Saturday, 26 July 2008
Barcelona site Pelikano questions the age of former Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho, who officially celebrated his 28th birthday last March.
The site claims that during the party for his last birthday Ronaldinho asked to put two extra candles on the cake before blowing out the candles and doing the traditional wishes. The Brazilian cheered that he was actually 30 years old.
It would be a common practive for Brazilian players to take a couple of years of their real age, because it's quite easy to change the legal documents and it can make them gain more money.
Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam has officially announced that they have reached an agreement with Barcelona centre and right back defender Oleguer Presas (28).
After the medical tests on Monday, Oleguer will sign a three-year contract with an option for an extra season.
Ajax manager Marco van Basten hopes to have the Catalan defender with the group on Tuesday and showed his satisfaction about the transfer in an interview with the club's official website:
"Sports director Danny Blind called me late last night to inform me that the deal was closed. That is good news since it's no secret that we were looking for a central defender. I'm happy we signed Oleguer. We're all convinced that his qualities suit the team very well. He has a good age, he has experience at a high level and it's a real defender.
It's also a good thing that we don't sign a player at the end of the summer. If everything goes well during the medical tests on Monday, he can travel with the group to England. That's good for him and for us. This will give him the time to get to know his new team-mates and we'll have time to find him a place in the team."
Read the complete Oleguer transfer story from the first rumours until the official confirmation
Valdés (45 Pinto)
Alves (63 Abraham)
Márquez (45 Piqué)
Víctor Sánchez (79 Córcoles)
Crosas (45 Víctor Vázquez)
Keita (45 Busquets)
Gudjohnsen (45 Touré)
Pedrito (45 Jeffren)
Henry (45 Eto'o)
Bojan (45 Messi)
26 Buaben 1-0
27 Henry 1-1
51 Messi 1-2
60 Eto'o 1-3
75 Messi 1-4
78 Messi 1-5
Since the beginning of this week two players have joined the pre-season of Barcelona Atlètic (previously known as Barcelona B) and will try to convince Barcelona Atlètic coach Luis Enrique to sign them.
The two players are defensive midfielder Ibrahim Diallo (19 - picture on the right), who is currently playing for Swiss club CS Chênois and Puente Castro Juvenil central defender Viti (18 - picture below on the left).
Leon regional news site Leonoticias claims that Viti, who is described as a strong and aggressive player, is also followed by Real Madrid.
Asked about the test players, Luis Enrique said to the club's official website that both had one week to convince the staff: "The first impression was good. We'll see if they have the profile we're looking for and how they perform during the matches and all along the week. Maybe they'll stay, maybe not."
Barça B - Official: Verdes
Barça B: Still no deal with Zaragoza on Longas
Barça B - Official: Coto to Sevilla B
Eleven Juvenil players are currently taking part in the pre-season of Barcelona Atlètic (previously known as Barcelona B).
Depending on their performance during the pre-season, on the future transfers of the team and on which B players who are now doing the pre-season with the first team will stay with the first team, Barcelona Atlètic coach Luis Enrique will later decide which of those player will continue the season with his team.
This is the list of the eleven players:
Juvenil A goalkeeper Rubén Miño (19)
Juvenil A goalkeeper Jordi Masip (19)
Juvenil A right back defender Martín Montoya (17)
Juvenil A centre and right back defender Marc Blasco (19)
Juvenil A central defender Marc Muniesa (16)
Juvenil A defensive midfielder Andreu Fontàs (18)
Juvenil B defensive midfielder Oriol Romeu (16)
Juvenil A central midfielder Polaco (18)
Juvenil A attacking midfielder Thiago Alcántara (17)
Juvenil A attacking midfielder Iago Falqué (18)
Juvenil A centre forward Rubén Rochina (17)
Barça B: Luis Enrique building a new team
Youth: Thiago Alcántara
Youth: Adria Carmona
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona has proposed French champions Olympique Lyon a swap deal including Lyon forward and French international Karim Benzema (20) and Barcelona forward and Cameroonian international Samuel Eto'o (27).
Olympique Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas asked Barcelona officials about the situation of Eto'o last week (read more here). Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain told Aulas to contact Eto'o's agent José María Mesalles, since Barcelona wants the player to find an agreement with an interested club first.
Begiristain nevertheless made clear to the president of the French club that Karim Benzema stays an absolute priority for Barcelona, for this or next summer, and that the transfer of Eto'o could only go through if the French international is included in the deal.
Lyon is expected to hold talks with the agent of Eto'o soon, although it seems at this point that the wage demands of the Cameroonian striker could make any deal very difficult.
Benzema likes Barcelona
Is Caceres the Sergio Ramos of Barcelona?
Where could Eto'o play next season?
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Beportivo claims that Barcelona centre and right back defender Oleguer Presas (28) has yesterday agreed personal terms with Ajax Amsterdam.
Oleguer will sign a three-year contract with the Dutch club with an option for a fourth year. The conditions for that extra year being very favourable for the player, it could be seen as a four-year contract.
Ajax, who reached an agreement with Barcelona on the transfer earlier this week (read more here), will announce the transfer later today. Oleguer will travel this weekend to the Netherlands to undergo the medical tests and to sign the contract.
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that the negotiations are still ongoing.
Friday, 25 July 2008
There was Kuruvchi. And Madrid. But since Barcelona made clear that the player isn't part of next season's plans, Barcelona forward and Cameroonian international Samuel Eto'o (27) has been linked to a dozen clubs. An overview.
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claimed that Inter Milan is discretely working on the transfer of Eto'o and would already have held talks with Eto'o.
The Cameroonian striker is one of the favourite players of Inter manager José Mourinho and Eto'o would be positive about the option.
Madrid sports tabloid Marca claims that Inter is seriously interested but didn't yet make a formal offer to Barcelona. Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that Inter and Eto'o have already closed a deal but Eto'o would only join the Italian champions if Barcelona will let him go for not more than 20 million euro°.
Catalan sports paper Sport nevertheless claims that Inter manager Mourinho has made clear to Inter president Moratti that he doesn't want to sign any player from Barcelona.
Valencia regional sports paper Super Deporte claimed that Eto'o would be the media bomb (then) new Valencia chief executive Juan Villalonga was preparing. Barcelona would have been asking 15 million euro° for the player because they didn't want him to start the pre-season.
Catalan sports paper Sport claimed that Valencia sports director Azkargorta was working on an attacking pair Villa-Eto'o. Valencia would have been ready to pay 25 million euro°. Valencia regional newspaper Las Provincias claimed that Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain was trying to include Eto'o in a swap deal with Valencia players Silva or Villa.
The rumour grew when Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain said at a press conference that Barcelona doesn't exclude considering offers for Eto'o coming from other Primera División teams.
Valencia put out an official statement denying the rumours: "In view of the information that appeared in certain media about the supposed interest of Valencia CF in signing in FC Barcelona player Samuel Eto'o, the Club wants to express that there were and there will be no contacts with the player to sign him."
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that the option was strongly linked to the arrival of former Spanish national team coach Luis Aragonés as new Valencia manager. Sports weekly paper Gol and Madrid sports tabloid Marca claim that Valenca has sounded out the player but stopped every further attempt when they heard how much Eto'o was asking.
Catalan sports paper Sport and British tabloid The Daily Mirror claim that Eto'o is the absolute priority of Tottenham manager Juande Ramos in case striker Dimitar Berbatov would leave the English Premier League club this summer.
British tabloid The Sun claims that Tottenham appears the most likely English destination for Eto'o since the club is resigned to losing both Berbatov and Keane before the start of the season. Catalan sports weekly paper Gol claims that Tottenham isn't really an option for Eto'o since it would mean a step back for himequipe.
In an interview with French sports paper L'Equipe, Olympique Lyon president said today that the transfer of Eto'o could be a possibility: "Samuel was close to joining us four years ago when he was playing for Mallorca. If he wants to come tomorrow, manager Claude Puel will be delighted and we have the financial means for the operation.
Another thing is if it's a good idea to bring in a player who earns a lot more than the other players? You have to find a balance, on and off the pitch. But if the manager says we need Eto'o to win the Champions League, we will try everything to sign him even when he's not really within our reach."
Could Eto'o join Real Madrid?
Eto'o agent doesn't exclude continuation
Why was Eto'o yesterday in Uzbekistan?
French sports paper L'Equipe reports that French club Paris Saint-Germain is still waiting for the final results of the medical tests former Barcelona central defender Lilian Thuram (36) underwent before making a decision.
Doctors last month detected a heart malformation during the medical tests of the player prior to his signing for PSG (read more here).
If the results are confirmed, this would mean the end of the football career of Thuram. In the coming days the situation should be cleared out.
In an interview with the paper after the first tests, Thuram said he hoped to be able to play again: "The doctors have told me that my heart is somewhat big. I knew about it, cause my mother has the same problem and my brother died of it. When I was a young player at Monaco they already said somethign about it, but it was nothing worrying. Apparently things have changed since then and now there's a risk.
I want to thank PSG and president Villeneuve for their support. I can understand that PSG is in the meantime looking for someone else. We'll know more when the final results are there. I hope to return to the game and PSG is then an attractive option. I would like to help the club and take them back to the top of the table.
In any case, I will have to stop playing one day. If I will have to stop that would mean I have the luck that they have discovered it now. If there's something seriously wrong, I could say that they've discovered it at the right moment."
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that it doesn't look good and that the player probably will have to retire. Thuram could be offered a job as sporting advisor of Paris Saint-Germain.
Heart problem could cause end of Thuram's career
The expiring contracts
Deal between Thuram and PSG close
Due to new (quite dramatic) changes at the top of his club with recently appointed chief executive Juan Villalonga dismissed yesterday and a new president appointed, Valencia left winger and Spanish international David Silva (22) could be back on the market.
While Villalonga wanted to build a new ambitious project on Silva and his team-mate David Villa (read more here), the economic situation of the club could now force the club to sell their key players.
Villalonga, who wanted to buy the club, revealed in a surprise speech that the club has a debt of 439 million euro (with over one third of that amount to be paid before the end of the year), that could well rise to almost 800 million euro if the cost of the new stadium is included.
Asked about a possible transfer of Silva and Villa, new Valencia president Vicente Soriano didn't want to guarantee the continuation of both players: "I will try to assure their stay at the club."
Over the last days, Villalonga and Valencia sports director Xabier Azkagorta (also dismissed yesterday) had been negotiating the renewal of Silva, promising the player the same salary as Valencia striker Villa has been offered.
Valencia sports paper Super Deporte claimed that there had been intense contacts with the agent of the winger and that a deal was close. An agreement was expected before Silva's return from holiday next Monday. Madrid sports tabloid As claims that new (and old) valencia sports director Juan Sánchez will now have to try to finish the deal.
With the problems between Villalonga and strong man Juan Soler having already started a little week ago, there were back then already rumours about Silva and Villa being put for sale. Valencia regional newspaper Las Provincias brought the news first last weekend. Madrid sports tabloid Marca claimed the asking price for Silva is now 30 million euro°.
Super Deporte, that now reports that Villa is on his way to Real Madrid, claimed earlier this week that the interest of Barcelona for Silva was again growing. Madrid sports tabloid As claims that Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola is insisting on the transfer but that the fee makes it not very likely the player will end up in Barcelona.
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo said that Barcelona is planning a new offensive for the Spanish international. Catalan sports paper Sport claims that both Guardiola and Barcelona sports director Txiki Begirstain think that Silva is the ideal player for the left wing.
Asked about the problems surrounding the transfer of Zaragoza midfielder Antonio Longás (23) to Barcelona Atlètic (previously knows as Barcelona B) (read more here), Zaragoza president Eduardo Bandrés has said at a press conference that the player will most probably leave soon:
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona has reached an agreement on the transfer of Zaragoza B central defender Raul Goni (read more here). The defender is expected to arrive in Barcelona on Saturday.
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona Atlètic (previously known as Barcelona B) is interested in Real Sociedad midfielder Daniel Estrada (21).
Second division club Sociedad is nevertheless not at all willing to let go the player, who made his debut in the Spanish Primera División during the 2006-2007 season.
Barça B: Zaragoza holding on to Longas
Barça B - Official: Chico to Almeria
Sporting Gijon wants Gai Assulin on loan
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona isn't hurrying while looking for a new centre forward. The main reason is that Barcelona isn't willing to pay the amounts of money that could be involved.
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Valdés (46 Pinto)
Alves (46 Abraham)
Márquez (46 Cáceres)
Víctor Vázquez (31 Crosas) (66 Hleb)
Sergi Busquets (46 Touré Yaya)
Gudjohnsen (66 Keita)
Messi (46 Jeffren)
Henry (46 Bojan)
Pedrito (66 Eto'o)
5 Gudjohnsen 0-1
15 Messi 0-2
17 Gudjohnsen 0-3
27 Pedrito 0-4
48 Bojan 0-5
69 Touré Yaya 0-6
Eto'o agent doesn't exclude continuation
Sevilla has officially announced the transfer of Barcelona Atlètic (previously known as Barcelona B) wing attacker Carles Coto (20), who signed a two-year contract and will play for Sevilla B in the Spanish second division next season.
Coto, who was part of the Spanish U-19 national team that became European champions last summer, leaves Barcelona on a free transfer. In case Sevilla sells the player later on, Barcelona will receive a part of the transfer fee. Catalan newspaper Diari de Girona thinks that part could be 20 per cent.
Coto, who is representented by sports agency Bahía International, played last season on loan with Belgian first division club Mouscron. Although Mouscron decided not to use the option to buy the Catalan winger, Coto said to Diari de Girona that the loan has been a positive experience for him: "I matured as a player and as a person. I lived an experience I wouldn't have had staying with Barcelona B and playing in the fourth division. It has been a good decision with a very positive outcome."
Barça B: Pedro Garcia looking for Belgian club
Barça B: Ruben looking for another club
Barça B - Official: Fali to Terrassa
Barcelona has today officially announced the transfer of Xerez central defender Héctor Verdes (22), who will play for Barcelona Atlètic (previously known as Barcelona B) next season. Second division club Xerez had already announced the deal yesterday.
In a first reaction to the club's official media, Verdes says that he doesn't consider the transfer as a step back despite going from a second to a third division team: "Joining a club like Barcelona is an important move in my career despite dropping back a league compared to last season. I see this as a little step back to then afterwards make a big step forward."
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona attacker and Iceland international Eidur Gudjohnsen (29) could in the end not leave the club this summer.
On the one hand no concrete offer has so far been made by another club, while on the other hand Gudjohnsen could be given more chances to play next season. Or that seems to have been the outcome of a meeting between the striker and new Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola a few days ago.
I'm going to a great club, but with a certain sadness to have to leave the places where I was happy, in which I experienced triumphs, but especially emotions. Us Brazilians play football also to make others happy. This was one of my objectives and I am satisfied I achieved that.
I'd like to thank the support I have received from all the players I played with. It was an honor to play alongside footballers of such a high professional quality, but especially human quality. Many of them were not just team mates, but friends. We were a great group and everyone gave their contribution to the success. No player can win anything by himself. I have to thank my team mates and the club for the individual awards which brought me here, I have a special memory of the Golden Ball and the FIFA World Player. Thanks because here I lived some of the happiest moments of my life.
I don't want to forget the coaches, the masseurs, the doctors, all the people involved at the club; they are a part of the triumph too. I extend my gratitude also to the managers who supported me and the press which accompanied me over the years. They will all remain indelible memories of an exceptional period.
I've received a lot. I was happy in Barcelona and with Barcelona. I will keep all of this in my heart with great affection. Football is a game, a party, it's a sport to enjoy and to give joy. You have to play football with a smile. That is its significance for me. Thank you for having smiled with me.
With Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola being a keen admirer of the striker, British tabloid The Sun claims that Barcelona is ready to move for Tottenham forward and Bulgarian international Dimitar Berbatov (27) once Samuel Eto'o has left the club.
Tottenham would be willing to negotiate a transfer of Berbatov to Barcelona and is ready to let the player go for 30 million euro°, while initially asking 37,5 million euro° to Manchester United.
Tottenham prefers that Berbatov leaves for a club that doesn't participate in the English Premier League.
Bid for Berbatov coming up
Looking for a left winger and a centre forward
Berbatov if Adebayor situation remains unclear
Aragon regional newspaper El Periódico de Aragón claims that Zaragoza midfielder Antonio Longás (23), whose transfer to Barcelona Atlètic (previously known as Barcelona B) is subject to an agreement between the two clubs (read more here), will at least continue the pre-season with second division club Zaragoza until the end of the week.
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Zaragoza cancelled an earlier pre-agreement but that a final agreement is nevertheless expected soon. Catalan sport paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that the player could join Barcelona Atlètic on Saturday.
In an interview with Aragon regional newspaper Heraldo de Aragón, Longás said last week that he will only leave for Barcelona: "I wish to join Barcelona and I'm not considering any other option: if I don't leave for Barcelona, I prefer to stay with Zaragoza until my contract expires next year. The club has told me they don't need me anymore. I respect that decision but then they should allow me to go to the club of my choice.
A move to Barcelona would only bring advantages: it's one of the biggest clubs in the world, they work very well with their youth teams and their way of playing suits my style. The support of the technical staff, including manager Guardiola, has been decisive in my decision. They believe in me and I have felt that from the first day we have been talking.
They also offer me a two-year contract, which gives me some more stability. I will have a professional contract which would allow me to switch between the first and the second team without any problems, although I'm aware that's not a very likely option at this moment, rather a dream."
Barça B: Still no deal with Zaragoza on Longas
Barça B - Official: Solano
Barça B: Deal with Longas (Zaragoza)
Catalan sports paper Sport claims that the negotiations with Sevilla on the transfer of Barcelona Atlètic (previously known as Barcelona B) captain and central defender Marc Valiente (21) to Sevilla B have been cancelled, despite the player already having reached an agreement with Sevilla after he was told by Barcelona that he could leave this summer.