While AC Milan is intent on holding onto their stellar centre-back Thiago Silva, a new rumour to surface in Spain suggests that the Italian club may be lured not just with money but with ‘Thiago’? Wait, what, you ask? We are talking about Barça midfielder (aka Xavi’s heir apparent) Thiago Alcantara, who is quite liked by Berlusconi’s team. You want proof? Marca quotes Ariedo Braida, managing director of Milan, with “We like Thiago, he’s a great player.” It wouldn’t be called transfer news if it didn’t have a degree of ridiculousness to it, or so it seems.
Meanwhile, Adriano Galliani, the administrative director of AC Milan, made the unfortunate decision of holidaying in Barcelona and instead of getting a much-deserved break was hounded with questions of “Are you here to sell Thiago Silva?” or “Is that Silva there in your luggage?” To which Galliani said via Com Radio,”Thiago Silva is not up for sale, and will stay at Milan next season for certain.” He added, ”It is Sunday, a non-working day, and I have no plans to meet up with the Barcelona people.” That’s a rude thing to say, if you ask us. You can’t be in the Catalan city and not meet people from Barcelona who are “Barcelona people“.
AC Milan want a fee of 50 or 40 million euros (it keeps varying), which is, we use the word again, a “ridiculous” amount to say the least. But given that Barça has earlier paid a preposterous amount for another player from a Milan club who now plays at AC Milan, we don’t rule out this miracle.
With Thiago Silva’s arrival to Catalonia looking difficult, Andoni Zubizarreta and his team are already looking elsewhere to strengthen Barça’s defence. The contenders include Javi Martinez, whose photo with Barca players in the Spain national team at a pizzeria was enough to make El Mundo Deportivo use the headline “Operation Seduction”. Seducing someone to join their club through slices of cheesy pizza? That’s a new tactic, surely.
Another Basque that could be an alternative for centre-back is Inigo Martinez. Two players from the German champions, Borussia Dortmund, Serbian Neven Subotic and German Mats Hummels, have also been followed by Barça’s scouts. Their height and good passing skills makes them possible candidates. The name of Lyon’s Dejan Lovren, a Croatian international whose style is compared to that of Gerard Pique, has also popped up on the contender list.
Who can forget Chelsea defender David Luiz, who has been tracked for sometime now. In England, Arsenal again finds its player being followed by Barça. This time, it’s the Belgian Thomas Vermaelen. His national teammate, Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen, is also under the watch. But the last we heard is that he is going to Tottenham Hotspur.
Source: Marca; El Mundo Deportivo Photo credit: LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images