AS Roma manager Luciano Spalletti (49) has denied the rumours linking him with Barcelona and Real Madrid. The Italian told at a press conference: "In the newspapers you can read a lot of things. I can only say I did not have personal contacts, nor was I contacted by telephone. So everything remains like it was and like it should be."
Saturday, 22 March 2008
Barcelona youth player Jonathan Dos Santos (17), whose contract expires at the end of the year, has declared in an interview with Catalan sports paper Sport that he would like to renew his contract shortly. The attacking midfielder is feeling comfortable in Barcelona and thinks the club is satisfied with his performance: "So, I expect to sign a new contract very soon."
Jonathan Dos Santos is the younger brother of Barcelona right winger Giovani Dos Santos (18). Both brothers joined Barcelona six years ago after Barcelona scouts spotted them at an international youth tournament. Jonathan, who is also a Mexican youth international, is currently playing for Juvenil A, the highest Barcelona youth team.
(read more youth transfer stories here)
Catalan sports paper Sport reports that the negotiations with Sevilla on the transfer fee that Barcelona will have to pay for Sevilla midfielder Christian Poulsen (28) could get complicated because of the tense relationship between Sevilla president José María del Nido and Turkish player's agent Bayram Tutumlu. Barcelona would like to lower the buyout clause of 10 million euro.
Tutumlu, who resides in Barcelona, acted as go-between during the negotiations between Barcelona and Poulsen. Together with the Danish lawyer Jorn Bonnesen, he closed the deal with Barcelona (read more here). Another player who is advised by Tutumlu, Fiorentina defender Tomas Ujfalusi would now have signed for Atlético Madrid, while he already had an agreement with Sevilla. Before the Champions League game in the beginning of March, Del Nido and Tutumlu were caught by television camera's holding an agitated conversation. Tutumlu is no longer welcome in Sevilla.
Earlier this season, Tutumlu, who is also the agent of Getafe manager Michael Laudrup and who acted as go-between in the transfer of manager Ronald Koeman from PSV Eindhoven to Valencia last October, had a unpleasant dispute with Real Madrid sports director Pedrag Mijatovic before the league game Sevilla-Real Madrid. This incident was also captured by television camera's (see the incident here). Madrid would also be interested in signing Christian Poulsen.
Meanwhile, Spanish news site El Confidencial claims that the relations between Bayram Tutumlu and Christian Poulsen, who was brought to Sevilla with the help of the Turk, would have deteriorated cause Tutumlu would talk too much without the consent of the player. The player would have refused to meet with the Turkish agent earlier this month.
(read more on the Poulsen transfer story here)
British newspaper The Times reports that Manchester City president Thaksin Shinawatra and manager Sven-Göran Eriksson have agreed during a meeting this week that the club must try to sign a big name this summer in an effort to bring back supporters to the new City of Manchester Stadium. Eriksson is therefore ready to change his transfer policy: "It has been our policy to have gone for younger players but one of the things I discussed with the owner this week was if we should take in not an old but older player this summer. If we do that it must be a very, very big name who can fill the stadium."
Eriksson thinks Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham is not an option. The Times claims that Newcastle forward Michael Owen and Barcelona forward Thierry Henry (30) are more realistic targets (read more here). The Manchester City manager doesn't see a salary problem in the squad if a big name would be signed: "All the teams I've had in the past, there is always a difference in wages and people accept that. You have to be good enough to live up to the salary and if you do that, everyone is happy."
Spanish news site El Confidencial claims that Barcelona president Joan Laporta wants to become one of the few Barcelona presidents who never dismissed a manager (read more here). Laporta has therefore slowed down the negotiations with former Chelsea manager José Mourinho (45) to become the successor of current Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard (45) as of next season, although the first talks with the Portuguese in January were held with the president's approval. Nevertheless, it is clear to everybody, also to Laporta, that Rijkaard will only be able to stay in charge if Barcelona wins the Champions League or the Liga this season.
The newly elected Barcelona board appointed Frank Rijkaard as manager in the summer of 2003. The Laporta presidency will end in 2010.
(read more on the manager debate here)
Friday, 21 March 2008
Every time when a season is coming to its end, the speculation about his possible departure starts, but Madrid tabloid AS claims that Barcelona central defender Rafael Márquez (29) will again not leave this summer, despite new rumours about an upcoming transfer (read more here).
Because of his relationship with Mexican model Jaydy Mitchel (picture), who is living in Madrid where Márquez visits her regularly, the player has again been linked with a move to Atlético Madrid. Márquez nevertheless thinks that there's no better place for him now than Barcelona and the Mexican international is therefore motivated to play a good end of the season and show his worth to the team.
Former Barcelona attacker Ronald de Boer (37) has announced this week the end of his career. After he recovered from a neck injury, he decided to quit with Qatari club Al-Shamal.
De Boer told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant: "I'm again totally fit but there are only two league games left. It's not really worth to start training and I didn't want to take the risk of getting injured again. So I handed in my contract."
De Boer now wants to stay for a while in Qatar since he's working as an analyst for a local television station. The Dutchman also has an offer to join a youth academy in the country. Besides that, he is considering to follow a coaching course.
De Boer played in Qatar since 2004, arriving from Glasgow Rangers, first for Al-Rayyan and since 2005 for Al-Shamal. Except for the already mentioned teams, De Boer also played for Dutch clubs Twente and Ajax Amsterdam. Ronald de Boer compiled 67 caps for the Dutch national team. In 1995 he won the Champions League with Ajax.
Ronald de Boer played for Barcelona from January 1999 (arriving together with his twin brother, central defender Frank De Boer, after a heavy transfer dispute with Ajax) until the summer of the year 2000, when he left for Scottish top club Glasgow Rangers due to a lack of playing time. Ronald de Boer won one Spanish league title with Barcelona in 1999.
(read more Ex-Barça stories here)
After an incident caused by his decision not to fly with the team to Milan for the Champions League game against Inter because his partner was ready to give birth, whereupon Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez declined his offer to fly on the morning of the game, rumours about a possible summer exit of Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alsonso (26) reappeared (read more here). In an interview with British tabloid The Daily Mail, the player now states he doesn't have any plans to leave Liverpool anytime soon: "I have a contract until 2012 and I'm quite satisfied about my future."
Xabi nevertheless defended his decision to stay in England: "I will always accept the orders of my coach and I don't think that anyone can question my professionalism. But there are occasions in life when some things take priority over sport and that was definitely one of them." The Spanish international considers the incident as closed: "I know I was criticised but it's over. For me that is forgotten now. "
(read more on the Xabi Alonso transfer story here)
Asked about the rumours linking him with a summer move to Barcelona (read more here), Deportivo La Coruña central defender Fabricio Coloccini (26) told in an interview with Argentinian radio station Radio La Red that he feels good in La Coruña, so if he would leave, it would be to better himself: "Barcelona is one of the most important clubs in the world and the ultimate goal of every football player would be to play there."
Meanwhile, Deportivo La Coruña manager Miguel Angel Lotina also reacted to the news at a press conference, saying that he always feels proud when there comes an offer for one of his players and that Coloccini has everything what it takes to be a part of the biggest team in the world: "Coloccini has the ability and the character to play in any team in the world. At his age, there are few players who have his level."
Catalan sports paper Sport claims today that Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain has already been in contact with Marcelo Lombilla, the agent of Coloccini.
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that a large part of the Barcelona board has a positive opinion on Getafe manager Michael Laudrup (43), one of the names that is being put forward as a possible successor of current Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard (45) (read more here). The former Barcelona midfielder doesn't seem to have anyone against him.
People are not only impressed by the results of the Dane with Getafe, but most of all by his way of working and his football philosophy that is corresponding with the principles that have always been defended by Johan Cruijff, who was Laudrup's coach for five years in Barcelona: playing nice football, with the emphasis on fast ball circulation and looking for and quickly occupying the free space.
Besides that, people like the way of being of Laudrup, who already has offers from Italy, England and Spain and who is represented by the Turkish agent Bayram Tutumlu: he is moderate, relaxed, non provocative and he understands how to deal with a club's surroundings.
(read more on the manager debate here)
Although he is aware the lack of playing time doesn't give him a lot of opportunities to convince the Olympique Lyon tecnical staff, Barcelona loan out Marc Crosas (20) has repeated in an interview with French weekly paper But! Lyon that he feels great in Lyon and that he would like to stay with the club after the loan deal ends in June (read more here). Crosas says he already contacted with Barcelona officials to inform them about his wish to be permanently transfered to Lyon in the summer.
(read more on Crosas in Lyon here)
Thursday, 20 March 2008
British newspaper The Times claims that Barcelona is interested in Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Jussi Jääskeläinen (32). Nevertheless, despite the interest of Barcelona, Inter Milan, Fenerbahçe and a number of Premier League clubs, the Finnish international would be close to sign for Turkish top club Galatasaray. Jääskeläinen will miss the rest of the season with a back injury and can leave on a free transfer in the summer.
In an interview with Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio, Valencia defensive midfielder Edu (29) admitted that Barcelona had showed interest to sign him in the past: "Barcelona wanted to transfer me when Sandro Rosell was a member of the board."
Sandro Rosell was Barcelona sports vice president from the summer of 2003 until the beginning of 2005. Former Bazilian international Edu played for Arsenal between 2000 and 2005. In the summer of 2005 the player left England for Valencia on a free transfer.
(read more transfer history stories here)
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that, after the deal with Racing Santander central defender Ezequiel Garay (21) could not be concluded (read more here), Barcelona is now interested in Deportivo La Coruña central defender Fabricio Coloccini (26).
Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain would already have talked with the Argentinian international and the negotiations with his agent Marcelo Lombilla are expected to start soon. Although he has three more years of contract with the club, Coloccini considers his stay with Deportivo as finished and has given his agent the permission to arrange a transfer to Barcelona, where he could play alongside fellow compatriot Gabriel Milito, or to any other interested club.
Since last summer, when Deportivo turned down a six million euro (°) bid for Coloccini from Zaragoza, who wanted to replace Milito who had left for Barcelona, a buyout clause of 10 million euro (°°) was agreed upon between the player and Deportivo president Lendoiro.
Although they refer to him as "Guy Asulin", British tabloid The Sun claims that Barcelona attacking midfielder Gai Assulin (16) is being tracked by several English top clubs. Pini Zahavi, the agent of the player, who is expected to make his debut for Israel in the friendly game against Chile next Wednesday, would already be dealing with a lot of requests.
Gai Assulin was born in Israel and came to Barcelona four years ago. Since a few months, Gai is playing with Barcelona B in the Spanish fourth division. Under the management of former Barcelona defensive midfielder Josep Guardiola he already scored seven goals this season, having an important part in the second place of the team in the classification. Last september he made his senior debut with the first team in the semi-final of the Copa Catalunya.
In August last year, Gai signed a three year contract with Barcelona, that includes a buyout clause of 20 million euro (°).
(read more youth transfer stories here)
Asked about the rumours linking him with a summer move to Barcelona (read more here), Bayern Munich right winger Franck Ribéry (24) made clear to German newspaper Abendzeitung that he doesn't have any plans to leave.
The French international is quoted saying: "I know that there's a lot of talking going on and that many clubs want to buy me. But I feel good in Munich and my family does too. I want to stay here." Ribéry came to Bayern from Marseille last summer for a transfer fee of 24 million euro.
After he let his brother deny rumours linking him with Chelsea a few weeks ago (read more here), Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard (45), who also said he considers that former Chelsea manager José Mourinho (45) could be a good coach for Barcelona, told in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 that he doesn't have the aim to coach Italian top club AC Milan.
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Italian television channel Italia 1 claims that Inter Milan is closely following the situation of Barcelona central defender Rafael Márquez (29).
While the arrival of a new central defender in Barcelona could lead to the departure of the Mexican international, Inter is looking to bring in at least one important player to strengthen their defensive department, that was upset this season by injuries and sudden dips in performances. Márquez is said to be on the list of Inter manager Roberto Mancini for many years. A transfer fee of 10 million euro (°) is being put forward.
British tabloid The Daily Mirror claims that Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso (26) is not longer looking for a summer move. During a meeting at the end of last week, the player has made peace with Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez after an incident earlier that week when Xabi didn't want to travel with the squad to Milan because his partner was about to give birth to their first child (read more here).
After the incident earlier rumours (read more here) about Barcelona preparing a bid for the Spanish international reappeared (read more here). Xabi would now have decided to stay in Liverpool and is determined to prove his value to the team.
British tabloid The Daily Mirror claims that Manchester City manager Sven-Göran Eriksson is trying to sign Barcelona right winger Giovani Dos Santos (18).
The Mexican international is represented by player's agent Pini Zahavi, who is said to have strong links with Manchester City president and Thai billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra. Zahavi would also have been in contact with Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United about Giovani.
(read more on the Giovani transfer story here)
Olympique Lyon qualified for the quarter finals of the French Cup last night by beating Sochaux with 2-1. Barcelona loan out Marc Crosas (20) started on the bench and replaced Swedish offensive midfielder Kim Källström in the 79th minute.
(read more on the performances of Crosas with Lyon here)
Rennes defensive midfielder Stéphane Mbia (21) said in an interview with French football site Mercato 365 that Barcelona is one of the clubs that have contacted him: "There are contacts in England and Italy, with clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool. And in Spain, there's Barcelona. There's also Lyon, but those are all things that are going on above my head right now."
The Cameroon international, who can also play as central defender or even right back, says he's focussing on Rennes until the end of the season: "If I have big offers then, I will think about it. Now I don't really care too much. I will listen to people like Rennes manager Pierre Dréossi, who knows me very well. And also to my parents. After that, I will make a decision."
In an interview with British tabloid The Sun, Steve Kutner, the advisor of Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard (29), has told that the player could leave his club for quite a low price: "As things stand, he can leave in the summer for 6,4 million euro (°) under FIFA regulations or sign a pre-contract with a foreign club in nine months’ time and leave for free."
The adviser said that staying with Chelsea is Lampard's priority, but that the club isn't doing the necessary to renew the contract, which leaves the English international in doubt about his future: "We were promised a definitive, final offer in January and we’ve still not heard a word from Chelsea." Kutner suggests Lampard could follow former Chelsea manager Mourinho to his new club: "It’s no secret that Jose Mourinho would love to team up with Frank again."
(read more on the Lampard transfer story here)
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Catalan radio station Ona FM reclaims - like it already did in the beginning of February - that Barcelona is negotiating with Hamburg midfielder Rafael van der Vaart (25). The talks would have entered a new phase and as a last step before a possible transfer, Van der Vaart is expected to visit the city of Barcelona together with his family in the coming weeks.
The arrival of the Dutch international could mean that Barcelona and Portuguese national team midfielder Deco (30) would not be able to continue.
Asked about the rumours linking him with a return to Barcelona (read more here and here), Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fàbregas told in an interview with British sports site Setanta Sports that he feels comfortable at his current club and does not have plans to leave soon: “I'm very happy here and proud of what the team is doing. I've got a coach I can learn a lot of things from, he believes in me. I can't complain about anything. For me, life is good now.”
The Spanish international doesn’t even exclude the possibility of ending his career with Arsenal: “If they want me here for life and I feel happy then, definitely, why not? Some people speak about Barcelona and Real Madrid like they are the best thing that can ever happen. But here, inside the club, it's a family and the fans, for me, are the best.”
Although the player has a running contract until 2010, German tabloid Abendzeitung claims that Bayern Munich central defender Lúcio (29) could be on way his way to Barcelona. The player is quoted saying he would like to play in one of the three major leagues and sees another advantage about Barcelona: “I have never made a secret of the fact that it is important for me to have compatriots in my club. A team with more Brazilians makes everything easier, on the pitch and in private life.”
Barcelona would be offering the Brazilian international a four year contract, but will have to negotiate with Bayern, who doesn’t intend to let the player go. Lúcio sees no real problem: “Yes, the club has already told me that they would like to keep me. But I am convinced we can quickly find a good solution for all parties.” A transfer price of between 15 and 20 million euro (°) is been put forward.
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that former Chelsea manager José Mourinho (45) has started negotiating with Inter Milan, where he could replace current manager Roberto Mancini. Inter offers the Portuguese the total control of the club’s sports policy, including the transfers.
Nevertheless, Mourinho has let Inter president Massimo Moratti know that Barcelona stays his first option. He informed Barcelona that he will contact them at the end of the Inter negotiations to ask them if they are still interested in his services. If the answer is negative or if Barcelona keeps postponing a decision, Mourinho will sign for Inter.
While Barcelona had planned to wait until the end of the season to decide on the continuation of current manager Frank Rijkaard (45), it seems that Inter’s elimination from the Champions League will leave Barcelona less time than expected to make a decision.
(read more on the Mourinho story here)
Asked at a meeting with journalists during the presentation of a new football shoe about the rumours linking him with a return to the English Premier League (read more here and here) after his statements on missing his daughter, Barcelona forward and French international Thierry Henry (30) was very clear in ruling out this option: “The press is making things up. That is not a possibility.”
Monday, 17 March 2008
Although we only started this blog one month ago, this weekend the number of countries from where people have been visiting this blog has reached 100. Up to this moment we have already welcomed visitors from the following countries:
Algeria - Argentina - Aruba – Australia - Austria - Azerbaijan – Bahrain - Barbados - Belgium - Bolivia - Bosnia and Herzegovina - Botswana - Brazil - Brunei - Bulgaria - Cameroon - Canada - Chile - China - Croatia - Czech Republic - Denmark - Dominican Republic - Egypt - Estonia - Finland - France - Gabon - Georgia - Germany - Ghana - Greece - Hungary - Iceland - India - Indonesia - Iran - Ireland - Israel - Italy - Ivory Coast - Jamaica - Japan - Jordan - Kazakhstan - Kenia - Kuwait - Lebanon - Liberia - Lithuania - Luxemburg - Macedonia - Macao - Malawi Maldives - Malta - Mauritius - Malaysia - Mexico - Moldova – Montenegro – Morocco - Nepal - Netherlands - New Zealand - Nigeria - Norway - Pakistan - Philippines - Poland - Portugal - Qatar - Romania - Russia - Rwanda - Saudi Arabia - Senegal - Serbia - Sierra Leone - Singapore - Slovakia - Slovenia - South Africa - South Korea - Spain - Suriname - Sweden - Switzerland - Syria - Taiwan - Tanzania - Thailand - Trinidad and Tobago - Turkey - Ukraine - United Arab Emirates - United Kingdom - United States - Uruguay - Zambia - Zimbabwe
The growing numbers of visitors is a real motivation for us to go on with this blog, so: we'll keep posting, you just keep reading.
P.S. A special thanks to the people who have put our blog address out their on different sites (without us having asked for that) !
Asked about the rumours linking him with Barcelona (read more here and here), Bordeaux manager Laurent Blanc (42) said in an interview with Italian sports paper La Gazzetta dello Sport that it''s a satifaction to hear his name being connected with big teams. The former Barcelona and French national team central defender said he would like to manage a European top club, although not immediately: "First I want to do a good job here. Before I go and coach abroad, I would like to win something in France."
(read everything on the manager debate here)
British tabloid The Daily Mirror claims that Barcelona is interested in Aston Villa goalkeeper Thomas Sörensen (31). Barcelona would want to bring in a real competitor for first choice keeper Víctor Valdés (26). The Danish international is only third choice at Aston Villa and has the permission to talk to foreign clubs since his contract expires in June and the club doesn't plan to make him a renewal offer. Barcelona could sign Sorensen on a free transfer in the next few weeks.
British tabloid The Daily Star claims that Manchester City manager Sven-Göran Eriksson has made Barcelona forward Thierry Henry (30) his top target for the summer. Eriksson thinks the French international, who is unsettled in Barcelona both because of sports and private reasons, could lead Manchester City into the Champions League. The transfer price of at least 12,8 million euro (°) wouldn’t be a problem since Manchester City president and Thai billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra would allow Eriksson to spend a total of 128 million euro (°°) during the summer market.
Madrid tabloid AS claims that Barcelona has contacted Sevilla to ask for the situation of central defender Federico Fazio (21). This happened a few weeks ago through player's agent Eduardo Gamarnik, who represents both Fazio and Barcelona central defender Gabriel Milito. Sevilla sports director Monchi has made clear, like he also did to Atlético Madrid, that the Argentinian defender is not for sale. Sevilla is, on the contrary, negotiating with the player to renew his contract that expires in 2011. Fazio has a buyout clause of 15 million euro.
Sunday, 16 March 2008
Catalan radio station Ona FM reclaims (like they already did in the beginning of February) that Barcelona and Sevilla midfielder Christian Poulsen (28) have already closed a deal in November last year (read more here). The documents would be kept in a lawyer's office in Barcelona. Both parties cannot officially confirm the agreement until Barcelona has negotiated the transfer with Sevilla (read more here and here).
While Inter manager Roberto Mancini declared earlier this week on the Italian televison channel Sky Italia that, if the money is available, he would like his club to buy Barcelona right winger Lionel Messi (20), Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims this weekend that Inter president Massimo Moratti has decided to launch a new offensive to bring the Argentinian to Milan, cost what it may.
Messi should become the central figure of a new project under Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez or former Chelsea manager José Mourinho. If needed, Moratti would be ready to pay the buyout clause of 150 million euro. Inter officials Marco Branca and Gabriele Oriali would want to approach Messi during his recovery stay in Argentinia. Although the good relationship between Inter and Barcelona, demonstrated by the presence of Barcelona president Joan Laporta at the festivities for the 100th birthday of the Italian club earlier this month, could prevent them from doing so.
It is for years now that Inter president Moratti has shown his admiration for Messi, but the player has always made clear that he is very happy at Barcelona and that he has no intention to leave (read more here and here).
After a 0-3 away win against Monaco, Lyon stays on top of the French table with a nine points advantage on Bordeaux, who plays later today. Barcelona loan out Marc Crosas (20) started on the bench and replaced defensive midfielder Jérémy Toulalan in the 65th minute.
(read more on the adventures of Crosas in Lyon here)
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona has decided to start listening to offers coming in for Mexican right winger Giovani Dos Santos (18). Although a loan deal is not exluded, Barcelona would be willing to let the player go on a permanent basis to every club that wants to put down 10 million euro (read more here).
Barcelona is already for a while annoyed with the attitude of the Mexican international, threatening that he has a lot of offers and that Barcelona should offer him a new contract if they don't want to see him leave. With Giovani now refusing to get a surgery to solve the problems with his left feet, the patience of the club seems to have run out.
Asked about the recent rumours linking him with Barcelona (read more here and here), Getafe manager Michael Laudrup (43) told at a press conference that this proved he was doing a good job and that it's a reason to be proud. Meanwhile in Nyon, where officials of Getafe and Barcelona had a short informal meeting previous to the European draws, Barcelona sports director Txiki Begirsitain declared that Laudrup is performing very well at Getafe but that he had no intention to sound out the Dane at this moment.
Getafe president Ángel Torres said that the interest for Laudrup, not only from Barcelona, makes it clear that his club is doing very well at choosing their manager. Cause after Quique Sánchez Flores (Valencia) and Bernd Schuster (Real Madrid), Laudrup could be the next manager leaving for a big club.
(read everything on the manager debate here)
Catalan sports paper Sport indicates that Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho (27) could turn into a problem for the club. The player has a contract until 2010, feels comfortable in the club and the city and therefore doesn't show any intention to move before that date (read more here).
And with the interest of several European top clubs like Milan, Inter or Chelsea having faded away (read more here, here and here), Barcelona seems to be obliged to sit around the table to negotiate a renewal. This while a part of the board wants to get rid of the Brazilian as soon as posible. But if the contract is not renewed, Ronaldinho could leave on a free transfer in two years time. Given the current situation, it seems that only Ronaldinho will decide where and how he will leave Barcelona.