As is becoming a fairly regular occurrence at this time of year, talk of a turnover of the playing staff at Manchester City is rife. Whether the Eastlands club decide to back or sack Roberto Mancini, the odds are that there’ll be and number of changes by the time the new season kicks off. What probably won’t have been on the agenda for the City hierarchy is the possible loss of their captain, Vincent Kompany. If newspaper reports are to be believed however and Barcelona are interested in taking the Belgian to Catalunya, it may well come to pass.
Komany signed a six year deal last year, but should Barcelona come knocking, that may only serve as an instrument to inflate any potential transfer fee, should the player be tempted to join the blaugrana. The 26 year old defender’s relationship with the Manchester City manager is already somewhat strained following Kompany’s decision to declare himself fit and participate in both of Belgium’s recent internationals, apparently against direct instructions from Mancini, following a spell out of the City team through injury. These things can of course get exaggerated, but tension between Mancini and some of this players wouldn’t be anything particularly new, and the articulate and urbane Kompany is very much his own man.
Barca’s need for an experienced centre back is pretty clear. With the talismanic Carles Puyol, now in his thirty-fifth year, and already out for the season with a new injury, it may be that the Catalan-born captain of Barca is nearing the effective end of his career. With injuries becoming an increasingly regular interruption to his selection, the wear and tear of heroic displays may be taking its toll. If this is the case, Piquet would be the only experienced authentic centre back left in the Barca squad. Although there are young players breaking through from the famed Mesia academy, aside from the recently returned Abidal - after combating two bouts of cancer – and Mascerano, really a central midfield player, the Barca cupboard is fairly bare.
The penchant of the Catalans to commit to a possession game requires defenders to have ball playing ability, and Kompany certainly fits that bill. Although it may be that should the Belgian want to make the move, a pay cut of some sort may well be required, the opportunity to play for Barcelona, alongside Xava, Iniesta, Messi, et al, will surely offer ample compensation.
It may be a big test of City’s status in the world order if another club can approach them and tempt away their skipper against the club’s wishes. City doubtless have aspirations to be counted amongst the very elite of Europe and to have such a thing happen would not only be a fairly humbling experience, but might also suggest to other key members of the squad that perhaps better opportunities – especially following a season where United have not only torn the championship trophy back out of their hands, but have done so in such a convincing manner – may lie elsewhere. If a bid is made, the outcome may not only decide whether City keep Kompany, but also, the company that City keep.