Food For Thought: Maxwell To Barcelona - Hit Or Flop?'s Subhankar Mondal casts an eye at the major footballing stories making the headlines on Wednesday in his ‘Food For Thought’ column.....

Is Maxwell The Remedy For Barcelona's Left-Back Defect?

FC Barcelona have never eclipsed their desire to sign a left-back this summer. Their team might have been the best in Europe last season and their defence statistically the best in the Spanish Primera Division but there was always a lingering and concrete suspicion that they needed reinforcements at the back, especially between the sticks and at left-back.

Victor Valdes stays the number one goalkeeper for the Blaugrana next season but Maxwell could well displace Eric Abidal as their number one left-back. Reports on Wednesday suggested that the Brazilian is on his way to Camp Nou and that a deal has been struck between Barcelona and Inter Milan.

Maxwell was signed by the Italian champions from Dutch powerhouse Ajax in 2006 and has developed into a world class full-back, and at 27 is about to reach his peak. Maxwell’s blistering pace and deft skills also allow him to function as a left-winger, a facet that Barca coach Josep Guardiola could well use next term.

Maxwell has been a consistent performer for the Nerazzurri and became one of the best left full-backs in the world but last season he was removed from his position by teenage sensation Davide Santon. Maxwell's relationship with Inter coach Jose Mourinho and with the club was damaged and even before the season had ended there were talks of the player leaving the club.

But there wasn't much mention of Barcelona, but it now appears that the former Ajax star would be playing for the European champions next season. If indeed the deal does go through, then it would be a brilliant piece of business for the Blaugrana.

Impossible Is Nothing - Adriano To AC Milan

And you thought Adriano was history.

Adriano’s agent was quoted as saying on Wednesday that the Brazilian could make a return to Italy after his tenure with Brazilian club Flamengo ends. Adriano is believed by most to be an entity of the past and there are doubts on him, just like there are on his compatriot Ronaldo, that he would never be able to play in Europe again.

But Gilmar Rinaldi is confident that Adriano can still feature in the Serie A. So much so that he says that Adriano can actually play for Inter's bitter rivals AC Milan. Adriano was, in fact, linked with a move to the Rossoneri even when he was at Inter and although it doesn't sound feasible at the moment, given that Adriano is resurrecting himself and there are distinct and concrete doubts on his mentality and consciousness of discipline, as those blokes at Adidas would tell you, 'Impossible is nothing'.

Moreover, Adriano wouldn't become the first player in recent history to cross the divide in Milan; Brazilian legend Ronaldo did that (although he didn’t make the move directly) and Christian Vieri did so as recently as 2005. But on both occasions, the move wasn't as productive as many would have supposed it to be.

Subhankar Mondal