If many of the reports that are currently floating about are to be believed, then Barca are in the box seat when it comes to being at the head of the queue for Lautaro Martinez’s services.
There’s little doubting his talent and, as the Blaugranes saw themselves at close quarters earlier in the season, he has all of the attributes to become a world-class striker.
To that end, it’s arguable that Barcelona have to be in the market for him, particularly if the player’s preference is to move to the Camp Nou.
However, there’s a real symmetry to when Arda Turan was signed by Josep Maria Bartomeu. Markedly different players of course, and there’s no suggestion otherwise.
But back in 2015 Bartomeu was under real pressure from the socios and it was the carrot of Arda Turan’s signing – then a big name at Atleti – and the timely treble win, which surely helped his cause in terms of election.
Last summer, the pursuit of Matthijs de Ligt, where the president hinted that he knew where the player would end up, somehow managed to keep the baying masses on side despite it proving ultimately unsuccessful.
Perhaps the twin captures of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong meant that the bad news regarding the Dutchman’s ex-Ajax colleague and Ernesto Valverde still being in situ was cleverly swept under the carpet.
Fast forward to now, and if the pressure on the president was incessant before, it’s been taken to a whole other level now.
It’s been one thing after the other in an horrific season off the pitch, including allegations of corruption which has left Bartomeu hanging by a thread.
So much so that Victor Font is even suggesting that the current incumbent is taking the club to the brink of bankruptcy.
And yet, for all of those problems, he could still have a potential saviour in Martinez and possibly even Neymar.
One has to question if he is hoping to buy the Argentinian for genuine playing reasons or to help save his skin for one final year in office.
Let’s not forget that his other big-name signings, statement signings if you prefer to term them so, haven’t worked out brilliantly but have allowed Bartomeu to puff out his chest. I refer to Philippe Coutinho and, for the most part, Ousmane Dembele, of course.
By throwing money at the problem to this point, Bartomeu has convinced a big enough portion of the membership that he’s doing everything he can to make the club a force on the pitch once more.
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