Saturday, 10 May 2008
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona will offer Barcelona right wing attacker and Argentinian international Lionel Messi (20), whose contract expires in 2014, a contract renewal that will make the player earn 100 million euro° in the next six seasons (read more here).
Asked about the position of Bayern Munich full back defender and German international Philipp Lahm (24) who did not renew his contract that expires in 2009 (read more here), Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has told in an interview with German sports site Sport1 that in his opinion the player will not leave in the summer and that the club will give the renewal another try:
"Philipp has a contract until 2009 and I assume that he will play for us next season. Regarding to the contract renewal the last word has not yet been said. Together with future manager Klinsmann, we will try to convince Philipp that Bayern is a good club for him."
Barcelona didn't yet contact Bayern on Lahm
How things stand: Right back defender
New Bayern manager Klinsmann wants Deco
Together with Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard (45), his assistants Johan Neeskens (56) and Eusebio Sacristán (44) will have to leave at the end of the season. The situation of Barcelona goalkeeping coach Juan Carlos Unzué (41) is unclear: it is not yet decided if he will stay or if Barcelona B goalkeeping coach Carles Busquets (40) will take over.
Madrid sports tabloid As claims that Barcelona will soon move for Athletic Bilbao central defender Fernando Amorebieta (23). Barcelona has been following the left-footed player over the last four years and thinks he's now ready for a transfer to the top.
Asked about his future and the rumours linking with a summer move to Manchester City (read more here), Barcelona right wing attacker and Mexican international Giovani dos Santos (18) has said in an interview with Mexican sports paper Récord that he wants a change in his situation: "Until the 18th of May, I am a Barcelona player. That day the season ends and then my agent will find an agreement with the board."
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that AS Roma winger Mancini (27) is on the Barcelona summer transfer list. In talks between Barcelona and Roma officials the name of the Brazilian player would already have been put on the table.
Friday, 9 May 2008
Madrid sports tabloid Marca claims that Barcelona has decided to put first-choice goal keeper Víctor Váldes (26) on the market. Váldes is not considered to be a vital piece in the rebuilding of the team and Barcelona will listen to offers coming in during the summer transfer window.
Catalan sports paper Sport, who today claims that future Barcelona manager Guardiola is already planning next season's squad for over one month, made on Wednesday an overview of the players Guardiola wants to stay or leave. Before we throw that one in the trash can, here it goes:
should stay: Valdés, Zambrotta, Milito, Márquez, Puyol, Sylvinho, Abidal, Xavi, Iniesta, Deco, Messi, Bojan and Eto’o
can leave: Jorquera, Pinto, Thuram, Oleguer, Edmílson, Touré, Gudjohnsen, Ronaldinho, Henry, Giovani, Ezquerro
The same paper says today that Barcelona wants to listen to offers coming in for every player of the current squad, except for nine: Valdés, Milito, Puyol, Abidal, Touré, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and Bojan.
Madrid sports tabloid As claims that Guardiola has explicitly asked for Bayern Munich full back defender Philipp Lahm (24).
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Guardiola thinks that Arsenal forward Emmanuel Adebayor (24) could be a key player in his new project. Barcelona did not yet make any move for the Togolese player but, despite his comment that he wants to stay with Arsenal (read more here), Barcelona will do everything that is possible to bring Adebayor to Barcelona. Barcelona forward Samuel Eto'o (27), who has a close relationship with Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, could be included in the deal (read more here).
And British tabloid The Sun claims that the manager change in Barcelona could lead to Barcelona trying to bring in Liverpool central midfielder Xabi Alonso (26), for whom Juventus is planning a 20 million euro° bid.
During the Barcelona presidential elections back in 2003, Guardiola was the candidate to become the new Barcelona sports director if Lluís Bassat would win the elections. Bassat ended second (behind Laporta) but El Mundo Deportivo digged up the list of players that Guardiola planned to transfer at that time (having chosen Ronald Koeman, then Ajax manager, as the new coach), which could be an indication of the kind of players he would like to bring in now:
Inter Milan central defender Iván Córdoba, Zaragoza central defender Roberto Ayala (then Valencia), Inter central and left back defender Cristian Chivu (then Ajax), Milan defensive midfielder Emerson (then Roma), Liverpool winger Harry Kewell (then Leeds United) and Atlético Madrid winger José Antonio Reyes (then Sevilla).
Adebayor new name on centre forward list
Deal with Lahm
Ribery says 'non, merci'
British tabloid The Daily Mail claims that English Premier League clubs Arsenal and Chelsea, have been offered the chance to sign Barcelona forward and French international Thierry Henry (30). Both clubs would have turned down the opportunity.
Arsenal are no longer in a position to pay the salary that Henry was earning before he left the club last summer. Chelsea, who bid 60 million euro° for Henry when Roman Abramovich arrived in English football, considered taking him back from Barcelona but have decided against it.
With Barcelona central defender Lilian Thuram (36) on his way out this summer, Barcelona planned from the start to bring in a new central defender. The serious injury of Gabriel Milito has now made Barcelona speed up the search.
Both main Catalan sports papers think that at this moment the main options are, and in that order of rank, Deportivo La Coruña central defender and Argentinian international Fabricio Coloccini (26) and Manchester United central defender Gerard Piqué (21), like had been analized by this blog last week (read more here).
Piqué left the Barcelona youth academy in 2005 for Manchester United. Due to a lack of playing time, the player has been rejecting until now to renew his contract that expires in 2009 (read more here). British tabloid The Daily Mail claims that Manchester United wants to sell players like Piqué and Saha to raise more funds they then want to spend in the summer. It is said that Piqué wants to return to Spain.
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Manchester United wants to renew the contract before letting him go on loan to Barcelona. Barcelona would prefer a permanent deal. With only one year left on his contract, the transfer fee is said to be around 5 million euro°.
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that the Barcelona scouts have also been following two other players: AS Roma central defender and Brazilian international Juan (29) and Stuttgart central defender Matthieu Delpierre (27).
if you look at what we have now, there's mainly one thing lacking at the centre back: speed. don't know if coloccini or piqué really have that. and puyol, milito ànd coloccini: that's just too much hair!
How things stand: Central defenders
Deal with Coloccini
Piqué tempted by Barcelona return
German tabloid Bild claims that future Bayern Munich manager Jürgen Klinsmann has contacted Barcelona midfielder and Portuguese international Deco (30) to sound the player out on a possible summer move to Germany (read more here).
Although Inter Milan is still clearly in pole position, British tabloid The Daily Star claims that Barcelona has entered the race to sign Arsenal midfielder and Belarusian international Aleksandr Hleb (27). Barcelona officials have told advisers of Hleb that they are interested in signing the player (read more here) and that they will make him an offer.
Thursday, 8 May 2008
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona will offer Barcelona right wing attacker and Argentinian international Lionel Messi (20) a contract renewal in the coming weeks.
Alerted by the reports about several European top clubs keeping an eye on the player (read more here and here), Barcelona will offer Messi a contract to reward him for his performances over the past year and making him in all aspects the key figure of the squad.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has announced at a press conference that current Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard will leave the club at the end of the season and that he will be replaced by Barcelona B manager Josep Guardiola (37). The decision was unanimously taken by the Barcelona board during a five-hour meeting.
my choice was mourinho. this is a huge risk, both for the club and for Guardiola. if he succeeds, it will be better than another manager succeeding. but if he fails, it will be worse than another manager failing. this could be too much too soon but i believe very much in Guardiola, in his qualities as a human being (in the first place) and consequently as a manager. gràcies frank, visca'l pep, visca'l barça! (and let me now look for a new nick, suggestions are welcome...)
Full name: Josep Guardiola Sala
Date of birth: 17 January 1971
Place of birth: Santpedor (Catalunya, Spain)
Position as player: central midfielder ('pivote')
Clubs as player: Barcelona (1990-2001), Brescia (2001-2002, 2003), AS Roma (2002-2003), Al Ahly (2003-2005), Dorados (2006)
Clubs as coach: Barcelona B (2007-2008)
Honours as player: 6 Spanish leagues (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999 ), 2 Spanish cups (1997 and 1998), 4 Spanish super cups (1992, 1993, 1995 and 1997), 1 Champions League (1992), 1 European cup winner's cup (1997), 2 European super cups (1992 and 1997)
Guardiola to be the new manager
The Guardiola report
Guardiola backed by board but not by fans
Read everything on the Guardiola story here
At this moment everybody seems to agree that it will be Barcelona B manager josep Guardiola (37), but in the days before the still unconfirmed (and unofficial) decision on Monday (read more here) there was a lot of speculation on who would replace current Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard (45), whose dismissal was a sure fact after the Champions League elimination last week.
Asked about the rumours linking him with a summer move to Barcelona (read more here), Arsenal forward and Togolese international Emmanuel Adebayor (24) has made clear to journalists that he does not have any intention to leave his club in the summer:
Adebayor new name on centre forward list
It is reported that Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain gave an overview of the latest transfer developments during the meeting of a club committee on Monday (read more here).
Olympique Lyon qualified for the final of the French Cup last night by beating second division team Sedan at home with 1-0. Barcelona loan out Marc Crosas (20) was 'the 19th man' and did not make the bench.
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
Despite the declarations of Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge last week that the German champions are ready to listen to offers coming in for Bayern full back defender Philipp Lahm (24) and that there had been a first contact with Barcelona, Bayern Munich general manager Uli Hoeness has said in an interview with German sports magazine Kicker that only Manchester United is interested: "At this moment it's only about Manchester United. But as things stand now, Lahm will stay."
With current manager Frank Rijkaard said to be on his way to Chelsea and Chelsea president and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich preparing a record bid for Barcelona right wing attacker and Argentinian international Lionel Messi (read more here), British tabloid The Daily Star claims that Chelsea is also closing in on a deal to sign Barcelona midfielder and Spanish international Xavi (28) this summer (read more here).
Asked about the squad reshuffle coming up, Xavi has said at a press conference that he thinks and hopes this will not affect him: "I have two years left on my contract and I wish to complete them."
would be a great signing for them, but of course it will not happen
Xavi is on the Chelsea list
100 million euro Chelsea bid for Messi
Xavi dreams about retirement
Catalan sports papers El Mundo Deportivo and Sport claim that Barcelona B attacking midfielder Thiago Alcántara (17) will be part of the first team squad as of next season. The good performances of Bojan and Giovani would have convinced the Barcelona technical staff to not needless lengthen the stay of talented youth academy players with Barcelona B (read more here).
The youngster, who is known for his dribbling and passing skills, joined Barcelona in 2005 arriving from Gallician club Ureca. Before he played for Flamengo in Brazil. Despite an offer from Chelsea, Thiago signed a three-year contract (with an option for two more years) with Barcelona when he turned sixteen last year.
Thiago started the current season with the Juvenil A team but soon made his debut for Barcelona B. Due to injuries the Spanish youth international did not play much this season. Last september he made his senior debut with the first team in the semi-final of the Copa Catalunya.
Thiago Alcántara was born in Italy and grew up in Spain and Brazil. He has the double Spanish-Brazilian nationality and although he's currently playing for the Spanish youth selections, he could well choose to represent Brazil in the future. Thiago is the son of former Valencia and Celta Vigo midfielder Mazinho, who became world champion with Brazil in 1994. His younger bother Rafael (15) is also playing for Barcelona.
Youth: Gai Assulin
Youth: Felipe Coutinho (Vasco da Gama)
Youth: Jonathan Dos Santos
Madrid sports tabloid Marca claims that Barcelona has agreed to meet with Tottenham representatives next week in order to start negotiations on the transfer of Barcelona forward and Cameroonian international Samuel Eto'o (27). Tottenham had first contacted the entourage of Eto'o, who referred the English club to Barcelona.
Willing to hold a first meeting, Barcelona would have set a minimum transfer price of 35 million euro°. Tottenham could be ready to pay the fee since manager Juande Ramos has been promised that enough money is available to make a squad that will be able to compete with the English "big four" (Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool) next season. Ramos wants Eto'o to become the leader of the new and ambitious project.
Berbatov in exchange for Eto'o
Eto'o for sale
First talks between Eto'o and Tottenham
With first choice Karim Benzema probably not going to leave Olympique Lyon in the summer (read more here), Barcelona is looking for an alternative to strengthen the front line. Since Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has an age disadvantage (read more here), Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona would now have turned its attention to Arsenal forward and Togolese international Emmanuel Adebayor (24).
With the arrival of Milan adviser Ernesto Bronzetti in Madrid today, it is expected that new talks between Milan and Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain will be held in the coming hours on the transfer of Barcelona right back defender and Italian international Gianluca Zambrotta (31). Although Zambrotta has a contract until 2010, it looks like the player will return to his home country in the summer.
Asked about the rumours linking him with a summer move to European top clus, amongst which Barcelona (read more here), Sevilla left winger and Spanish youth international Diego Capel (20) has said in an interview with Spanish football weekly paper Don Balón that he does not have any plans to leave this summer:
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona has contacted an intermediary who should help find a club for Barcelona midfielder and Portuguese international Deco (30). Although Deco is represented by player's agent Jorge Mendes, Barcelona wants to have more options by bringing in an external intermediary. The same go-between is currently also looking for clubs who could be interested in the transfer of Barcelona attacker Eidur Gudjohnsen (read more here).
Asked about the new rumours linking him with a summer move to Barcelona (read more here), Hamburg attacker and Dutch international Rafael van der Vaart (25) has said in a reaction to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that such a report feels good but that he waits now if something will come out:
"Everybody knows that Barcelona is one of my dream clubs, so it flatters me that I'm linked with the club. On the other hand I know very well that I should not let every newspaper article go to my head. I just wait and see if the interest becomes more concrete or not."
Van der Vaart to lift up midfield scoring
Van der Vaart to replace Ronaldinho
Barcelona sightseeing for Van der Vaart
It was probably Catalan television station TV3 who brought the news first but all sources are now saying the same: Barcelona B manager Josep Guardiola (37) has yesterday been chosen to be the new Barcelona manager as of next season.
During a five-hour meeting of the so-called Comisión Delegada (a club committee consisting of the most important board members and the highest ranked management representatives), Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain put forward the name of Guardiola as the most suited candidate to replace current manager Frank Rijkaard (45).
After discussion, the proposal of the sports director was approved by the committee. If the Barcelona board gives its consent on Thursday, former Barcelona captain Guardiola will probably be presented as the new Barcelona manager on Sunday the 19th of May, at the end of the current season. Barça Transfer Zone will develop the story in the coming days.
Board member leaked Guardiola preference
The Guardiola report
Guardiola backed by board but not by fans
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that the knee injury of Barcelona central defender and Argentinian international Gabriel Milito (27), which will leave the player out for six months, has changed Barcelona's initial transfer plans as the central defence is concerned (read more here).
Spanish radio station Cadena Ser claims that Barcelona is monitoring the situation of Valencia forward and Spanish interntional David Villa (26). Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain has met twice last week with José Luis Tamargo, the agent of Villa, who also assisted the Barcelona-Valencia game on Sunday.
The agent denied during the talks that Real Madrid has a first option on Villa. Tamargo made clear that the Valencia striker has no kind of agreement with another club and that he is ready to listen if Barcelona would want to make an offer.
we don't really need that type of striker, let the guy go to the Premier League, he will be great there
Looking for a left winger
Barcelona can talk with Amauri
Albelda wants Barça door open
Asked about the rumours linking him with a summer move back to the English Premier League, Barcelona forward and French international Thierry Henry (30) has repeated (read more here) in an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien that he has no plans to leave Barcelona in the summer: "The Spanish press spreads rumours every day. Regarding my future: no, I don't want to leave. I have three years left on my contract and I will be here next season."
Catalan sports paper Sport meanwhile claims that Italian champion Inter Milan is interested in Henry. Angelo Mario Moratti, the son of Inter president Massimo Moratti, was in Barcelona two weeks ago for presumed negotiations over Ronaldinho (read more here) but the meeting could have turned into talks over Henry (read more here). Although Henry keeps repeating that he wants to stay, Inter thinks that the Frenchman could well change his mind in the coming weeks.
Inter wants Henry on loan
Henry contacts Chelsea
Henry wants to return to England
Vincenzo Morabito, the agent of Ajax Amsterdam forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (24), has said in an interview with Italian radio station Teleradiostereo that Real Madrid is interested in the Dutch international but that he expects Barcelona could also make a move: "The entourage of Huntelaar prefers a call from Spain. Real Madrid has made a first official step cause they think he could be the successor of Van Nistelrooij. But we must also take into account Barcelona, who are planning to carry out a revolution in the summer, with a lot of changes building a team around Messi."
Monday, 5 May 2008
(a few weeks before the end of the season, Barça Transfer Zone looks forward to the coming transfer summer making an analysis for each position, in part 4 we look at the left back defender)
With Giovanni Van Bronckhorst leaving for Feyenoord last summer, newly transferred French international Eric Abidal (28) became this season the first choice on the left back position. Sylvinho Mendes (34) did not get many chances but proved to be a solid back-up. Gianluca Zambrotta (31) was not used at the left.
With only a not confirmed rumour about Liverpool, Abidal is expected to stay at the club next season. And if Sylvinho (who was linked with AS Roma) accepts the one-year renewal offer by the club, everything could stay the same as far as the left back position is concerned.
With Abidal and Sylvinho most probably staying, there have been no rumours about left back defenders possibly joining Barcelona. If Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich - 24) is signed as right back defender, he could also be used at the left.
Read all How things stand contributions here or read the contribution about:
Goal keeper - Right back defender - Central defenders - Left back defender - Defensive midfielder - Attacking midfielders - Wing attackers - Centre forward
Asked about a presumed meeting with Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain last week (read more here), Sevilla midfielder and Danish international Christian Poulsen (28) has denied at a press conference that the meeting took place: "I've read in the papers that I met with Barcelona representatives but this is not true. I don't know anything about that hotel, I was at home that day."