One of the worst kept secrets in the world of football is the need of a vast improvement in the Barcelona defense, and whispers of Vincent Kompany possibly looking for a new club to play for might make the Manchester City man make the move to Camp Nou during the summer.

Kompany is one of the few players on the Manchester City squad that should be considered a bargain – he was signed in 2008 from Hamburg for £6 million. At 26, despite not having the best of seasons with an injury also coming in the way of his usually good form, Kompany is one of the best centre backs in the world. He may not offer the kind of passing and technical quality Barcelona look for in most of their players (hence the Daniel Agger and Thomas Vermaelen rumors), but that’s not always what a team needs to stop conceding goals.

With Carles Puyol not getting any younger or better and Gerard Pique going through a second consecutive season of inconsistency and sometimes foolish mistakes at centre back, the time for a change is getting nearer and nearer. For a couple of years, for both Spain and the club, this was the best centre back duo in the world, thanks to a very strong midfield and high pressure as well. But that is no longer the case, and while it’s hard to see Barcelona giving up on either player, the need to add quality from the outside is essential.

Kompany has appeared 20 times this season and a total of 142 times for the club since arriving from the Bundesliga. He isn’t a great scorer (six goals in five seasons) but is excellent in the air and did score the winner in the second derby last season, one of City’s most important wins en route to the league title.

Despite coming in quite cheaply, it’s hardly the case anymore. Kompany will cost at least £20 million to bring over from Eastlands, and even the Txiki Begiristain connection won’t help the team get a discount; only go through the negotiations a bit more pleasantly.

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