Saturday 9 August 2008

News of the day - Saturday

This post will be updated throughout the day.

Guardiola has changed his view and Eto'o will stay (Sport)
read more

Txiki and Guardiola will meet with Eto'o today and could inform the player that he will be able to stay (Marca)
read more

Guardiola is disappointed by Henry's performances and will play Eto'o in the CL qualifier which would mean a transfer becomes almost impossible (As)

The decision that Eto'o will stay could be announced in the coming hours after Guardiola has talked with the player (El Mundo Deportivo)
read more

Eto'o would even want to renew his contract which would include an extension and a pay rise (L'Equipe)
read more

If Eto'o would nevertheless leave in the end, Drogba is the alternative (Sport)
read more

Manchester United has made a 25 million euro bid for Silva, but the player prefers to join Barcelona (Marca)
read more

Silva wants to leave Valencia and join Barcelona, Txiki called the player mid-June to sound him out (El Mundo Deportivo)
read more

Crosas arrives in Glasgow this weekend to complete his transfer to Celtic (Daily Express - Daily Record)
read more
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Celtic manager Strachan admits the signing of Crosas is a risk given that he has not seen the midfielder play live (press conference)
read more
read more

Crosas will sign a four-year deal with Celtic (As)

Zaragoza has contacted Barcelona on a loan deal and Jeffren says that Zaragoza could be a good option for him (Equipo)
read more

Iago and Urbano have not been included in the squad list for the Barcelona Atlètic friendly against Ibiza this weekend (official website)
read more

Barcelona has officially announced the transfer of Venezuelan midfielder Franco Fasciana, who will join the Juvenil A team (official website)
read more

Friday 8 August 2008

Arshavin confirms Barcelona offer

In a very interesting interview with Russian sports paper Sport-Express, Zenit Saint Petersburg forward and Russian international Andrei Arshavin (27) has explained last months' events surrounding his transfer and the current situation:

"Before the Euros we met a few times with Zenit president Aleksandr Valerevich Dyukov in the Marriott Hotel in Moscow, where I was staying as part of the national squad. I am actually very thankful to him that he came himself since I didn't have the opportunity to leave the squad for a meeting at the time.

Dyukov made clear each time that the club cared a lot about me, and I always told him that I understand Zenit's concerns, but I very much want to try something different, in a stronger championship. So I asked him to give my agent Dennis Lachter permission to look for a new club for me. That was given for a month.

Already during the Euros Dmitry Selyuk, who used to work with Metallurg Donetsk, called to inform me that Barcelona were interested in me. He wanted to know how much Zenit wanted for me. I had already spoken to the former club president, Sergey Aleksandrovich Fursenko, about this, and the sum of 12-15 million euro was mentioned.

Given that when Dyukov arrived he explained that all of the former president's orders still stood, I told Selyuk 15 million euro°. He said that was an acceptable price and that if my personal terms could be met by Barcelona president Laporta, who would be contacting me, then the Catalan club would make Zenit a formal offer. Laporta called me, I told him what I wanted, and the president of Barca was fine with it.

The next day a fax was sent to Zenit with an official offer from the Catalan club. This was around the time of the match against Sweden at Euro 2008. I was informed by the intermediary Dmitry Selyuk that if Zenit refused this offer, then Barcelona would opt to buy Arsenal's Alexander Hleb. That was what eventually happened."

After some contacts with Italian clubs and Chelsea, Arshavin was then contacted by Tottenham: "I was initially sceptical about the offer from Tottenham but then manager Juande Ramos himself called me and informed me that they were selling Robbie Keane and really wanted to have me in their team, and my attitude changed. When the coach himself is interested in you it's already a half-start to an eventual successful transfer. So I agreed in principle to the deal.

A little later a representative from the English club came here to discuss the personal terms of my contract. The meeting didn't take long, we agreed everything quickly. Only my transfer fee became an issue. I don't know where the Zenit president got his figures from, but it was very high. I was told about 27 million euro°, which scared everyone away.

It had been mooted in the press that one of the stumbling blocks to a deal with a foreign club had been my demands, rather than those of his club but this is untrue. There was never any problem with my personal demands with Barcelona and Tottenham. I can say that if I leave to go abroad, I will earn less than in Russia."

Arshavin says he still wants to leave although he doesn't know if it will be possible this summer: "It's nicer to watch a soap opera than appear in one yourself. I really want to leave but the club, who don't want to let me go at all, are doing everything they can to make sure it doesn't happen. If I don't move now, I probably never will.

My mood at the moment, it's fair to say, is not the best. But it's easier now that all the rumours are dying down, unlike in the first weeks after the Euros when it was very hard. Every ten minutes the phone was ringing, and the situation kept changing in one way or another... Now you see yourself, we've been sitting here for half an hour and I haven't had one call.

I basically believe that the stars will all align themselves and I will be able to leave. But this might be more like believing in miracles. I could, of course, call up the president of the club every day and cry, but I think that would just annoy him. I'm sure he understands me as a human being, but I'm afraid at the moment that doesn't change anything."

Read more:
Arshavin waiting for a call from Barcelona
Silva versus Arshavin (scouting report)
Barcelona will have to move for Arshavin

Drogba wants Barcelona and stops renewal talks

Catalan television station TV3 claims that Chelsea forward and Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba (30) has frozen the renewal negotiations with his club because he wants to join Barcelona.

The main obstacle is that Drogba cannot come to Barcelona while Samuel Eto'o is still at the club. Barcelona hasn't received offers for the Cameroonian striker and Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari wouldn't be interested in Eto'o which means a swap deal isn't an option.

Asked about his situation, Drogba nevertheless suggested yesterday to journalists in Ivory Coast that he could well stay with Chelsea this season: "I can only repeat that I'm still a Chelsea player. It's a great team with great players and a great coach. And with an ambitious president.

I don't want to talk a lot about it. I'm comfortable at Chelsea, everything's fine there. I have two years left on my contract. If my employer does not want me to leave, I will continue to be a Chelsea player. Today they've made me understand that they want me to keep on playing for the team."

Read more:

Villa renewal could lead to Silva exit

Both main Catalan sports papers claim today that Valencia left winger and Spanish international David Silva (22) after a deal between Valencia and striker David Villa about a renenwal is close, as both the club and the player's agent have confirmed after a meeting yesterday.

It seems that Valencia is, quite literally, putting all its money on Villa, wanting to satisfy the striker and keep him at the club. Silva, who is willing to join Barcelona, would then be the last option left for Valencia to sell a player and deal with the economic situation of the club.

Catalan sports papers El Mundo Deportivo claims that some promotional obligations of Silva that were linked to the player wearing the Valencia shirt have been put on hold until the future of Silva has been decided.

With Barcelona's last offer being 18+4 million euro°, the paper now claims that Barcelona Atlètic winger and Spanish youth international Jeffren Suárez (20) could be included in a transfer deal (read more here). Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona is ready to bid up to 25 million euro°.

Asked about the situation of Silva and Villa, Valencia manager Unai Emery left the door open for an exit at a press conference today: "I have always said that I'm able to adapt to new circumstances. Silva and Villa are two important players, key figures of the team, but it's a reality that there's a transfer market with offer and demand going on and, like the other teams, Valencia takes part in that. But today I'm fully counting on both players to stay."

Read more:

The US Tour in pictures

More pictures: 1 2 3 4 5

Tottenham manager denies Eto'o and Berbatov

Asked about the rumours linking Barcelona forward and Cameroonian international Samuel Eto'o (27) with a move to his club (read more here), Tottenham manager Juande Ramos has said in an interview with Catalan sports paper Sport that the striker is not an option for his club:

"I can only say that at this point I don't know anything about that. We have a list of forwards we're interested in and that's the one we're working on, which is not the one composed by journalists and agents."

About the rumours linking Tottenham forward and Bulgarian international Dimitar Berbatov (27) with Barcelona (read more here), Ramos said that he's unaware of that also: "No one of Barcelona has asked me anything about Berbatov. I'm not aware of any talks or negotiations. I only know the things that have been reported in the press. I don't know if Berbatov will stay with us or not. We're waiting to see what will happen."

Read more:

Henrique's first experiences with Leverkusen

Barcelona central defender and Brazilian international Henrique Adriano Buss (21), who will play on loan with Bayer Leverkusen this season (read more here), told in an interview with German tabloid Express about his first experiences in Germany.

Is your transfer to Europe a dream come true?
Yes, it is. I've worked hard for this and then Barcelona came with an offer. When it was clear that they wanted me to go on loan this season, Leverkusen was my first choice.

Because the club has an important tradition of Brazilian players, people like Lucio, Juan or Emerson.

You can be more compared with Lucio or with Juan?
As my way of playing is concerned, I would say that I'm more like Juan.

What did you absolutely have to bring with you from Brazil?
My playstation and my computer. During the day there are a lot of things to discover in Cologne, but at night there's not much to do, especially because my wife Juliana hasn't arrived yet in Germany. In the coming days I will start to look around in Cologne since we would like to rent a house here.

You only will play here one season. What are your goals with Bayer this year?
First, I want to gain a lot of experience, so it will be easier for me to adapt when I join Barcelona. But I'm also here to achieve something. And since I always strive for the maximum, I want to win the Bundesliga title with Bayer.

Read more on the performances of Henrique in Leverkusen here

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

Barça B: Valencia, Sevilla and Villareal want Jeffren

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Valencia and Villareal are interested in signing Barcelona Atlètic winger and Spanish youth international Jeffren Suárez (20).

The Valencia technical staff would like the Venezualan-born player a lot and it is suggested that this could play a role in a possible transfer of Valencia left winger David Silva to Barcelona.

Aragón regional sports paper Equipo claims that Jeffren is high on the wish list of second division team Zaragoza, that hopes to get the player on loan.

Barcelona Atlètic coach Luis Enrique would want Jeffren to stay with his team but Barcelona thinks it's a better option to let the player leave on loan to a Spanish first or second division club.

Valencia regional sports paper Super Deporte meanwhile claims that Primera División teams Sevilla and Getafe, second division teams Levante, Tenerife and Hércules and some English clubs are also following Jeffren, who has scored twice during the pre-season he's doing with th first team this summer.

Jeffren's brother would have done a trial with Villareal which was seen as an attempt to attract the winger. Jeffren, his father and his agency would nevertheless prefer to stay linked with Barcelona and leave on a loan deal.

A source from the player's entourage is quoted as saying that Jeffren is not planning to stay with Barcelona's second team this season: "The goal is to play in the Primera División, but if that's not possible we would consider the Spanish second division if there's a good project. He'll certainly not return to play with Barcelona Atlètic in the third division.

Now we're waiting to talk with Barcelona. After that we'll look at all the options that are on the table and make a decision. At this moment the door is open for offers to come in from interested clubs."

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that it will be Barcelona Atlètic coach Luis Enrique who will decide what will happen with Jeffren. Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola won't promote the player to the first team and Zaragoza has made a formal loan offer.

Read more:

Barça B: Goni could be next transfer

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Zaragoza B central defender and former Spanish youth international Raúl Goni (19 - picture on the left) could be the next transfer of Barcelona Atlètic.

Barcelona has been following Goni, who made his debut in the Primera División last season and who is now doing the pre-season with the first team of newly second division club Zaragoza, for a while and a deal could now finally be completed.

Read more:

Crosas to close Celtic deal this weekend

Asked about his upcoming move to Celtic Glasgow (read more here), Barcelona midfielder Marc Crosas (20) has said in an interview with Scottish tabloid Daily Record that he's looking forward to joining his new club:

"It's the biggest move of my career and I'm very excited about it. It's sad that I'm leaving Barcelona after so long but I couldn't have picked a better club to join than Celtic.

I have spoken with my agent and everything is on for me to sign for Celtic. A fee has been agreed between the clubs and my agent is dealing with all the personal terms. That means I should be in Glasgow on Saturday and I hope to finalise everything and undergo a medical before they play on Sunday."

The tabloid claims that Barcelona asked French champions Lyon, who wanted to make last season's loan deal permanent this summer, a fee of 2,5 million euro°. Celtic will only pay 0,5 million euro° (with 0,9 million euro° in variables) but the Scottish champions accepted to include a 2 million euro° buy-back option in the deal (read more

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan is today quoted by British sports site Setanta Sports as confirming that Crosas is on the verge of signing: "Chief executive Peter Lawwell is looking after all these things and we left him to tie up the loose ends. My part comes when he joins us and we try to make him a better player. And anybody who joins us hopefully makes us a better team."

Read more:
OFFICIAL: Crosas to Celtic
Crosas could stay in Lyon
Crosas agent confirms deal with Celtic close

Barcelona still interested in Berbatov

British tabloid The Daily Express claims that Barcelona is still interested in signing Tottenham forward and Bulgarian international Dimitar Berbatov (27).

Barcelona thinks that the good relationship they built up with Tottenham during the negotiations that saw Giovani dos Santos move to the English Premier League earlier this summer will work to their advantage.

It is believed that Tottenham would be prepared to accept an offer of around 30 million euro° in order to sell Berbatov abroad, rather than accepting a Manchester United bid.

Read more:

Thursday 7 August 2008

Valencia optimistic about Silva renewal

Asked about the chances that Valencia left winger and Spanish international David Silva (22) and his team-mate David Villa will continue in Valencia next season, Valencia sports vice president Fernando Gómez said yesterday to journalists after meeting with the agent of Villa that a stay of the players is likely:

"We don't have yet reached a final agreement with them but the club wants that both players stay and it looks like they will. Both are close to a new contract.

To Villa's agent we have said the same as the day before to Silva's agents (read more here). We don't want to see them leave and the talks will go on later."

Read more:

Tottenham, Chelsea and Inter looking at Eto'o

British tabloid The Daily Mail claims that English Premier League clubs Tottenham and Chelsea and Italian champions Inter Milan are closely monitoring the events surrounding Barcelona forward and Cameroonian international Samuel Eto'o (27).

With Barcelona wanting to solve the situation in the coming week, Tottenham and Chelsea could be set to battle it out for the striker.

Tottenham is said to be in pole position since Barcelona is keen on Tottenham forward Berbatov, who could be included in the deal. Tottenham manager Juande Ramos would be a long-time admirer of Eto'o.

Read more:
Chelsea leads the race to sign Eto'o

Olympics 2008: Ivory Coast-Argentina 1-2

In the first match of the group stage, Argentina defeated Ivory Coast with 1-2. Barcelona player Lionel Messi scored the 0-1 in the 43rd minute, gave the assist for the second goal and was replaced by José Sosa in the 94th minute.

Argentina plays in Group A with Ivory Coast, Australia and Serbia. The match between Australia and Serbia ended 1-1 earlier today.

See Messi's goal here

Messi can stay at Olympics

Upon arrival in Barcelona, Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain and Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola have announced at a press conference that Barcelona won't ask Lionel Messi to return from the Olympic Games in Beijing (read more here).

Barcelona came to an agreement with the Argentinian football association (AFA) that includes that AFA will pay an insurance in case Messi gets injured and that Messi won't have to play any friendly matches with his national team next season.

Guardiola, who talked with Messi before taking the final decision, said that this was the best option: "Having listened to the wishes of the player, we thought that the best solution is that he participates in the Games. I hope that he doesn't get injured and that he returns with a gold medal."

Read more:

Barça B: Longas wants to play for promotion

Asked about how he felt about being a Barcelona player, new Barcelona Atlètic player Antonio Longás (23) has said in an interview with Catalan sports paper Sport that he is satisfied with the transfer:

"I have always liked the style of Barcelona. The way of playing they demonstrate in all categories starting from the youth is very attractive, so I'm very happy with the transfer. Luis Enrique called me twice and to know that he really wanted me to join his team was an extra motivation to accept the offer.

I was a little surprised that Zaragoza gave me such a hard time but now I'm here and I want to help the team as much as I can. I know that the club has been building a team that can compete for promotion and I hope to add my share to that. The responsability is always shared by all the players but because of my age and experience they probably will ask some more from me."

Read more:

Youth: Iago wants to leave permanently

Vigo local newspaper Atlántico Diario claims that Spanish second division club Celta Vigo is interested in Barcelona Juvenil A attacking midfielder and Spanish youth international Iago Falqué (18).

Asked about the interest, Iago said in an interview with the paper that he would like to return to his former club: "It's the club of my town and I have to admit that it would be very nice to wear the Celta jersey. I know that Celta was interested in a loan last summer, but I don't know if the clubs have already held talks now. Barcelona wants me to leave on loan, but if I leave it will be on a permanent deal, at least that's my plan."

The entourage of the player confirmed to the paper that Iago has received several interesting proposals, including from abroad. The attacker, who was told last week by Barcelona Atlètic coach Luis Enrique that he's not part of his plans for next season (read more here), prefers to join a team where he will be able to play and gain experience.

Iago and his representatives of player's agency IMG are now looking at the different offers and would like to close a deal by next week so the player can already adapt a little to his new environment before the start of the new season.

Asked about the situation of her son, Iago's mother and Spanish senator Carmela Silva said that she's not worried at all: "I'm very relaxed because there are several offers. He already decided to leave Barcelona and now he'll have to make a decision about where to go to."

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Iago, who has a contract until 2013, has asked Barcelona for a free transfer. The player would have offers from Celta and from several English and Spanish top clubs.

Read more:
Youth: Iago won't be promoted
Youth: Jonathan dos Santos waiting for renewal
Youth: English clubs interested in Iago

The Champions League qualifying team (part 2)

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona manager Guardiola has almost the team in place that will play the qualifying round for this season's Champions League.

You find the team below. Iniesta and Keita will certainly play, but where they will play will depend on Yaya Touré playing or not. If Touré plays, then Keita and Iiniesta move one line up and the only doubt would then be between Pedro or Hleb to replace Messi at the right, with Pedro being the favourite.



Keita (or Touré)
Iniesta (or Keita)

Pedro (or Hleb)
Hleb (or Iniesta)

Compare with the team put forward by Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo here

Assembly to decide on Laporta's future

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has announced that the club's General Assembly will be held on Sunday 24 August.

This year the assembly will not only vote on the budget of the club but will also decide on Laporta's continuity as chairman, like the president had proposed himself after narrowly escaping an exit when a vote of no confidence was held last month which lead to half of the board resigning.

Read more:

Guardiola agrees to Eto'o staying

Madrid sports tabloid Marca claims that Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola has decided that Barcelona forward and Cameroonian international Samuel Eto'o (27) will stay at the club this summer.

Guardiola has already informed the Barcelona board about his decision and, if nothing unexpected happens in the coming days, the decision will be publicly announced soon after the team has returned to Barcelona after their tour in the United Stated.

Guardiola would have been impressed by the behaviour of Eto'o during the start of the pre-season, which has been exemplary both on and off the pitch. This plus the lack of top cente forwards available on the market has lead to Guardiola changing his initial stand of not counting on the Cameroonian striker.

Read more:
Board seems to back Eto'o continuation

Case closed: Coloccini

Deportivo La Coruña central defender and Argentinian international Fabricio Coloccini (26) will not play for Barcelona as of next season, like had been strongly rumoured earlier this year (read more here).

Deportivo has officially announced yesterday that that the club has reached an agreement with Newcastle United on the transfer of Coloccini. The English premier League club will pay a fee that could rise to 13 million euro° for the Argentinian defender.

Read more:
How things stand: Central defenders
Case closed: Garay
Coloccini option drops back

Barça B - Official: Valiente to Sevilla B

Barcelona has yesterday officially announced the transfer of Barcelona Atlètic central defender and Spanish youth international Marc Valiente (21) to Sevilla Atlético, the second team of Sevillla that plays in the Spanish second division.

confirmed the news on its official website yesterday.

Valiente signed a three-year contract with Sevilla. Barcelona will receive 25 per cent of the transfer fee if Valiente is sold and has the right to buy the player back at the end of the 2008-2009 season for a fee that will depend on the number of matches Valiente will play next season with the first team of Sevilla.

Read more:
Barça B - Official: Coto to Sevilla B
Barça B: Pre-agreement with Sevilla on Valiente
Barça B - Official: Guerra to Atletico Madrid B

Champions League qualifier against Wisla Krakow

By beating Beitar Jerusalem 5-0 at home, Polish champions Wisła Kraków qualified yesterday for the third round qualifying match against Barcelona.

The winner of the tie will enter the Champions League group stage. First leg next Wednesday in Barcelona (10 pm), return game two weeks later in Poland.

This is the report at the
Uefa website:

Wisła Kraków brilliantly overturned a UEFA Champions League second qualifying round first-leg deficit against Beitar Jerusalem and their reward is a tie against FC Barcelona.

The Israeli side led 2-1 ahead of their trip to Poland but by half-time in the decider had conceded to Mauro Cantoro, Cléber and Paweł Brożek. Beitar could have won through with two second-half goals but instead Junior Díaz and Andrzej Niedzielan increased Wisła's advantage and next week they will play at Camp Nou.

It took just nine minutes for Wisła to strike and lead the tie on away goals thanks to Cantoro's free-kick. Cléber put Wisła ahead on aggregate in the 25th-minute and before the break Brożek gave them a commanding advantage. Any hope of a Beitar comeback was effectively ended in the 57th minute by Díaz and substitute Niedzielan made it 5-0 on the night late on. Wisła will now aim to reverse the result of their 2001/02 third qualifying round tie against Barcelona when they lost 4-3 at home – having led three times – and 1-0 away.

Wednesday 6 August 2008

Friendly 5: New York Red Bull-Barcelona 2-6


Alves (46 Piqué)
Márquez (61 Cáceres)

Xavi (46 Busquets)
Keita (46 Touré)
Iniesta (46 Gudjohnsen)

Hleb (46 Bojan)
Eto'o (46 Pedro)
Henry (61 Jeffren)

17 0-1 Xavi
18 0-2 Eto'o
23 0-3 Márquez
30 1-3 Stammler
43 1-4 Eto'o
60 2-4 Rojas
80 2-5 Jeffren
84 2-6 Pedro

Friendly 1: Hibernian-Barcelona 0-6
Friendly 2: Dundee United-Barcelona 1-5
Friendly 3: Fiorentina-Barcelona 1-3
Friendly 4: Chivas-Barcelona 2-5

Pre-season goal scorers
5 Eto'o
4 Messi
2 Bojan
2 Gudjohnsen
2 Jeffren
2 Pedro
2 Xavi
1 Cáceres
1 Henry
1 Hleb
1 Márquez
1 Puyol
1 Touré


Decision on Silva next week

During a two-hour meeting yesterday evening between on the one hand Jullio Llorente and Amadeo Rangel, the agents of Valencia left winger and Spanish international David Silva (22), and on the other hand Valencia president Vicente Soriano, Valencia sports vice president Fernado Gómez and Valencia chief executive Javier Gómez, the parties have not found an agreement on a contract renewal.

Valencia sports vice president Fernado Gómez said to journalists that the negotiations are going in the right way: "We have talked about numbers, about wishes, but it's an issue that only concerns the player and the club so we won't go into details. The player wants to stay in Valencia and we want him to stay. Since we're talking about numbers, that means we're trying to close the gap between the parties' positions. We're already closer than before the meeting because we wish that the player is happy and stays here."

Julio Llorente said to the press while leaving the meeting that there will be a new meeting next week: "We're not close, we're not far, we're in the middle. The talks are ongoing, I can't say much more. We didn't talk about offers from other clubs during the meeting, only about a renewal. We have now taken a break to look at the situation with a clear head. I think there will be a solution next week."

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that there's still a serious difference between offer and demand. Silva wants to give priority to the club that gave him the chance to shine but if he doesn't get a convincing rise in his salary, he'll start looking at the other options on the table.

Madrid sports tabloid As claims that Silva is now only number seven or eight in the ranking of best paid Valencia players and wants to become one the top earners. Valencia would have offered him a pay rise of 200 000 euro a year plus another 300 000 euro incentives, something that was not at all satisfying for his agents, certainly looking at what the player has been offered by other clubs.

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that the difference between both parties is so big that it seems not likely that Silva will stay with Valencia. Barcelona has been informed about the talks and would already have scheduled a meeting with Valencia officials for next Wednesday, with Barcelona wanting to close a deal by mid-August.

If Valencia doesn't find new financial means in the coming days, the club probably won't be able to satisfy the demands of Silva, which would lead to Barcelona launching a 25 (22+3) million euro° bid next week (read more here).

Read more:
Silva prefers to stay

Looking for a left winger and a centre forward
Barcelona will have to move for Arshavin

Board seems to back Eto'o continuation

Asked about the situation of Barcelona forward and Cameroonian international Samuel Eto'o (27), Barcelona president Joan Laporta has suggested to journalists that, although Guardiola will have the final say, he would prefer that the player stays:

"Eto'o has great qualities, both as a player and as a person. I think now everyone has to add something so that the final decision will be the best one for the club. In the end our manager will have to make a decision because he has lived with the player and has seen that he has had a very positive behaviour. We'll annouce a decision soon."

Barcelona sports vice president Rafael Yuste meanwhile commented to Catalan sports paper Sport that the club could make a decision in the coming days: "This could also mean that nothing changes since he still is a Barcelona player with a contract. Eto'o is working really well with the group and my evaluation is very positive. But Txiki and Guardiola will have to decide in the end, although I repeat that we have seen that he's very involved and working hard."

Read more:

Barça B - Official: Longas

Barcelona has today officially announced the transfer of Zaragoza midfielder Antonio Longás (23), who will play with Barcelona Atlètic in the third division next season. Spanish second division club Zaragoza had already officially confirmed the transfer on Monday.

Longás, who played on loan with Tenerife in the Spanish second division last season, has signed a two-year deal. The Spanish defender is (after Rayo, Solano, Nolito, Verdes and Joni) the sixth signing of Barcelona Atlètic this summer (read more here).

Longás, who made his debut in the Primera División with Zaragoza two years ago, will start training with the group this afternoon: "I'll try to catch up with the others as soon as possible since I'm aware that there will be a lot of competition. I was already informed that Luis Enrique works very hard on the physical conditions but I'll have to deal with that.

I can play both as defensive midfielder as in a more offensive role. I hope to help the team with my passes and by distributing the game. I had some offers from second division clubs but when Barcelona showed interest for me, I didn't have to think too much about my decision. It's true that I'm coming to a lower division and it could be seen as a step back but I'm just doing this to be able to make three steps forward in the future."

Read the official announcements of the other transfers of Barcelona Atlètic:

Read more:

PSV interested in Gudjohnsen

Dutch sports weekly paper Sportweek claims that PSV Eindhoven is interested in Barcelona attacker and Iceland international Eidur Gudjohnsen (29).

The Dutch champions are still looking for a centre forward and Gudhohnsen would be one of the four candidates on the list.

Although it is believed that Gudjohnsen can leave Barcelona if a good offer comes in, it doesn't seem likely that PSV can satisfy the financial demands of both Barcelona and the player.

Gudjohnsen, whose contract with barcelona expires in 2010, played already for PSV Eindhoven from 1995 to 1997.

Read more:

Barcelona wins Messi's Olympic games case

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld today the appeals filed by Schalke, Werder Bremen and Barcelona against the decision issued on 30 July 2008 by the Single Judge of the FIFA's Player’s Status Committee (read more here) that consequently has been set aside in its entirety.

Barcelona therefore doesn't have to release Messi for the Olympic football tournament and could call him back.

This is the press release issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport:

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld the appeals filed by FC Schalke 04, SV Werder Bremen and FC Barcelona against the decision issued on 30 July 2008 by the Single Judge of the FIFA's Player’s Status Committee that consequently has been set aside in its entirety.

The FIFA decision challenged in appeal concluded that the release of players under the age of 23 for the Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008 was mandatory for all clubs on the basis of a long lasting and undisputed practice which had become a customary law for the clubs.

After this decision, on 31 July 2008, FC Schalke 04, SV Werder Bremen and FC Barcelona filed an appeal with the CAS. The appeals were joined and referred to the same Panel, which was constituted as follows: Mr Efraim Barak, Attorney-at-law (Israel), President, Mr Michele Bernasconi, Attorney-at-law (Switzerland) and Mr Ralph Zloczower, Attorney-at-law (Switzerland).

The CAS Panel, on the occasion of a hearing held on an urgent basis in Zurich on 5 August 2008, reviewed all arguments presented by the parties and reached the following conclusions:

- The Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008 is not included in the Coordinated Match Calendar and there is no specific decision of the FIFA Executive Committee establishing the obligation for the clubs to release players under 23 for this tournament.

- The requirements to justify a legal obligation of clubs to release their players for the Football Tournament Beijing 2008 on the basis of customary law are not met. Accordingly, the Panel concluded that FC Schalke 04, SV Werder Bremen and FC Barcelona had no legal obligation to release the players Rafinha, Diego and Messi, respectively, for the Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008.

However, this decision does not affect the eligibility status of the players who have been validly entered by their National Olympic Committee and who remain fully eligible to compete in the Olympic Games of Beijing 2008.

In view of FIFA’s recommendation made to the clubs to release their players as well as of the Olympic spirit, the CAS call upon the good will and good sense of FIFA and the clubs to find a reasonable solution with regard to players who wish to represent their country in the Olympic Games.

pep's opinion:
first of all congratulations to barcelona's judicial advisors. clubs go before countries as i'm concerned but don't make messi return now. we don't need him in the champions league qualifying games, he'll be equally fit if he plays some games there or plays them with us, the player would love to take part in the olympics and this is one of those little things that could upset the player immensely and that could break something permanently in his relation with the club. just make a statement saying something like "now we know this for the next time and before the 2012 olympic games we're going to sit around the table with all the clubs and adopt a joint stand about not releasing any of our players"

Youth: Jonathan dos Santos waiting for renewal

Asked about the situation of Barcelona Juvenil A attacking midfielder and Mexican youth international Jonathan dos Santos (18), the younger brother of Tottenham player Giovani, his father Gerardo Dos Santos 'Zizinho' has said in an interview with Mexican radio station Estadio W that the player doesn't have a contract with Barcelona and is waiting to see if he'll be offered a new one:

"Jonathan's former contract with Barcelona expired this summer and at this moment he has no contract for the coming season with Barcelona Atlètic or with Juvenil A, so his future is at this moment unclear. With Giovani now playing and living in England, the family situation has also changed. At this moment my wife and I are two weeks in Barcelona and two weeks in London and we have people to look after the boys if we're not there."

Read more:
Youth: Jonathan will stay
Youth: Rochina probably promoted
Youth: Jonathan Dos Santos

Berbatov prefers Barcelona

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Tottenham forward and Bulgarian international Dimitar Berbatov (27) is a real option for Barcelona and that there has been made a new contact after it became clear that Adebayor and Drogba are most probably off the market.

Barcelona would have held last month the first talks with both Tottenham and the player. Because Barcelona didn't want to enter a bid race with Manchester United, Berbatov was asked about his position. The striker would have said that he prefers to leave for Barcelona rather than joining Manchester United.

The paper claims that Barcelona will make an offer of around 25 million euro°, that will in no case will be raised to more than 30 million euro°, while Tottenham has asked Manchester United a fee of 35 million euro°. After the deal on Giovani dos Santos (read more here), the relations between Tottenham and Barcelona are nevertheless excellent.

Read more:
Berbatov, the last striker standing
Txiki on Eto'o, Benzema, Henry and other strikers
Adebayor one of the candidates to replace Eto'o

Transfer summer 2008: Overview


Seydou Keita
former club: sevilla
age: 28
country: mali

official announcement: monday 26 may
contract duration: 4 years
transfer fee: 14 million euro
note: barcelona pays the buyout fee

Gerard Piqué
former club: manchester united
age: 21
country: catalunya, spain

official announcement: tuesday 27 may
contract duration: 4 years
transfer fee: 5 million euro

José Manuel Pinto
former club: celta vigo
age: 32
country: spain

official announcement: friday 30 may
contract duration: 2 years
transfer fee: 0 euro
note: the contract can be cancelled by both parties after one year, pinto played for barcelona on loan since january, when barcelona paid celta 500 000 euro

Martín Cáceres
former club: villareal (on loan to recreativo huelva)
age: 21
country: uruguay

official announcement: wednesday 4 june
contract duration: 4 years
transfer fee: 16,5 million euro

Daniel Alves
former club: sevilla
age: 25
country: brazil

official announcement: wednesday 2 july
contract duration: 4 years
transfer fee: 29 million euro (+ 6 million euro variables depending on the ranking of the team and the trophies won in the coming years)

Alexander Hleb
former club: arsenal
age: 27
country: belarus

official announcement: wednesday 16 july
contract duration: 4 years
transfer fee: 15 million euro (+ 3 million euro variables depending on the results and the qualification for the champions league in the coming years)

Henrique Adriano Buss
former club: palmeiras
age: 21
country: brazil

official announcement: tuesday 22 july
contract duration: 5 years
transfer fee: 8 million euro (+ 2 million euro variables depending on the qualification for the champions league in the four years after his return from loan)


José Edmílson
new club: villareal
age: 31

country: brazil

barcelona player since: 2004
barcelona contract until: 2008

official announcement: friday 23 may
contract duration: 2 years
transfer fee: -
note: the contract of the player expired

Giovani dos Santos
new club: tottenham
age: 19
country: mexico

barcelona player since: 2002
barcelona contract until: 2009 (?)

official announcement: friday 6 june
contract duration: 5 years
transfer fee: 6 million euro (+ 5 million euro depending on the player’s appearances during his five years of contract)
note: when the player is transferred barcelona receives 20% of the fee during the first two years or 10% after that

Gianluca Zambrotta
new club: ac milan
age: 31
country: italy

barcelona player since: 2006
barcelona contract until: 2010

official announcement: friday 13 june
contract duration: 4 years
transfer fee: 9 million euro (+ 2 million euro depending on the qualification of ac milan for the champions league during the next four years)

new club: chelsea
age: 30
country: portugal (brazil)

barcelona player since: 2004
barcelona contract until: 2010

official announcement: monday 30 june
contract duration: 3 years
transfer fee: 10 million euro

new club: ac milan
age: 28
country: brazil

barcelona player since: 2003
barcelona contract until: 2010

official announcement: tuesday 15 july
contract duration: 3 years
transfer fee: 21 million euro (+ 4 million euro depending on the qualification of ac milan for the champions league during the next years)

new club: ajax amsterdam
age: 28
country: catalunya, spain

barcelona player since: january 2004 (cantera since 2001)
barcelona contract until: 2010

official announcement: tuesday 22 july
contract duration: 3 years (with an option for an extra year)
transfer fee: 3 million euro (+ 2,25 million euro depending on the qualification of ajax for the champions league during the next three years)

Santiago Ezquerro
new club: osasuna
age: 31
country: spain

barcelona player since: 2005
barcelona contract until: 2008

official announcement: tuesday 29 july
contract duration: 2 years (with an option for an extra year)
transfer fee: -
note: the contract of the player expired

Lilian Thuram
new club: - (retired)
age: 36
country: france

barcelona player since: 2006
barcelona contract until: 2008

official announcement: friday 1 august
contract duration: -
transfer fee: -
note: the contract of the player expired

Marc Crosas
new club: celtic glasgow
age: 21
country: catalunya, spain

barcelona player since: december 2007 (cantera since 2001)
barcelona contract until: 2011

official announcement: tuesday 4 august
contract duration: ...
transfer fee: 0,5 million euro (+ 0,9 million euro depending on the player's appearances, the qualification for the Champions League and the titles won)
note: barcelona can buy the player back at the end of the 2009-2010 season for 2 million euro and when the player is transferred barcelona receives 25% of the fee

IN: 87,5 + 11 (= 98,5)
OUT: 49,5 + 14,15 (= 63,65)

fixed investment: 38 (= 87,5 - 49,5)

fixed + variable investment: 34,85 (= 98,5 - 63,65)
worst case: 49 (= 98,5 - 49,5)
best case: 23,85 (= 87,5 - 63,65)

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