Spanish La Liga giants FC Barcelona are planning defensive reinforcements in summer as they open talks with Atletico Madrid defender Joao Miranda.
Not many would have predicted Atletico Madrid pipping European giants Real Madrid and Barcelona to a La Liga title in Spain. Diego Simeone’s well drilled team did the unthinkable by clinching the title at the Catalan giants fortress on Match day-38. Free scoring striker Diego Costa was the shining star in Atletico Madrid’s prestigious campaign while their miserly defence also stood out on their own with the best defensive record in the league. The quartet of Juan Fran, Diego Godin, Joao Miranda and Filipe Luiz played as a unit and formed the perfect wall in front of goal keeper Thibaut Courtois. The defence proved out to be the difference at the end as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Costa matched each other’s exploits in-front of goal.
Catalan giants FC Barcelona has taken a leaf out of Atletico Madrid’s books, and has realized the importance of a strong back-line, after Barcelona’s make shift arrangements failure yet again. Barcelona were short of a center back for almost two seasons, with their captain Carlos Puyol bidding adieu to Camp Nou they will be in a precarious situation. FC Barcelona are reportedly closing in on a deal for PSG’s Brazilian defender Marquinhos and the Catalans defensive restructuring could see other names joining him at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have raided the other 18 teams in La Liga teams with their financial muscles, and this time also Barcelona are casting their eyes on a La Liga player. Atletico Madrid’s Brazilian center back Joao Miranda is a reported Barcelona target according to Marca. The Brazilian was overlooked for the FIFA 2014 World Cup by Manager Luis Felipe Scolari and is literally shocked by his omission. Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa had opted to play for his adopted country Spain rather than his home nation Brazil, and co-incidently the ire has fallen on his team mates Miranda and Filipe Luis, as both missed out the flight to Rio despite an impressive campaign. Barcelona might prove out to be a better location for the international aspirations of the Brazilians and the Catalans are planning to cash in on that.
29-year-old Miranda is an experienced defender in La Liga, and the Barcelona faithful are looking for a leader at the back following the departure of Victor Valdes and Carlos Puyol. Barcelona had tried to wrap up a deal for Miranda earlier also and will be hopeful that they can convince the Brazilian in making a switch this summer.
Barcelona is speaking to Miranda’s agents over the personal terms in his contract. If they can convince the defender, Barcelona are expected to activate the 20 million buy-out clause in his Atletico Madrid contract. Can Miranda get his international career back on track with a switch to FC Barcelona?