Valencia’s left back Jordi Alba is currently busy with Spain’s effort in Euro 2012, but he just might have a new club to return to when the tournament is over, as Barcelona are getting closer and closer to complete a deal with his current club.
The 23 year old was part of the Barcelona set up until the age of 16, born in L’Hospitalet, just southwest of Barcelona. After being released from the club in 2005, he ventured through Cornella before reaching Valencia. After spending one year on loan with Gimnastic, Alba became a more and more permanent fixture in the Valencia lineup.
What probably benefited his career was Unai Emery, who moved Alba from left winger to left back, switching positions in the middle of matches with Jérémy Mathieu. The initial move was to try and fix the defensive problems for the club, but it turned out to be beneficial for Alba as well, showing much more versatility as an attacking left back.
When Alba was asked about the potential move to Barcelona, he didn’t do more than drop a few hints, without really committing to anything – I’ve always said that Barca play the best football and they have very good players. I get along very well with the Barcelona players, but I get on well with my other colleagues too.
Pedro and David villa of Barcelona have done the usual Barcelona trick of pursuing a player through the media, like the club did with Cesc Fabregas for over two years, trying to put pressure on the player and the club to help smooth the move.
Smoothing or not, Valencia seem to be comfortable with the parting of the ways, apparently for a fee of at least €12 million, which will help the club’s dwindling piggy bank, still not fully recovered from the huge hits it has taken in recent years. All the departures of David Silva, David Villa and Juan Mata have made things easier financially, but still far from perfect.
Another Spanish international player who might make the switch to Barcelona is Javi Martinez of Athletic Bilbao. It’s not often you see a Bilbao star leave the club but the 23 year old, just like his teammate for club and country, Fernando Llorente, has seen his fair share of interest from bigger clubs, especially Barcelona.
Martinez has actually been linked to a €40 million move to Bayern Munich which was immediately shot down by his agent, claiming such an offer never existed. Barcelona, when you think about it, have an abundance of players in the middle of the pitch, and it might cause you to wonder whether there’s even room for Martinez on the team, no matter how talented he might be.