Defender wants Arsenal enforcer at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has risked angering Arsenal by saying he would be “happy to welcome” Alex Song to the Nou Camp.
Speculation concerning Song’s future has heightened in recent talks, with several publications in Spain reporting that the Cameroon midfielder is edging closer to a move to Catalonia.
Barcelona are desperate to sign a new defensive midfielder this summer after the departure of Seydou Keita, and boss Tito Vilanova appears to have set his sights on Song after being thwarted in his attempts to sign Athletic Bilbao youngster Javi Martinez.
Andres Iniesta revealed his admiration for Song earlier this week, and Pique, the former Manchester United defender, has now echoed his team-mate’s sentiments.
“Song is a great player with an impressive physical ability and good technique,” said Pique.
“If he comes, which, from what I’ve read looks like it could happen, we are happy to welcome you.”
Pique’s comments are likely to enrage Gunners fans, with the string of complimentary statements from Barcelona players reminiscent of the tactics used to lure Cesc Fabregas from London to Spain last summer.
For all their beautiful football, rich tradition and charitable principles, you can’t help feeling that there is something slightly rotten in the state of Barca – particularly in the way they go about their transfer business.
In today’s media-driven world, there will always be transfer rumours and players will naturally be asked their views, but it’s hard not to wonder if Barcelona’s players are systematically told to encourage potential new recruits to join them at the Nou Camp.
Former Manchester United defender Gerard Pique is the latest Barca player, after Andres Iniesta, to drop a significant hint to Arsenal’s Alex Song that he is wanted in Spain. It is only a matter of time before Cesc Fabregas oilily professes love for the Gunners, while suggesting Song would be the perfect fit for Tito Vilanova’s side.
Last summer, almost every Barca player, past and present, said how much they’d love to see Fabregas at the Nou Camp, before the Catalans finally paid Arsenal’s asking price at the eleventh hour, leaving Gunners boss Arsene Wenger with limited time to replenish his squad.
It wasn’t pretty and left a bad taste. Where is the line between tapping-up – a punishable offence by FIFA – and expressing admiration?
As for Song, the Gunners would do well to take a leaf out of their north London rivals Spurs’ book. Set a ridiculously high-asking price for Song – say £25m – and refuse to budge an inch until it is met. If the player protests, calmly tell him the club has its rights and that he can rot in the reserves if he doesn’t like it. That might just shut the Barca players up.
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