Saturday 1 August 2009

Medical: Green light for Marquez and Henry

Barcelona's official website has announced that Barcelona players Rafael Márquez (30) and Thiery Henry (31) will be available for tonight's friendly game against Los Angeles Galaxy.

Asked about his recovery from a knee injury,Márquez (30) had said at a press conference yesterday that he is back to full fitness and hopes to play a few minutes in tonight's pre-season game:

"After three months out with this injury it's not easy to get back into the rhythm I had before, but I'm desperate to get back onto the pitch. The most important thing for me right now is that I've had no bad feelings in my knee and it seems to have healed okay."

Márquez torn the internal and external menisci of his left knee during the Champions league game against Chelsea on 28 April 2009 and was then expected to be out for two and a half to three months (read more here).

Henry strained the posterior cruciate ligament of his right knee during the league game against Real Madrid on 2 May and was then expected to be out for at least three weeks. Despite playing the final of the Champions League on 27 May, Henry hasn't yet fully recovered from the injury (read more here).

Read more:
Medical: Green light for Maxwell
Medical: Marquez, Henry and Maxwell recovering

Barcelona intensifies commitment to fight malaria

FC Barcelona committed itself to help in the fight against malaria by becoming one of the main supporters of the United Against Malaria (UAM) organisation. The American Major League Soccer (MLS), guided by FC Barcelona, have also joined the project.

A year ago, Barca joined the fight against malaria by supporting the Malaria No More
organisation and this Friday the club made a further commitment by becoming a major member of the UAM group, who are preparing a worldwide campaign to coincide with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

read more here and here

Ibrahimovic is making friends

source: Aftonbladet
translated by: Dmitri

Barcelona is a team with a family atmosphere and it looks like Zlatan has already found his "clan". Among the team's Brazilian players... "Sure, me and Zlatan are amigos", said Dani Alves.

Zlatan has already made friends with three Brazilian players in Barca and according to our sources the players are Alves, Maxwell and Henrique. While Maxwell has been one of Zlatan's best friends during his spell in Inter, he also made friends with Alves and Henrique. When the team left the plane after it had landed in Los Angeles, it was Alves who said "Now you must also learn Portuguese!"

When "Sportsbladet" got to talk to Alves, he confirmed: "Yes, me and Zlatan are friends. In Barca its quite easy to make friends with the teammates." When asked about what Ibra can do, Alves said: "I hope he can show his greatness at Barca and I'm sure that he will succeed in doing that."

Even the captain Carles Puyol has talked and welcomed Zlatan to the club. This happened when Zlatan and Puyol were sitting next to each other on the airplane.
"I explained to him how it is in Barca and asked about his hand", said the Barcelona captain.

Read more:
Ten Things You Should Know About Zlatan
Larsson believes in Ibrahimovic
Zlatan presentation (picture special)

New chance for Henrique to convince Guardiola

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that the friendly game later today against Los Angeles Galaxy is a new test for Barcelona central defender Henrique Adriano Buss (22).

Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola still wouldn't be convinced by the Brazilian player, who needs to prove that he has the qualities to stay with the squad the coming season and that there's no need to sign another central defender.

Read more:
Henrique confident of staying
Looking forward to the last transfer window month
Henrique: "A presentation would have been nice"

Mascherano is in Barcelona

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Liverpool defensive midfielder and Argentine international Javier Mascherano (25) could meet with Barcelona officials today.

Mascherano has arrived today in Barcelona, where Liverpool will play tomorrow a pre-season friendly against Espanyol.

With the option of Shakhtar centre-back Chygrynskiy being almost rejected because of the player's participation in a Champions League qualifier, Barcelona would now again be focusing on signing a midfielder. Mascherano and Arsenal player Cesc would be the main objectives. Liverpool would nevertheless be asking 50 million euro° for the Argentinian while Barcelona wouldn't want to pay more than 30 million euro°.

Last month, Mascherano's agent Walter Tamer would have met in Barcelona with Begiristain in the same hotel where the player will stay tonight (read more here). The paper claims that Barcelona has already reached a principal agreement with Mascherano for a five-year contract worth 5 million euro a season.

It would be possible that Mascherano meets today or tomorrow with Barcelona representatives, although this option has become less likely because Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain and Barcelona director of football Raül Sanllehí have travelled with the Barcelona squad to the United States.

Read more:
Mascherano or Cesc
The report of Txiki: Mascherano priority
Mascherano wants to join Barcelona

Stuttgart wants to make Hleb loan permanent

Asked about the loan of Barcelona attacker and Belarusian international Alexander Hleb (28) (read more here), Stuttgart sports director Horst Heldt is quoted as saying in an interview with Heidelberg local newspaper Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung that the German club wants to sign the player permanently next summer:

"We have brought him back home and he is a world-class midfielder. In the last three months we have tried very hard to lure him back to our club and I am delighted we have succeeded.

Coach Markus Babbel and I are willing to give Alex all the time he needs to find his feet at the club, as he is lacking in match fitness at the moment. We all know the ability he has and he was our top target this summer. If we are able to, we would like to sign him permanently after the loan deal expires."

Read more:
Official: Hleb to Stuttgart on loan
Bayern Munich and Stuttgart want Hleb

The Front: A Bola


Keirrison arrives at Benfica full of ambition

Transfer summer 2009: Overview


former club: bayer leverkusen
age: 22
country: brazil

official announcement: [wednesday 15 july]
contract duration: [4 years]
transfer fee: -
note: the player comes back from loan, barcelona paid last summer 8 million euro (plus 2 million euro variables depending on the qualification for the champions league in the four years after his return from loan)

former club: inter milan
age: 27
country: brazil

official announcement: wednesday 15 july
contract duration: 4 years (plus an option for one extra year depending on games played)
transfer fee: 4,5 million euro (plus 0,5 million euro variables)

former club: palmeiras
age: 20
country: brazil

official announcement: thursday 23 july
contract duration: 5 years
transfer fee: 14 million euro (plus 2 million euro variables depending on games played with the first team)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
former club: inter milan
age: 27
country: sweden

official announcement: monday 27 july
contract duration: 5 years
transfer fee: 66 million euro (plus compensation for non-loan of hleb)
note: barcelona player eto'o joined inter milan as part of this deal and was valued at 20 million euro


new club: ...
age: 35
country: brazil

barcelona player since: 2004
barcelona contract until: 2009

official announcement: wednesday 3 june
contract duration: ...
transfer fee: -
note: the contract of the player expired

Samuel Eto'o
new club: inter milan
age: 28
country: cameroon

barcelona player since: 2004
barcelona contract until: 2010

official announcement: monday 27 july
contract duration: 5 years
transfer fee: 20 million euro
note: the transfer was part of the deal on inter player ibrahimovic

new club: benfica
age: 20
country: brazil

barcelona player since: 2009
barcelona contract until: 2014

official announcement: tuesday 28 july
contract duration: 1 year
transfer fee: 0 euro
note: the player leaves on a one-year loan deal

Alexander Hleb
new club: stuttgart
age: 28
country: belarus

barcelona player since: 2008
barcelona contract until: 2012

official announcement: tuesday 28 july
contract duration: 1 year
transfer fee: 0 euro
note: the player leaves on a one-year loan deal

check last summer's transfer overview here

Almost 5000 fans attend training session

Barcelona trained yesterday at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena. More than 4 500 fans turned up to watch the training session. Tonight, there are expected to be 85 000 people attending the Los Angeles Galaxy vs Barcelona friendly game.

watch more pictures here

Barcelona not excluding MLS franchise

Although negotiations to start a new team in Miami failed last year (read more here), Barcelona president Joan Laporta has told journalists in the United States that the club is still looking at options to have a franchise in the American football league:

"The project is still open. In our strategy in the States, we're trying to develop grass roots. We're trying to get a franchise in MLS and to develop our image with campaigns in merchandising and marketing.

I had a lot of conversations with MLS. In these meetings, I learned a lot of things, especially in marketing. They are working very well in this direction. I'd also be delighted to have an American playing on my team. It would be great. I think it's important for us as a global brand, a global club, to have players from everywhere."

Read more:
FCB Miami: Bid for MLS team withdrawn
Marketing vice-president Ferrer on MLS franchise

Di Maria on the list but not a priority

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona is interested in Benfica left winger and Argentinian international Angel Di María (21) but that the player isn't a priority at this moment.

Although Barcelona tried to include a first option on Di María in the negotiations on the loan of Barcelona player Keirrison (read more here), the club wouldn't have the intention of executing the option immediately because signing a left winger isn't the main target for now. Benfica also wouldn't be willing to let the player leave this summer.

Read more:
Di Maria and Arshavin will be monitored
Keirrison officially presented as Benfica player
Possible first option on two Benfica players

Watch a video of Di María here:

West Ham sets Gudjohnsen deadline

British tabloid The Sun claims that West Ham has set a deadline for the transfer of Barcelona attacker and Iceland international Eidur Gudjohnsen (30).

The English Premier League club would want to find out this week if they can sign Gudjohnsen and is ready to push for a response from the player. The Icelandic striker could chose to leave Barcelona to get more playing time.

Read more:
Gudjohnsen close to joining West Ham
West Ham confirms interest in Gudjohnsen

[2008] Oleguer's goodbye letter to Barcelona

this post was published exactly one year ago:

When I arrived at the Camp Nou I saw one of my greatest dreams come true. From an early age I dreamed of wearing the Barça shirt; I used to imagine the Camp Nou at full capacity and me playing for the league title, surrounded by magnificent players, and helping win by scoring one, two or three goals. Obviously not everything is possible, but what had only been a dream a few years before, became reality on the 13th of November 2002: to play for Barça and be able to celebrate with everyone involved in Barcelona the teams successes.

I arrived without much fuss, with a desire to learn and give my very best in order for the dream to continue. Aware of my faults and virtues, but above all bearing in mind that what allowed me to play in this team was the desire to do well and the feeling that makes you give your all on the pitch. We all know that there are days when things go well and others not so well but the will to improve and the effort have been inseparable companions along the way. A few years in which I have enjoyed unforgettable experiences, like the title-winning celebrations on the streets of Barcelona and the Camp Nou, or winning the Champion’s League in Paris. But these moments would mean nothing without the little details that go along with them: the signs of joy, the support, and the warmth of the people, the complicity with my team-mates, the jokes, the hugs and above all knowing that each title has been the culmination of a years work, the team and the fans together.

Thank-you to all those who shared these experiences with me, without them it would not have been possible.

I’ve tried to show myself as I am. I’ve tried to act professionally coherent with my ideas. I’ve never enjoyed being the centre of attention for the press but this is not why I refuse to express my feelings. We all have our own and it is good to be able to express them and talk about them freely and respectfully in order to understand others and put ourselves in their skin. I think it is the best way to move towards a tolerant society.

My declarations have often been used to create problems, they have tried to read between the lines with things I haven’t said and misinterpreted others out of context. Throughout these years I have merely expressed my will to improve the society in which we live, still full of injustices, inequality and problems to be solved.

Thank you to all those who made an effort to understand and respect me, whether they agreed with me or not.

I say goodbye therefore with a letter, without making a noise, just as I arrived. I am going to Amsterdam to live a new experience and I hope to enjoy the minutes I haven’t had recently and help my new team to success. I think now is the time to do so and a good opportunity to experience other cultures, other languages, a new club, new team-mates…Definitively, a good way to continue growing in every way.

Therefore, it only remains to say that I will be among the millions of anonymous heads who celebrate my dream teams’ victories together. Thank you for everything.


Read more 1 August 2008 news:
Adebayor one of the candidates to replace Eto'o
Gudjohnsen will probably stay
Official: Thuram retires

Medical: Green light for Maxwell

Barcelona player Maxwell (27) has received yesterday the green light from Barcelona's medical staff and will be available for the friendly game against Los Angeles Galaxy later today.

After he joined Barcelona last month, Maxwell had been following a special program to strengthen the muscles around his right knee, a consecuence of the serious knee injury the Brazilian left back suffered four years ago.

Read more:
Medical: Marquez, Henry and Maxwell recovering
Medical: Zlatan to start training in couple of days
Medical: Iniesta suffered stomach virus

Messi will be offered a pay rise this summer

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona right wing attacker and Argentinian international Lionel Messi (22) will be offered a new pay rise this summer (read more here).

After the transfer of Ibrahimovic, Barcelona wants Messi to stay the best paid player of the squad and will start talking with the player's father and agent Jorge Messi next month. The Argentinian would at this moment be earning 8 million euro gross a year plus a maximum of 2,4 million euro in incentives.

Madrid sports tabloid As claims that this will be the fifth contract renewal for Messi since he was promoted to the first team.

Messi, who is reported to earn now 8,4 million euro plus incentives (depending -among other things- on 60 per cent of the games played, qualification for the Champions League and trophies won) that last season added another 30 per cent to his wages, would now be offered a year salary of 11 million euro plus another possible 30 per cent of that amount in incentives. Messi would also exclusively keep his image rights and the buyout clause would be raised from 150 to 250 million euro°.

Read more:
Messi will renew contract after US tour
Better contract for Messi

The Front: Sport


"Guardiola is comfortable now, his renewal depends on him"

Confidential: This is how Ibrahimovic was signed

The secret history behind the operation

Bobby Robson died

Barça B: Contract of Solano rescinded

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that the contract of Barcelona Atlètic central defender José Antonio Solano (23 - picture, in the middle) has been rescinded.

Barcelona would this week have found a deal with the player, who arrived last summer from Spanish third division club Ecija, to put an end to the contract that expired in 2010. Solano didn't start the pre-season with Barcelona Atlètic and is now free to negotiate with other clubs.

Read more:
Barça B - Official: Solano
Barça B - Official: Rayo will leave

Looking forward to the last transfer window month

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo looks ahead to the last month of the summer transfer window.

Central defender
With the transfer of Shakhtar Donetsk defender and Ukrainian international Dmytro Chygrynskiy (22) having become unlikely because of the player's participation in a Champions league qualifying game, Barcelona could decide not to sign another centre-back and to count on Henrique and youth players Muniesa or Fontàs.

Signing another midfielder seems at this moment the priority of the club, with Liverpool defensive midfielder and Argentine international Javier Mascherano (25) and Arsenal midfielder and Spanish international Cesc Fàbregas (22) on top of the list. A player with a back-up profile like Poulsen is not an option.

Left winger
With a transfer of main target Franck Ribéry not being possible, a transfer of a left winger is not a priority because the alternatives don't convince. Valencia left wing attacker and Spanish international Juan Mata (21) could be an option if he cannot reach a renewal agreement with Valencia this summer. Other rumoured options like Di María, Robinho or Arshavin seem far off at this moment. Homegrown players Pedro, Jeffren or Gai are expected to get their chances.

Read more:
Transfer of Chygrynskiy becomes unlikely
Mascherano or Cesc
Mata will use Barcelona offer to get pay rise

Laporta supports salary cap

Talking to journalists in the United Stated, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said on Friday that the Major League Soccer salary cap can serve as a model for other teams and leagues to control costs:

"There are interesting things that we have to study in Europe, such as a salary cap. Maybe we have to establish some parameters for revenues and players' salaries but maybe not as strict as in MLS."

Read more:
FCB Finance Report

The Front: El Mundo Deportivo

The lord of the benches

The Barça coach of 96-97 left us yesterday at the age of 76

He won a treble with Ronaldo in the post-Cruyff season

The world of football mourns
Mourinho: Bobby will never die. I'm lucky to have walked by his side.
Guardiola: I would point out all the things he had to go through.

Statistics: Zlatan vs Eto'o

Zlatan Ibrahimović born 3 October 1981 (27)

  1. 2006-2007 apps-goals : league 27-15 , cup 2-0 , europe 7-0 = 36 apps 15 goals ( goal ratio : 0.42 )

  2. 2007-2008 apps-goals : league 26-17 , cup 1-0 , europe 7-5 = 34 apps 22 goals ( goal ratio : 0.65 )

  3. 2008-2009 apps-goals : league 35-25 , cup 3-3 , europe 8-1 = 46 apps 29 goals ( goal ratio : 0.63 )

  • TOTAL : 116 apps 66 goals ( goal ratio : 0.57 )
  • long term injuries : 1 (2007-2008 for 3 months)

Samuel Eto'o Fils born 10 March 1981 (28)

  1. 2006-2007 apps-goals : league 19-11 , cup 4-1 , europe 4-1 = 27 apps 13 goals ( goal ratio : 0.48 )

  2. 2007-2008 apps-goals : league 18-16 , cup 3-1 , europe 7-1 = 28 apps 18 goals ( goal ratio : 0.64 )

  3. 2008-2009 apps-goals : league 36-30 , cup 4-0 , europe 12-6 = 52 apps 36 goals ( goal ratio : 0.69 )

  • TOTAL : 107 apps 68 goals ( goal ratio : 0.64 )
  • long term injuries : 2 (2006-2007 for 5 months , 2007-2008 for 3 months )

Compiled by: hamid_ali

Video Tribute: Sir Bobby Robson

Barcelona players inaugurate local football pitch

All Barcelona players took yesterday part in the inauguration of a small football pitch in Los Angeles.

read more and see more pictures here

Squad takes humble approach

As the new season draws closer, Barcelona players Carles Puyol and Dani Alves both know that it is important not to let last year's successes go to their heads.

Dani Alves, appearing alongside Carles Puyol, spoke with the kind of modesty that typified him last season. "We will try to keep the same level as last season. It won't be easy but we'll give it a try."

"We won't win anything if we aren't humble." Simple but direct. That's Carles Puyol speaking in his first press conference of the season, part of the presentation of the game with LA Galaxy. With the three trophies won last season on display, Puyol said it is important "to keep our feet on the ground" rather than make predictions about how many of the six potential titles they can win.

read more here

2010 summer tour in Asia

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona will next year do a pre-season tour in Asia.

The club thinks that after three years a tour is needed to consolidate the club's position in the growing Asian market.

Barcelona would have a fairly strong position in Japan, but would need to strenghten their market share in countries like China, Malaysia and Singapore, that are dominated by English Premier League clubs and especially Manchester United. Because of the 2010 World Expo, Barcelona certainly plans to play a game in Shanghai, the largest city in China.

Read more:
Barcelona will open youth school in Japan
India national team in Barcelona
Chinese youngsters visit Barcelona

Friday 31 July 2009

Picture of the day: Guardiola and Ibrahimovic

Further instructions for Ibrahimovic.

Sir Bobby Robson at Barcelona (picture special)


Mallorca could appeal Eto'o transfer valuation

Balearic Islands regional sports site Balear Esports claims that Spanish first division club Mallorca could appeal the valuation given to foremr Barcelona player Samuel Eto'o earlier this week and take the case to the international football association FIFA.

Barcelona and Inter Milan valued the transfer of Eto'o, which was part of the deal on Inter Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining Barcelona, at 20 million euro (read more here).

FIFA rules state that five per cent of a transfer fee should go to the clubs where the player has played before he turned 23. In this case, one million euro would be divided among four clubs (Real Madrid, Leganés, Espanyol and Mallorca). Mallorca would get 450 000 euro, which would be less than the club had expected.

Read more:
OFFICIAL: Eto'o to Inter Milan
Thank You Samu - Remembering Eto'o at Barca

Fan Pictures: Tottenham-Barcelona (Part 2)

Sho, who attended the preseason friendly versus Tottenham, shares some of his photos from the match.

Puyol and Messi have their own robot versions

The robot versions of Barcelona players Carles Puyol and Lionel Messi have today been shown to the public. The robots are a result of a co-operation between the La Salle college in Barcelona and the Ro-Botica website.

The robots were presented this morning at the Camp Nou and will next August take part in the Korea Robot Game Festival, the international final of a football tournament for robots.

POLL: Next priority signing

Barça B - Official: Maric to Norwich

English third division club Norwich has yesterday officially announced the transfer of former Barcelona Atlètic forward Goran Maric (25).

Maric, who had before played two years at the Barcelona youth academy between 1999 and 2001, joined Barcelona B last year, arriving from Celta Vigo B. Barcelona had announced last month that the contract of the Serbian stiker expired and wouldn't be renewed (read more here).

Read more:
Barça B - Official: Abraham to Cadiz
Barça B: Maric on trial at Crystal Palace
Barça B - Official: Botia to Sporting on loan

Pedro prefers to stay despite several loan offers

Madrid sports tabloid As claims that newly promoted Spanish first division club Tenerife is still interested Barcelona wing attacker Pedro Rodríguez Ledesma (22) (read more here).

Tenerife sports director Santiago Llorente would be willing to wait until the end of the summer transfer window to try to sign Pedro on loan.

Asked about the rumours, Pedro confirmed the interest of Tenerife and other clubs in an interview with the tabloid: "They asked Barcelona about a loan and I'm proud about that. It's an honour. Other clubs have also shown interest in a loan. I would nevertheless prefer to stay here, although in football you never know what can happen.

Next season, I want to be useful and play a bigger role. I would like to be more important and help the team to repeat last season, which is difficult but not impossible. We have a long season ahead of us, with a lot of competitions and a lot of games. I know it will be difficult to play but I want to try it, although the final decision will mainly depend on the coach. We've not yet had a long talk but he had already said some things. The most likely thing is that I will stay with Barcelona."

Read more:
Pedro not excluding loan exit
Official players' pictures (part 2)
Osasuna wants Pedro on loan

Barcelona pays tribute to Sir Bobby Robson

On behalf of FC Barcelona, vice-president Alfons Godall has offered his condolences to the family of former Barcelona manager Sir Bobby Robson who passed away earlier today:

"It is the moment for me, in representation of FC Barcelona, to express our sorrow, our condolences, and our support to Bobby Robson's family and to share our sadness with the football world, because we are aware that he was a very well respected person, who made history as both a club and international manager. He will be very much missed at FC Barcelona.

Bobby Robson took the reigns of the first team after the Dream Team era under Johan Cruyff. It was a huge responsibility and I think he did a great job, winning three titles. And we were also able to enjoy lots of goals. I remember the spectacular football of players like Ronaldo, Gica Popescu, Luis Enrique, Nadal, Guardiola and so many other players that under his management were able to enjoy an excellent season."

read more here and here
read statements by Barcelona president Joan Laporta and former Barcelona player Luis Enrique

Read more:
Ex-Barça: RIP Sir Bobby Robson (1933-2009)

Guardiola doping case reopened

British news agency Reuters reports that Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola's acquittal over a 2001 drugs ban has been appealed by Italy's anti-doping prosecutor.

The Italian soccer federation said in May that Guardiola had won his appeal with its disciplinary body against a four-month ban for failing tests for nandrolone while playing for Brescia in 2001 (read more here). The country's Olympic Committee (CONI) has now explained in a statement on Friday that the anti-doping prosecutor had appealed against that decision with a hearing due on 15 September.

Read more:
Guardiola definitely absolved in doping case
Guardiola rejects renewal talks

Vertonghen unaware of Barcelona interest

Asked about the rumours linking him with a move to Barcelona (read more here), Ajax defensive midfielder and Belgian international Jan Vertonghen (22) has said in an interview with Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws that he didn't hear anything about the supposed interest:

"This would be fantastic but I don't know anything about it. I first had a good laugh, but if it's correct, it would of course be incredible. We're talking about Barcelona here!

Usually I don't really get carried away by this kind of rumours, but if the source is a serious paper, I maybe should change my opinion. For the moment, I am having an excellent time at Ajax. Because of some injured players, I might have to start the season as left back defender but there certainly will come new chances for a position in midfield."

Read more:
Barcelona following Belgian striker Dembele
Ajax forward Suarez could be transfer target
Looking for a cheap defensive midfielder

Watch a video of Vertonghen:

Salary demands block exit Jorquera

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that an exit of Barcelona goalkeeper Albert Jorquera (30) seems difficult this summer.

Several clubs, among which newly promoted Spanish first division club Tenerife (read more here), would already have asked for the Catalan goalkeeper whose contract expires at the end of the coming season, but none of them are able to match the salary Jorquera is currently getting at Barcelona, while the player doesn't seem at this moment willing to drop his wage demands.

Read more:
Jorquera willing to listen to offers
Official players' pictures (part 1)
Xerez interested in Barcelona goalkeeper Jorquera

[2008] Pre-agreement on Palacio put on hold

this post was published exactly one year ago:

Argentinian newspaper La Nación claims that all parties involved signed a pre-agreement on the transfer of Boca Juniors forward and Argentinian international Rodrigo Palacio (26) to Barcelona on the 31st of January of this year.

With the contacts already having started in December 2006 and after negotiations with a lot of ups and downs, Barcelona representative Joan Patsy, Palacio's agent Roberto Depietri, Palacio's father José Ramón Palacio and Boca president Pedro Pompilio signed the official pre-agreement at the end of January, with Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain following the final negotiations by phone.

Palacio would sign a three-year contract with an option for an extra year. Barcelona will pay Boca Juniors a transfer fee of 11 million euro° with another possible 4 million euro° variables, three of which were depending on the participation of Boca in the Trofeo Joan Gamper pre-season match in August.

The deal furter explained the incentives Palacio would receive for his performances. It was also stated that Barcelona wouldn't allow the striker to join the Argentinian national team at other dates than the official FIFA dates and that he would be one of the Nike stars during the first three years of his contract.

Because of the institutional crisis Barcelona is going through and the need to bring in a more high profiled striker, the deal would nevertheless have been put on hold. The pre-agreement would be the reason why a 16 million euro offer for Palacio by Italian club Lazio Roma was rejected last month.

Read more 31 July 2008 news:
Barcelona and Celtic negotiating Crosas deal
Giovani officially presented in Tottenham

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