Barcelona look to add further strength to its backline with the Sao Paulo president confirming a deal for their young right-back Douglas is imminent.
The defender was left out of a recent cup match, adding further speculation that a deal is about to be done. His absence is a common trend in these sort of circumstances.
São Paulo right-back Douglas, or Douglas Pereira dos Santos to quote his full official name, would be reportedly available for €6 million plus, with further add-ons amounting to close to €12 million depending on appearances and future performances. He will add some much needed cover for the right-back birth at the Catalan club, where on the other side it has been replenished with the capture of Jérémy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen during the summer.
With Dani Alves’ indifferent World Cup, where he was exposed on more than one occasion and subsequently dropped by the national side, there has been talk of a move to Paris Saint Germain for a number of months. This slot in the Barcelona side has been his outright for a number of years and the capture of Douglas will add some much needed competition as he looks to compliment the attacking attributes that Dani Alves brings to the side. However this will surely pave the way for Dani to move abroad.
After the retirement of Carles Puyol, who could also play at right-back, Barcelona have been very active in the transfer window this summer. With a lack of abundant replacements in the right-back role it makes perfect sense for the Catalan side to add another on the right hand side of defence. Despite this and with further speculation of Paris Saint Germain looking to swoop in for Dani Alves, Douglas is seen as his ideal replacement.
A potential stumbling block for now is the current third party ownership of Douglas that needs sorting out before a deal can be agreed. Neymar’s transfer to Barcelona last season will still be fresh in the minds of Catalan club and as those wounds will take time to heal.
Ex-Barcelona president Sandro Bosell left his role amid controversy within the Camp Nou after that deal drew unnecessary negative press on towards the Spanish giants. The club will most definitely try to avoid a similar repeat, even if it is less than what was paid for his fellow Brazilian last summer.
Douglas, who is uncapped by his national side is still only 24. He was a runner-up with the Brazil side at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup along with fellow São Paolo team-mate Paulo Henrique Ganso (a Spurs target in the past) but has still to be called up for his first cap for the Seleção set-up.
As an extra attacking option in a position that seems to expertly rich for many years, he is firmly down the pecking order in the national side. Considering the abundance of attacking right-backs that the Brazilian side currently has he will do his career no harm by making the move to Europe.
With Maicon and Dani Alves putting in indifferent performances he will have at least a chance to get at a look in more so in Europe in seems than South America. The exposure he would get in a very attacking Barcelona side will surely do his credentials no harm. As it seems Barcelona and its money men have gone cold in the pursuit of Juan Cuadrado, so have instead pushed ahead for the young Brazilian starlet, which will be the final piece in their defensive jigsaw puzzle.
If ever there was a time to blossom and try to make it into the national side, Douglas now has the potential to increase his stock even further as he looks to join a contingent of fellow Brazilians, Dani Alves (if he stays), Neymar Jr,and Adriano. São Paolo will only be too happy to agree a fee as they currently try to pay the hefty wage bills of two ex-Milan greats Alexandre Pato and Kaka, the marquee players currently at São Paolo.
Liam Cairns, Pundit Arena.