Saturday 19 July 2008

Henrique won't be presented

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Palmeiras central defender and Brazilian international Henrique Adriano Buss (21) (picture, on the right), who will sign for Barcelona, won't be officially presented as new Barcelona player by the club.

Henrique, for whom Barcelona will pay 8 million euro° (plus a possible 2 million euro variables) will arrive next week in Barcelona. After the medical tests, he will sign his contract and immediately travel to Leverkusen, where he will play on loan next season (read more here).

Barcelona plans to wait until the player will be fully part of the first team sqaud to officially present him to the fans and the press. This could happen next summer. Because the squad will next week be in Scotland, Henrique won't even be able to talk with Barcelona manager Guardiola.

To gain some time, a Leverkusen doctor will assist during the medical tests, which will enable the player to immediately start working with the German team after his arrival there.

The paper claims that Leverkusen sports director Rudi Völler has pushed hard for Henrique, hoping that he will perform as well as his compatriots Lúcio (now Bayern Munich) and Juan (now AS Roma) have recently done for the Germans.

Read more:

Barça B - Official: Chico to Almeria

All parties concerned have officially confirmed that Cádiz central defender José Manuel "Chico" Flores (21), who played on loan with Barcelona B during the first half of this year, will join Primera División club Almería, with whom Chico has signed a five-year contract.

It's unclear how much Almería has paid for the central defender. Madrid sports tabloid Marca claims that Almería paid 700 000 euro for 70 per cent of the transfer rights, Cádiz local newspaper La Voz de Cádiz thinks the tranfer fee is close to 1 million euro and Almería local news site El Almería says that Cádiz received around 300 000 euro.

Cádiz stated in an official announcement that the third division club will obtain a percentage of the fee if Chico is transferred by Almería. The club confirmed that Barcelona also made an offer but that it wasn't even taken into consideration. Madrid sports tabloid Marca claims that Barcelona offered 250 000 euro°.

On the website of his new club, Chico explains why he didn't continue with Barcelona Atlètic (previously known as Barcelona B): "It's an important step from the fourth to the first division but over the last months I have been training several times with the first team of Barcelona and I learned a lot doing so. I feel prepared.

It's true that I had several offers, but Barcelona and Almería were the best options. The thing is that Barcelona didn't want to pay for me, they wanted me for the second team and would only pay if I was promoted to the first team. One of the things that have influenced my decision is that Almería wants me for their first team."

Read more:
Barça B: Offer for Chico rejected
Barça B - Official: Dimas to Numancia
Barça B: Chico could continue and be promoted

First day for Eto'o, Alves and Keita

Samuel Eto'o, Daniel Alves and Seydou Keita started their pre-season with medical tests today. Now only the three Spanish internationals Puyol, Xavi and Iniesta are still on holiday. They will join the group in Scotland next week.

Drogba wants to move to Barcelona

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Chelsea forward and Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba (30) would really like to join Barcelona this summer.

Drogba wants to start a new and last football adventure and thinks that the new project at Barcelona, where he would team up with his compatriot and close friend Yaya Touré, would be the ideal opportunity to do that.

Certainly with Inter manager and former Chelsea coach José Mourinho apparently holding on to Ibrahimovich and not going after Drogba, Barcelona is without any doubt the preferred destination of the Ivorian striker.

New Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari nevertheless made clear that he's counting on Drogba, which has caused the English club to offer the striker a renewal. Drogba is looking at the proposal but hopes at the same time that Barcelona will start to push hard for him in the coming days.

The offer of a swap deal including Drogba and Eto'o, that was made by then Barcelona sports vice president Marc Ingla but was rejected by Chelsea a few weeks ago (read more here), could again be put on the table and would be the fastest way to a transfer.

Thierry Seydi, Drogba's agent said on Tuesday in an interview with French football weekly paper France Football that Drogba will take a decision before next weekend: "Didier has given himself ten days to make a decision. If nothing has happened by that time, he'll stay with Chelsea and renew his contract with two more years."

British tabloid The Daily Star claims that Chelsea would be willing to let Drogba go for 25 million euro° but that it looks as if negotiations will drag on, both between Drogba and Barcelona and between Chelsea and Barcelona.

Read more:
Drogba could bring more strength up front
How things stand: Centre forward
Negotiations with Drogba

Zenit waiting for new Barcelona offer for Arshavin

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that a representative of Zenit Saint-Petersburg forward and Russian international Andrei Arshavin (27) has talked this week with the Russian club trying to reopen the negotiations between Zenit and Barcelona (read more here).

Zenit would have promised Arshavin that they were willing to wait until Barcelona raises its bid to 20 million euro°, the price that would have been offered by Tottenham. The club wants to take the wish of the player to join Barcelona into account but doesn't want to lose money.

The board of Zenit Saint-Petersburg has understood that no club will pay the initial asking price of 30 million euro° for Arshavin. The Russian champions have therefore accepted the fact that the player will leave for a transfer fee around 20 million euro°. Arshavin said to Russian journalists that he hopes the transfer will be finalized in the next two weeks.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Dennis Lachter, Arshavin's agent, was in London on Thursday to hold talks with Chelsea about a transfer of the Russian player to the English Premier League club.

Read more:
Arshavin negotiations on a dead point
Silva agent admits Barcelona contact
Arshavin waiting for a call from Barcelona

Ex-Barça: Giuly to Paris Saint-Germain

Fomer Barcelona right wing attacker Ludovic Giuly (32) has yesterday been officially presented as new player of Paris Saint-Germain, where Giuly signed a three-year contract. The French club would pay AS Roma a transfer fee of around 2,5 million euro.

Arriving from French league club Monaco, Ludovic Giuly joined Barcelona in the summer of 2004. One year ago the Frenchman left after three seasons and signed for Italian club AS Roma. With Barcelona, Giuly won two Spanish leagues in 2005 and 2006, two Spanish super cups in 2005 and 2006 and one Champions League in 2006.

Watch Giuly's goal against Milan in 2006 here

Read more:
Ex-Barça: Kluivert to AZ Alkmaar
Ex-Barça: Geovanni to Hull City
Ex-Barça: Mark Hughes to Manchester City

Barça B: Nolito confirms transfer

Asked about the rumours that he's on the verge of joining Barcelona Atlètic (previously know as Barcelona B) (read more here), Ecija forward Nolito (21) has confirmed the transfer in an interview with Sevilla sport paper Estadio Deportivo:

"Since I married just recently, I can consider this as another wedding gift. I feel very satisfied to be able to play there cause since I was little I have always been a Barcelona fan. It's a dream to play with the best players. Now I first want to find my place in the second team and then I will try, why not, to make my debut in the Primera División."

The paper claims that Nolito will sign a three-year contract with Barcelona. The Spanish striker is expected to arrive in Barcelona on Monday.

Read more:

Madrid vetoes Robinho move to Barcelona

Madrid sports tabloid As claims that Madrid has made clear to Real Madrid left winger and Brazilian international Robinho (24) and his agent Wagner Ribeiro that the player won't be able to leave for Barcelona, unless his buyout clause of 180 million euro° is paid.

If Chelsea doesn't raise its bid to 45 million euro, Madrid will propose Robinho, whose current contract expires in 2010, a renewal after his return from teh Olympic Games in Beijing.

Wagner Ribeiro insisted yesterday in an interview with Catalan radio staion Ona FM that he had been contacted by Barcelona (read more
here): "I'm not lying, the person who I talked to is Pepe Costa. He's a lot in Brazil and he also talked with Robinho. He's a friend of mine and he wanted to know more about Robinho and how things are with Chelsea and Madrid.

I told him that it will be very difficult, and actually almost impossible, that Madrid would allow him to leave to Barcelona because of the rivalry. I informed Madrid sports director Mijatovic about the call but it would be like Barcelona allowing Messi to join Madrid."

Ribeiro confirmed the story later to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, but Barcelona scout Pepe Costa denied in an interview with Catalan radio station Ona Fm that he had called the agent to ask him about the contract situation of Robinho. Costa added that Ribeiro had already abused his name in the past trying to make some operations more expensive.

Barcelona board member Rafael Yuste denied any contact in a reaction to Barcelona sports paper Sport: "I really don't know of anyone from Barcelona who would have talked with Robinho." Asked by journalists about the rumours, Barcelona president Joan Laporta didn't really enter the issue on Thursday: "Personally, I like all good players, but these kinds of things are taking care of by Txiki Begiristain."

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Trezeguet would accept Barcelona offer

Madrid sports tabloid Marca claims that, with the transfer of Arsenal's Adebayor seeming very difficult, Juventus forward David Trezeguet (30) is again an option for Barcelona (read more here).

Trezeguet would already have decided to join Barcelona if he would receive a concrete offer in the coming weeks and is now waiting for Barcelona to take the next step.

The French striker met with Thierry Henry last weekend and told him that the first contacts have been established and that he would seriously consider an offer. Trezeguet asked his compatriot more about the city and the life in Barcelona.

Read more:

Friday 18 July 2008

Sporting Gijon wants Gai Assulin on loan

Asturias regional newspaper El Comercio claims that Primera División club Sporting de Gijón is interested in signing Barcelona Atlètic (previously known as Barcelona B) left wing attacker and Israeli international Gai Assulin (17) on loan.

Because Barcelona has planned to keep Gai at Barcelona Atlètic to be able to follow his progress more closely, it will be difficult for Sporting to close the deal. Barcelona would be thinking about letting Gai follow the same program as Bojan last year, meaning introducing him step by step into the first team.

Sporting will try to convince Barcelona by proposing a loan deal that will give the player the chance to make his debut in the Liga, something the player would also prefer as was proven when Gai showed his disappointment about not being able to start the pre-season with the first team (read more here).

Gai meanwhile didn't report back for training yesterday at the start of the pre-season of Barcelona Atlètic. Because there was some speculation in the press about Gai having decided on his own to prolonge his holiday, Barcelona put out an official statement saying that Gai was still in Israel trying to avoid the obligation of a two-year military service.

Read more:
Gai disappointed about missing promotion

Why was Eto'o yesterday in Uzbekistan?

Barcelona forward and Cameroonian international Samuel Eto'o (27) was yesterday in Uzbekistan, an Asian country who shares borders with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.

Due to some unclear messages on the official website of Uzbek club Kuruvchi and statements made by Kuruvchi officials, there was since Monday a wave of speculation about an offer the Uzbek club would make to Barcelona and a record contract proposal for Eto'o. Some even claimed that Eto'o came to sign his contract and be presented.

The principal reason for Eto'o to travel to Uzbekistan was to give a master-class to some youth players of Kuruvchi. Josep Maria Mesalles, the agent of Eto'o, already made that clear before the trip in an interview with Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo:

"I can't say anything about a transfer, I can only confirm that Samuel will give a master-class at this club. I won't say anything to the club's officials for having leaked some information about a possible transfer. If I would do that, I would show the whole world that they were lying. And I don't think that's a wise thing."

Eto'o nevertheless confirmed yesterday at a press conference in Uzbekistan that he had received an offer from Kuruvchi and that he would take it into consideration when deciding on his future:

"Kuruvchi is interested and that's one of the reasons why I'm here, to know more about the people of the club and about this wonderful country. I have received a formal offer and I will think about it. At this moment I have several good offers from interesting clubs and I will choose what's best for me. When I have made my decision, I will inform Kuruvchi first about it."

French sports paper L'Equipe, who seemed to have good inside information all week long, claims that Eto'o has rejected a dazzling 50 million euro° offer (40 million euro salary and 10 million euro signing bonus) to play for one season with the leader of the Uzbek competition.

I don't know a lot of things about Kuruvchi or Uzbekistan...
but th€ f€w thing$ I know pl€a$€d m€ a lot

Read more:
Eto'o wants to talk with Guardiola
Eto'o could stay
Guardiola's first day at the office

Youth: Andreu Ramos to Udinese

Barcelona has officially announced the transfer of Juvenil A central defender Andreu Ramos (19) to Italian Serie A club Udinese, where he will join the first team squad. Last season, Ramos played on loan with Catalan club Damm.

In an interview with the club's official media, Ramos gave some further explanation: "At the end of the season, I played a tournament with Barcelona in Switzerland. I performed well there and an agent offered to represent me and it was this person who found me a club in the Italian top league.

It's of course a huge step, to go from the Juvenil league in Spain to the highest competition in the country of the world champions is just unbelievable. I thought that I first would have to pass through some fourth or third division team in Spain. I had actually planned to go and play in England or Greece later on, but I just couldn't refuse this offer from Udinese."

Read more:

Read all Youth transfer stories here

First week of training

This week the pre-season started with double training sessions each day. Some images.

More pictures: 1 2 3

Youth: Josua Benitez (Laguna)

Canary Islands regional newspaper El Día reports that Barcelona has transferred Laguna central defender Josua Benítez Cruz (16), who made last season his debut with the first team of Laguna in the Spanish fourth division.

In an interview with the paper, Josua the player explains how everything went: "Barcelona became interested in me after a game against Tenerife B. They saw me there and started following me. A Barcelona scout told me that they wanted me to perform a test and I accepted. I stayed there for one week with a lot of training sessions.

At the end, they told me that they wanted me to go and play a tournament with them. We played five matches there and that's when they offered me a transfer. Since Barcelona is my club and I've always dreamt about defending their colours, I didn't have to think much about the proposal. I also want to thank Laguna for not obstructing my move to Barcelona.

I will have a contract for three years plus an option for another year. I will play with the Juvenil B, which is my age category, although everything will depend on the progress I will make. I hope everything turns out well and that I will be part of the first team squad one day.

I don't know exactly when I will travel to Barcelona, but I think it will be around the 6th of August. Before that date, a Barcelona official will pass by so the contract can be signed.

In principle I will go alone to Barcelona. Of course I will miss my family but when you want to reach something in football you must be able to sacrifice some things. But my parents and my brother plan to visit me regularly. And there are eight canary guys at the Barcelona youth academy and I'm sure that Jeffren and Pedrito, who play for Barcelona B, will also help me."

Read more:

Read all Youth transfer stories here

Henrique will be loaned out to Leverkusen

Asked about his situation and his upcoming transfer to Barcelona (read more here), Palmeiras central defender and Brazilian international Henrique Adriano Buss (21), who said goodbye to his team-mates yesterday, has confirmed in an interview with the official website of his club that he will leave Palmeiras:

"I came to Palmeiras at the beginning of this year with the idea to stay here for a long time but the professional career of a football player can be full of incredible surprises. My stay here had a direct influence on my life since the greatness and the tradition of Palmeiras has been very important for my transfer."

The Palmeiras website claims that Henrique will sign a five-year contract with Barcelona and that the defender will immediately be loaned out to German Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen (read more here).

Henrique's agent, Marcos Malaquias, confirmed the whole operation in an interview with Brazilian sports paper Gazeta Esportiva: "At this moment we're closing the last details. Henrique will be presented by Barcelona, where he will sign for five years, and after that he'll leave for Bayer Leverkusen. The player was delighted to sign for Barcelona and he knows that if the club paid for him, they intend to use him one day. He won't play there this season, but he certainly will the next one.

Henrique is very happy with the whole deal, because Leverkusen is also a big club and has always given chances to Brazilian players. Rafinha, who plays at Schalke and only lives at 40 kilometres from Leverkusen, is a former team-mate and a very good friend of Henrique and will surely help him to adapt."

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that, although the negotiations aren't yet finalized, Henrique will most probably arrive in Barcelona on Sunday.

Read more:
Henrique should be next transfer
Last details of Henrique transfer being resolved
Henrique will arrive next week

Robinho agent admits contact with Barcelona

Asked about the rumours linking Real Madrid left winger and Brazilian international Robinho (24) with Barcelona (read more here), the agent of the player Wagner Ribeiro confirmed last night in an interview with Spanish radio station Onda Cero that Barcelona has shown interest:

"On Monday a person from Barcelona, a board member, has contacted me. He asked if Robinho could be interested in playing for Barcelona. I said to him that he should talk to Madrid president Calderón and that I could do nothing.

If a deal with Chelsea is already difficult, you can imagine how it would be with Barcelona. Given the rivalry between the two clubs, I think it's very unlikely Madrid will let him go to Barcelona. While we have at this moment a firm offer from Chelsea, we only have a vague question from Barcelona. Robinho for sure wants to know more about his future before leaving to Beijing for the Olympics."

In an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1, Ribeiro added that Robinho, whose contract with Madrid expires in the summer of 2010, would consider a move: "Every player would like to join Barcelona, just like every player would like to join Madrid or any other great club in the world."

Spanish sports tabloid As claims that Barcelona sources have told the paper that it is improbable that Barcelona would help to financice a big part of the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo by paying a high transfer fee for Robinho.

Asked about the rumours, Barcelona board member Rafael Yuste said to Catalan sports paper Sport that there's nothing to talk about: "All players who are on the market can be interesting, but Robinho isn't on the market, so there's nothing to talk about." The paper recalls that there exists some kind of 'pact of no agression' between the two clubs.

Read more:

Hernanes could come next summer

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that, although the transfer of São Paulo attacking midfielder and Brazilian international Hernanes (23) has been excluded for this transfer period (read more here), Barcelona stays very interested in the player.

If São Paulo would drop the asking price of 25 million euro°, Barcelona is a candidate to sit again around the table next year.

Despite the interest of Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, the contacts with the player and his agency over the last months have put Barcelona in pole position to sign Hernanes in the future.

Read more:

Negotiations with Drogba

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona has again picked up the option to transfer Chelsea forward and Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba (30).

Barcelona would already be negotiating with Drogba and has offered the striker a two-year contract with an option for a third year. The player wants a contract for three fixed years.

Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola likes the play Drogba offers: good physical presence, the ability to play with his back to the goal, a team player who can also score himself. The Barcelona board would see Drogba as a more high profiled player than Adebayor. Because Drogba reached the top quite late, the club thinks that the player has some more good years left.

Barcelona would be preparing to make Chelsea an offer that includes Barcelona forward and Cameroon international Samuel Eto'o (27), whose transfer to Chelsea was already discussed between the clubs a few weeks ago.

British tabloid The Sun claims that the idea of a swap deal was immediately rejected by Chelsea. Drogba, who has three more years left on his Chelsea contract, now wants to hold talks with the English Premier League club to sort out his future.

Read more:

Ronaldinho presented in Milan

Former Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho (28) has yesterday been presented as new player of AC Milan in front of 40 000 fans.

Read the complete Ronaldinho transfer story from the first rumours until the official confirmation

Thursday 17 July 2008

Henrique should be next transfer

Asked about the rumours that Palmeiras central defender and Brazilian international Henrique Adriano Buss (21) is on the verge of becoming a Barcelona player (read more here), Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain has said at a press conference yesterday that the transfer is close but should still be finalized:

"We're working on it but Henrique isn't a done deal yet. The negotations are very well-advanced but it's not signed yet although we're very close to a final agreement. The plan is to transfer him and to loan him then out to another European club but nothing is sure yet."

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that the Brazilian defender is the next player on the transfer list and that the transfer and the loan deal should finally be closed in the coming days.

In a reaction to Brazilian sports paper Lance, Henrique says that he's preparing to travel to Barcelona this weekend. The paper claims that the official presentation of Henrique should take place next Monday.

Read more:
Last details of Henrique transfer being resolved
Talks with Ajax on Henrique and Oleguer
Henrique will sign on Monday

Hleb presented

Belarusian attacker Alexander Hleb (27), who signed a four-year contract with Barcelona (read more here), has yesterday evening been officially presented as new player of Barcelona, in the presence of his agent Maurizio Gaudino and his fromer Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry.

At a press conference, Hleb showed his happiness about the transfer: "Being in Barcelona is a dream. I'm very hapy that it's reality now. I want to give everything for this club. I came here to win trophies, that's my absolute priority now. I think I can play on a lot of positions, like I have done over the last seasons at Arsenal. The coach can put me where he likes, I wouldn't even mind to play as goalkeeper."

Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola confirmed that he can use the player on several positions: "I think the player has the right profile for Barcelona: a lot of quality, a lot of technique, smart and with good movements. It's a player who knows how to play football, who understands the game. Since the first meeting with the technical department, I have always made clear he's a priority signing. He'll surprise a lot of people.

Hleb uses his both legs well and he can play on four or five positions: on both wings, as attacking midfielder and even as second striker. He's not a traditional winger, but that doesn't worry me much, I'm very calm. For a coach it's a good thing that you can count on two or three polyvalent players, like Hleb or Iniesta. They offer you a lot of tactical possibilities. I think Hleb can bring verticality to the team, but above all versatility. He'll generate a lot of team play."

Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain underlined that the club has been following Hleb for years: "It's a very polyvalent player, he'll help us to have a very complete midfield and will cause more competition in the squad. Since I arrived at Barcelona, we have been monitoring him and we already had good scouting reports from the time he played at Stuttgart.

With this transfer we lost some of the stress in and around the club, the squad is starting to get complete. We're still looking around, but with more calm now. If we sign another player it will be an attacking one. Everything is going well, the group can now start to work."

Read the complete Alexander Hleb transfer story from the first rumours until the official presentation

Look back at the presentations of Keita, Cáceres, Alves and Piqué


Bid for Berbatov coming up

Madrid sports tabloid Marca claims that, with the negotiations on Adebayor having reached a dead point, Barcelona is now targetting Tottenham forward and Bulgarian international Dimitar Berbatov (27) (read more here).

Tottenham is aware that Berbatov wants to leave and is willing to listen to offers coming in for the Bulgarian striker. Barcelona would be preparing a 30 million euro° bid.

Berbatov, who is also wanted by English champions Manchester United, would have given his approval for Tottenham and Barcelona to start negotiating.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Guardiola likes the Tottenham centre froward and that Berbatov is still one of the candidates on the list to replace Barcelona forward Samuel Eto'o.

Read more:

Barça B - Official: Solano

Barcelona has officially announced the transfer of Ecija central defender José Antonio Solano (23), who will play for Barcelona Atlètic (previously known as Barcelona B) next season.

Solano, who has played over the last two seasons for third division team Ecija and had a contract for one more year with that club, has signed a two-year contract with Barcelona. The Spanish centre back is the second signing of Barcelona Atlètic that was looking for an experienced central defender.

In a first reaction to the club's official website, Solano describes the player he is: "I'm a central defender or a defensive midfielder who has good heading abilities and a good pass. For me a defender needs to be agressive and make sure that the forward is never on his ease.

I know that I will have to change my way of playing this season. At my former club I was more used to direct play with long balls but I'm aware that everything will be very different here and that the Barcelona style is based upon the passing game. I've already talked briefly with coach Luis Enrique, who basically just congratulated me with the transfer."

Read more:
Barça B - Official: Rayo

Arshavin waiting for a call from Barcelona

Asked about the rumours linking him with a summer move (read more here), Zenit Saint-Petersburg forward and Russian international Andrei Arshavin (27) has said in an interview with Catalan sports paper Sport that he wants to leave Zenit this summer and that he prefers to join Barcelona:

"When we won the Russian league last year, I already said that now is the right moment to leave. I have reached the top here, we won the league and the Uefa cup, so this is the moment to move on. It's certainly not a financial thing cause I doubt that another club will pay me what Zenit can offer me. It's just a football challenge. I want to play in a big league.

I have made my decision and manager Advocaat already knows that I'm leaving. I'm playing for Zenit again because I didn't want to stay away from the training and the matches for several weeks. So I agreed with the coach and the club that, while my transfer is being discussed and finalized, I will play when the team needs me.

I don't think that I'm telling something new now, but my dream club is Barcelona. Everybody knows that playing for Barcelona has always been my dream. I'm a fan of the club since that goal made by Ronald Koeman at Wembley. I was impressed by that goal and by the way the team played. I discovered the Dream Team being a young boy and since then I wanted to play for Barcelona.

Barcelona is a team that can win 7-0 or lose 4-3 because its philosophy is to play attacking football. It has always been like that as long as I can remember and that made me very enthustiastic about the club. I loved that way of playing. Koeman, Laudrup, Stoichkov, Guardiola,... They didn't always win, but everybody was talking about Barça and it was a pleasure to watch them.

I've talked about Barcelona with (former Barcelona player and current Russian national team assistant coach) Igor Korneev and he explained me a lot of things about the club and the city and he always tells me that it's the best place where I could go to, that there's just no comparison possible with any other club.

I'm aware that my name is linked with Barcelona these days, but I don't know if they still want me now that they have bought Hleb. We're of course different players but does Barcelona still have enough money to buy me? I hope so. I'm waiting for a call, I'm waiting for a transfer. But at this moment Zenit is asking too much. All I know is that Barcelona has offered 15 million euro° and that Zenit wants 30 million euro°, which is a lot of money.

I've seen the Camp Nou so many times on the television. It has a magnificent pitch and a great atmosphere. I'm not afraid of the pressure, I'm playing eight years for Zenit now and here you also have that pressure. The Barcelona fans are demanding but that's because of the greatness of the club. They are used to play in their own way and to win trophies doing so. My biggest wish is to be part of this club."

Read more:
Arshavin confirms that he is a Barcelona fan
Arshavin negotiations on a dead point
Zenit lowers Arshavin asking price

Barça B: Promotion or exit for Jeffren

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona Atlètic (previously known as Barcelona B) left winger Jeffren Suárez (20), who has started this week the pre-season with the first team (read more here), will leave the club if he won't be able to stay with the first team for the rest of the season.

Jeffren thinks that playing with Barcelona Atlètic in the Spanish third division wouldn't be good for his development and wants to go a step higher.

If the Venezuela born player can't convince Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola to add him permanently to the first team squad, Jeffren prefers to leave and could then end up in a Spanish second division team.

Read more:
Which B players will Guardiola take with him?
Barça B: Offer for Chico rejected
Seven B players will start season with first team

Hernanes isn't an option anymore

Asked about the rumours linking São Paulo attacking midfielder and Brazilian international Hernanes (23) with Barcelona (read more here), Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain has said at a press conference yesterday that Barcelona will not sign the player this summer:

"We have been following the player and we were very interested. But now we have other thoughts and we gave priority to other options."

Read more:

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