OK Culés, it’s time to update you on the latest FC Barcelona news and rumors from this past week.
Some of the topics include:
A familiar face coming back to the Camp Nou.
Barça closing in on their future LB?
The battle between Barcelona and AC Milan.
Scratching off one player from the Barça rumor list.
A South American forward reportedly being watched by FCB, and his name is not Neymar.
And much more!
Let’s get started.
One name that FC Barcelona has on their list of summer signings is Thiago Silva. The 27-year-old Brazilian has been rumored to be on his way to the Camp Nou for a while now.
The latest rumor coming out of Catalunya is that AC Milan is in fact willing to hear offers of Silva’s services. According to Goal.com, Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has stated there have been several teams that have expressed an interest in Thiago Silva. There’s no question Barcelona has been one of those teams. Galliani stated that he must resist “the assaults on Thiago Silva” to take him away from the San Siro.
SPORT.es is reporting that Barcelona club officials have spoken to Milan officials and have offered the Italians €20 million plus a player, likely Ibrahim Afellay. SPORT also reported that Milan has counter offered with €30 million plus Thiago Alcantara for Silva.
So far, there is not word if Sandro Rosell or Andoni Zubizarreta will accept Milan’s offer. In my opinion, €30 million plus Thiago Alcantara is too much for Thiago Silva. Perhaps €25 million plus Afellay or Seydou Keita is worth it, but not Thiago Alcantara. Thiago is too talented to let go, not to mention he is part of the future Barcelona midfield, as he is seen as the future replacement for Xavi.
Both Milan and Barcelona will definitely be going back and forth with this throughout the summer.
Let’s get to the player who is apparently closer to joining El Blaugrana than any other player: Jordi Alba.
In an interview with Onda Cero (Spain), former Valencia manager Unai Emery said that Los Che have already sold Jordi Alba.
“Valencia is a team that buys players who are not the finished article and then, when they are finished, possibly sells them on, as has happened with Jordi Alba.”
Emery did not state if he knew the team Alba has been sold to. Unai obviously knows how Valencia club officials work, so his statements should not be played down or ignored.
Tito Vilanova has made Jordi Alba his No. 1 signing for the summer. Recently, Barcelona utility man Adriano was asked at a press conference what he thinks about the 23-year-old former Masia product joining El Balugrana.
“I really like Jordi Alba as a footballer, he is a very good player, very good defensively. He can also do a lot of damage when he goes up the field and he has a lot of technical quality. If Barça sign him, he would be welcome."
To counter this, Valencia's sporting director Braulio Vazquez stated that Jordi Alba has not been sold to Barcelona. Vazquez also mentioned that Valencia has not received a formal offer for him.
"It is normal that Jordi's agents are analyzing possible offers but we have not negotiated with anybody. This is the truth."
Is this Valencia already planning how they will use the €12 million they would receive from FC Barcelona for Jordi Alba? Something to think about.
Bottom line: Expect Jordi Alba to be Barcelona’s first signing of the summer.
RVP not coming to FCB
It looks like we can eliminate one name from coming to the Camp Nou this summer.
Goal.com reported last week that Barcelona has rejected the opportunity to sign Robin Van Persie. According to the report, agents of RVP were feeling out whether the Catalans were interested in signing the soon-to-be 29-year-old Dutchman. But apparently, Barcelona made it known to van Persie’s team that they were not interested in signing him regardless of his remarkable season.
Barcelona is in need of extra firepower offensively.
One player who Barcelona are looking at is Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.
With Liverpool not qualifying for the Champions League, rumors in England suggest Suarez will look to leave Anfield in order to play for a chance at Europe’s biggest prize.
A few days ago, Luis told Marca (Spain) that he wants to play in La Liga one day.
“"I hope to play in Spain in the future, because together with the English and Italian leagues, they are the best in the world. Any player would dream of playing there."
Suarez has had his highs and lows this past season for the Reds. He led Liverpool in scoring with 17 goals. He had a very low of lows when he allegedly racially abused Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
Perhaps a change would do Luis good.
Mirror.co.uk (England) reported a few days ago that Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, will begin to cut spending in order to balance the books. If this is true, Suarez may be very hesitant to sign a new contract with Liverpool knowing that the team will not be spending and getting better any time soon.
Liverpool sent scouts to follow Barça’s Cristian Tello this season. They have also been rumored to be interested in Seydou Keita as well.
Tello + Keita and cash for Suarez? Think about it.
Sport.es as well as other outlets are reporting that Suarez’ situation at Anfield is being monitored by Barcelona officials and that Luis could move to the Camp Nou this summer.
I honestly don’t see Luis leaving Liverpool this year. It would be too much money for Barcelona, not to mention, offense is not the top priority of FC Barcelona this summer. Remember that David Villa will be back as well. It’s also believed by most in Catalunya that the next big purchase on offense that FC Barcelona will make in the near future is Santos’ Neymar.
Luis Suarez recently stated that he has not had any contract with FC Barcelona.
"Being honest, I have never talked to anyone from Barça. If the rumours are to be believed I would have already played for 20 teams.”
The only way Luis Suarez comes to Barcelona is if Suarez demands Liverpool officials that he wants out and join Barça. I don’t see this happening any time soon. While he would be a great addition, I don’t see Barcelona making a move, regardless if Suarez asks for a transfer to the Camp Nou.
I also don’t see Liverpool selling their best player and the one player that they purchased with the Fernando Torres money that actually worked out for them.
Step up, Andy Carroll.
Besides, Barcelona would rather sign a veteran player for a one or two year contract to help the offense in 2012-13 like Didier Drogba, who has also been rumored to be a Barcelona target this summer.
Yaya in Blaugrana again?
It looks like someone wants to come back to Barcelona.
No, it’s not Bojan…well, maybe Bojan wants to come back. Good luck with that Bojan.
It’s another man that wants to wear blaugrana again: Yaya Toure.
Yaya started this rumor himself when he went on Ona FM (Spain) and said FC Barcelona is the most important club to him. "I have always been a Barça fan. In England I always saw their matches, and I feel like a Catalan," said the Ivorian.
He later fueled the rumor when he stated this:
“I feel happy at City but everything could change in the next couple of years ... or days.”
Yaya Toure was sold to Manchester City for £24 million in 2010. He spent three years at the Camp Nou before heading to England.
In another interview with a Catalan radio station, RAC1, Toure again stated his desire to come back to Barcelona.
"I would love to return to Barcelona and finish my career there. I love the city, and Barça has always been the club of my life. I love Barcelona.”
Toure also mentioned that he believes in new Barça manager Tito Vilanova.
“I know the new coach (Vilanova) very well. He is a very good person and his footballing philosophy is similar to (Pep) Guardiola's. He will be a very good coach.”
A few days after Yaya’s radio interview, his agent, Dimitri Seluk, went on Spanish radio and made a selling pitch for "Yaya to Barça."
"He has done all he could do at City and he needs new motivations. Toure would like a new challenge. He would not cost much. He has two years on his contract and in one year he could leave under the Webster ruling (which allows players to break contracts after fixed periods).
"Toure could sign for many big clubs, like Chelsea and Bayern. Moreover, we would like to see Barça join the race. I have not spoken with Tito Vilanova or Sandro Rosell, but they know the situation and if they are interested there will be no problem to sit down and talk."
Wow! Is it just me, or does it sound like someone is essentially begging to come back to Barcelona?
Who can blame Yaya Toure for wanting to come back? Who wouldn’t want to play with Lionel Messi, Xavi, and others? Plus, Yaya has been a lifelong Barça fan, and who wouldn’t want to play for their lifelong favorite team?
Could we see Yaya Toure back at FC Barcelona? Of course.
Will it happen? Very unlikely.
Barcelona already has Sergio Busquets to play CDM. In fact, it was the rise of Busi that allowed Pep Guardiola to move Yaya to City and Seydou Keita to the bench.
Albeit Barcelona could use another CDM to back up Busquets as Keita will more than likely be leaving this summer, Tito Vilanova still has Javier Mascherano, who is signed until 2014, to play CDM when needed. Also, most of Barcelona’s money will go towards improving the defense.
Yaya may not be coming back to Barcelona anytime soon. I can see him coming back one day to play a year or two as a bench player and end his career in a blaugrana shirt.
Reports out of Italy state that Man City’s Roberto Mancini is in Milan and has met with AC Milan’s Adriano Galliani to talk about transfers. One of the topics that was allegedly discussed was a possible transfer of Carlos Tevez to the Rossoneri. Earlier last week, rumors began to surface of a possible Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Mario Balotelli trade. Balotelli’s agent said later that week that his client has no intentions of leaving the Premier League champions.
L’Equipe (France) reported on Monday that Didier Drogba has told his teammates that he will leave Chelsea after eight years with the club. Drogba later confirmed this.
"We (Drogba and Chelsea) will not be together next season," Didier said to France Football magazine.
"As I have decided to leave, I wanted to tell them to their faces. They made me break down. I found it hard to admit that it was finished with me and the club.
Drogba also added: "I don't envisage sitting on the bench watching others play at a time when the club is looking at putting together a new team. So there we go, I am readying myself for a great leap into the unknown. It will be another adventure."
Good luck to Didier Drogba. He will always be a Chelsea legend and I'm sure he'll find a new club very soon.
Gonzalo Higuain has added fuel to the transfer rumors involving him, as he told AS (Spain) this was the toughest season for him.
"It is harder for a striker not to play, that is the truth. Even more so because I live for this. When I am not playing, I suffer. I have come to Argentina to rest, we will see what happens. This was a very tough year for me." said the 24-year-old Argentine.
Juventus and PSG are reportedly the leading canidates to land Higuain this summer.
Barcelona LB Eric Abdial was discharged from a Barcelona hospital on Monday afternoon. Abidal spent 40 days in Hospital Barcaclinic, where he underwent a liver transplant on April 10.
Abidal’s cousin was the donor.
Abidal posted a message to all fans on his Facebook page on Monday.
I confirm you that I went out of the hospital today: I wanted to give you first, this information.
I will give you more news tomorrow.
Gérard (my cousin) joins me to thank all of you for your numerous messages of support!"
It doesn’t matter if Abidal ever plays football again. All that matters is that he stays healthy and is with us for many years to come.
On behalf of all Culés, WELCOME HOME, ABI!
Nike and FC Barcelona will unveil the new 2012-13 Barcelona kits on Tuesday. The presentation will be made at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona at noon local time, according to MundoDeportivo.com, Barcelona president Sandro Rosell will be in attendance.
As I reported in January in my article “View the New Barcelona Kit for 2012-13”, the new kit will go away from the defined lines of the blaugrana that we are used to seeing. Instead, we get a blurred design to the familiar azul y grana. In the middle of the kit, you can see the grana color, and as you go wider, the color beings to fade and the kit turns to blue. The trim will be red.
The away kit will be somewhat of a throwback as the team will dress in orange. Barcelona wore orange during the 2006-07 season and most memorably during the Johan Cruyff-led 1991-92 European Cup-winning season.
I will have a special article on Bleacher Report on the new kit once the official presentation has ended in Barcelona.
Thanks for reading. Much appreciated.
As always, I will keep you updated with all things FC Barcelona. Whenever new transfer news and rumors break as well as whenever I hear new FC Barcelona news from my people in Spain, I will keep you updated here at Bleacher Report.
For even faster info whenever FC Barcelona news breaks—as well as my other sports rants—follow me on Twitter @XoelCardenas.
Feel free to comment below on which transfer rumor you’d like—or not like—to see happen and why.
I’d like to send congratulations to Chelsea for winning the UEFA Champions League title. A special congrats to Didier Drogba on a fantastic Champions League campaign. Didi solidified his legacy with this clutch play and is without a doubt one of the best players of this generation. Much respect to Roberto Di Matteo and his men on a great run this season. They truly were a team of destiny.
Culés, stay classy and congratulate Chelsea and their fans.
Look out for my next article on the new Barcelona kits which are to be unveiled officially on Tuesday. Also, look out for another article of mine later this week as I preview the Copa Del Rey Final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao.
Visca el Barça!
Xoel, The Voice of FC Barcelona on Bleacher Report and Featured Columnist for Spain for Euro 2012.
Follow me on Twitter:@XoelCardenas
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