Although Barca still have a Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao to play this season the Catalans are already planning for next term, having said goodbye to their hopes of lifting both the La Liga and Champions League trophies. Consequently, Vilanova is due to hold a meeting with the club’s director of football Andoni Zubizarreta in the next few days when a plan of action will be formed.
The new man is believed to have recognised that La Blaugrana are in need of defensive reinforcements and has given Zubizarreta the nod that his prime target is Thiago. The Italians are understood to be only willing to do business at €40m for the Brazilian international, a price Barcelona are reluctant to pay.
However, Vilanova’s idea could be to offer in the region of €25m and throw in a player such as Seydou Keita, Adriano or Ibrahim Afellay as makeweight in any deal, something the Serie A club may look on favourably.