Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona continues pursuit of Silva; Götze introduced at Bayern; and more

Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona continues pursuit of Silva; Götze introduced at Bayern; and more

South American Soccer

Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona continues pursuit of Silva; Götze introduced at Bayern; and more

ThiagoSilva1-JapanConfederationsCup (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

With Barcelona looking for defensive upgrades, the recent performances of Thiago Silva for Brazil at the Confederations Cup have made up the club’s mind on who to go after.

Though the 28-year-old signed a big money, €42 million ($54.4 million) transfer last season to Paris Saint-Germain, he’s reportedly being chased by Barcelona, who need to beef up their defense as Carles Puyol and continues to age and slow down, while Gerard Pique had a few poor performances this season in key matches.

According to reports in Spain, Silva would cost upwards of €32 million ($41.4 million) for Barcelona to sign, forcing the Spanish club to sell off current first-team players David Villa and Thiago to bring in enough money to finance the transfer. The club spent €57 million ($74 million) earlier this summer to sign Neymar.

Though Silva’s agent Paulo Tonietto said he hasn’t met with any Barcelona representatives, Tonietto is quoted as saying that if Barcelona go public with there interest, it would be hard for Silva to say no to a move to the Camp Nou.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:

GÖTZE INTRODUCED AT BAYERN MUNICH

With the first pre-season under Pep Guardiola underway, Bayern Munich took time out on Tuesday to formally introduce Mario Götze to the assembled press.

Götze, just 21-years old, reportedly signed a three-year contract with Bayern after making a shock move from twice successive title winners Borussia Dortmund. In speaking to the press, the Bavarian native said that he thought it was the right move in his career to come and play for Bayern.

“One reason (I left BVB) was that I wanted to develop myself and I wanted to do that at Bayern,” Götze told Bundesliga.com. “In a footballing sense, this is the right decision for me. I’m now at the best club in the world and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Though the team’s pre-season plan is underway, the German international midfielder is still slowly recovering from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the UEFA Champions League final. In his final season at Dortmund, Götze scored 16 goals in 44 matches in all competitions.

CHELSEA TURNS TO ROONEY OR LEWANDOWSKI

Paris Saint-Germain seems quite enamored with Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani, leaving new Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho to turn his sights elsewhere.

The Portuguese manager has been looking to upgrade his strike core this summer, and according to reports in England, Chelsea is considering making bids for Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney and Borussia Dortmund front-man Robert Lewandowski.

Rooney is set for showdown talks this week with new manager David Moyes, while Lewandowski has been thought to be on his way out of Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund for quite some time, though it’s unknown whether he will head to Bayern Munich or a team in the Premier League this season.

The reports also state that the incredibly high wage numbers for both players won’t post a problem for Chelsea.

QUICK KICKS

Real Madrid have announced that Isco will wear the number 23 shirt next season. (REPORT)

Chelsea have begun negotiations with Dutch rising star Marco Van Ginkel and his club Vitesse to bring the 20-year-old to London this summer. (REPORT)

Swansea City are closing in on a deal to sign Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey in the next few days. (REPORT)

Malaga midfielder Jeremy Toulalan is very close to a €5 million ($6.5 million) move to AS Monaco. (REPORT)

Roberto Martinez has said he will “fight” to keep Leighton Baines at Everton. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you believe Silva is a good fit at Barcelona? Where do you see Götze playing in Bayern’s stacked midfield? Do you see Rooney moving to Chelsea?

Share your thoughts below.

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