Saturday 21 June 2008

Nike wants Ronaldo in Barcelona

Spanish football weekly paper Don Balón claims that American sportswear supplier Nike will do anything to keep Manchester United winger and Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo (23) in England or to make him move to Barcelona (read more here).

Nike wants to break Adidas' dominance in the football market during the next years. After losing Messi two years ago to their German rivals, Nike therefore wants to keep Cristiano Ronaldo at a "Nike team" so they can fully exploit his image.


If Ronaldo would move to an "Adidas team" like Real Madrid, the promotional possibilities would be strongly reduced. Nike already experienced the negative effects of such a move when David Beckham joined Madrid.

With the Portuguese winger wanting to move to Spain to be closer to his family and home land, Nike would help Barcelona, who has a contract with the American firm until 2018, to finance the 90 million euro° transfer fee: Barcelona would pay 50 million euro° and Nike would immediately put down 40 million euro°, reducing then afterwards their annual payment by 4 million euro a year over the next ten seasons.

Since the sports supplier also sponsors the Portuguese national team, Nike could then fully exploit the image of the football icon that Ronaldo has become over the last season. The possible election of former Barcelona sports vice president and former Nike executive Sandro Rosell as Barcelona president later this summer could be the key element in the operation (read more
here).

With the relations between Real Madrid and Manchester United being on a historic low, Manchester United, and especially manager Alex Ferguson, would - in case they cannot hold on to the player - prefer to see Ronaldo leave for Barcelona to pay Madrid back for the troubles they have caused the English Premier League club.

Read more:
The Cristiano Ronaldo theory
Ezquerro close to joining Olympiacos
Barcelona monitors Ronaldo events

Club-agent dispute could cancel Hernanes move

Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo claims that Barcelona could stop every negotiation on the transfer of São Paulo attacking midfielder and Brazilian international Hernanes (23) because of a dispute between São Paulo and sports marketing agency Traffic.

Frederico Pena, the agent of Hernanes, said to the paper that the climate that has been created by São Paulo has made the Barcelona officials, who were in Brazil this week, feel uncomfortable about the whole operation: "Due to aggressive speculation, a negative situation has been created. What looked good at the beginning has now turned into some kind of cold war. I think that the transfer will be cancelled. There's just no appropriate climate to negotiate."

Board members of the Brazilian club think that Traffic, who also ownes 8 per cent of the player's transfer rights, has pressured Hernanes to accept the offer made by Barcelona. The agency would also have put the news out that a deal had already been closed (read more here). São Paulo nevertheless only wants to sell when the buyout fee of 25 million euro° is paid, while Barcelona has offered only 11 million euro°.

Pena says the agency doesn't have any power to close a deal on the player: "Those 8 per cent are a part of an investment fund and do not give us the right to take part in the negotiations. Another question is the management of the athlete's career, that's what we do. We just brought the Barcelona offer to São Paulo, who can then accept it or not."

While São Paulo states it still has not heard anything from Barcelona (read more here), Pena says that his agency has communicated the proposal made by Barcelona to the Brazilian club: "They have received a verbal but authorized bid." The proposal would have been made to two close advisers of São Paulo president Juvenal Juvêncio.

Catalan sports paper Sport nevertheless claims that the negotiations on the transfer are well-advanced and that a deal could be closed and annouced soon. Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that the talks are difficult because of the high asking price but that all options are still open.

Read more:

Ronaldinho postpones decision

Asked about his situation at Barcelona, Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho (28) said earlier this week in an interview with Brazilian television channel SporTV that he doesn't plan to take a decision on his future anywhere soon:

"My only worry now is to recover well and to come back as soon as possible. I have a contract with Barcelona until 2010. At this moment I'm very relaxed. In the next months a lot of things will happen. I'm not involved in any negotiations, my agent is handling all that. If he says that we have closed a deal, I will go there and play."




Read more:
Barcelona vice president confirms triplet exit
Sergio Garcia is not a priority
Real Madrid considering Ronaldinho transfer

Gomis alternative on the centre forward list

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Saint-Etienne forward and French international Bafétimbi Gomis (22) would be an alternative option in case the transfer of more high-profiled players wouldn't be possible.

Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola would like the French striker a lot and Barcelona has excellent scouting reports on Gomis, who could be available for a more reasonable price than other options.

Read more:
Looking for a new Larsson

Palacio wants to leave Boca Juniors

Asked about the rumours linking him with a move to Barcelona (read more here), Boca Juniors forward and Argentinian international Rodrigo Palacio (26) said in an interview with Latin American television network Fox Sports that now is the right time for a transfer abroad:


"I'm 26 years old and if I don't leave now, it could get more complicated later on and Boca then also won't be able to sell me in the best conditions."

Palacio, whose contract with Boca expires in 2010, denied that he only wants to move to a Spanish club (read more here): "They asked me once where I would like the play if I could choose and i said Spain because of the language and because I like the way of playing. But if I get the chance to play somewhere else and I like the offer, I wouldn't have problems to go to another league like the Italian one."

Read more:

Tottenham was looking for Valdes agent

Barcelona site Pelikano claims that Tottenham, like some other clubs, had a hard time finding out who they had to contact when they wanted to learn more about the interest of Barcelona goal keeper Víctor Valdés (26) to join the English club (read more here).


Since Valdés broke with his agents Eduardo Ipiens and Gorka Arrinda back in 2006, the player has been represented by several people, amongst which Ramon Sostres, the agent of Barcelona players Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta and Bojan Krkic. Since a few months Valdés doesn't have a legal representative anymore and it now looks like his father José Valdés will take charge of the task.

The uncertainty about the issue has also postponed the negotiations with Barcelona sports vice president Txiki Begiristain on the possible contract renewal of Valdés, whose current contract expires in 2010.

Read more:

Trezeguet off the list

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Juventus forward David Trezeguet (30) is not anymore ont he list of possible Barcelona centre forwards for next season (read more here).


Although at first he was one of the names that had been put forward by new Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola, the age of the French striker would have excluded him in the end.

Read more:
Zambrotta doesn't exclude Juventus return

Friday 20 June 2008

Vice president in London for Arsenal talks

Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio claims that Barcelona sports vice president Marc Ingla (picture) travelled today to London where he is negotiating with Arsenal on the transfers of Arsenal forward and Togo international Emmanuel Adebayor (24) and Arsenal midfielder and Belarussian international Alexander Hleb (27).


Barcelona would like to close a package deal for both players (read more here). Ingla will today talk directly with Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger.

Read more:

Deco will make a decision soon

Asked about the rumours linking him with a summer move to Chelsea (read more here), Barcelona midfielder and Portuguese international Deco (30) said after the Euro quarter finals to British sports news agency PA Sport that he didn't yet make a decision but that this could happen soon:

"I know about the interest of Chelsea as well as other teams. But I still have to make a decision. I have to speak to Barcelona and soon there will be developments."

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that a deal with Chelsea seems very close. Once the player and the English club have reached an agreement on the personal terms, Barcelona and Chelsea will start the final negotiations on the transfer fee.


Barcelona would be asking 15 million euro° but due to issues like the age of the player a deal could well be closed for a fee between 10 and 12 million euro°.

Barcelona sports vice president Ferran Soriano denied earlier this week at a press conference that there would already be a deal on a transfer price: "It's not true that a fee has been agreed upon. It's nevertheless a fact that there are talks going on with several clubs trying to fix a price."

Read more:
Chelsea and Inter want to reduce Deco fee
Possible deal with Moutinho
Caceres' first interview

Difficult fee negotiations on Hernanes

Asked about the rumours linking São Paulo attacking midfielder and Brazilian international Hernanes (23) with a summer move to Barcelona (read more here), São Paulo sports director Marco Aurélio Cunha pointed, like his president had done before, at the buyout clause in an interview with Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio:

"The player is not for sale. If a club would like to sign him, they will have to pay the clause of 25 million euro°. At this moment we don't have had any direct contact with Barcelona. And I'm a personal friend of the player so I'm pretty sure that Barcelona has no deal with him either."

With Barcelona offering 11 million euro° and São Paulo asking 25 million euro° (read more here), Catalan sports paper Sport claims that a deal could be found for a fee around 15 million euro°. Barcelona would nevertheless not be willing to willing to pay an exaggerate price and will not enter a bid race for Hernanes.

Asked about the transfer rumours, Hernanes said in an interview with Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo that he's calm about the whole transfer story: "I saw all this in the papers but nobody has talked to me.They say that some Barcelona people were in the stadium on Wednesday but I didn't met anyone. I don't know anything yet. I'm already used to this, you know. Every year it's the same. They say I will leave, that I won't leave. Until nothing is official, I only think about São Paulo and I just go own with my life."

The paper claims that Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain has fixed a spending limit of 12 million euro°. São Paulo would own 70 per cent of the player's transfer rights. The other 30 per cent are owned by sports marketing agency Traffic and the player.

Read more:
Meeting on Hernanes this afternoon
Brazilian defender Alex Silva high on list
Youth: Erick Flores (Flamengo)

Moutinho still on the list

Portuguese sports paper O Jogo claims that Sporting midfielder and Portuguese international João Moutinho (21) is still in the race to replace Barcelona midfielder Deco next season. Moutinho and Hernanes (read more here) would appear on top of the list of possible successors.


The paper claims that a representative of Moutinho's agent Pini Zahavi travelled to Catalunya last week to discuss the player's profile with Barcelona officials. Barcelona would have doubts on Moutinho's physical abilities although the recent performances of the player at the European championship have reduced those doubts.

With the buyout clause of 25 million euro° having expired anyway (read more here), Barcelona would only be willing to launch a bid of 18 million euro°. At this moment Moutinho is neverthless only one of the options and no official approach has yet been made.

Read more:

Barça B - Official: Dimas to Numancia

Primera Divisón newcomer Numancia has announced the transfer of Barcelona B attacking midfielder Dimas Delgado (25). The Catalan player, whose contract with Barcelona expired this summer, has signed a three-year contract. Barcelona has confirmed the news.

Dimas Delgado Morgado joined Barcelona B in the summer of 2006 arriving from Catalan club Gramenet. Dimas played twice with the first team in the Catalan cup. With Barcelona B, Dimas won one Tercera División title.

Read more:




Agent confirms Henrique talks

Asked about the rumours linking Palmeiras central defender and Brazilian international Henrique Adriano Buss (21) with a summer move to Barcelona (read more here), the player's agent Marcos Malaquias said in an interview with Brazilian sports site Gazeta Esportiva that he held talks with Barcelona officials yesterday:


"Barcelona came to São Paulo wanting to close the deal. I met with them in the morning and after that we talked with the people of sports marketing agency Traffic, who ownes the player's transfer rights. The price hasn't yet been agreed upon, there is still a difference, but the transfer fee should be between 8 and 10 million euro°."

Traffic, who paid around 2,5 million euro° for the player back in January, would prefer to postpone a deal until after the Olympic Games in August with Henrique expected to be a member of the Brazilian olympic team squad. Henrique could already have closed a personal deal with Barcelona (read more here).

São Paulo football director Genaro Marino says that his club hasn't yet been officially informed of the Barcelona interest: "We're not wanting to let go Henrique but he belongs to Traffic so we're waiting to hear from them. If Henrique is sold we will receive 20 per cent of the difference between the transfer fee and the fee paid by Traffic in January."

Brazilian news site Paraná claims that the transfer fee would be around 10 million euro°. Only some details should still be agreed upon. Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo says that everyting indicates that, if Henique is transfered, he will play on loan next season with Palmeiras or another club.

Read more:

Deal with Arsenal on Adebayor

Madrid sports tabloid Marca claims that Barcelona and Arsenal have closed a deal on the transfer of Arsenal forward and Togo international Emmanuel Adebayor (24).

With Barcelona initially offering 25 million euro and Arsenal asking 30 million, the transfer fee would in the end be 27 million euro°.
Arsenal has asked Barcelona not to make the deal public until the club has found a substitute for Adebayor.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that the negotiations with Arsenal are still ongoing with the highest discretion. Adebayor wants to join Barcelona and the pressure of the player on the English Premier League club could be decisive.

Adebayor would be the absolute favourite of new Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola. Tottenham forward Dimitar Berbatov and Stuttgart forward Mario Gómez would be the alternatives in case the transfer of Adebayor wouldn't go through.


Asked about the rumours linking him with a summer move to Barcelona, Adebayor didn't want to enter the issue in a telephone reaction to Catalan sports paper Sport, who claims Barcelona has made a final offer of 29 million euro: "I don't want to pronounce on anything regarding FC Barcelona. Maybe this could be needed later on, but for now it's not. It's better to wait."

Read more:
Adebayor main centre forward option
Hleb option falls back
Meeting with Inter president on Ibrahimovich

Ex-Barça: Fernando Navarro to Sevilla

Sevilla announced on Wednesday the transfer ofMallorca left back defender and Spanish international Fernando Navarro (25). The Catalan defender will sign a five-year contract, including a buyout clause of 30 million euro.

A transfer price has not been made public and it's unclear if Barcelona, who still owned 30 per cent of the transfer rights on the player, receives a part of the fee (read more here).

Fernando Navarro came out of the Barcelona youth academy and joined the first team in 2002. In 2004 he played half a season on loan with Albacete in the Segunda División. In the summer of 2005 he left on loan for Mallorca, who bought the defender one year later. With Barcelona, Navarro won one Spanish league in 2005.

Read more:
Read all ex-Barça stories here




Deal with Shakhtar Donetsk winger Willian

Franco Nikola, the agent of Shakhtar Donetsk winger and Brazilian youth international Willian Borges da Silva (19), claims in an interview with Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo that Willian has reached a personal agreement with Barcelona.

The agent closed the deal last month during a meeting in Barcelona with Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain: "We reached an agreement on all the contractual conditions for the next five years."

Nikola, who talked a last time with Begiristain one week ago, says everyting now depends on the negotiations between the clubs. Ukrainian champions Shakthar Donetsk, who bought Willian last summer from Brazilian club Corinthians, are for now holding on to the buyout clause of 30 million euro°.

After the news spread, Barcelona player Ronaldinho would have called Willian, who he knows since both have a contract with Nike International.

Read more:
Possible deal on Brazilian defender Henrique
Youth: Felipe Coutinho (Vasco da Gama)
Brazilian defender Alex Silva high on list

Thursday 19 June 2008

Euro 2008: Portugal-Germany (quarter final)

2-3. That third goal was a fault by Ballack (and of the goal keeper), but in the end you should say the Germans go through deservedly. The diofference wasthat they had a plan. Portugal just came out to play without any plan, no plan to attack and no plan to attack. At least not a team plan. Disappointing performance by this talented team.


Deco played a fairly good game, like he did during the whole tournament. At his best he's still a great player. Coaches like Mourinho or Scolari (man, that guy is going to suffer on the Chelsea bench next season...) who need instant success will love to have him in their team.


Read everything about Barcelona at the Euro 2008 here


The group stages are over, now we're talking. And how. Two of the main candidates to win the title (well, that's what people said before the tournament) start off the elimination phase of the Euro 2008. First big test for Portugal, let's hope Deco's market value will rise during the game.

The winner will play against the winner of Croatia versus Turkey. You can comment here on the match and the performance of Deco.

Possible deal on Brazilian defender Henrique

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona would have reached an agreement on the transfer of Palmeiras central defender and Brazilian international Henrique Adriano Buss (21).


Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain could have closed a deal in Brazil with the player's agent and a sports marketing agency, who both own 50 per cent of the rights on the player. Barcelona will pay 6 million euro° for Henrique, who would sign a four-year contract.

Barcelona prefers to bring in Henrique this summer but would also consider to buy the central defender and then loaning him back to Palmeiras with an option to get the player to Barcelona in January if Milito wouldn't recover like expected.

Read more:

Chelsea and Inter want to reduce Deco fee

British newspaper The Independent claims that Barcelona midfielder and Portuguese international Deco (30) is close to agreeing personal terms with English Premier League Chelsea (read more here).

With Barcelona asking 20 million euro° for the player, a deal between the two clubs nevertheless doesn't seem as close. Jorge Mendes, Deco's agent, is negotiating with Barcelona trying to convince them to reduce the fee. Chelsea would be willing to pay 13 million euro°.

Inter Milan would als be reluctant to pay the fee demanded by Barelona and has therefore set their sights on trying to land Chelsea's Frank Lampard. Inter manager José Mourinho meanwhile suggested in Brazil to journalists that he hasn't yet given up on the Portuguese midfielder:

"I cannot forget Deco, Lampard and Drogba. I am not nostalgic but I really like those three players, they helped me win some great titles. These are players who I could never say no to. I would love to work with them again in the future, but I am not too obsessed with this idea. I don't know which of these three will leave their clubs but we will see."

Read more:
Scolari will take Deco with him to Chelsea
Deco top target for Bayern
Chelsea or Inter for Deco

Hleb option falls back

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that, because of the resistence of their club, Barcelona feels that it will be very difficult to transfer both Arsenal midfielder and Belarussian international Alexander Hleb (27) and Arsenal forward and Togo international Emmanuel Adebayor (24).

Because the signing of Adebayor would be considered to be more important than the transfer of Hleb (read more here), Barcelona would have chosen not to push for the Belarussian midfielder anymore. That would be the reason why Barcelona now seems to have turned its attention to São Paulo midfielder and Brazilian international Hernanes (read more here).

Barcelona sports vice president Marc Ingla said in an interview with Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio that the negotiations with Arsenal are still on but didn't exclude a negative outcome: "We're not rushing anything. The negotiations on Hleb are ongoing, it's a player with some specific qualities that we would like to have in our team. But we're looking at other options for in case his club doesn't want to let him go."

Madrid sports tabloid Marca claims that Barcelona made last weekend a 21 million euro° offer for the midfielder that was rejected by Arsenal.

Read more:

Vice president on Ronaldinho, Eto'o and Deco

Barcelona economic vice president Ferran Soriano (picture) repeated at a press conference that the club intends to sell Barcelona players Ronaldinho, Eto'o and Deco but left a door open for a stay:


"The club is planning the new season with the idea that those three players won't be here and we have advanced negotiations on their transfers to other clubs. Of course they'll only leave if we can find a satisfying solution for all parties involved. If that's not possible, they will stay and the coach has already said he will then count on them. The fact that we have publicly stated that the players can leave won't lead to a devaluation of the price since the market is transparent and everyone knows everything."

In relation to the incoming transfers, Soriano said that those will partly depend on the transfers of the three mentioned player but that there are no spending limits with exception of the common sense: "Paying 90 million euro for Cristiano Ronaldo or whatever player is an example of what is not common sense."

A centre forward is the priority and the club will only take into consideration football arguments: "The situation in 2003 was different but because we're now an economically healthy top team, we don't need to buy a major name. We're not worried about the sales of our shirts."

Read more:

Mourinho and Barcelona: who invited who?

Barcelona sports vice president Marc Ingla confirmed earlier this week in an interview with Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio that Barcelona had met with new Inter Milan manager José Mourinho at the request of the Portuguese: "We've always worked with the Guardiola option, but we know that the Barcelona bench is one of the most desirables ones. Mourinho was interested in explaining us his project for the club and we listened."

In a statement to Portuguese news agency Lusa, Mourinho now denies that he was the one who had been asking for the meeting: "I don't want to lose my time with things I'm not interested in, and now I'm only interested in Inter, but mister Ingla lies because it was he and mister Begiristain who asked for a meeting in Lisbon, about which I don't want to give any comment. Barcelona should try to reach its own fortune, like I'm doing for Inter and myself, but I will not allow that a certain Ingla will injure my honour."

Barcelona reacted with an announcement on the official website reading: "FC Barcelona regrets the comments made by José Mourinho contained in today’s Portuguese press in which he discredits the club’s vice president for sport, Marc Ingla, and insists that a meeting in Lisbon to discuss his sporting deals was called by initiative of the club.

Mourinho has claimed that Marc Ingla lied in a radio interview last Tuesday, when he said it was the Portuguese manager who had offered himself as a candidate to coach the club’s football first team.

FC Barcelona wish to make it clear that at no time did Marc Ingla make such a statement, as can be proved by a literal transcript of the interview. The Barça vice president of sport confirmed the meeting, but made it clear that the first option for the position was Josep Guardiola. As for the meeting with José Mourinho, Ingla textually replied that “when two parties speak, it is very hard to say what percentage of interest each one has.”

Therefore, FC Barcelona wish to make it clear that the meeting between the vice president for sport and director of football, Txiki Beguiristain, with José Mourinho, was called at a time when two issues coincided: the need to make provisions for the club’s sporting solutions and the indirect signals received by some club officials that Mourinho would be interested to return to Barcelona.

FC Barcelona is profoundly sorry to hear these statements, which disprove themselves, and considers the matter closed."

Read more on the meeting here:
Meeting with Mourinho
Meeting with Mourinho (report)
Mourinho checkmate



Meeting on Hernanes this afternoon

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona sports director will travel to São Paulo today to hold a meeting with all parties concerned on the transfer of São Paulo attacking midfielder and Brazilian international Hernanes (23).

The player will be represented by his agent and Brazilian club São Paulo, with whom Hernanes has a contract until 2012, will be represented by president Juvenal Juvêncio, football vice president Carlos Augusto de Barros e Silva and football director João Paulo de Jesus Lopez.

With Barcelona offering 11 million euro° and São Paulo asking 25 million euro° (read more here), today's negotiations should bring those positions on the price closer. An agreement might be reached for a transfer fee of around 15 million euro°.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona doesn't yet see Hernanes as a fixed regular and would not be willing to pay more than 12 million euro° for the Brazilian midfielder.

Read more:
Barcelona admits following Hernanes for months
Brazilian defender Alex Silva high on list
Hernanes confirms Barcelona offer

Deco and Marquez represented by superagent

British newspaper The Independent had last week an interesting profile of Portuguese player's agent Jorge Mendes, who is currently representing Barcelona players Deco and Márquez.










How Mendes has made himself key player behind the biggest deals in Europe

Scolari's move to Chelsea is just the latest multi-million pound move to be brokered by the Portuguese superagent.

When Jorge Mendes was asked to write a column for the Portuguese sports daily, O Jogo, during the European Championship, the title that was originally suggested, somewhat jokingly, was "My Millions". Mendes said no to that, instead agreeing to the column being called "The Value of Euros" which could, even so, be interpreted two ways. It's not just the football competition; it's the currency.

Mendes' name doesn't mean much to the average football fan. But it should. Still just 42, he is one of the most powerful men – maybe in terms of deals the most powerful man – in the game. Mendes is also an agent, a shrewd businessman and a clever media operator with his own management company, website, which employs full-time journalists, and contacts that spread from his Portuguese base throughout the world, particularly in the valuable markets of South America.

Pini Zahavi has long been regarded as the number one super-agent but, this summer, as with last year, Mendes' name is being mentioned by the biggest clubs in Europe as the man with the greater influence. He has just taken Jose Mourinho to Internazionale and Luiz Felipe Scolari to Chelsea to make the pair the highest-paid club managers in world football.

That Mendes has found time to write a column is astonishing. He has been, and is set to continue to be, the busiest agent in the business and makes many millions indeed. Having been allowed by Scolari to have access to the Portugal team hotel during the European Championship, Mendes has been a visible presence at the opulent lakeside complex as he looks after his clients and plots their futures.

Referred to as a "tranquil oasis" in the hotel blurb, the Beau Rivage in Neuchâtel has been anything but that for Mendes. Not only has he schemed to get Scolari to Stamford Bridge but he is also at the heart of deciding what will happen to his star client, Cristiano Ronaldo, who wants to move to Real Madrid. Then there is Deco, Ricardo Carvalho, Ricardo Quaresma. The list goes on.

Not a single player, it seems, leaves Portugal, or moves clubs, without Mendes being involved and it has already been calculated, probably correctly, that Scolari's squad is the most valuable in the tournament on the transfer market. And Mendes represents the eight biggest names.


Read the full story here


Read more:
Deco chooses Chelsea over Inter
Marquez offered to Atlético Madrid
Deco could swap places with Lampard or Gattuso

Crosas future still uncertain

Asked about his future, Olympique Lyon midfielder and Barcelona loan out Marc Crosas (20), who participated last Sunday in the celebration of the promotion of Barcelona B (which he has been playing for in the first half of the season), said to Catalan sports paper Sport that he doesn't yet know where he will play next season: "My future is still very unclear, which makes me a bit restless."


Read more:

Alex Silva unaware of Barcelona interest

Asked about the rumours linking him with a move to Barcelona (read more here), São Paulo central defender and Brazilian international Alex Silva (23) said in a reaction to Brazilian news agency Agência Estado that he is unaware of the interest:


"I'm not in a hurry to go and play abroad. My brother (Benfica defender Luisão) did already left and is helping the family. But Barcelona of course is a different thing compared with the other clubs mentioned. I don't know about their interest but if they want to come and get me, I'll be here waiting."

The agency claims that Sãu Paulo only ownes 20 per cent of the transfer rights on Alex Silva. The other 80 per cent belong to the player's agent Juan Figer. German club Wolfsburg would already have made a bid of 13 million euro° for the central defender.

Read more:

Mutu renewal talks monitored

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Fiorentina forward and Romanian international Adrian Mutu (29) could become an option for Barcelona.


The renewal negotiations between Fiorentina and Mutu, whose contract with Fiorentina expires in 2009, didn't yet lead to a new contract which could make the italian club decide to sell the player. Barcelona is following the events.

Read more:

Wednesday 18 June 2008

Barcelona interested in Madrid youngster

Madrid sports tabloid Marca claims that Barcelona is interested in Real Madrid B central midfielder and Spanish youth international Dani Parejo (19).

New Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola considers the player to be one of the most promising young talents of Spanish football. Parejo, who is representented by sports agency Bahía International, has a buyout clause of 15 million euro°.

Real Madrid, who first had planned to keep the player with the b team in the Spanish third division for another season, has told Parejo that he will be able to play in the Primera División next year. The player could be loaned out to one of the interested Spanish clubs, amongst which Getafe. If Barcelona would buy Parejo, a loan deal with Getafe would also be possible.


Read more:

Group D: Greece-Spain (group D)

1-2. Like expected, Spain played with almost an entire B team, who dominated the game. Xavi and Puyol stayed on the bench. Iniesta started the game and was replaced after one hour by Cazorla. Güiza played a bad game but did score the winner.

I watched the Russia versus Sweden game and the Russians are really growing in this tournament. Deserved 2-0 win with attractive "fast break" football. Two goals from the book: recovery, good passing, good running, good finishing. Arshavin is clearly their star player but Pavlyuchenko is really a key player in the system because he moves very smartly in the box, has an easy shot too. I don't think it's really the type Guardiola is looking for though.



Read everything about Barcelona at the Euro 2008 here


Already being group winners and with the quarter final clash against Italy coming up, it is almost certain that Spain will play this match with their second team.

The other match in this group between Russia and Sweden will decide who will play against the Netherlands on Saturday. I think I'm gonna scout
Pavlyuchenko.

Villa is not an option

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Valencia forward and Spanish international David Villa (26) is not on Barcelona's centre forward list.


Villa would not fit the profile Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola is looking for (read more here).

Barcelona nonetheless made some contacts to know about the situation of the player, but didn't go further when hearing the asking price and the names of the other interested clubs.

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona is still weighing the pro's and the contra's. The facts that Guardiola is looking for a more physical striker and that Villa has similar qualities to Barcelona player Bojan Krkic whose progress could be blocked by the transfer would play against the arrival of the Valencia centre forward.

Madrid sports tabloid As meanwhile claims that Valencia is willing to sell the player for 40 million euro° and would prefer to do business with Barcelona rather than with Real Madrid, who could go after Villa if a transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo wouldn't be possible. Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain has already talked with the player's agent without reaching any agreement.

Read more:

Real Madrid considering Ronaldinho transfer

The rumour has been out there for a while and now Catalan sports paper Sport has picked it up: Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho (28) could move to Real Madrid.


If Cristiano Ronaldo wouldn't end up in Madrid, Ronaldinho would come to Madrid in a gigantic marketing operation.

Real Madrid sports director Pedrag Mijatovic would have commented in his inner circle that the player still has two or three years left at the top of his game and that he could return to his best level in Madrid. The negotiations would be ongoing in all discretion.

Read more:

Luis Enrique presented as Barcelona B coach

Former Barcelona player Luis Enrique (38) has today been officially presented as the new coach of Barcelona B, that will be renamed Barcelona Atlètic next season. At a press conference Luis Enrique, who will be assisted by Joan Barberá, said that he feels ready for the job:

"I'm coming home. Here I retired as a player, here I will start as a coach. I'm very motivated. Since I'm starting, of course I don't have any experience but I spent a lot of time in dressing-rooms together with great players. I can guarantee hard work and total dedication. I choose for a culture of attacking football based upon possession of the ball. Depending on the circumstances we will play 4-3-3 or 3-4-3.

I thank the president and the other people who have put their trust in me. I congratulate the players and my predecessor for the promotion, I'll try to do the same next year. I also had an offer from the Spanish football association but here I will be able to enjoy football every day as a coach."


Read more:
Luis Enrique to coach Barcelona B
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Mourinho's eleven





Brazilian defender Alex Silva high on list

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona is interested in São Paulo central defender and Brazilian international Alex Silva (23). A deal would be very close.


Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain, who is in Brazil today, could close a package deal including Alex Silva and São Paulo attacking midfielder Hernanes (read more here). Barcelona would pay São Paulo 25 million euro° for both players.

Like Hernanes, Alex Silva would already have reached an agreement with Barcelona on the personal terms: the Brazilian defender would sign a four-year contract worth 2 million euro plus incentives a year. Alex Silva, who has played some months for French club Rennes in 2005, is a younger brother of Benfica central defender Luisão.

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Barcelona admits following Hernanes for months

Asked about the rumours linking Barcelona with the player (read more here), Barcelona sports vice president Marc Ingla has confirmed in an interview with Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio that Barcelona is interested in São Paulo attacking midfielder and Brazilian international Hernanes (23): "We are interested. We think the player has enough quality to move to Europe. We're on the case, we know the player and we're following him for several months now."

Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain is today in Brazil and will have contacts on a transfer (read more
here). While Barcelona would already have closed a deal with sports marketing agency Traffic, who represents Hernanes, an agreement with São Paulo doesn't seem close.

Asked about the transfer of Hernanes, São Paulo president Juvenal Juvêncio said in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 that his club is at this moment not willing to negotiate: "The papers are talking about an offer of 11 million euro° but São Paulo won't negotiate for less than the buyout fee of 25 million euro°."

A representative of Traffic says in a reaction to Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo that the bid is nevertheless fair: "No Brazilian midfielder or no player of over 23 years old has ever been sold for more than 9 million euro. So how can it be that Barcelona is now offering 11 million euro° and São Paulo thinks that's not enough?"

Brazilian sports site Lancenet claims that Traffic, who also ownes 17 per cent of the transfer rights on the player, has set up the operation without getting São Paulo involved from the beginning. This would have upset the Brazilian club.


Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona will pay 25 million euro° for Hernanes and São Paulo central defender Alex Silva (read more here).

Read more:
Tomorrow new talks on Hernanes
Hernanes confirms Barcelona offer
Youth: Felipe Coutinho (Vasco da Gama)

Moutinho is not a Barcelona target

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Sporting midfielder and Portuguese international João Moutinho (21) is not a Barcelona target despite the fact that the player has been offered to Barcelona by his representatives who knew that Moutinho was on a long-list after some excellent scouting reports.

New Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola thinks that Moutinho's position is already occupied by Iniesta and Xavi. After Moutinho's buyout clause of 25 million euro° expired last weekend (read more here), Sporting could now ask more for the player.

The presumed interest of Barcelona would have been used to put the player on the market and to raise his status. While Moutinho was before represented by his father Nélson, his agent is now Pini Zahavi, who would be looking for an interested club in England.

Moutinho, who didn't know if renewal talks with Sporting were ongoing but who said he was aware of several offers for him, confirmed the change of agent to the paper after the Portugal versus Switzerland game on Sunday.
Catalan sports paper Sport says that Nélson Moutinho and Pini Zahavi are representing the player together.


Moutinho is quoted by the last paper as confirming the news that he doesn't have a buyout clause anymore: "Despite not having a clause anymore, for me everything stays the same as it was before. I'm focusing on the Euro, all the rest should wait. I don't want to say anything on the interest of other clubs. There will be enough time for that later on."

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Lyon president confirms Abidal interest

Asked about the rumours linking the player with a return to his former club (read more here), Olympique Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas admitted at a press conference that Lyon would like to re-sign Barcelona left back defender and French international Eric Abidal (28):


"Yes, I would like to bring him back. I was in Barcelona last week for a meeting with European clubs but at this moment there are circumstances at the club (note: he's probably refering to the vote of no confidence) that don't make a discussion easy."

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Barcelona vice president confirms triplet exit

Barcelona sports vice president Marc Ingla (picture) has confirmed the planned exits of Barcelona players Ronaldinho, Eto'o and Deco (read more here) in an interview with Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio and says they will probably leave before August:


"After having talked with them, I think it's very unlikely they will still be part of the squad by then. All three are very prestiguous and attractive players and they are talking with several clubs where they could continue their career. I don't think there will be a problem to transfer them. Interesting offers are coming in."

Ingla denied two concrete rumours: "Los Angeles Galaxy did not make any offer for Ronaldinho. At this moment, Manchester City has the most chances to sign him. And I cannot confirm that Deco will join Chelsea cause we didn't yet receive an offer from that club."

Ingla added that the board will try to close all incoming transfer deals before July the 6th, the day on which the vote of no confidence against the current board will be held.

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Adebayor main centre forward option

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Arsenal forward and Togo international Emmanuel Adebayor (24) is the Guardiola's first option to replace Samuel Eto'o as next season's centre forward (read more here).


The paper claims that sources close to the player say that the player would love to join Barcelona. The alternatives for Adebayor would be (in that order) Berbatov, Trezeguet and Gómez.

Italian newspaper La Gazetta dello Sport meanwhile claims that Barcelona is preparing a 30 million euro° bid for Adebayor.

Barcelona sports vice president Marc Ingla confirmed the talks with Arsenal on Adebayor during an interview with Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio.

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Tuesday 17 June 2008

Euro 2008: France-Italy (group C)

0-2. Disappointing end of a disappointing tournament for France. The players weren't there, the coach wasn't there, time for change.


Thuram didn't play and was replaced by Abidal at the centre back. Henry (captain) played the whole match. Abidal caused a penalty and was rightly sent off after 25 minutes. Henry ran a lot but that was about it. Got booked.


Read everything about Barcelona at the Euro 2008 here

Tomorrow new talks on Hernanes

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain will travel to Brazil tomorrow to watch the Brazil versus Argentina game and to talk to São Paulo attacking midfielder and Brazilian international Hernanes (23).


Although Arsenal midfielder Hleb would still be the favourite option, a transfer seems difficult which makes Barcelona turn to Hernanes, a player who has been strongly recommended by Pep Costa, Barcelona's head scout for the Brazilian market.

Begiristain will also hold talks with São Paulo officials. The Brazilian club would at this moment be asking 15 million euro° for Hernanes, while Barcelona wants to lower that to 10 million euro°.

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Begiristain will meet with São Paulo president Juvenal Juvêncio later this week in São Paulo to discuss the transfer of Hernanes. With Barcelona offering 10 million euro°, São Paulo would be holding on to the buyout clause of 25 million euro° (read more here).

Barcelona would already have closed a deal with sports marketing agency Traffic, who ownes 25 per cent of the player's rights and is also acting as Hernanes' agent.

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