo Tonietto said he hasn’t met with any Barcelona representatives, Tonietto is quoted as saying that if Barcelona go public with there interest, it would be hard for Silva to say no to a move to the Camp Nou.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:

GÖTZE INTRODUCED AT BAYERN MUNICH

With the first pre-season under Pep Guardiola underway, Bayern Munich took time out on Tuesday to formally introduce Mario Götze to the assembled press.

Götze, just 21-years old, reportedly signed a three-year contract with Bayern after making a shock move from twice successive title winners Borussia Dortmund. In speaking to the press, the Bavarian native said that he thought it was the right move in his career to come and play for Bayern.

“One reason (I left BVB) was that I wanted to develop myself and I wanted to do that at Bayern,” Götze told Bundesliga.com. “In a footballing sense, this is the right decision for me. I’m now at the best club in the world and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Though the team’s pre-season plan is underway, the German international midfielder is still slowly recovering from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the UEFA Champions League final. In his final season at Dortmund, Götze scored 16 goals in 44 matches in all competitions.

CHELSEA TURNS TO ROONEY OR LEWANDOWSKI

Paris Saint-Germain seems quite enamored with Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani, leaving new Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho to turn his sights elsewhere.

The Portuguese manager has been looking to upgrade his strike core this summer, and according to reports in England, Chelsea is considering making bids for Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney and Borussia Dortmund front-man Robert Lewandowski.

Rooney is set for showdown talks this week with new manager David Moyes, while Lewandowski has been thought to be on his way out of Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund for quite some time, though it’s unknown whether he will head to Bayern Munich or a team in the Premier League this season.

The reports also state that the incredibly high wage numbers for both players won’t post a problem for Chelsea.

QUICK KICKS

Real Madrid have announced that Isco will wear the number 23 shirt next season. (REPORT)

Chelsea have begun negotiations with Dutch rising star Marco Van Ginkel and his club Vitesse to bring the 20-year-old to London this summer. (REPORT)

Swansea City are closing in on a deal to sign Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey in the next few days. (REPORT)

Malaga midfielder Jeremy Toulalan is very close to a €5 million ($6.5 million) move to AS Monaco. (REPORT)

Roberto Martinez has said he will “fight” to keep Leighton Baines at Everton. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you believe Silva is a good fit at Barcelona? Where do you see Götze playing in Bayern’s stacked midfield? Do you see Rooney moving to Chelsea?

Share your thoughts below.

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28 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona continues pursuit of Silva; Götze introduced at Bayern; and more

  1. Mig says:

    The silly season is in full swing now. As the talent concentrates even more at the top ten teams in Europe, I can’t help but think it mirrors the inequality concerns of the general societies of the western world. The top 1% have a lot. I make no social statement about the good or bad of this, I just think it’s interesting that that outside of Bayern and Dortmund, the Manchesters, Chelsea, Barca, Real Madrid, PSG, Juventus, and maybe the Milans. There is a nearly zero probability (<1%) of another team making the CL final this year.

    • slowleftarm says:

      There are plenty of political websites for these types of discussions.

    • MLSsnob says:

      Yeah leave the science fiction to science fiction writers and the real science to the priests.

    • THomas says:

      You realize Malaga was about two minutes away from going to the semi-finals last year right?

      • Ben says:

        And some poor person is always one lotto ticket away from the 1 percent.

      • RK says:

        Malaga, who was bought by oil money and then couldn’t pay their players, so they were kicked out of Europe this season.

      • Mig says:

        Thomas, fair point and I do realize that. However, I did say “reach the Final” and I did say the coming year. To reach the final they would have had to win another match which would have been unlikely given the choices of opponent at that point.

      • Madaoua05 says:

        Ives — your readership would be most appreciative if you were to devote a paragraph or two to the implications of the upcoming Financial Fair Play rules. They nominally seem like a great way to bring back parity to European football, but it doesn’t seem like teams are even taking a second glance at their bottom lines. Ergo, do these rules even matter?

        Please edumucate us!

    • Lost in Space says:

      In sports (european soccer in particular) there is always the chance for an upstart to beat the favorite. Once you get to the knockout rounds of CL, Europa, WC, etc…if a team gets hot they have a good chance to advance.
      You can look at the USMNT in the 09 Confed cup or the Wigan who won the English Cup compitition last year as prime examples.

      • Mig says:

        Granted that there is always a chance but I think it’s fair to say that the trend in Euro soccer is towards the favorites making the final and it is HIGHLY unlikely that a wild card side makes it.

        Cheers,

    • Gnarls says:

      MLS offers a counterpoint to this. If every league had a salary cap, we wouldn’t see the economic disparity (or the uber rich man-children we see in the EPL).

    • Adam M. says:

      So you think at least 11 teams in Europe have a shot at the ultimate final in that part of the world? That’s pretty good actually. I don’t think 11 teams in the similarly-sized US/southern Canada region have a shot at the Super Bowl or World Series or Stanley Cup or NBA championship. Its also true that there aren’t 80-100 NFL teams, of course, but there is a good and bad to that also.

  2. MLSsnob says:

    I here Altidore is available on the cheap, well comparatively anyway.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Kloppo should sell Lewandowski to Chelsea for $$$$ and then bring in Jozy on the cheap. Could profit something like $30M.

      • Borussia DortMan says:

        Yes, I would like this very much. Jozy would learn a lot from Klopp and Reus is better than Zusi and Donovan combined. Fans would adore Jozy more than Boyd, our last American.

  3. SanFran415 says:

    Barcelona gets what Barcelona wants.

    • JS says:

      Unless they desperately need the cash to finance some forward (or other) purchases (which I doubt), why would PSG ever agree to sell Silva for €32 million when they paid €42 just ~12 months ago (I am assuming his release clause is not that low)? I never watched PSG play last year but I strongly suspect that he was not so terrible that they are willing to unload him … which would be the equivalent of a €20+ million (€10 million difference plus another €7.5 million in salary plus his income/payroll taxes) one-year lease.

    • Steevens says:

      Only if Barcelona pays what PSG wants.

      Reportedly Barca have only offered €32, but PSG paid €42 just last year. Really PSG should accept nothing less than €42

      • beto says:

        Silva might be one of the best CB’s around these days.. and a lot of teams need top notch CB’s most notably Barca. so ya i could see this going out of control..

      • Eurosnob says:

        Barcelona is unlikely to pay €42 to PSG. The official reason for Barca’s not signing Silva last year was that PSG overpaid so it is unlikely that Barca would agree to the same transfer fee amount now. They will argue that the player is one year older and has one year less on his contract so the transfer amount should be reduced accordingly.

  4. Frank says:

    Goetze’s introduction was not well received by Bayern’s minority owner and long-time sponsor adidas as he wore a Nike shirt (his personal sponsor).

    • biff says:

      yeah, big story in Germany and hard to believe that sweet little alter boy Mario (who signs a contract with FC Bayern days before a key Champions League semi-final game for Dortmund) did not know exactly what he was doing. No doubt FC Bayern is angrier than heck. I read that Ronaldo did something similar when he was introduced at Madrid. But what makes Gotze’s worse is that he is photographed wearing his Nike t-shirt while holding up the Adidas FC Bayern jersey with his name and number on it. Mario Gotze showing his true colors.

  5. RK says:

    Good move for Barca; they don’t need Alcantara, who ManU wants, and it is time for Villa to go.

    • Dinho says:

      I actually think they need Tiago. Xavi is not getting any younger and Cesc may not stay around and wait for playing time. Just thinking out loud here.

      • louis z says:

        I concur.

      • Eurosnob says:

        Thiago is a big talent and it would be foolish for Barca to let him go. And, if Tiago is smart, he will not go to ManUtd. There’s no need to repeat Kagawa’s mistake.

  6. The Silva soap opera continues and I am getting fed up with it. As a Barcelona fan I am disappointed the team has let the defense problem continue for two years in a row. Hello! Is anybody there aware that Puyol, as great as he has been, is near the end of his career and that a high quality replacement was needed at least a year ago? Silva will not go to Barcelona now and even the second and third choice players seem distant possibilities.

    Rosell and Zubi: wake up and get someone as soon as you resolve the Tito replacement issues!

    If you have a chance, check out my new website: http://neymarjr.info. I have just added the Barcelona vs Real Madrid 5-0 match when Puyol manhandled Cristiano and company.

    Cheers!