With Barcelona's January transfer window wide open, rumors and headlines are flying everywhere.
But not every piece of news focuses on transfers and upcoming games. There are other exciting and mournful pieces of news of which Cules should be aware.
This week has seen quite a few major headlines coming out of Catalonia.
From returning players to stars set to remain at the club, a lot is happening at Barcelona.
Continue reading to find out the latest headlines regarding La Blaugrana.
Goal.com has recently reported that Isaac Cuenca has resumed full training with the Barcelona squad after recovering from knee surgery this summer.
His return will be very exciting to the club, as Cuenca showed great promise last season. The 21-year-old provides a different dimension to the Barcelona game and is a very smart player despite his tender age.
After earlier rumors claimed that the Catalan winger could move to Valencia on loan, it looks increasingly likely that he will remain with Barcelona (via Sport).
Cuenca could benefit from a loan spell to regain his form from last season, as minutes will be hard to come by. The only problem is that most suitors will want an option to buy, which is not in Barcelona’s favor.
It is not yet known when the winger will make his season debut, but the coming weeks look promising.
The case of David Villa has been ongoing for months now. But it is difficult to know what will actually happen with the Spanish striker.
It is obvious that teams are interested in luring David Villa away from Catalonia.
But Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has recently stated that the 31-year-old will absolutely not be moving in the current transfer window (via Goal). The club still sees Villa as a very important performer while challenging for a treble this season.
David Villa has plenty of time to take his starting role back in the second half of the season. However, if the Spaniard does not succeed in regaining his best form, expect Villa to leave Barcelona in the summer.
A sad bit of news was reported recently by Goal.com claiming that Barcelona winger Ibrahim Afellay, currently on loan with Schalke, is set to miss two months of play due to injury.
The Netherlands international has been quite injury-prone throughout his career. In November he picked up a hamstring injury, but the current knock is one of real concern.
Missing two months can do a lot to a player’s confidence, and Barcelona is obviously keeping tabs on their loaned winger. Hopes of a breakout season may now be shattered for the Catalan giants.
With injuries continuing to rule the 26 year old Afellay, it would be shocking for Barcelona to bring him back to the squad.
The latest disappointment for Afellay will certainly guarantee that he will never wear the Blaugrana jersey again.
Gerard Deulofeu is easily the most hyped player to recently come out of La Masia. His future looks bright but his development is taking precedent over all other factors.
Catalan-based paper Sport has claimed that though many clubs were interested in taking the player on loan until the end of the season, manager Tito Vilanova has rejected the possibility.
Vilanova is very fond of the 18-year-old and recognizes the future he could have at Barcelona. The club has been very careful not to rush the starlet, but he will need more chances to fully realize his potential.
The report also claimed that the club is still considering the possibility of loaning out Deulofeu at the end of the season before a possible promotion.
Again, the main issue would be clubs desiring the option to buy the rising star.
The Barcelona manager will be flying to New York to receive a second opinion following his successful surgery, according to Marca.
The club and manager clearly want to be certain that everything is going well in the recovery of the Barcelona boss. The second opinion could also determine what further treatment will be required, which will determine the next few weeks for Vilanova.
Obviously the most important thing is the health of Tito Vilanova. The pursuit of the second opinion should be seen as the club doing everything possible to ensure the manager makes the best possible recovery.
Due to the trip to New York, Vilanova will not be present at the Copa del Rey match against Cordoba on Thursday.
Both sides want the Catalan keeper to remain in Barcelona. Valdes has even stated that he wishes to retire at Barcelona (via Goal.com).
Valdes has spent 11 years as the Barcelona keeper and his current contract is set to expire in 2014. Both parties expect the negotiations to quickly take place without much problem, and Valdes should be the first Barcelona player to sign a new contract in 2013.
The new contract will most likely include an immense pay increase and an extension.
Eric Abidal and Marc Muniesa are the only two players who have contracts set to expire this year. There is no word yet on talks between the players and the club.
Happy to see Cuenca back and Valdes close to a new contract? How about the future of David Villa? Don't forget to leave your thoughts and comments below.
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