Though I doubt the reports that Luis Suarez wants out are true, after the abrupt and classless exit of Fernando Torres, nothing surprises me these days. The thing is we really can't afford to take straight cash for him, especially when whomever we replace him with, and we are going to have to replace 31 non-penalty goals and 13 assists with someone, is going to be well over-priced. Why not try to get best value from whomever we sell him, which right now appears to be Barça.
So who can we get from the Catalan club that would be acceptable? Well, Messi of course. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen. The other player who would be a straight fair trade would be Neymar, but it's highly doubtful that they would pry their cold, dead hands from the baby Brazilian wizard even if we were to throw in cash and/or Daniel Agger. Other than replacing Suarez, we could use a left back, centre back, and another defensive midfielder, so let's see what they have to offer in those regards.
Let's look at what they have to offer on attack (with a comparison with Suarez):
The only player on the list above who we should even consider taking is Alexis Sanchez, plus at least £20m. He has shown he can create the goals that we need to replace Suarez, but his backpass % is quite worrisome. Pedro can score, but needs service, we would probably need him plus another player plus cash to justify the transaction. Taking either Deulofeu, who impressed with his energy for Everton last season, or Tello, who appears to be great at creating goal chances, is just too risky. We need players who have solid records of production.
Here's what they have to offer on defense:
Busquets is a great passer, especially considering his very low back pass rate, and for a defensive midfielder, he's not a bad chance creator either. What worries me about him is his subpar tackle rate, though it is better than Lucas at 42.9%. Song is the better true DM than Busquets, but offers next to nothing on the attack.
Montoya, who can play both left and right back (which is why he is included here), is the best defender overall. He is the best tackler at the highest success rate and leads in both clearances per 90 and aerial duels won per 90. Alba is a great attacking left back, but not all that impressive on defense. He produces the most chances per 90, but has both a poor tackle rate and success percentage.
Finally we have Bartra, who overall is the cream of the defender crop His 89.9% passing is nothing short of amazing when you consider only 28.6% are back passes. There is actually little to nothing that Bartra does poorly. If we were to get him or Busquets and Pedro, plus £20m, I could live with that.