Spanish soccer giant Barcelona is eyeing Colombia full-backs Juan Camilo Zuñiga and Juan Cuadrado as possible replacements for Brazil’s Dani Alves, according to Spanish sports publication.
As the current domestic soccer season reaches its final stages in Europe, the powers that be at one of world soccer’s most prestigious and successful club, Barcelona, met Thursday to discuss the road ahead and shortlist possible replacements for outgoing players, according to Spanish publication Sport.
The exit of club captain Charles Puyol and veteran keeper Victor Valdes are two confirmed departures at the end of the season but the club will also be looking ahead as to who is best suitable to replace Brazilian full-back Dani Alves who’s contract is scheduled to run out at the end of the 2015 season.
Sport suggest that the players most likely to fill the Brazilians shoes are two Colombian soccer players who currently play in the Italian domestic league. Juan Camilo Zuñiga is contracted to Napoli who currently sit third in the league but has been sidelined since October with a long-term knee problem. Juan Cuadrado plays for rivals Fiorentina who sit seven points behind Napoli in fourth. Cuadrado has been a first team regular for Fiorentina making 20 league appearances scoring four goals.
Zuñiga’s long term injury has almost definitely ruled him out of a spot in the national squad for this Summer’s FIFA World Cup that takes place in Brazil in June but if he should miss the tournament it will also deny him the perfect stage to show Barcelona bosses what he is capable of.
Zuñiga’s loss could well be Cuadrado’s gain who will look to cement a first team spot in the side. Furthermore, with Cuadrado being 25 and 3 years younger than Zuniga, Barcelona may see him as more fruitful investment than the Napoli right-back.