Barcelona eye Premier League trio in bid to regain La Liga glory

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Hopeful of completing a deal for Athletic Bilbao defender Javi Martinez, new Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova has a host of Premier League targets in mind should he fail to land the Spaniard.

Vilanova is desperate to bring in a top quality central defender, with Carles Puyol’s career reaching its twilight stage, and Gerard Pique more injury-prone than is ideal.

With this in mind, he has expressed an interest in Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, along with Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen, and David Luiz of Chelsea, who Barca were linked with earlier in the year.

These players could prove a more appealing proposition for the Catalans, with the versatile Martinez currently proving an expensive option, amidst his ability to operate equally as comfortably in defence or midfield.

With Kompany now touted as one of the world’s finest centre backs after a title-winning season at Eastlands though, he too would be sure to command a huge transfer fee.

City’s almost insurmountable wealth also means they are not in a position where they need to sell, and they would unlikely be willing to part with a player who was so integral to their success last term.

Luiz too seems an unlikely addition for the Catalan giants, bearing in mind his late season form for Chelsea, after initial interest from the Nou Camp.

The Brazilian cemented a regular starting berth in the Blues’ lineup after January, and turned in a colossal display in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph, after which he underlined his happiness in London.

Therefore, Vermaelen would seem the most viable option for Barca, and the Belgian could be tempted by a move to the four-time Champions League winners.

Arsenal fans are already dreading the potential sale of captain Robin Van Persie, and would hope for no more significant outgoings this summer.

However, with Arsene Wenger keen to bring in a number of signings in the close season, and centre half Laurent Koscielny’s form vastly improved, he could be tempted to listen to offers for his imposing defender.

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