A weekend of rest was apparently all that Thiago Silva needed to recover from his injury. French sporting daily L’Equipe is now reporting that he will likely feature in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad which will face Barcelona on Wednesday with a place in the Champions League semi-finals at stake. And although Silva is still doing special training sessions, L’Equipe added definitively that “the technical staff will not worry about his participation in the match.” The status of fellow defender Alex is much less clear, according to the publication, and Ancelotti will wait until the last moment to name his starting defense.
Image: Christophe Ena – AP
With attention in Barcelona turning towards Wednesday’s crucial Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain, all eyes were on the team from the French capital. Influential defender Thiago Silva, who played a pearl of a match against the Catalans last week, was left out of the squad altogether that faced Rennes, with Carlo Ancelotti explaining that the player had sustained an injury during the first leg of the Barcelona tie. He went on to express his doubts about whether Silva would recover in time for the Camp Nou match. This, of course, could all be an elaborate ruse. But if Silva is really missing on Wednesday it will be a big blow for the Parisians.
In a transaction that surely indicates a changing balance of financial power in European football, Milan president Silvio Berlusconi on Thursday confirmed the sale of former FC Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and FCB transfer target Thiago Silva to French club PSG. The deal, said to be worth about 65 million Euros, has yet to be officially documented on either club site. But Berlusconi has been quoted in La Gazzetta as saying that “yes, we sold Zlatan and Thiago to PSG. We’ve generated 150 million in two years.”
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“.
According to Barcelona based paper Sport, Tito Vilanova will be in charge of a blaugrana squad next year with several new faces in it. The newly appointed coach for next season will not present any traumatic changes nor will he necessitate a revision of the plans designed by the sports directors. And the previous discussions between Pep, Zubizarreta and vice president Bartomeu have always relied on the involvement of Tito Vilanova.
There is a lot of work ahead, but the first steps have already been taken in decisive form. Building on rumours published in their paper several weeks ago, Sport strongly believes that La Masia graduate Jordi Alba is bound for Barça. The uncertainty of Eric Abidal’s availability in the upcoming season necessitates the need for a left-back even more. The circumstances for signing Alba seem ideal. The Valencia left back’s contract finishes in 2013 and the only thing remaining is to seal the transfer price of the player. A deal can be struck between the two clubs, or Alba could return to Barça in two seasons for free. Everything indicates that Barça and Valencia will agree to an amount to settle any contention that might arise.