Barcelona are preparing a summer bid for Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, according to the Mirror. The 26-year-old Belgian international is expected to be a long-term replacement for the Catalans' inspirational captain, Carlos Puyol.
The report claims City's sporting director, Txiki Begiristain, who used to work with the Nou Camp club, is aware of his former employers' interest in Kompany.
The Belgian was a key member of Roberto Mancini's Premier League-winning side last season but has been restricted to only 20 league appearances after injury problems. Kompany is still rated an important member of the Etihad first team though and Barcelona, if they wish to sign him, will have to negotiate around a six-year contract signed last summer. The Catalans would therefore have to pay a sizeable fee to persuade City to sell; something in the region of £20m is being speculated.
Meanwhile, should the Kompany bid fail, Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova is believed to have targeted Mats Hummels (from Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund) and Chelsea's David Luiz.
Barry Expects Players to Leave in the Summer
City midfielder Gareth Barry believes an exodus of players from the Etihad is on the cards this summer. The 32-year-old England international thinks the club chiefs will plan a summer overhaul to provide top competition for key players and motivate high-earners. Nevertheless, the ex-Aston Villa man claims the players are relaxed about their futures.
"Obviously they are the sort of conversations the lads have now and again. We've got the rest of this season and then one more year and there have been changes upstairs. The players are pretty comfortable with that, too, but it's just important that we keep performing on the pitch," Barry explained.
Barry also spoke on his future, confirming he would see out his playing days with City.
"I want to finish my career still challenging for trophies and this is the perfect club at which to do that. I'm very settled here but at the same time I've got a lot of respect for the people who have come in. They're going to have a good long look at the way they want to go and the players they want to go with, so as individuals we need to work hard when we get the chance," he concluded.