A report in Mundo Deportivo suggests that Eric Abidal has played his last match in the Barcelona colors. Miguel Rico, writing on Saturday, has revealed that the club have offered the French defender an administrative position in the support squad, but that top management, including Tito Vilanova and Andoni Zubizarreta, have decided against gambling with Abidal as a player in the first team next season. This decision is alleged to have been communicated to the player in a secret meeting last week with club president Sandro Rosell. Rico goes on to imply that even if Abidal were to look for another squad as a player, the door in Barcelona would always be open to him in recognition of his exemplary service to the club.
Sport has featured reports in recent days placing FC Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdés in Monaco for the upcoming 2013-14 season. The Catalan is said to have made up his mind about a new adventure in his career and it only remains for the two clubs to work out the details of the transfer.
El Pivote (The Pivot) is a totalBarça column by Anoop Jethwa, a fully licensed coach in UK, about the trials and tribulations of FC Barcelona. From the positives to the negatives, this piece will dive deep into the living fabric that is blaugrana. We welcome your thoughts and feedback in the comments section.
El Pivote is taking a look at the transfers that may or may not occur this summer, the value of stats and science versus an eye for talent and overall what history can and should tell Zubizarreta about players joining Barcelona.
International breaks are always accompanied by two things: boredom and transfer rumors. Mundo Deportivo perpetuated the trend with an article outlining our choices for defensive reinforcement next season. And since we are all bored given the lack of Liga action, maybe we can indulge in a little transfer fantasy.
In the last two weeks, the calm before the storm of Champions League matches and Clásicos, both club officials and media have begun to look towards the summer and the 2013/14 season in earnest. Sporting Director Andoni Zubizaretta flew to New York last Monday to meet with Vilanova and discuss plans for the future. Since then, the rumors have been flying fast and furious.
Following the news of Víctor Valdés’s decision to not renew, there has been speculation over who should fill the void once his contract expires. Madrid-based paper Marca has reported that Barcelona has reached a pre-agreement with German international and Borussia Mönchengladbach goalkeeper, Marc-André ter Stegen (20).
Rumours of Santos forward and Brazilian superstar Neymar (20) arriving in Barcelona this summer are growing more persistent. Catalan daily Sport reported recently that an FC Barcelona director and one of Neymar’s sponsors have both confirmed a deal in place for the 2013-14 season. The young Brazilian could arrive as early as July 2013, after the Confederations Cup has finished. for a transfer fee rumored to be between 30 and 40 million Euros. Read more about Barcelona’s potential next big signing after the break.
FC Barcelona winger Isaac Cuenca is close to a loan deal with Valencia that would see him wear white for the remainder of the season, according to a report in Sport. The player is finally recovering his fitness after tearing his meniscus way back in May, but it is unclear that there is room for him in the current Barcelona attack. The Valencia deal would give him valuable playing time, and help Los Che fill out their own strikeforce which will be depleted when Sofiane Feghouli leaves to play with Algeria in the African Cup of Nations in early 2013.
So tB readers, what say you: is there any chance we would need a player like Cuenca later this season? Would you favor a permanent sale to Valencia or only a loan? Sound off in the comments!
FC Barcelona officially announced via Twitter on Tuesday evening that Ibrahim Afellay has met with Tito Vilanova and asked permission to not travel to Madrid on Wednesday for the Super Cup. The Dutchman has asked to remain in Barcelona to allow him and his agent to resolve his future, confirming the hints given by his agent earlier this week.
With the new season quickly approaching, FC Barcelona’s transfer options seem to be gaining focus. If, and it’s a big if, you can believe the reports circulating in the Catalan press, the club’s transfer interests are moving away from signing a pure defender, and seem to be circling around the idea of reinforcing the midfield.
According to British newspaper Mirror.co.uk, FC Barcelona as well as arch-rivals Real Madrid are competing with Manchester City for the acquisition of Danish national team captain and Liverfool FC central defender Daniel Agger (27).
Versatile Malaga midfielder, and Spanish international, Santi Cazorla dropped a bomb on his current employers on Thursday by declaring that he wants out of the club after only one season. This has triggered a wave of speculation about the next destination of the player, with Spurs, Real Madrid and Barcelona reporting some interest. Cazorla certainly has the skillset to thrive in the Barcelona midfield, but the cost of the player and the fact that his position is already well spoken for in the team are factors that might temper the club’s enthusiasm.
What say you? Should the club pursue the Cazorla signing?
FC Barcelona have reportedly reached an agreement with Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon over the transfer of two Portuguese players Agostinho Ca (18) and Edgar Ie (18), who are set to arrive in Barcelona on Thursday, as confirmed by the representative of both players Catio Balde to Catalan radio station RAC1. In addition, the club are also close to completing the signing of highly rated Boca Juniors and Argentina U23 striker Sergio Araujo (20), also for the B team.
FC Barcelona starlet Marc Muniesa is on the verge of making a shock move to Holland champions Ajax, according to reports Friday in El Mundo Deportivo, although the player’s willingness to move away from Barcelona is still in question. Ajax have been pushing hard for the transfer, based apparently on the recommendation of Johan Cruyff, in a bid to replace Jan Vertonghen who was sold to Tottenham earlier this summer. Ajax Sporting Director Marc Overmars, himself a former blaugrana, confirmed the interest in the young defender: “The interest in Muniesa is correct, but nothing is yet decided.”
Whatever happens, it seems clear that FC Barcelona is not giving up their stake in the player and will likely configure the deal to be either a loan, or a sale with a guaranteed buyback option.
Central defender, Oriol Rosell (20), has officially left FC Barcelona after having spent six years in its youth teams.
Oriol Rosell will leave the club after a bad year in which he didn’t get much playing time with Barça B. The club and the footballer’s agent came to the decision on Tuesday to end the player’s contract.
While AC Milan is intent on holding onto their stellar centre-back Thiago Silva, a new rumour to surface in Spain suggests that the Italian club may be lured not just with money but with ‘Thiago’? Wait, what, you ask? We are talking about Barça midfielder (aka Xavi’s heir apparent) Thiago Alcantara, who is quite liked by Berlusconi’s team. You want proof? Marca quotes Ariedo Braida, managing director of Milan, with “We like Thiago, he’s a great player.” It wouldn’t be called transfer news if it didn’t have a degree of ridiculousness to it, or so it seems.
Meanwhile, Adriano Galliani, the administrative director of AC Milan, made the unfortunate decision of holidaying in Barcelona and instead of getting a much-deserved break was hounded with questions of “Are you here to sell Thiago Silva?” or “Is that Silva there in your luggage?” To which Galliani said via Com Radio,”Thiago Silva is not up for sale, and will stay at Milan next season for certain.” He added, ”It is Sunday, a non-working day, and I have no plans to meet up with the Barcelona people.” That’s a rude thing to say, if you ask us. You can’t be in the Catalan city and not meet people from Barcelona who are “Barcelona people“.
As transfer speculation begins to heat up it seems there is one player who wishes to keep his name out of the gossip headlines this summer, and that is Barça right-back Dani Alves, who has today exclusively revealed to Sport that he has no intention of leaving the Catalan club this summer.
The Brazilian had been repeatedly linked with big money moves away from Barça, with the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain supposedly preparing bids for the defender, but Alves has quashed any talk of a potential move away from the Camp Nou, with the free-flying full back assuring fans he is staying with the club for the long haul.
Reports in Spain indicate that FC Barcelona are keen to sign defender Jordi Alba before the Catalan makes a formidable impression in Euro 2012 and which will allow Valencia raise his transfer fee. The club is therefore keen to reach an agreement with Valencia to secure the services of the left-back. The trouble is that Valencia, unsurprisingly, want to make the most out of the transfer and are quoting a price of €15 million for the player, who has a €40 million buyout clause. Barca, on the other hand, are willing to pay a maximum of €11 million for the alumnus of La Masia. Alba has a year left on his contract with Valencia and hasn’t yet signed an extension perhaps indicating that he too like Cesc Fabregas wants to return to his boyhood club.
Source: Marca; Image credit: JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images