Saturday 22 August 2009

Quote of the day: Pedro

Playing with Messi is very easy. He takes care of everything.

Barcelona player

Advertisement of the day: Bojan

Ajax player Suarez dreams about Barcelona

Asked about the rumours linking him with several European clubs, Ajax forward and Uruguay international Luis Suárez (22) has said in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that he plans to stay at Ajax this summer:

"I will stay. Because I feel good here and because I know that coach Martin Jol can make me even better. And that is needed to succeed at a top club.

Of course I'm thinking about what would happen if a club like Barcelona would show interest. To play there is the dream of every child, so also my dream. Now my feeling says no, because I'm still not ready for that. I feel important here, supported by the group and the coaches and I want to help the club winning the league and taking part in the Champions League. But maybe Ajax will sell if there would be a bid of many millions."

Read more:
Ajax forward Suarez could be transfer target
Barcelona monitoring promising players
Barcelona is an option for Ajax forward Suarez

Watch Suárez score four goals against Bratislava earlier this week:

Fluminense and Corinthians want Sylvinho

The sports directors of Brazilian clubs Fluminense and Corinthians have in the past days confirmed at press conferences that their clubs are interested in former Barcelona left back defender Sylvinho (35), whose contract with Barcelona expired this summer and was not renewed (read more here):

Branco (Fluminense)
"Every great player interests us. Sylvinho is a European champion, he took part in the last Champions league final. He has qualities and a good head. Our people are working on it."

Mário Gobbi (Corinthians)
"Until Thursday, Sylvinho had a first option to join a Spanish club. From now on, this obstruction isn't there anymore. It's a player whom we're interested in and we hope things can be settled in the next days. We want him."

Read more:
Fluminense interested in Sylvinho
Messi devastated by Sylvinho's exit
Sylvinho has deal with Corinthians

Youth players could be promoted to first team

Asked about his statements after the Gamper game that no youth players would be promoted (read more here), Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola has clarified his words at a press conference earlier today:

"If we don't sign new players, some of the youth players will stay with us. But it will be different compared to what we did last year with those players.

I didn't yet decide which players might stay. They are indeed inexperienced - because they are young - but they are ready. Iniesta and Xavi were also ready back in the days. We have quality players waiting to come through."

Read more:
Jonathan hopes to be promoted to first team
The Wembley Ramble, Back to the future.
No youth players will be promoted

Barça B: Miki Roque (Liverpool)

Sevilla regional newspaper Estadio Deportivo claims that Barcelona was earlier this summer interested in Liverpool central defender Miki Roqué (21).

Miki Roqué, who played on loan with Spanish third division club Cartagena last season, nevertheless rejected an offer to join Barcelona Atlètic.

Last month, the Catalan defender, whose contract with Liverpool expired this year, signed for Spanish third division club Betis Sevilla B.

Read more:
Barça B: Miki Roque (Liverpool)
Barça B - Official: Ivan Benitez (Las Palmas B)

Ibrahimovic attracts Swedish socios

Barcelona's official website has announced that more than 150 people residing in Sweden have become a socio of FC Barcelona since Zlatan Ibrahimocvic was presented as new Barcelona player on 27 July.

Barcelona has at this moment 430 socios in Sweden. With the exception of a few Catalans and Spaniards living in the country, almost all of them have the Swedish nationality.

you can become a socio of FC Barcelona here

Read more:
The eleven tattoos of Zlatan
Zlatan's cars
Ten Things You Should Know About Zlatan

Poll: Chygrynskiy transfer

Guardiola supports Ibrahimovic unconditionally

Speaking at a press conference, Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola has said that he will give Barcelona player Zlatan Ibrahimovic all the time needed to get to know Barcelona's way of playing:

"He can take all the time he needs to adapt,as long as he shows every day to be involved. I'm here to support him and the rest of the players, especially the new guys.

He can play bad as long as he wants and him adapting to our way of playing can take as long as is needed. The longer it takes, the more I will be at his side to help him. I'm not worried about that. He now just needs more minutes. I think he's ready to play an official game."

Read more:
Guardiola thinks Ibrahimovic will adapt quickly
Ibrahimovic: "The atmosphere was fantastic"
Messi, Henry, Keita and Puyol on Ibrahimovic

Barcelona to make counter proposal for Cicinho

Italian football site Retestadio claims that Italian club AS Roma is waiting for an answer of Barcelona regarding the transfer of Roma right back defender Cicinho (29) (read more here).

Roma would have put forward a transfer price of 8 million euros° for the Brazilian defender, while Barcelona is expected to now make a counter proposal that is seriously lower.

Read more:
Cicinho open to offer from Barcelona
Eight names on right-back short list
Roma dismisses Cicinho rumours

Guardiola: "Every trophy is important"

Speaking at a press conference earlier today, Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola stressed the importance of winning the first trophy of the season tomorrow:

"We're playing a final tomorrow and we won't hold back. We want to win the super cup. It would be something very positive to start the season with a trophy. That's why I ask my players to give everything as they should be aware that every trophy is important. It's a final and it's a privilege that we are able to play it.

I think the players are in good shape but we should be aware that Barcelona has only won one out of nine games we've played at the Camp Nou when the return game of the super cup was in Barcelona. So we should be careful. Bilbao will come out to pressure us so we need to attack wisely."

24 players included in Athletic list

Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola announced earlier today a list of 24 players for the super cup game against Athletic Bilbao tomorrow evening at 10 pm.

The list:
Valdés, Pinto, Jorquera, Oier
Alves, Henrique, Puyol, Piqué, Fontàs, Muniesa, Abidal, Maxwell
Touré, Keita, Xavi, Gudjohnsen, Busquets, Jonathan
Messi, Ibrahimovic, Bojan, Henry, Pedro, Jeffren

Milito, Iniesta and Márquez are recovering from injuries. Five Barcelona Atlètic players make the list although six players will still have to be excluded from the final list tomorrow. Barcelona Atlètic goalkeeper Oier has yesterday and today been training with the first team.

Barcelona had an early training session this morning at 9 am and will have a last training at 11:30 am tomorrow.

Talks with Racing Santander on Henrique loan

Asked about the rumours linking Barcelona central defender Henrique Adriano Buss (22) with a loan move to Racing Santander (read more here), Racing president Francisco Pernía has confirmed in an interview with Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio that talks are ongoing:

"Henrique is a player we like a lot and we want him to play with Racing. Now we're negotiating the numbers of the operation. We should be well aware of those so we don't get into trouble during the season."

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona thinks that a loan to Racing could be the ideal solution for the coming season. The Spanish club would nevertheless become impatient because the player's agents are postponing a deal.

Read more:
Espanyol interested in Henrique loan
Barca Seeks New Homes For Unwanted Players
Henrique offered to Racing Santander

[2008] Five players on left wing short list

this post was published exactly one year ago:

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona is handling a five-name short list in their search for a left wing attacker.

The list includes the following players: Andrei Arshavin (27 - Zenit Saint-Petersburg), Angel Di María (20 - Benfica), Rodrigo Palacio (26 - Boca Juniors - picture), Ricardo Noir (21 - Boca Juniors) and Diego Capel (20 - Sevilla).

While Barcelona officials could meet with Zenit officials in Monaco later this week, Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain likes the Palacio option a lot. Capel wouldn't be the player Guardiola is looking for.

Like Begiristain (read more here), Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola said at a press conference yesterday that, although he's not worried about the current squad, the club is still searching the market ready to act.

El Mundo Deportivo claims that the board is divided on whether or not buying a left winger in the coming days. A part of the board thinks that a new transfer isn't necessary and prefers that the staff uses the Barcelona Atlètic players if needed.

Read more:

New contacts with Shakhtar on Chygrynskiy

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona has started yesterday the club's final attempt to sign Shakhtar Donetsk defender and Ukrainian international Dmytro Chygrynskiy (22).

New telephone contacts between Barcelona, Shakhtar and the entourage of the player would have taken place but didn't change a lot. The Ukrainian club would nevertheless not be willing to change its position and would still be asking a transfer fee of 30 million euros°.

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Shaktar would be ready to drop the asking price to 25 million euros° if that sum is paid immediately. Barcelona could make such a bid when delegations of both clubs will meet in Monaco later this week ahead of the European super cup. Chygrynskiy, who would have told people of his entourage in the past days that he would like to join Barcelona, would be offered a contract of four to five years.

Asked about the new rumours about a transfer to Barcelona, Chygrynskiy said yesterday at a press conference that the reports don't affect him: "I don't think about it. Everything is clear to me. I have a fresh head, I feel good and I'm preparing for the games to come."

Read more:
Ultimate attempt to sign Chygrynskiy
Chygrynskiy accepts that he will not leave

The Front: Sport


Chygrynskiy puts pressure

The centre-back of Shakhtar will try to make his club sell him after the European super cup

Abidal, Keita and Toure not doing ramadan

Catalan sports paper Sport reports that the three muslims in the Barcelona squad - Eric Abidal, Yaya Touré and Seydou Keita - are not taking part in the ramadan, the islamic month of fasting. The three would plan to make up for this later.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that, while Touré and Abidal will postpone the ramadan, Keita will try to do it the best he can without endangering his health or physical capacities. He will therefore be more closely monitored by the club's medical staff.

Barcelona not giving up on Mata

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona has not yet given up on Valencia left wing attacker and Spanish international Juan Mata (21).

Barcelona reportedly still wants to sign a left winger before the end of the summer transfer window and new financial problems at Valencia could make the Spanish club willing to re-open the negotiations on Mata.

Read more:
Valencia holds on to Mata
Barcelona still hopeful of signing Mata
Mata could buy his freedom

The Front: El Mundo Deportivo


To renew, he asks more influence in the academy and the transfers

He wants to implement the first team structure in the other areas of the club

Chygrynskiy, all or nothing

Puyol calm about contract renewal

Asked about the renewal of his contract that expires in 2010 (read more here), Barcelona central defender and Spanish international Carles Puyol (31) told journalists that he's not worried about it:

"I'm very calm about the matter. I'm not in a hurry. We're having some important games ahead now. I'm only thinking about winning the Super Cup against Athletic.

I leave the negotations in the hands of Ramon Sostres, my agent. He'll do what he has to do. Although I'm sure we'll find a solution before the end of the season."

Read more:
Renewals for Puyol, Marquez, Iniesta and Messi
Puyol doesn't see renewal problems
Pique reveals dressing-room secrets

Jeffren waiting for Barcelona decision on future

Asked about the rumours linking Barcelona Atlètic wing attacker Jeffren Suárez (21) with a move to Spanish second division club Real Sociedad (read more here), the players father and agent Efrén Suárez has said in an interview with Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo that everything will depend on the decision of Barcelona:

"There is a chance he could join Real Sociedad on loan although everything will depend on Barcelona. If they see he could have playing minutes, they will keep Jeffren. If they sign another winger, then they will want him to leave on loan. But at this moment we're waiting for their decision.

Real has a very interesting project for sure, I've seen them play. Jeffren also likes it, but of course he prefers to play in the first division. If a first division club shows interest, we have to analyze that offer. We nevertheless don't want to exclude any option. My son has a lot of offers at this moment, although things aren't moving now."

Read more:
Decision on future Jeffren made on Tuesday
Barca Seeks New Homes For Unwanted Players
Deal with Racing on transfer Jeffren

Valdes: "Ibra will begin an era at Barca"

Barcelona goalkeeper Víctor Valdés (27) spoke at a press conference and described the positive impact of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the squad:

"Ibrahimovic is a forward that gives us many positive things, such as aerial play and holding the ball while facing the goal. He's a different player than Samuel Eto'o but with the same objective: goals. I think that he will begin an era at Barca. He had a good debut in the Gamper match and now the teammates must help him in making his adaptation a complete one."

Valdes also spoke about the challenges the team is facing for the upcoming season:

"This season, we are supposed to defend many things. We need to defend the titles that we already won and try to win the rest. It's a big challenge and a good pressure.
It's not impossible to repeat what we achieved the past season. It's very difficult to do it but that's why we work hard every day. By doing that, you have the ability to equal or improve the results from the previous season."

Read more:
Valdes becomes a father
Valdes: I demand the most from myself

Wenger dismisses new Fabregas rumours

Asked about the new rumours linking Arsenal midfielder and Spain international Cesc Fabregas (22) with a move to Barcelona (read more here), Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has rejected at a press conference all reports about a deal for this or next summer:

"I believe that apart from giving some articles to the newspapers all the rest is rubbish. It doesn't help football, it doesn't help people to focus on their job and it is sometimes destabilising.

The way Spanish clubs are run is more political than sport-orientated. How much does that harm other clubs? It is difficult to measure. But it doesn't help other clubs when somebody who has, for example, no chance to be elected next year as president, can announce any name. What can you do against him? Nothing. Does that help other clubs? Certainly not. The only thing I can say that the day I will agree to sell a player one year in advance, I will not be in this job any more."

Read more:
Deal with Arsenal on Cesc
Cesc wants Barcelona to keep on trying

Watch a video of the press conference:

Guardiola rejected Poulsen transfer

Spanish news site El Confidencial claims that Barcelona was close to signing Juventus midfielder and Danish international Christian Poulsen (29) earlier this transfer window when it began to become clear that the transfers of Mascherano and Cesc would be difficult (read more here).

The Danish midfielder would even have travelled to Barcelona while his Italian club was taking part in the Peace Cup a few weeks ago, but Guardiola reportedly stopped the whole operation because he wasn't interested in Poulsen.

Read more:
Juventus hopes Barcelona will sign Poulsen
Looking forward to the last transfer window month
No concrete talks with Poulsen

Ibrahimovic: "The atmosphere was fantastic"

Speaking to Italian sports paper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Barcelona forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic commented on his physical condition and on his debut on Wednesday:

"The important thing is that I'm back on the field. I had stopped for a month and have been training for one week. My physical condition is not the best and I'm still lacking some rhythm but at least I'm playing again.

What impressed me more than the numbers was the atmosphere, it was fantastic. I was not nervous, rather excited and happy. Here, everyone wants to make me feel good. They said that that night was a demonstration of the affection of the public. I'm having a hard time thinking of something better that has happened to me.

Every time you move to a new team you need to start from zero again to get used to the style. In Barcelona, it seems it is even more necessary. They have a very precise style, one that marks their identity. Adapting to that needs training and matches, which I still have not been able to do. It also needs knowing your teammates on and off the pitch.

Playing with Messi is a pleasure, it makes life easier. He gives you the ball in such a way that you have already done half the work. In Barcelona, everyone
, youngsters or stars, wants the ball, in a natural way, they never hide. It's a pleasure to play this way."

Read more:
Messi, Henry, Keita and Puyol on Ibrahimovic
The eleven tattoos of Zlatan

Friday 21 August 2009

Video of the day: Guardiola

Quote of the day: Unknown board member

Guardiola insists a lot for Chygrynskiy,
but last year he also insisted a lot for Hleb.

Unidentified Barcelona board member

Barça B - Transfer summer 2009: Overview


Edu Oriol
former club: sant andreu (3)
age: 22

official announcement: wednesday 17 june
contract duration: 2 years

former club: villarreal c (4)
age: 18

official announcement: thursday 16 july
contract duration: 2 years

former club: cartagena (3>2)
age: 24

official announcement: friday 17 july
contract duration: 2 years

former club: las palmas b (3)
age: 21

official announcement: wednesday 22 july
contract duration: 1 year

Jaume Sobregrau
former club: huesca (2)
age: 22

official announcement: thursday 23 july
contract duration: 1 year [?]

Jonathan Soriano
former club: albacete (2)
age: 23

official announcement: thursday 30 july
contract duration: 1 year

Elvis Onyema
former club: ceuta (3) through bellinzona (swi, 1)
age: 22

official announcement: thursday 13 august
contract duration: 1 year


Abraham González
new club: cádiz (3>2)
age: 23
barcelona player since: 2007

new club: Sporting Gijón (1) (back from loan)
age: 22
barcelona player since: 2008

Goran Maric
new club: Norwich City (eng, 2>3)
age: 25
barcelona player since: 2008 (also between 1999 and 2001)

Xavi Torres
new club: málaga (1)
age: 22
barcelona player since: 2007

Héctor Verdés
new club: ...
age: 25
barcelona player since: 2008

David Córcoles
new club: recreativo huelva (1>2)
age: 24
barcelona player since: 2007

Sergio Urbano
new club: premia (4)
age: 23
barcelona player since: 2006 (last season on loan at Sabadell and Reus)

Alberto Botía
new club: Sporting Gijón (1) (on loan)
age: 20
barcelona player since: 2003

new club: ...
age: 23
barcelona player since: 2008

Dani Toribio
new club: malaga b (4)
age: 20
barcelona player since: 2006 (last season on loan at Terrassa)

Antonio Longás
new club: cartagena (3>2)
age: 24
barcelona player since: 2008

José Antonio Solano
new club: ecija (3)
age: 23
barcelona player since: 2008

Filipe talks about missed Barcelona transfer

At a press conference, Deportivo La Coruña left back defender Filipe Luis (23) talked for the first time after his failed transfer to Barcelona earlier this summer (read more here):

"It was all very hard because everyone has dreams, objectives and ambitions in life. I always wanted to be part of the Brazilian national team - happily I have achieved that now - and to win titles.

The hardest moments were those of uncertainty, when I didn't know if I had to leave or to stay.
I didn't pressure at any moment, I just asked to think about my future. I gave everything for this club and at the moment, I didn't get rewarded for that.

I asked to talk with the president, not to force my way out but because I felt treated wrongly. I wanted to make him think a little about my future because I thought my buyout clause wasn't in accordance with my salary.
But things didn't work out, so now I'm here and I'm only thinking about the game against Madrid. The Barcelona train came by because I have worked hard. And I'm sure that if I keep on working hard, another train will come by."

Read more:
Transfer of Filipe not an option anymore
Missing the Barça train
Filipe putting pressure through press conference

Jonas happy with Barcelona link

Asked about the rumours linking him with a move to Barcelona (read more here), Newcastle United player and Argentine international Jonás Gutiérrez (26) has said in an interview with Catalan radio station COM Ràdio that playing for Barcelona would be a dream:

"I've indeed heard some reports that Barcelona would be interested in signing me as right back defender.

The truth is that it's a great team. They proved it last year by winning everything. Being part of a great team, playing with great players, that's a dream for everyone. But it's something I don't want to think about right now. I'm focusing on the new season with Newcastle.

I can play both as right back and in midfield. One always tries to adapt to what the coach or the team needs. If I have to play as right back, I try to do that the best I can. I'm always trying to improve. I think the two positions aren't that different."

Read more:
Eight names on right-back short list

Keirrison Watch: Debut Delayed

Keirrison made Jorge Jesus' 19 player game roster for Benfica's league opener against Marítimo last weekend, but was scratched off at the last minute as only 18 players are allowed to dress.

Keirrison who was the target of some of Jesus' more energetic coaching during the past week, in regards to his positioning and movements on the field, was selected from the lot 27 players currently available to coach Jorge Jesus for this match.

Benfica tied up their season opener, and matched the performances of their direct rivals Sporting and FC Porto who also got ties in their respective games. Keirrison's competition, Weldon and Nuno Gomes, both came off the bench in this Sunday's game, and Weldon even got the tying goal.

The young Brazilian has his work cut out for him, as he will need to start adapting and prove that Barcelona made the right decision in acquiring him.

by: fumas

Messi, Henry, Keita and Puyol on Ibrahimovic

Speaking to journalists after yesterday's training session, Barcelona players Messi, Henry, Keita and Puyol commented on new signing Ibrahimovic's adaptation.

"It was his first match and we have only had a few trainings together. I still have to get to know his movements, and he still has to know mine.

But he is a player with a lot of quality and he will adapt well to the group.
Ibrahimovic has to do his job and we have to help him do so. He shouldn't think about the comparisons with Eto'o because they are different players. Hopefully, Ibrahimovic can also give us a lot of joy."

"There are always expectations about the new players in Barcelona, whether they're coming from the academy or not. He has already shown his class. He was involved in all the plays, luck was the only thing missing that kept him from scoring.
Eto'o is already a part of the history of the club. It is not good to compare, now we have Ibra and we hope to win a lot with him too."

"He has spent a lot of time without playing. Alone, he cannot do anything, so the important thing is that he integrates well into the group."

"The rival's centre-backs will not have an easy job marking Ibra. He is strong and fast, and he has technique. It's a shame he has the injury in his hand as it delayed his adaptation a bit, but soon he will be able to play without any problems."

Read More:
Ibrahimovic: "I'm angry I missed two chances"
Guardiola: "We have to be patient with Ibrahimovic
Guardiola thinks Ibrahimovic will adapt quickly

Cesc wants Barcelona to keep on trying

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Arsenal midfielder and Spain international Cesc Fabregas (22) is still hoping for a transfer to Barcelona.

Cesc would have decided that he wants to return to Barcelona this summer because he wants to start winning trophies and because that doesn't seem likely at Arsenal after the club sold players like Kolo Touré and Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Catalan player would have asked the Barcelona board that they keep trying until 31 August, the last day of the summer transfer window. Barcelona would previously have made Arsenal an offer of 30 million euros° but the English Premier League reportedly replied they are only willing to start talking when there's a bid of 45 million euros°.

Read more:
Deal with Arsenal on Cesc
Cesc pushing for Barcelona transfer

Contract Jonathan expires next year

Catalan sports paper Sport reports that the contract of Barcelona Atletic attacking midfielder and Mexican youth international Jonathan dos Santos (19) will expire at the end of the 2009-2010 season.

With the player willing to stay at the club for many more years, it would now be up to Barcelona to make Jonathan, who will probably return to Barcelona's second team before the start of the league, an offer to renew his expiring contract.

Read more:
Jonathan hopes to be promoted to first team
The Wembley Ramble, Back to the future.
Jonathan will have minutes with first team

Valdes becomes a father

Barcelona's official website announced that Barcelona goalkeeper Víctor Valdés didn't take part in yesterday's training session after he became father for the first time.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo reports that the baby was born at the Dexeus private hospital in Barcelona, that mother and child are doing well and that the baby weighs around three kilograms.

Valdés had confirmed the pregnancy of his girlfriend - model Yolanda Cardona - three months ago in an interview with Spanish newspaper El País and said that they had already chosen a name for the baby:

"Yes, I will become a father in August, of a son that will be named Dylan. Because of the meaning: son of the sea. We were looking for a name that is not Spanish and that refers to the sea, because that's one of my passions."

Barcelona-Sporting kicks off at Monday 31, 10 pm

The kick off time for Barcelona's first league game of the 2009-2010 season has been announced earlier today. Barcelona will play at home against Sporting Gijón on Monday 31 August at 10 pm.

Saturday 29
20.00 Real Madrid-Deportivo
22.00 Zaragoza-Tenerife

Sunday 30
17.00 Athletic Bilbao-Espanyol
17.00 Mallorca-Xerez
17.00 Osasuna-Villarreal
17.00 Racing-Getafe
17.00 Málaga-Atlético Madrid
19.00 Valencia-Sevilla
21.00 Almería-Valladolid

Monday 31
22.00 Barcelona-Sporting Gijón

Alves confirms he will play first league game

Speaking to journalists after yesterday's training session, Barcelona right back defender Dani Alves has confirmed that he will take part in Barcelona's first league game against Sporting and won't travel early to Brazil:

"I don't see any problem there. Leo will leave before the game and I will leave after the game. For Argentina, Messi is a key player. When he's not there, that has a great influence. My case isn't the same at the Brazilian national team. I'm not a fixed starter, I'm just one of the guys. I wouldn't make a big deal of this."

Read more:
Guardiola confirms Messi will miss first match
Alves wants to play first league game

Contract renewal Iniesta close

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona wants to renew the contract of Barcelona attacking midfielder and Spanish international Andres Iniesta (25).

Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain would therefore yesterday afternoon have met with the player's agent Ramon Sostres.

The club wants to close a deal as soon as possible and after this first meeting things would look good and an agreement could be found quickly. Barcelona has offered the player a pay rise, which will make Iniesta earn a similar salary as Barcelona player Xavi, and an extension of his contract with one more year, until 2015.

Read more:
Contract renewal for Iniesta coming up
Renewals for Puyol, Marquez, Iniesta and Messi

[2008] Pedro and Victor Sanchez promoted

this post was published exactly one year ago:

In his speech before the General Assembly yesterday, Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain has announced that Barcelona Atlètic wing attacker Pedro (21) and Barcelona Atlètic polyvalent defender and midfielder Víctor Sánchez (20 - picture) will start the new season with the first team.

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that both players will get a salary rise and will be able to pick another shirt number between 1 and 25. Pedro was given the number 27 and Víctor Sánchez the number 29 earlier in the pre-season (read more here). The numbers 12, 17, 19 and 23 are still available.

Read more:
Victor Sanchez and Pedro could join first team
Which B players could be promoted?
Seven B players will start season with first team

Bid for Schalke right back Rafinha

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona has made a first bid for Schalke 04 right back defender Rafinha (23).

Marcos Malaquías, the agent of both Rafinha and Barcelona player Henrique, met with Barcelona oficials yesterday before travelling to Germany to discuss a transfer of Rafinha with Schalka 04 board members.

While Barcelona reportedly made an offer of 4 million euros°, the German Bundesliga club would be asking a transfer fee of 10 million euros° for Rafinha, who isn't comfortable at Schalke anymore after an incident regarding the player's participation in last year's Olympic games, and would be delighted to join Barcelona. The contract of Rafinha expires in the summer of 2011.

Read more:
Eight names on right-back short list
Rafinha dreaming of Barcelona

The Front: Sport


Pep insists in his transfer

The centre-back of Shakhtar is the priority of the coach and Txiki will make a last attempt

Cesc will put pressure until the end

Rafinha could be the full-back

Xavi: "We will not repeat the errors of the past"

Speaking to Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio, Barcelona player Xavi Hernandez commented on the Gamper match and looked ahead to the new season:

"The team played well, we dominated the entire game but the ball did not want to go in. This was a friendly, what is important is Sunday.

We have learned from the negative things we went through in the past. We have many challenges to overcome, we are intelligent and we will not repeat the errors of the past."

Read More:
Friendly 6 (Gamper): Barcelona-Manchester City 0-1
Manchester City: Some Ratings
Maxwell on Camp Nou debut

Ultimate attempt to sign Chygrynskiy

Both main Catalan sports papers claim that Barcelona will make a last attempt to sign Shakhtar Donetsk defender and Ukrainian international Dmytro Chygrynskiy (22) before the current transfer windows end at the end of August.

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that although the club wants to try to fulfil Guardiola's main request and plans to raise its bid, they are not prepared to loose their heads. Previous offers of 17 million euros plus 8 million euros and a one-year loan for 3 million euros plus a buy option for 22 million euros would have been rejected earlier this summer.

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona will make an ultimate bid of 25 million euros°. Barcelona could make a new contact with Shakhtar this weekend and delegations of both clubs are expected to meet in Monaco in the margin of the European super cup next week.

Read more:
Last-minute attempt for Chygrynskiy coming up
Transfer activity possibly postponed until winter
Chygrynskiy accepts that he will not leave

The Front: El Mundo Deportivo


Txiki meets with Sostres and Orobitg

Barça is on the verge of extending the contract of Iniesta until 2015, wants to do the same with Pep until 2012 and Pedro signed yesterday until 2014 with a clause of 75 millions


The club will raise its bid to satisfy Guardiola

Sylvinho has deal with Corinthians

Brazilian sports paper Lance claims that former Barcelona left back defender Sylvinho (35), whose contract with Barcelona expired this summer and wasn't renewed (read more here), has reached a deal with Brazilian club Corinthians.

Close advisers of Corinthians president Andrés Sanchez reportedly confirmed to the paper that both the salary and the duration of the contract have been agreed upon.

Speaking to the paper, Corinthians sports director Mário Gobbi said that they officially couldn't yet speak with Sylvinho because of a contract the Brazilian left back had signed:

"It's a great player and we're interested. But there's one obstacle left: an option he has in Spain until 20 August. After that, we can sit down and talk. He's our main target but he signed a document and before that date, we cannot speak with him. He gave someone the exclusive right to talk with European clubs and when that right expires, he can start talking with clubs in Brazil.

Read more:
Sylvinho starts talking with Corinthians
Messi still missing Sylvinho
Sylvinho looking for European club

Barca B: Luis Enrique's hard training sessions

Catalan sports paper Sport described Luis Enrique's pre-season with Barca Athletic. They started their pre-season in El Montanya for eleven days, with two to three training sessions each day.

The players started 7 am. to run around a nearby golfpitch, with only one glass of juice and some few biscuits before they started. The objective was to reduce their amount of calories. Afterwards they ate breakfast followed by a new training, and their last training found place after dinner.

Luis Enrique also commanded his players to climb El Matagalls, which reaches 1696 m above the sea. The primary goal of this challenge was to strengthen the team spirit, and to improve their condition. When the team came back to Barcelona, they have usually had two trainings each day.

Asked about the pre-season, Enrique said: "Our pre-season is not that hard. Some of the players we had last year told me that they run a lot more now at the Primera Division club where some of them play. The training for the pre-season is kind of similar to the one we had last year. We focus on the physical, but also the tactical, and the centre of attention is always the ball."

Read more:
No youth players will be promoted
Barça B - Friendly 4: Barcelona-Hospitalet 3-1
B-team players happy with confidence Guardiola

Grygera agent dismisses Barcelona transfer

Asked about the rumours linking Juventus right back defender and Czech international Zdeněk Grygera (29) with a move to Barcelona (read more here), the player's agent Mino Raiola said in an interview with Italian football site Tuttojuve that the player will stay at Juventus although he didn't deny to have been in contact with Barcelona:

"There's no news regarding my client. Juventus has said he's not for sale, so there's nothing else to talk about. He anyway wants to stay at Juve, he never thought about leaving. Have we been in contact with Barcelona? I don't know, I won't answer that."

Read more:
Grygera agent leaves Barcelona door open
Eight names on right-back short list
Cicinho and Grygera also options for right back

Chat Statistics: FC Barcelona - Manchester City

The Pictures: Manchester City (part 2)

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