Thursday, 9 July 2009

[2008] Principal agreement on Hleb

this post was published exactly one year ago:

Spanish news agency EFE and Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio claim that the transfer of Arsenal midfielder and Belarus international Alexander Hleb (27) will be closed soon. Barcelona and Arsenal have found a principal agreement on the transfer.

An FC Barcelona source has confirmed to the news agency that Hleb will sign a four-year contract and that Barcelona will pay Arsenal a transfer fee of 15 million euro° plus 3 million euro° variables.

Despite having been on the verge of signing with Bayern Munich, who had offered Arsenal 18 million euro°, Hleb has in the end chosen the Barcelona option.

A few administrative details should still be dealt with this afternoon, which would allow Barcelona to announce the transfer tomorrow.

Read more 9 July 2009 news:
Hernanes urged to focus on his game
New Valencia CEO influences Silva transfer


one year ago, readers said...

Barca nerd-fan said...

Yes!!! It will be gd if Hled joins Barca!!!

pep said...

15 million euro =
23 million us dollar
12 million british pound

18 million euro =
28 million us dollar
14,5 million british pound

Barca nerd-fan said...

This is wot I'm looking forward for Barca to play:


STRIKER: Silva(left. Due to Ronaldinho's condition) Messi(right) Henry or Gujohnsen(centre).

MIDFEILD: Hleb, Iniesta, Xavi (Yaya Toure and Keita Back up)

DEFENDER: Dani Alves(right) Abidal(left) Puyol and Marquez(?)

KEEPER: Valdes

Anonymous said...

still not convinced that this is a good idea could be good for the squad as price is relatively cheap but hope it doesn't stop hernanes/silva/arsharvin possibilities as hleb isn't the type of player we really need, plus if he did slag off cesc it might stop cesc coming to barca in the future

Anonymous said...

Good news . i hope it can anounnce as soon as possible.Otherwise , pep , are you spainsh ?

Barca nerd-fan said...

While every one is talking about midfeild, What about Strikers?!
I think Barca should actually buy Arshavin for "centre" striker.

barcelonista said...

i think it will be like that:4-3-3

silva - adebayor - messi

hleb - yaya toure - xavi

abidal-caceres-puyol-dani alves



but this is formation without etoo and ronaldinho!

Davor said...

ok now for eto'o and dinho to leave
and for us to sign a left winger/support striker considering we don't actually play with out and out wingers
i don't belive we'll get silva so i would want arshavin or van der vaart
also if guddy leaves i hope we get diego milito
however i hope guddy stays
he'll be backup to henry and bojan in centre forward plus he can play on the wings or as an attacking midfielder
for me for the signing to be complete all we really need is to sell eto'o and ronaldinho and to purchase van der vaart or arshavin to play on the left

Anonymous said...

very good signing. Good fee too.
I like him a lot. can replace messi when he is out. But I would place him as a central midfielder.

barça nerd
I would place caceres as left defender when milito is back. sell marquez and gudjohnsen. toure or keita will certainly play. iniesta can play as left winger. One more signing ( aguero , benzema) and for me the squad is complete.

cbr_boss said...

wait Silva is still on the table? like this coul happen? i kinda ruled him out a long time ago but in everyones fanatasy formation i see his name..what's the deal is he a maybe still?

ife said...

good price.for 15 million euro,perfect deal for hleb.

Anonymous said...

as an arsenal fan i would like to congratulate u guys on signing a player who has two brilliant feet, and dribbles really well, but wets himself with fear when he has to shoot. 11 goals in 3 seasons. enough said.

djoef said...

No problem. With us he won't have to shoot. The plan is to dribble the ball into the net.

one year ago, readers said...

Anonymous said...

yea sure djoef, you be tearing your hair out a couple of months into the season with this guy's refusal to shoot....anyways who said the figure is 15 million else says it, except this place.

Anonymous said...

Hey pep, why wouldnt barca go for Rafinha from shalke? I thought he would be good.

pep said...
You're suggesting this place isn't reliable... *shock* ?

The original source seems to be the (pretty reliable) Spanish news agency EFE. And it's not as if only this blog has it, in Spain it's all over. Check it here:

Anonymous said...

We already have Alves now, we won't pay for rafinha to sit on the bench!

Anonymous said...

no i am not saying that this blog is is really good for news on barca, but noone else has quoted the figure, ive checked about 6 different sites.

Also marca, and whichever other paper or radio in spain, are a forum where they announce their interest to unsettle someone. Its really disgraceful the way real madrid and ac milan have done business this year.

pep said...

No problem, man, I wasn't serious!

And Marca is a Real Madrid fan tabloid, so you can't expect anything good from them... ;)

Kxevin said...

Good deal, if the price is real. He's very creative, and a tip-top attacking midfielder who again, has been proven againt the hard men of the Premiership.

Having spent quite a bit of time watching Arsenal, the Gunner fan is right. Hleb isn't going to have a go, and when he does, it's usually weak or high. But we have plenty of folks more than willing to shoot. No worries on that score.

Great ball skills, too. He keeps control of the ball. I still don't see him in the starting midfield, though. Of course, I don't see Iniesta in the starting midfield, either. My starting midfield is Xavi, Keita and Yaya, particularly if we sign that "9" that Henry and Messi can play off of. Then the biggest concern will be solidity behind them, and no susceptibility to the counter.

Keita has attacking mid skills, and a cannon of a shot. He can push up (or Xavi can) and leave us with four excellent attackers. Xavi will be better being relieved of defensive duties, as well.

We are now as deep as any team in Europe, which should serve us well as the season progresses. That was the problem last year, particularly in the midfield.

groga said...

" if we sign that "9" that Henry and Messi can play off of "

I guess if we sign another "9", then henry will play off the bench, since he doesn't want to play on the left and he apparently had a good chat with guardiola about being able to move again to the middle.

Kxevin said...

Groga, Guardiola was talking a while back about playing that "9" as the point of the lance, so to speak, and that Messi and Henry would still be able to co-exist with this person. Don't know if he was envisioning an Arsenal-type system, in which Henry thrived with the likes of Pires, Reyes, Bergkamp and Adebayor.

Good thoughts, though. I just can't see Henry coming off the bench. Too expensive, if nothing else.

one year ago, readers said...

cojonudo said...

I'm fascinated to see that just because the rumored transfer price seems reasonable everyone's all of a sudden jumping on the Hleb bandwagon and considering this a good deal - when for most of the summer (some of us) have been crucifying Hleb unmercilessly. How perceptions can chance so quickly.

I don't care if Hleb can dribble around defenders like Curly Neal of the Harlem Globtrotters the fact remains that Yosemite Sam has a more accurate shot than him!

Kxevin said...

Cojonudo, let the record show that I wasn't against Hleb, just the inflated Arsenal price. For my 15 million, he's a Deco who doesn't lose possession as often. Arsenal needed him to shoot. We don't. We have plenty of shooters. We need him to do what he does, which is retain possession, set up players and dish out nifty passes.

He also is good at taking fouls and retaining possession, another value given that people seem inclined to try to kick us off the ball.

His presence means that there is one less step that Messi has to perform. Rather than running the length of the pitch with the ball, getting kicked by all 11 players on the opposing side, I'd much rather see Messi get a nice pass just outside the 18, where the defense hasn't had the chance to set up for him. Hleb/Xavi is that extra layer, now that Keita is in the house.

But I watched a lot of Arsenal last season, so I know how good Hleb is at doing what we need.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Cojonudo and I hope Hleb will end in Bayern M. Barca don't need him. Barca need left winger and another striker. And I hope Eto'o will stay.

lekan said...

this is an ideal deal and i would be delighted to hear his signing announcement in the comming days,and why are u destroying hleb and compearing him to ashaving silva and co?common ananymouse hleb is the better of those five or four u listed common pep just give us the details as its progreses

lekan said...


Anonymous said...

good buy i hope good player he will be able to help xavi play more in attack like in the euros

cojonudo said...

To your point "Kxevin" about Hleb being able to retain possession and having good passing skills. How does that add anything to the club? Next to the porous defense being ripped apart on counters, Barcelona's biggest weakness last season was the inability to "finish off" plays. I don't know about you but I was starting to pull my hair out at watching this team control 60% or more of possession, making 400+ short, horizontal passes and needing 10 shots on goal in order to find one in the back of the net....meanwhile all the opposition needed was one or two well timed counters and the game would be over!

This team has more than enough, skilled "ball handlers" what this team needs is a clinical, stone cold "finisher" who only needs one chance, one opportunity and he'll find the back of the net - and that player certainly is NOT Adebayor!

As to your point about this team having too many "midgets" may I remind you that this team recently won the Champions League Final with a roster full of midgets. And low and behold who would up scoring the decisive goal? the midget himself, Guily. I would rather have midgets who can score, (i.e. Aguero, Villa) over "giants" who can't even hit a duck at a shooting gallery!

one year ago, readers said...

FCB-Fitz said...

Cojonudo, actually Guily did not score in the Champions League final. The two Barca scorers were Eto'o in the 76th minute and Belleti in the 80th. As to short players, I certainly agree that there are a number of "midgets" that have done quite well for us; however, Barca was extremely vulnerable in the air last season, so it couldn't hurt to get some tall players who defend well in the air. Further, Dani Alves is one of the best crossers in La Liga and it would be nice to have someone in the box who is good in the air. That being said, Henry is a great option as center forward if Guardiola is looking for someone able to score goals with his head. One other thing on a different subject, with Silva and some other wingers being ridiculously overpriced, why hasn't Diego Capel of Sevilla been mentioned as a possible left winger? He's extremely fast and very young...could be a great long-term investment.

Kxevin said...

fcb-fitz is right. Also, Hleb is almost 6 feet tall, which is good. More importantly, we need a Deco type, because that kind of player really helps make our offense go.

The defense has been addressed, but often when the defense did its job, we couldn't score. That missing Deco link was an important one.

And as I said elsewhere, we won Champions League, but that was with an on-form Ronaldinho, a once in a lifetime player. Last season, bereft of his creativity and Deco's attacking style, goals were hard to come by.

But don't forget how finely balanced that match was until Lehmann's red card changed it. Even after that, Hleb had a good chance, and so did Henry, the latter of which could have put Arsenal 2-0 up, even with 10 men.

Last season, we had two principal vulnerabilities: the counter, and scoring goals.

The former has been addressed with the likes of Keita, Caceres and Pique. They all add pace and size, which makes us less vulnerable to the counter, and keeps Puyol and Abidal from having to roam.

The latter has yet to be adequately addressed. It's more than a big, strong finisher. That missing Deco layer was very evident last season. Hleb can and should fill that role very nicely.

cojonudo said...

First of all my apologies for coming across as a misinformed idiot in mistaking Guily's goal againt Milan in the semifinals for the Final itself.

Let me present to you the following hypothetical scenario to illustrate my point:

Barcelona down 1-0 in a Champions League match facing elimination with less than 10min to go and desperately in search of an equalizer. Do you really have that much faith that Adebayor's going to be the one who saves the day? Given the fact that he might have one, at most two "good" chances before the final whistle? I don't know about you but I wouldn't be holding my breath! And to me that's the difference between a "good" striker and a "world class" striker. The ability to put the ball in the back of the net when the stakes are at their highest and you are only afforded one chance. Sure, give Adebayor multiple opportunities to score and he'll eventually find the back of the net. But if I had to pick a player to take one shot, with everything riding on it, it certainly wouldn't be Adebayor. Far from it.

Anonymous said...

Adebayor equalized in the final minutes against liverpool in the champions league, unfortionately it wasn't enough. All I'm saying is, he is a typical forward. He scores many goals, misses alot of great opportunities but is at the right spot at the right time almost every time. Barca is in need for a tall striker who can score with the head, not their feet. Dani Alves's crosses to adebayor will certanly be useful.

one year ago, readers said...

K-1 said...

I just dont know why Barca didnt showed interest in signing Arda Turan.
He is young,strong ,fast and very good tehnician and he showed all that on Euro 08.
I just dont get it.

Kxevin said...

Cojonudo, it would depend on the feed. Adebayor, as has been pointed out, is typical of very good strikers. They hit crazy great shots, and miss chippers. Look at the goal that Henry missed in Euro 2008, an easy chip over the keeper, then that impossible, full-speed lateral bend that he made. Who knows how strikers minds work.

But with a good feed, you bet I would trust Adebayor. Throw in a defender leaning on him and I'm definitely liking our chances.

Put it like this. Who wouldn't like for us to sign Fernando Torres, right? He had 30 goals in 128 shots in all competitions for Liverpool. Adebayor had 29 goals from the same number of shots in all competitions for Arsenal.

Someone in an anti-Adebayor screed mentioned Wayne Rooney. Great, if you want 18 goals from 147 shots. The great C. Ronaldo? 42 goals from 255 shots. No wonder he needs ankle surgery!

Now there are certainly lies, damned lies and statistics, but if word came down that we were signing Rooney, Torres or Ronaldo, people would be planning championship parties. But Adebayor is right up there. They all score, they all miss.

eddiethegreat said...

kxevin.. those statistics are very interestant.i´m a number-based kind a guy.i belive in numbers,they dont lie.if that is true,than adebayor is according these stats really good player.i dont have lot of opportunities to watch him in action though,but those numbers make me wonder,ifhe is really that bad,as everybody says..

btw every single player is just as good purchase,as good is his price.ade would be the best signing in barca history for sure,if is he bought for 1M euro.i´m sure,everybody would love barca to sign him under those circumstances.for 40M euro? almost´s just a matter of money spend how we evalute player..

Waleed said...

Kxevin, I totally agree with u on the ade scoring ability, but there is one probleme with him as i see it, in the last days i watched many Arsenal games both in the PL and CL, purposly to focus more on this gye, he has excelent placement in the box, he knows where the goal is even if it was behind him, all nice only one thing "exept the enormous number of misses" his passes is really poor, I know you'll say he is an attecker but an attacker very often needs to return the ball to the midfeild or pass the ball to the co-attackers and here you'd see the difference bitween him, Torres, C.Ronaldo, may be he is still young and still have time to mature?? may be

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