Rumour Patrol: Zubizarreta and the FIFA ban

Rumour Patrol: Zubizarreta and the FIFA ban

Andoni Zubizarreta, FC Barcelona’s sporting director, has been the subject of some juicy rumours since the FIFA transfer ban dropped this week. Firstly, it was reported by Cataluyna Radio that “Zubi” gave his resignation to the club after the FIFA sanctions were announced but had it rejected by club president Josep Maria Bartomeu and sports vice president Josep Maria Mestre.

Also being reported is that Zubi has personally called Marc Andre ter Stegen, Barça’s hoped for replacement for departing goalkeeper Víctor Valdés, and reassured him that his transfer would still be allowed.

Read on to see if there is any truth to either of these rumours.

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Breaking News: FIFA impose transfer ban on FC Barcelona

Breaking News: FIFA impose transfer ban on FC Barcelona

FIFA have banned FC Barcelona from making any transfers for two consecutive transfer windows for breaches related to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18. According to FIFA, “With regard to the case in question, FC Barcelona has been found to be in breach of art. 19 of the Regulations in the case of ten minor players and to have committed several other concurrent infringements in the context of other players, including under Annexe 2 of the Regulations.” Along with FC Barcelona, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has also sanctioned the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF) in this allegation.

Can this be appealed? What does this mean for the signings of Ter Stegen and Halilovic? What is the club’s official statement regarding this matter? Stick with totalBarça for updates as they break.

For some excerpts from the official statement from FIFA, follow the jump:

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The right back conundrum

The right back conundrum

Barcelona reacted excellently to all the criticism with a top-notch performance and win against Manchester City on Wednesday, but as all the praise settled the usual issues came up once again. The most prominent discussion was once again, regarding next year’s squad. Spanish newspaper Sport reports that Dani Alves has been put up for sale by the club, while Martín Montoya hasn’t put pen to paper on his contract yet. That leaves Barça with a lot of work to do in the summer. Will Operation Right Back be set up?

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Official: Halilović announces Barça move

Official: Halilović announces Barça move

17-year-old Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Alen Halilović has confirmed a move to FC Barcelona on his official Facebook and Instagram accounts. The young Croatian is regarded as one of the best midfield talents in the world, drawing comparisons to Andrés Iniesta and even Lionel Messi, due to his excellent left foot. He has made 48 appearances for the Dinamo first team in the last two seasons, becoming the youngest goalscorer in the Prva HNL,  the second-youngest player to ever feature in the Champions League, and the youngest ever player to debut for the Croatian national team in the process. The transfer fee is rumored to be somewhere between three and ten million euros, and Halilović would play a year with the B team before promotion.

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Liverpool to move for Bojan?

Liverpool to move for Bojan?

Bojan Krkić’s story is a sorry one. The 23-year-old striker experienced a fast track to the FC Barcelona first team after becoming La Masia’s highest ever goalscorer, but couldn’t make it, and has been since touring Europe on loan. Yet if English newspaper ‘The Mirror’ is to be believed, Liverpool is to give the striker, who is now loan to Ajax, a new lease of life in the summer transfer window. Read more after the jump.

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Barça targeting Alen Halilović

Barça targeting Alen Halilović

Barça’s midfield generals aren’t getting any younger, with Xavi already 34 and Iniesta soon to step onto the wrong side of 30. Yet the club is seeking solutions, and if newspapers Sport and Mundo Deportivo are to be believed, the chosen one is Alen Halilović. Read more after the jump.

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Heynckes: “Ter Stegen? I’d sign him right now!”

Heynckes: “Ter Stegen? I’d sign him right now!”

Former Bayern Munich and Real Madrid coach Jupp Heynckes praises the young Borussia Mönchengladbach goalkeeper, Marc Andre Ter Stegen, and believes that the 21 year old German is the ideal replacement for FC Barcelona’s current goalkeeper Víctor Valdés, who is set to leave the Catalan club by the end of this season. Read what Heynckes had to tell Mundo Deportivo about Barça’s summer target after the jump.

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Target acquired: Fazio

Target acquired: Fazio

After Puyol’s injury in the Levante game and doubts whether the 35-year-old captain will put an end to his football career or not, rumours all around Catalonia suggest that Tata Martino has set his sights on Sevilla’s Argentine centre back Federico Julián Fazio, who will be scouted for the next few weeks. More about Fazio after the jump.

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Arsène Wenger is back!

Arsène Wenger is back!

Arsène Wenger has a soft spot for Barça’s players, having taken four youngsters  to London in the past decade. Last night was another scouting trip for the Frenchman, alongside Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis. The Arsenal men were spotted in attendance by the commentators of Antena 3, the broadcasters of Barça’s Copa del Rey clash, at Levante yesterday evening. His targets were three immensely talented Barça players who started the match last night. Read more after the jump.

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Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals – January edition

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals – January edition

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures makes another fleeting return during the January transfer window. It’s the least active of the windows and not particularly well known for good deals, but nevertheless, the mill never stops turning. So totalBarça returns to roundup all the stories over the past weeks and chart a path through the nonsense. Once again, agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for. (Remember all numbers in euros.)

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Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Departures – January edition

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Departures – January edition

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures makes another fleeting return during the January transfer window. It’s the least active of the windows and not particularly well known for good deals, but nevertheless, the mill never stops turning. So totalBarça returns to roundup all the stories over the past weeks and chart a path through the nonsense. Once again, agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for. (Remember all numbers in euros.)

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Sanabria move to AS Roma imminent

Sanabria move to AS Roma imminent

FC Barcelona are about to go through a familiar story yet again. Another La Masia player is about to leave with the promise of stardom elsewhere, and this time it’s Antonio Sanabria heading to AS Roma in the Serie A.

The news of the young Paraguayan player leaving Barça has been going around since November, with Andoni Zubizarreta having to negotiate with his representatives to stay, while he worried about the contracts of more important players such as Andrés Iniesta and Marc Bartra. Continue reading »

One step closer to Ter Stegen

One step closer to Ter Stegen

Borussia Monchengladbach have announced on their website that their gifted young goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen has refused to sign a new contract and will be leaving the club.

The 21-year-old German goalkeeper has been heavily linked with FC Barcelona as a replacement for Víctor Valdés who is expected to leave once his contract expires this summer. Ter Stegen’s contract ends with Borussia in 2015, which probably means the board will make a move for him this summer.

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Atlético informed of Barça interest in Courtois

Atlético informed of Barça interest in Courtois

According to Spanish daily sports paper, MARCA, Atlético Madrid were informed of FC Barcelona’s interest in signing Belgian goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, and that the goalkeeper is willing to join the club as well. The player is currently on loan from English club Chelsea to the Madrid based club.

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Ter Stegen: “In the next few days there will be a decision”

Ter Stegen: “In the next few days there will be a decision”

Such ran the headline this morning in El Mundo Deportivo quoting hotly-linked goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen. Mind you, the original quote is from Bild and then there is also the remainder of the article which reads rather oddly. “Those responsible for the club already know what will happen. I have not told them that I am leaving the club.

So make of that what you will.

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Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Departures – Special November Edition

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Departures – Special November Edition

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures makes a fleeting return during the final international break of 2013. As football shifts from club to country, papers shift from mostly reporting to mostly speculating. So, totalBarça returns to roundup all the stories over the past week and chart a path through the nonsense. Once again, agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for. (Remember all numbers in euros.)
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Ter Stegen or Reina

Ter Stegen or Reina

Influential FC Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu spoke very openly about Barça’s goalkeeper pursuit. On RAC1 yesterday he had this to say:

We have been looking for a goalkeeper since Valdés announced he wanted to leave. We are in highly advanced negotiation. If Valdés says officially where he will go in January, we will announce the new goalkeeper for Barcelona. Our idea is to sign only one goalkeeper. Ter Stegen and Reina are within our range of options, which are already very small.

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Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals – Special November Edition

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals – Special November Edition

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures makes a fleeting return during the final international break of 2013. As football shifts from club to country, papers shift from mostly reporting to mostly speculating. So totalBarça returns to roundup all the stories over the past week and navigate a path through the nonsense. Once again, agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for. (Remember all numbers in euros.)

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Mascherano: “One stage has been closed and another opened”

Mascherano: “One stage has been closed and another opened”

FC Barcelona and Argentine international Javier Mascherano spoke to Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport recently ahead of tonight’s clash against FC Barcelona’s erstwhile Italian rivals, AC Milan. Though his comments were brief, Mascherano was perceptive and sharp, as usual–read on below to see what El Jefecito had to say.

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Ter Stegen: “I’m happy at Mönchengladbach, we’ll see what happens”

Ter Stegen: “I’m happy at Mönchengladbach, we’ll see what happens”

Sources in Germany and Spain claim a pre-contractual agreement has been agreed upon between FC Barcelona and Borussia Mönchengladbach this Monday.

Catalan sports daily Mundo Deportivo reported Barça Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta travelled to the German club Monday to secure the 21-year-old goalkeeper Marc-André Ter Stegen’s services ahead of the imminent departure of current Barcelona keeper Victor Valdés this summer.

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Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Departures – Special October Edition 3

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Departures – Special October Edition 3

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures is back for a guest appearance during the October international break. As football shifts from club to country, papers shift from reporting to speculating. As this is the final FIFA break before the January transfer window, it is always packed with transfer rumors. So totalBarça returns to roundup all the stories over the past months and navigate a path through the nonsense. Once again, agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for. (Remember all numbers in euros)

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Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals – Special October Edition 2

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals – Special October Edition 2

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures is back for a guest appearance during the October international break. As football shifts from club to country, papers shift from reporting to speculating. As this is the final FIFA break before the January transfer window, it is always packed with transfer rumors. So totalBarça returns to roundup all the stories over the past months and navigate a path through the nonsense. Once again, agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for. (Remember all numbers in euros)

Continue reading »

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures – Special October Edition 1

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures – Special October Edition 1

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures is back for a guest appearance during the October international break. As football shifts from club to country, papers shift from reporting to speculating. As this is the final FIFA break before the January transfer window, it is always packed with transfer rumors. So totalBarça returns to roundup all the stories over the past months and navigate a path through the nonsense. Once again, agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for.

Continue reading »

Dos Santos going on loan to Sociedad?

Dos Santos going on loan to Sociedad?

Spanish media are reporting today that Jonathan Dos Santos has agreed to an emergency loan move to Real Sociedad. While the transfer season is officially over, FIFA allows clubs to petition to sign players on loan in the case of a long-term injury, such as the ACL tear Esteban Granero suffered last Tuesday against Shakhtar Donetsk which has left the Basque club understaffed in the midfield department. Dos Santos admitted that he was very close to making a move to La Real this summer, but Gerardo Martino trusted in him and with a few words encouraged him to stay. Martino’s general approach upon his arrival was that he didn’t want to rush into any decisions, and probably didn’t want to risk losing a squad player before getting to know his team.

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Transfer Rumours: City and United dream of Iniesta?

Transfer Rumours: City and United dream of Iniesta?

Midfielder Andrés Iniesta (29) is the centre of attention in the English press this Sunday. According to The Daily Star and various other British tabloids, both teams from Manchester are willing to make a big effort to sign the Spanish midfielder since he didn’t renew his contract with FC Barcelona yet.

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Márquez: “There’s a good defender in Barcelona”

Márquez: “There’s a good defender in Barcelona”

In an interview with Catalan radio station RAC1 ex-Barcelona defender Rafael Márquez (34), now playing for the Mexican side Club León, spoke about a possible new centre back for FC Barcelona.

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Mission impossible: Replacing Víctor Valdés

Mission impossible: Replacing Víctor Valdés

If anyone has ever doubted the value of Víctor Valdés to this Barcelona team, the man’s performances over the last few weeks will have shut them up conclusively. However, with Valdés’ sparkling form comes the depressing realization that this is his last season with the squad. And despite periodic rumors that the club still has a hope of changing his mind, the man appears firm in his intention to leave Barcelona for a new challenge next season. Continue reading »

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures (13)

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures (13)

Transfer rumours have a polarizing effect: either the start of hope (or dread), or simply a nuisance. As papers worldwide scramble daily to fill the pages, they conclude that in fact 2+2 does equal 5. And yet, while some stories are so clearly garbage, people imagine truth anyway. So, here’s a summary from totalBarça taking gossip and passing it through a sieve.

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures is a new weekly series that rounds up the transfer gossip and rumours of all potential (sometimes hopeful) outs (Tuesdays) and ins (Thursdays) at FC Barcelona – though it’s not of the run-of-the-mill variety. Agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for.

The series will come as a consolidated post every Thursday for the remainder of the transfer window which shuts on August 31.

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Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures (12)

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures (12)

Transfer rumours have a polarizing effect: either the start of hope (or dread), or simply a nuisance. As papers worldwide scramble daily to fill the pages, they conclude that in fact 2+2 does equal 5. And yet, while some stories are so clearly garbage, people imagine truth anyway. So, here’s a summary from totalBarça taking gossip and passing it through a sieve.

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures is a new weekly series that rounds up the transfer gossip and rumours of all potential (sometimes hopeful) outs (Tuesdays) and ins (Thursdays) at FC Barcelona – though it’s not of the run-of-the-mill variety. Agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for.

The series will come as a consolidated post every Thursday for the remainder of the transfer window which shuts on August 31.

Continue reading »

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures (11)

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures (11)

Transfer rumours have a polarizing effect: either the start of hope (or dread), or simply a nuisance. As papers worldwide scramble daily to fill the pages, they conclude that in fact 2+2 does equal 5. And yet, while some stories are so clearly garbage, people imagine truth anyway. So, here’s a summary from totalBarça taking gossip and passing it through a sieve.

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures is a new weekly series that rounds up the transfer gossip and rumours of all potential (sometimes hopeful) outs (Tuesdays) and ins (Thursdays) at FC Barcelona – though it’s not of the run-of-the-mill variety. Agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for.

The series will come as a consolidated post every Thursday for the remainder of the transfer window which shuts on August 31.

Continue reading »