Saturday, 31 May 2008
British tabloid The Daily Star claims that Barcelona defensive midfielder and Ivory Coast international Yaya Touré (25) could be joining Arsenal as part of the deal that takes Arsenal midfielder Alexander and Belarus international Alexander Hleb (27) to Barcelona.
While it is believed that a deal has been reached earlier this week with future Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola (37) (read more here), it is also generally excepted that Barcelona B assistant coach Tito Vilanova will continue to be Guardiola's right hand next season (read more here).
The main lines of Vilanova's contract were also agreed upon this week. Josep Maria Orobitg, the agent of Guardiola, informed Vilanova on the talks on Wednesday evening and the assistant will most probably give his agreement shortly.The composition of the rest of the coaching staff is not yet clear. Bulgarian newspaper Meridian Mach claimed last weekend that former Barcelona forward Hristo Stoichkov (42) had accepted an offer to become an assistant of Guardiola. This news was not confirmed and Stoichkov would now be negotiating with Red Star Belgrade to become head coach.
Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that Guardiola has suggested the appointment of Real Sociedad manager Juan Manuel Lillo (42) (picture), who has a very close relationship with Guardiola, as assistant but that this was vetoed by the Barcelona board (read more here).
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims nevertheless that Lillo could be added to the coaching staff when the competition in Segunda División ends next month. Catalan sports paper Sport claims that there simply won't be a second assistant coach next season.
Sport says that current goalkeeping coach Juan Carlos Unzué (41) would be willing to continue, although he could also accept an offer by another club to become head coach. Barcelona B goalkeeping coach Carles Busquets (40) is a valid alternative for Guardiola.
Madrid sports tabloid As claims that Guardiola has rejected the continuation of Unzué, despite attempts of Barcelona officials to convince the new manager. Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that Guardiola wants to take Busquets with him and doesn't want to give in to the pressure from the club to keep Unzué on board.
In the physical department it is expected there will be some serious changes, but all of this is yet to be confirmed.
Although no official announcement has yet been made, it is generally believed that former Barcelona player Luis Enrique will replace Guardiola as manager of Barcelona B (read more here). This week, Luis Enrique has been following some training sessions of the team.
Fernando Hierro, sports director of the Spanish football association, confirmed earlier this week that Luis Enrique will not accept his offer (read more here) because he has chosen to coach Barcelona B next season: "After a few meetings, Luis Enrique has in the end taken the decision to accept the offer of Barcelona. His motivation and the possibility to stay with his family in Barcelona have been decisive."
Who will assist Guardiola?
Deal with Guardiola
Luis Enrique to coach Barcelona B
Asked about the rumours linking the player with his club, Atlético Madrid sports director Jesús García Pitarch has admitted that Barcelona central defender and Mexican international Rafael Márquez (29) is on Atlético's summer transfer list (read more here).
Madrid sports tabloid Marca claims that Barcelona could pay next week the buyout fee of Zaragoza forward and Spanish international Sergio García (24) (read more here).
How does it feel now that your time at Barcelona is over?
"The truth is that I am a bit sad about leaving a great club, I am happy to have won two league titles and the Champions League. I have had four very good years here. The last two have not been good in terms of results, but I think that we can look back on many good things during my time here."
What will you remember most about the club?
"I will keep my friends, my team-mates, the people that I have known in Barcelona and at the club. The best part about being in the club is the people you work with every day."
What do you remember about the Champions League final?
"The main thing I remember is when Belletti scored, I was on the bench and I saw the two kit men hugging and they fell on the floor in the rain."
How have you and your family felt in the city?
"Very well. The truth is that my young daughter was born in Barcelona. We are very pleased to have experienced life her. The people took to us very well. We were here for four years and I even bought a house so that when I retire we can come and live in Barcelona. My wife and my daughters all really like it here."
What does Barça mean to you?
"When you see the motto 'mès que un club' it is difficult to describe what it means. It is a feeling of the city and of a nation. I have talked to many fans in the street and they have told me that if the team loses they do not eat or sleep well. At times, it is difficult for a player to understand this and when you come from a smaller club the feeling is very different and you have to adapt to the philosophy. Despite that, my experience with the national team has helped. In Brazil during the World Cup, the people live the football every day."
Read the whole interview
Read the full Edmílson transfer story
Read the first Keita interview
Read the first Piqué interview
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola is interested in Getafe right back defender David Cortés (28) (read more here).
Friday, 30 May 2008
Spanish local newspaper Las Provincias claims that Barcelona has reached a principal agreement with Valencia left winger and Spanish international David Silva (22).
Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain met with Amadeo Rengel, the agent of the player, on Wednesday night and the deal was closed. Barcelona would pay Silva a year salary of 2,2 million euro°, the double of what the player is currently earning.
Barcelona will now have to contact Valecia with a first formal offer. Rengel would possibly act as go-between in the negotiations between the two clubs. Catalan sports papers Sport and El Mundo Deportivo claim that Barcelona wants to close the deal with Valencia as soon as possible because Silva is expected to play a good Euro 2008, which could make other teams join the race and lead to a price increase.
Valencia nevertheless does not seem to be in a hurry. And despite the rumours about the club having financial problems,Valencia does not want to let players go on the cheap. Valencia sports director Juan Sánchez said yesterday to journalists that the club did not yet receive an offer for Silva: "If an offer comes in, we'll look at it. If David would have to leave one day, an important fee will have to be paid."
Valencia chief executive Jesús Wollstein even went a step further today: "David Silva is a key player for our project and is untransferable." This was confirmed by Valencia president Agustín Morera who hopes Silva will end his career at Valencia but added that all offers will be looked at by the sports director and the manager.
Negotiations are nevertheless expected to start in the coming days with a first offer by Barcelona. Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that the first bid would be 15 million euro°, with that proposal probably being raised to 18 million euro°. Valencia would consider 20 million euro° as being an absolute minimum.
Silva has a buyout clause of 90 million euro°. Las Provincias claims that Valencia would nevertheless be ready to let the player go for a transfer fee between 35 and 40 million euro°, Madrid sports tabloid As talks about 35 million euro°.
Intense contacts on Silva
Silva first choice for left wing
Looking for a left winger
former club: sevilla
official announcement: monday 26 may
contract duration: 4 years
transfer fee: 14 million euro
note: barcelona pays the buyout fee which means paying an extra 16 per cent vat (2,2 million euro)
former club: manchester united
country: catalunya, spain
official announcement: tuesday 27 may
contract duration: 4 years
transfer fee: 5 million euro (+ 2 million euro variables)
José Manuel Pinto
former club: celta vigo
official announcement: friday 30 may
contract duration: 2 years
transfer fee: 0 euro
note: the contract can be cancelled by both parties after one year, pinto played for barcelona on loan since january, when barcelona paid celta 500 000 euro
new club: villareal
barcelona player since: summer 2004
barcelona contract until: summer 2008
official announcement: friday 23 may
contract duration: 2 years
transfer fee: 0 euro
note: the contract of the player expired
Italian sports paper La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Barcelona has contacted Juventus to ask for Juventus forward David Trezeguet (30) (read more here). The Serie A club would have rejected to even sit around the table to talk about a possible transfer of the French striker.
Antonio Caliendo, the agent of Trezeguet, has said in an interview with French sports paper L'Equipe that Barcelona has been contacting him: "Barcelona is interested in David, they have been for years. And there is some uncertainty in Barcelona about the attack. Eto'o could for example leave. We'll see what happens."
Barcelona wants Trezeguet
Zambrotta doesn't exclude Juventus return
Transfer history: Trezeguet
Former Barcelona assistant coach Henk ten Cate (53) has yesterday been dismissed by English Premier League club Chelsea, who he joined in October last year as assistant to manager Avram Grant. The Chelsea manager had to leave the club last weekend.
Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio was yesterday the first to bring the news, but meanwhile all media agree that Barcelona goal keeper and Celta Vigo loan out José Manuel Pinto (32) will continue next season.
Renewal offer for Pinto
Asked about the rumours linking the player with several Italian clubs, amongst which Inter Milan, Luca Pelizzon, one of the agents of AZ Alkmaar forward and Belgian international Moussa Dembele (20), said in an interview with Italian football site Tutto Mercato Web that also Barcelona is following the player:
Italy, who were drawn into Group C along with France, the Netherlands and Romania, will play their first match of the tournament on the 9th June, against the Netherlands.
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona right wing attacker and Mexico international Giovani dos Santos (19) has reached a personal agreement with English Premier League club Tottenham (read more here).
Turkish sports paper Fotomaç claims that Turkish champion Galatasaray is interested in Barcelona attacker and Iceland international Eidur Gudjohnsen (29).
Gudjohnsen is quoteed as saying that he knows and likes Istanbul and that he would like to play in Turkey. The player nevertheless points out that he has a acontract with Barcelona until 2010 and that the clubs hould come to an agreement. Galatasaray would be preparing a 2,5 million euro° offer for the player.
Portsmouth and Newcastle in race for Gudjohnsen
Gudjohnsen's price tag
Gudjohnsen top target for Bundesliga newcomer
Thursday, 29 May 2008
Although the club did not yet confirm the deal, all Spanish and Catalan media agree today that Barcelona and Josep Guardiola (37) have reached an agreement on the contract of the future Barcelona manager (read more here).
After two days of intense negotiations, Josep Maria Orobitg, the agent of Guardiola, closed the deal yesterday afternoon with Barcelona sports vice president Marc Ingla, Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain and Barcelona general director Anna Xicoy.
Former Barcelona captain Guardiola will sign a two-year contract as Barcelona head coach. Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that the incentives are an important part of his wage structure. If Barcelona wins the Liga, the Champions League and the Copa, Guardiola would receive half of his fixed year salary as bonus.
The contract is not yet signed, but that's expected to happen in the coming days. Guardiola will nevertheless not be officially presented at a press conference until the end of the promotion play-offs that Barcelona B is currently playing (read more here). Once Guardiola has been presented, the same will happen with the players who will then already be transferred, starting with Seydou Keita and Gerard Piqué.
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place and that it looks like this could be the Barcelona XI next season:
Alves - Puyol - Cáceres - Abidal
Hleb (or Xavi) - Touré - Keita
Messi - Adebayor - Iniesta (or Silva)
Next season's squad
French national team coach Raymond Domenech has named his squad for Euro 2008. Barcelona central defender Lilian Thuram (36), Barcelona left back defender Eric Abidal (28) and Barcelona forward Thierry Henry (30) are included in the list.
France, who were drawn into Group C along with Italy, the Netherlands and Romania, will play their first match of the tournament on the 9th June, against Romania.
Look for the Barcelona link in the squads of Portugal, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany
(Barça Transfer Zone will follow the performances of the Barcelona players at the Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland)
Arsenal midfielder and Belarusian international Alexander Hleb (27) reacted on Tuesday in an interview with German website Spox to the rumours linking him with a summer move (note: this interview was given before the yesterday rumours about a verbal deal with Barcelona).
Spanish local newspaper El Faro de Vigo claims that Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain has offered Barcelona goal keeper and Celta Vigo loan out José Manuel Pinto (32) a one-year renewal offer.
Asked about the rumours linking the player with Barcelona, Félix Moneo, the agent of Mallorca forward and Spanish international Dani Güiza (27), has said in an interview with Spanish local radio station IB3 Ràdio that Barcelona is the priority of the player:
"Dani Güiza has informed me that he would like to return to Barcelona. Of course a lot of things should be talked about, but this kind of means that Barcelona has the first option to reach an agreement. Apart from the financial issue, the most important thing for Dani is the football project and the city where he's going to live. I think Barcelona is one of the clubs with whom we most easily could find a deal."
The agent thinks money won't be the problem for the interested clubs: "Right now, Dani Güiza is the cheapest scoring striker on the market. He has a buyout fee of 15 million euro°, that's right. But who else can say he has scored 27 goals in the Liga, none from a penalty, playing for a team like Mallorca?" Moneo added that he lately has received offers from Turkey and from many European clubs and that he and the player would like to sort things out in the next two or three weeks.
Güiza meanwhile said to Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo that he now wants to focus on the European Championship: "I have told my agents that they should not disturb my preparation for the tournament. If there's something important, they should tell me. If not, they shouldn't be talking the whole time about the subject. The most important thing right now is the national team."
Guiza considered to be a good buy
Guiza willing to return to Barcelona
First talks with Guiza
Former Barcelona forward Ernesto Valverde (44) has yesterday been appointed as new manager of Greek champions Olympiacos. On Monday, Valverde had announced that he would leave Espanyol Barcelona this summer.
Germany, who were drawn into Group B along with Austria, Croatia and Poland, will play their first match of the tournament on the 8th June, against Poland.
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
Olympique Lyon midfielder and Barcelona loan out Marc Crosas (20) said in an interview with Catalan sports paper Sport that he does not have a clue of his future since Barcelona didn't yet inform him (read more here): "I have a contract for three more years but I don't know what they plan to do with me. I didn't hear anything from Barcelona, Txiki Begiristain didn't yet talked to me about my future. I know nothing. I don't even know if they still remember me."
British television channel Sky Sports claims that Tottenham has emerged as the favourites to sign Barcelona right wing attacker and Mexican international Giovani dos Santos (19) (read more here). The English Premier League club would be willing to spend 14 million euro° on the player.
Madrid sports tabloid Marca claims that Zaragoza forward Sergio García (24), who was surprisingly added to the Spain list for the Euro 2008 (read more here), is close to return to Barcelona.
French football weekly paper France Football claims that French Ligue 1 club Monaco is considering to offer Barcelona central defender and French international Lilian Thuram (36), whose contract with Barcelona expires in June and will not be renewed (read more here), a one-year deal. Olympique Marseille would also be following the player.
French sports paper L'Equipe claims that Paris Saint-Germain is also interested in Thuram but hopes the defender will accept a serious salary reduction in the last stage of his career. Thuram would be willing to listen to an offer from the club.
Asked about his future, Thuram said at a press conference on Monday that he indeed thinks about continuing next season: "I'm considering to keep on playing after the European championships. One of my possible destinations is a French club. But everything remains possible."
In an interview with Monaco radio station Radio Monte Carlo yesterday, Thuram seemed more clear on his future: "I hereby confirm that if a club still wants me, I will be a football player next season. A return to France is certainly not impossible. I was raised in the Paris region, so Paris Saint-Germain of course means something to me. I remember how I went to see their games at the Parc des Princes when I was a boy."
Arsenal considering Thuram offer
Thuram to sell energy drinks
Thuram wants to keep on playing
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo and Madrid sports tabloid As claim that Barcelona is working hard on the transfer of Valencia left winger and Spanish international David Silva (22) (read more here).