Saturday, July 28, 2012

(Aborted?) $40 Million Transfers

Barça evidently doesn't want to spend $40 million on Javier Martínez, which seems like a wise decision. I'm assuming they see him as a guy who can swing between center back and defensive midfielder, but they already have a guy like that who is among the best in the world at both (Mascherano), so, given the youth of Piqué, Mascherano, and Busquets, it's essentially $40 million for a guy who will be a second-best utility option. I don't want to be unfair to Martínez, who's a great and versatile player, and you can make the case that last year show's that Barça could stand to spend a lot more on back line depth, but that's a lot of money.

Also, evidently Real is easing their way toward Tottenham's $40 million asking price for Luka Modric. I'm sure Mourinho has a plan for him, but as with Martínez, it'll be interesting to see where they play him as well. It seems like he could replace Ozil, Alonso, or Khedira, though in the latter two cases the formation would have to change a bit, as his skills don't match up. But it's hard to imagine a first-team Real squad that doesn't have Ozil, Alonso, and Khedira anchoring the midfield. Modric could play wide, or I guess they could experiment with Ozil moving out wide as well. Or the two could kind of shift back and forth, the way Iniesta often starts as a winger but spends most of his time in the middle of the field. But again, their first team will almost assuredly consist of Benzema/Higuaín, Ronaldo, Ozil, Di María, Alonso, and Khedira. As such, $40 million for Modric as a backup or an insurance policy is insane.

In summary, it's quite a luxury to be able to contemplate $40 million investments for complementary players.

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