Barcelona Summer Transfer News: Tracking Latest Rumours, Updates
The 2013 summer transfer window promises to be a busy one for Barcelona.
The Neymar transfer saga has finally been brought to a successful conclusion.
Will Spain's record goal scorer David Villa decide the time is right for a move abroad?
Is Tito Vilanova going to be able to secure the first-class central defender he requires?
Those and many other questions will be answered as we navigate through a minefield of news, rumours and updates over the next few months.
This page will be frequently updated throughout the summer so make sure to pay a regular visit for the very latest Barcelona transfer news.
LAST UPDATE—FRIDAY JUNE 14
Reports coming out of Spain indicate that Barcelona have made a firm offer for Inter Milan goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.
Alfonso Callejas of sport.es says that Italian paper La Gazzetta dello Sport is running with a story that a bid of 23m euros has been lodged with the Italians.
This has been rebuffed by Inter President Massimo Morati will not consider selling for less than 30m euros.
However, both teams are expected to continue discussions in the coming days.
Manel Bruna of mundodeportivo reports that during a press conference for the opening game of the Confederations Cup vs Uruguay, Victor Valdes was asked about his future.
What the president has said......I know that I have a contract for one more year, and I was not going to renew. I'm very grateful to Barcelona for the proposal they had made [to me] to renew.
I have always been very quiet [about the contract situation], the club have always trusted me. There is nothing new about it and I'm very calm.
What the President Sandro Rosell actually said was (per fcbarcelona.com):
His agent told our sporting director that the keeper intends to fulfill his contract and we’re very pleased he’s decided to do so.
We are not looking for a new keeper for the upcoming season. We’ll look for a keeper in a year, when his contract is up.
Liam Twomey of goal.com has quoted an interview that Torres gave to Spanish paper AS:
It's always nice a club like that is interested, but I want to stay and will talk to Mourinho later.
Mourinho's words are motivation for me. I want to stay at Chelsea, I have a contract, I want to be the best at my position, and I don't think there is a better place to be.
Mourinho has won far more than many of us. It's a new challenge and I am looking forward to it.
Whilst David Villa hasn't ruled out a switch during the summer, any plans have been put on hold until after the Confederations Cup.
Scott Rumsey at goal.com reports that Villa is staying put for the time being:
I have a contract and I have always said that I'm very happy in Barcelona.
Throughout my career I have always been respectful of my current club. Right now I'm just thinking about doing a good job in Brazil [at the Confederations Cup] and then we will see.
We will have to analyse many things during the summer, but as of right now I'm not thinking of anything else other than playing football for Spain.
Knowledgable Barcelona based journalist Graham Hunter told Talksport listeners in the UK that:
The technical people at the Nou Camp are saying there is a chance to get a rejuvenated Fernando Torres. That is something to keep an eye on in the next couple of weeks.
Torres is a favourite of Barcelona president Sandro Rosell who, when Vice President in the Joan Laporta era, said:
He [Torres] is unattainable. I like him a lot, yes, but we have to decide who is the choice of Txiki Begiristain and Frank Rijkaard.
At that time Barcelona decided to sign Samuel Eto'o, however the time could now be right for the Spaniard to return home.
A contract for four years will be offered and a transfer fee of 20 million euros is being suggested.
It's almost certain that Ibrahim Afellay will end his stay in Barcelona this summer.
The Dutchman has been put up for sale and he is not short of admirers.
However, Premier League Tottenham Hotspur are better placed to sign the player and have already registered their interest.
Afellay is available for 8 million euros.
Jack Wilson of the Daily Star tells us that Liverpool's Daniel Agger is back in the frame for a transfer to Barcelona following the difficulties Tito Vilanova is facing in securing his first choice defensive targets.
Agger is under contract on Merseyside until 2016 but the lure of Champions League football may be enough to convince the player to move.
Further, the £12.7m mooted transfer fee will swell the Anfield coffers.
Despite only signing a new contract with Schalke in May 2013, Julian Draxler has told how he would jump at the prospect of moving to a bigger club.
Robert Butler of goal.com has noted Draxler as telling Sport1 during an interview:
A move would seem unlikely given the players' high buyout clause of €45.5 million and Roger Wittmann who represents Draxler told Bild newspaper:
The player costs 45.5 million, and he has to agree. These are the conditions of the transfer.
It must be noted, there will always be interest in players with the qualities Julian Draxler has.
Although Barcelona's priority signing is now a defender, the news that Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski will definitely not be sold to rivals Bayern Munich has piqued the interest of La Blaugrana amongst other suitors.
Didac Peyret of sport.es reports that German paper Bild quotes Hans Joachim Watzke, the MD and CEO at Dortmund as saying:
Definitely Robert Lewandowski will not be sold to Bayern in 2013.It's the end. We have informed Robert and his agent.
A theme echoed by Dortmund general manager Michael Zorc:
We have informed the player and his agent we oppose a sale to Bayern.
It is suggested that the Barca technical staff consider Lewandowski a player to provide a "Plan B" if needed but the 30 million euro fee will first need to be raised by player sales.
Such "dilly-dallying" could allow other suitors to jump the queue to conclude a swift deal for one of European football's hottest properties.
Thiago Silva remains Barcelona's number one defensive target but it appears that this is one transfer story that can be put to bed.
J. G. Alcaraz of sport.es notes that the player is the preferred centre back choice for manager Tito Vilanova and the entire coaching staff.
However the player himself seems to have put paid to the move:
As happened last summer there are rumours that I could go to Barca and I chose Paris.
Here I hope to fulfill my contract because I feel well.
I have spoken with the [PSG] leaders. I hope he Rooney comes, he is a great player. It would be a big boost and help us win the Champions League.
Mundodeportivo also report that the agent of the player, Paulo Fernando Tonietto, has confirmed:
Thiago will not go to Barcelona because he continues his career in France with or without Ancelotti.
Former Manchester United player and now Sunday World columnist Denis Irwin has told how David Moyes has made Cesc Fabregas his main transfer target.
In his column for the paper Irwin said:
United are going after Fabregas as keenly as they did Van Persie last year—Cesc will be their big summer buy.
It’s the one part of the team that let them down in big head-to-head matches during the last season.
And remember I told you here this time last year that United would get Robin van Persie
Fabregas himself refutes the move via quotes attributed to him in this story by John Drayton of the Daily Mail.
There is nothing to say.
I’m very happy at Barca, and I want to stay for many more years to come.
This story has legs for a bit longer...
As Barcelona's defensive targets fall by the wayside one by one, Real Sociedad's impressive Inigo Martinez has jumped to the head of the queue.
Just 21 years of age, his acquisition would represent a nod to the future but the player remains happy at Sociedad.
Every year everyone does the best they can but I am comfortable here and I have many years ahead of me with Real.
I have probably come back too quickly [from injury] and am struggling to pick up the pace, so the important thing for me now is just to get well for next season.
When Barcelona's proposed interest was put to the player he simply said:
I do not think anything of it.
Rafinha Alcantara could be following elder brother Thiago out of the revolving door at Camp Nou.
Espanyol have already made moves to secure the player on a years loan after approaching Pere Guardiola—Pep's sibling and Rafinha's agent—at the recent tribute match for Dani Jarque.
The final decision will rest with the player himself but you can be assured that should Rafinha's loan availability become common knowledge, then ex-Barca star Luis Enrique will bid for his services at Celta Vigo.
He would be unlikely to be the only suitor willing to provide the player with the game time he craves.
Barcelona are ready to do battle with Chelsea for the acquisition of Porto's highly rated centre back Eliaquim Mangala.
Further, Barcelona have identified him as their priority defensive signing.
The 22-year-old only joined Porto in 2011 for just £5.5m from Standard Liege and any rumoured transfer figure would represent a tidy profit for the Portuguese champions.
The former captain has lost his place to Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny and is understood to be seeking a move away from the Emirates.
The exact cost of securing Vermaelen is unclear at this stage but given the players desire to leave, one would summise that the price will be within Barca's budget.
The Belgian international would represent better value than Barca's other rumoured defensive targets such as Thiago Silva.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea manager is wasting no time in developing his squad in preparation for next season.
Although a transfer will be difficult as the player is an integral part of Tito Vilanova's project at Barca, Benitez has enjoyed the luxury of having worked with the player before, at Liverpool, and this may tempt the player into at least sounding out what a potential move might mean for him.
Barca for their part will be concerned at the prospect of losing a player that has converted from defensive midfielder to centre back with aplomb.
The strange Marc Bartra saga continues.
Despite having a reasonable centre back at their disposal for large parts of last season, Tito Vilanova chose to use Bartra only sparingly.
Now sport.es reports that far from giving the player the central defensive starting berth he craves, the club are willing to offer a contract extension but will then loan him immediately to a club with European aspirations.
If Bartra doesn't like that idea then he will be sold, but a buy-out clause of 30 million euros seems a little high for a player that has hardly yet made an impression on the Barca first team.
Another Barca youngster who would appear almost certain to be loaned out for next season is Gerard Deulofeu.
With the loss of Jesus Navas to Manchester City, Sevilla now have a slot available which they wish to fill with the capture of Barca B's talisman.
Real Sociedad may present a more attractive proposition for the player as they may be able to offer Champions League football, should they come through the qualifying rounds.
A possible transfer deal that has come out of nowhere is that of Valencia's Jeremy Mathieu.
After the failure of Los Che to qualify for the Champions League, Sergi Sole is reporting for mundodeportivo that the central defender could be available for a knockdown price.
The 29 year old's buyout clause is just eight million euros although Valencia are understood to be willing to accept an offer below that figure.
A player who can also operate as a left back, Mathieu will give Barcelona some much needed versatility in defence and represents very good value should he sign for La Blaugrana.
Pepe Reina was unequivocal when asked about his transfer to Barcelona.
Following the news that Victor Valdes will stay at Camp Nou to see out the remaining year of his contract, Sergi Sole of mundodeportivo Liverpool" href="http://www.mundodeportivo.com/20130605/fc-barcelona/si-valdes-se-queda-reina-no-viene_54375362336.html" target="_blank">has reported Reina as saying:
If Valdes continues, there is no chance of joining the club
Barcelona are clear that Valdes and Reina cannot share the role.
However should there be an offer during the summer transfer window that is likely to interest Victor Valdes and the club, then Valdes could be moved on and Reina moved in.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen
He would suit the requirements of the club. He plays with his feet, away from the goal. He has clear capabilities. He is young but has personality
Unzue did go on to admit that:
It will be difficult to replace Victor Valdes. They [Barcelona] will have to make a decision. It would be very important for the goalkeeper to come to a strong team.
On Pepe Reina, Unzue more or less ruled out his signing:
He has the capability to play at the club and would have no problem adapting. But he's not a kid anymore and it would be a less long-term decision.
Another Valencia player, Adil Rami, could be on his way out of Los Che and off to Barcelona.
Sport.es have reported that Rami's representatives have already approached Barca with a view to a transfer in the region of 10-12 million euros.
Both the club and player are preparing for his sale and the player himself said in a recent Radio Monte Carlo interview:
There will be movement. I want guarantees, over a year ago I tried to renew and I've not had anything concrete. I have a two year contract, but if there is an interesting proposal I could leave Valencia
I am physically and mentally well. I've been injured, ill, I had an infection and took a drug that was not necessary. I've had small problems, but now I'm fine.
Cesc Fabregas has finally put paid to any notion that he is to join either Arsenal" href="http://bleacherreport.com/arsenal" target="_blank">Arsenal or Manchester United" href="http://bleacherreport.com/manchester-united" target="_blank">Manchester United this summer.
The player is expected to meet manager Tito Vilanova for talks over his role in the team but any thoughts of a transfer are furthest from Fabregas' mind.
Espn.co.uk have quoted Fabregas:
There is nothing to say. I'm very happy at Barca, and I want to stay for many more years to come.
David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic
With the signing of a central defender now a priority for Barcelona, Chelsea may be offering not one but two of their players.
Paul Giblin, reporting for sport.es, has noted via stories in the English press (Daily Star) that both David Luiz and Branislav Ivanonovic could be set to sign for the Blaugrana in a 46 million euro deal.
Neither player features in new Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho's plans. Indeed Mourinho is already committed to purchasing Eliakim Mangala from Porto as his first new defensive signing.
Spanish football journalist Axel Torres has hinted that David Villa may be Arsenal" href="http://www.talksport.co.uk/radio/matchday-live/130601/torres-villa-may-have-pre-contract-agreement-arsenal-198770" target="_blank">on his way to North London, per Talksport.
The journalist has—apparently—been informed that Villa has not only signed a pre-contract with Arsenal, but that he has waved it in front of Barcelona directors in order to force through a move.
Said Torres (via Gunnersphere):
"He’s coming to England. But we don’t know which team."
"I’ve been told he’s showed a pre-contract with Arsenal to the board of Barcelona."
"He’s showed he had an agreement with Arsenal, but it’s not the final agreement."
"He showed it to the board of Barcelona to put pressure on them and he wants to go to England."
"He doesn’t want to be a Barcelona player. He has no good relations with some of the important players in the squad and he knows he has to play if he wants to be in the starting line-up for Spain at the World Cup next year."
One defender who is unlikely to be tempted to swap England for Barcelona is Liverpool" href="http://bleacherreport.com/liverpool" target="_blank">Liverpool player Daniel Agger.
Per skysports.com, the player intends to fulfill his contract until 2016. This hasn't stopped his name cropping up as a possible long term replacement for Carles Puyol.
Putting paid to any notion of a transfer, the Danish international remarked:
"I still have three years left and I intend to fulfil them."
"There are always rumours, but who is creating them? I don't know."
"It is not a bad thing to be linked with top clubs but you have to take 70% of the speculation off and then you have the reality."
One player going nowhere—for now—is Barca's number one Victor Valdes.
"Being the goalkeeper at the club is a big weight to carry and I have felt it since I was very young."
"There is a lot of pressure, and the demands I put on myself to make sure Barca win is a heavy weight to carry."
"I consider that my cycle as a Barcelona player will come to an end when my current contract expires in 2014."
"I understand that with 18 months' warning there should be sufficient time to find the best solution for the club and for the player, so that Barca keep on winning and so do I."
"In January, I said I could see myself playing in other leagues, getting to know something different and looking for different sources of motivation."
Although Victor Valdes' "u-turn" means that Barcelona have the comfort of another 12 months to find a replacement goalkeeper, as Inside Spanish Football report, the club are stepping up their efforts for a new goalkeeper.
Valencia's Vicente Guaita has jumped to the top of the queue that is being drawn up by Andoni Zubizaretta.
Despite having just signed a new contract at the Mestalla, and having a release clause of 30 million euros, Barcelona of confident of getting their man for half of that figure.
The hunt for a centre back goes on and Barcelona are targeting David Luiz once again from Chelsea.
Jamie Sanderson of Metro is reporting that the player is being linked with a £25m move to the Catalans and that the player is aware of the interest.
With incoming Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believed to have told Chelsea that Luiz doesn't figure in his plans, the player noted:
"My objective is to be happy and this is possible by playing in a team that controls the ball."
"Barcelona is the team that plays the best football in the last few years. I know Barca are interested in my services, but I do not have any news."
According to Catalan newspaper sport.es, Madrid President Florentino Perez has made contact regaridng the players' availibility via an intermediary—with the blessing of the players' father Mazinho.
The reduced buy-out figure of the players contact—18 million euros from 90 million—because of his lack of game time, is well known. However this will rise back up to the higher figure in August if a deal hasn't been concluded by then.
Nothing will be decided until after the summer tournaments that Spain are involved in however the approval of Mazinho can be seen as a worrying development for Barcelona fans.
Barcelona tried to sign promising youngster Adnan Januzaj two years ago but were beaten to the punch by Manchester United.
Now 18 and having just been voted Reserve Team Player of the Year at Old Trafford, Januzaj could be on his way to Barcelona according to Phil Thomas of The Sun.
David Moyes is preparing to offer the player new terms in order to avoid the player leaving for Catalonia.
David Villa is definitely moving to the English Premier League.
So says John Cross of the Daily Mirror.
The question is where he ends up as Liverpool are now believed to have entered the chase for the Spanish marksman.
Arsenal" href="http://bleacherreport.com/arsenal" target="_blank">Arsenal were considered early front-runners for Villa's signature and Tottenham Hotspur" href="http://bleacherreport.com/tottenham-hotspur" target="_blank">Tottenham's interest is well known. With Liverpool now joining the queue, it seems Villa will have the pick of clubs to join with a £12m transfer fee being set by Barcelona.
One player seemingly heading out of Camp Nou is Barca B talisman Gerard Deulofeu.
With a first team berth at Barcelona unlikely this season—following the signing of Neymar—Deulofeu may have to reluctantly concede that his immediate future at least is in Germany.
Rumours still surround the possible switch from Barcelona to Manchester United for midfielder Thiago Alcantara.
Although it has been suggested the player is unhappy in Catalunya, the player says otherwise per Teamtalk:
"I just live my life and I am very happy."
"I enjoy it in Barcelona because I have lived through some great times but we will see what happens after the Euros".
"Any player is used to living with rumours about him and they just cannot affect you."
The talk of a transfer only exists because Thiago's buy-out clause is understood to have dropped from €90million to €18million after he failed to play 30 minutes or more in 60 per cent of Barcelona's matchs during the current season.
One player who has suffered through lack of game time this season is central defender Marc Bartra.
For whatever reason,manager Tito Vilanova has decided only to risk the youngster if absolutely necessary and if he has no other option.
With that in mind it's perhaps no surprise that Premier League newcomers Crystal Palace and fellow English top-flight club West Ham United are preparing bids for the loan the player from Barcelona for next season, according to Talksport.
Barcelona see the long term future of the player at Camp Nou—Bartra the natural and long-term successor to Carles Puyol—but clearly the player will benefit from gaining first team experience elsewhere.
It could be one-in-one-out on the left side of Barca's attacking trident.
The Catalans are willing to let the player leave and the price being discussed is in the region of £10-12m
There is now a verbal agreement in principle between Liverpool and Barcelona for the transfer of Reina, and it appears that the player's agent, Manuel Garcia Quilon, would like to conclude his client's business quickly.
Arsenal and Paris St. Germain are also rumoured to be chasing the keeper, but his preference is for Barcelona.
A player that many will be sad to see leave Camp Nou is Eric Abidal.
Whilst his destination is as yet unknown, Abidal is known to be interesting both Paris St. Germain and Olympique Lyonnais from France, as well as receiving offers to play in Dubai.
Fernando Polo and Roger Torello of mundodeportivo tell us that after contacting David Venditelli, Abidal's agent, that the player may well announce his destination at a pre-scheduled press conference due at Camp Nou on Thursday.
Abidal will be joined by President Sandro Rosell and Barca sporting director, Andoni Zubizarreta whereupon the Directors will give thanks to the player for his contribution to the club.
As insidespanishfootball report, Abidal will be offered an ambassadorial role at Barcelona once his playing days are over.
It's fair to say that Cesc Fabregas hasn't enjoyed the most productive season at Barcelona.
Perhaps that's as a result of being unable to dislodge either Xavi Hernandez or Andres Iniesta in midfield and being unable to find a role which to make his own.
Whatever the reasons, his lack of form and match time has alerted potential suitors to a possible deal.
Manchester United" href="http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/402672/David-Moyes-plans-25m-swoop-for-Cesc-Fabregas" target="_blank">David Moyes is planning a £25m swoop for the player (John Richardson, Express) although Arsenal will have first option on the player they sold to the Catalans just two seasons ago.
Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels has left no one in any doubt that he will still be playing his trade at the Signal Iduna Park next season.
Transfer speculation has linked him with a switch to Barcelona for a while now but the player has told German magazine Kicker he is going nowhere (Mark Hallam, dw.de):
"There was never any contact. Neither with Barcelona nor with any other team."
"I don't really see it as my job to deny the rumours that other people make up. If at some point there's something to these things, then I will say so".
"And when I now say that these speculations are baseless, that should be enough."
After Mats Hummels confirmation that he is happy to stay in Germany, Barcelona seem to have lost out on their other main defensive target.
Paris St. Germain captain Thiago Silva had previously expressed an interest in joining the Spanish champions but the players' agent Paulo Tonietto has put paid to the rumours (Stefan Coerts, goal.com):
"There's zero chance that he will leave this summer. PSG do not want to sell him. He's an important part of their project and he will stay put regardless of what will happen with Ancelotti."
PSG Sporting Director Leonardo also added:
"Neither Ibrahimovic, nor Thiago Silva will leave the club if Ancelotti moves on."
If the news that it was extremely unlikely for Tito Vilanova to secure his two major defensive targets wasn't bad enough, it will come as a hammer blow to note that Dani Alves is open to a move to the French League.
Alves has expressed a willingness to join with Paris St. Germain or Monaco this summer (Chris Kvesa, goal.com). Said Alves:
"I am a Barca player and very happy here, but I never close the door to Paris or another club,"
"Paris are a very ambitious young club, with a great desire to claim a place in the world of football. They recruit great players to make something beautiful in football."
"They lack a little continuity but they are on the right track. Some media stars and other high quality players have joined already."
Of Monaco's interest, he continued:
"I know there is a project similar to that of Paris. The door to my house is always open and I do not rule out anything."
In more bad news for Barcelona, goalkeeping target Pepe Reina has affirmed his commitment to Liverpool.
With Victor Valdes on the way out at Camp Nou, the Catalans need to move quickly to secure a high profile replacement, but it seems Liverpool" href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2013/may/21/jose-reina-statying-liverpool-barcelona" target="_blank">unlikely that it will be the former La Masia graduate (Guardian):
"I have three more years with Liverpool. I'm satisfied, comfortable and my family are very happy."
"Rumours are difficult to control but it's flattering when a club like Barça are interested in you."
"I don't know how long I've got left in football, what I do know is I want to enjoy what remains and feel appreciated and at Liverpool I have that."
Hot on the heels of their Italian cup win comes the news that Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti is the new goalkeeping target for Barcelona.
The interest in the player would appear to be serious and genuine as Lazio President Lotito has already had to block the move.
Neymar to Barcelona. It's finally official.
The saga that has dragged on for what seemed like an age is more or less finally at a successful conclusion—with the just the signature of the player required on his contract to rubber stamp the deal.
Whilst an announcement was expected on Monday, the player obviously couldn't keep the good news to himself and posted a message on his Instagram account (via ESPN):
I'm here with friends and family and they have helped me to write a few things here. I'm not going to hold out until Monday. My family and friends already know my decision. On Monday I will sign a contract with Barcelona.
I want to thank the fans of Santos for these incredible nine years. My feeling for the club and the fans will never change. It is eternal!
Only a club like Santos FC could give me everything I have experienced on and off the field. I thank the wonderful fans who supported me even in the most difficult moments.
Titles, goals, dribbling, celebrations and songs that fans created for me will be forever in my heart...
Alexis Sanchez is staying at Barcelona for season 2013/14 (Sergio Vera, sport.es)
After not having the best season for Barcelona, it was predicted that Alexis Sanchez would be sold during this summers' transfer window.
However, the hard-working Chilean has confirmed that he will be staying at Camp Nou to fight for his place:
"The club told me that I stay. [There] were other teams interested in me but I want to stay at the club and I will."
"I'm happy to be another season at the club. Now I'm calmer. My intention was to stay because I do not give up easily. I hope to do much better."
"You and I expect more from me. I'm quiet but I can give a lot more next year."
After many hours of negotiations throughout the night and what seemed to all to be the conclusion of the Neymar transfer deal, the player and his father decided to go home and think about the two offers placed before them. (uk.reuters.com)
"I'm happy by the interest from both clubs, it makes me proud, but now I'm going home because my mother's waiting."
The player described the moment as the happiest day of his life (Xavier Ortuno, Sport.es):
"I will decide with my family, because I have not rushed and the decision can go in five minutes, half an hour or three days."
"This is the happiest moment of my life. A proud moment for me and I will think fondly [of] those proposals."
"In the face of the offers and the player's contract, the management committee of the club [have] decided to sell the player."
"At a meeting with the representatives of Santos FC's management committee, the forward Neymar Jr was informed about the proposals received by the club and will analyse them in the coming days before making a definitive decision."
The latest, breaking and confirmed news comes via globoesporte.com.
Santos have now decided to sell the player and have accepted two proposals, one from Barcelona and the other from an as yet un-named club.
Santos are at this moment waiting for the player and his father to arrive and choose which option he prefers.
Expect more news on this later today.
Victor Valdes has made his departure from Barcelona official (Miguel Javier, Sport).
The current Barcelona number one organised a "farewell dinner" attended by all players and staff, in which to say his goodbyes.
Despite still having a year to run on his contract, Valdes has decided to leave this summer meaning that Barcelona will need to step up their efforts to sign either Pepe Reina or Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
Neymar chose not to answer questions on an impending transfer to Barcelona (Josep Capdevila, Sport) whilst at a Press Conference for his foundation.
Moreover, the player only told reporters:
"I know you have a thousand questions for me, but I'll leave it to my father who responds to them."
Taking the microphone, the players' father would only add:
"I know nothing about the figures being talked about, because I do not participate in it.
I just asked for a response from Santos and Santos was positioned yesterday (Wednesday) saying they do not sell the player.
Life goes on, life goes on."
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen
The player appears intent on waiting for an offer from Barcelona (Mundodeportivo.com) whilst the club are waiting for clarification from Victor Valdes as to his exact plans before making any firm commitment elsewhere.
Odílio Rodrigues told reporters:
"Santos analysed [Barca's] bid that we received and it doesn't meet our estimation. It was not accepted.
"We only had only one offer on the table [previously] and the club's committee understands that it is not what we want. Neymar remains part of the club - he has a contract running until 2014."
Unconfirmed reports suggest the only reason the deal has not completed is because Neymar's father, who owns 10 percent of his sons' rights, has asked for a 5 million euro bonus once both sides have shaken hands.
With the capture of a central defender the priority in this summers' transfer window for Barcelona, David Luiz of Chelsea is another who's name has been mentioned as a possible hire.
Chelsea will demand £40 million for the player (John Drayton, Daily Mail) but Barca are confident of capturing the Brazilian at the same time as his compatriot Neymar, his transfer being paid for by player sales.
"I'm happy that a club such as Barcelona is interested in me. They're a team of winners and their interest is a source of pride for me.
"I'm a Chelsea player for now. I work hard every day to make people appreciate what I do.
"I try to do my job in the best way possible, wherever I am."
One player going nowhere is Adriano Correia.
The versatile midfielder has agreed a new deal at Barcelona which keeps him at the club until June 30, 2017.
Another Neymar story (Mauricio Fonseca, Pedro Motta Guieros—Oglobo) which has eminated from out of the sports pages of the respected Brazilian newspaper Oglobo.
Further, the article states that after Barcelona raised their initial offer of £36.5 million to £45.6 million, Santos have now admitted an outcome is imminent and indeed Santos President Odílio Rodrigues told reporters:
We wanted [Neymar] to stay until 2014, but it is difficult. Football is business, and prevailing market law.
A number of Neymar rumours have broken in the last few hours.
The players' agent Wagner Ribeiro has spoken of both Barcelona's and Real Madrid's offers. Paulo Freitas for Sambafoot reports Ribeiro as saying:
"Everything is in Santos' hands, we have showed them the offer and they will decide."
"If Santos want, he will leave, otherwise he will stay until the end of his contract."
"I do not know if in the end he will sign with Barca, that only he knows."
"I know this is a player who has very different individual solutions. It is clear that for Barcelona he would be a wonderful hire"
Finally, according to the @barcastuff Twitter account, EL9 are reporting that Neymar wants to join Barcelona in July and the club are trying to close the deal this week with all parties.
Unable to forge a regular first team birth, Thiago Alcantara may be reluctantly about to accept that his furture lies away from Camp Nou.
This would be in order to raise money for player purchases—the only reason for such a sale.
Manchester City are also rumoured to be interested in winger Alexis Sanchez.
After a disappointing season for Barcelona, Tom Hopkinson of the Daily Mirror suggests the Catalans are willing to sell the player if they can recoup most of the £25m fee that they paid for the Chilean international two seasons ago.
Whether the player would prefer a stint in England or perhaps a return to Italy is not yet clear.
As recently as the beginning of the month, the player denied all knowledge of the supposed pre-contract that had been signed with Barcelona, and indeed explained he had no intention of leaving Santos until after the 2014 World Cup.
The latest twist, as reported by Paulo Frietas for Sky Sports, is that Barcelona executives have now met with their Santos counterparts but the latter has rejected the opening offer from La Blaugrana and expect a bid from Real Madrid to be forthcoming.
Santos vice-president Odilio Rodrigues told reporters:
"There is no agreement for Neymar. There are talks, I met [Barcelona's president Sandro] Rosell and [Barcelona's sporting director] Raul Sanllehi last week,"We had a very frank conversation. Talks need to continue because the offer was not good enough."
"We know Real Madrid will make an offer too."
"Neymar will choose the team he wants, it's Neymar's opinion that is important."
David Villa could be one of the big names on the way out of Camp Nou to make way for the potential arrival of Neymar.
Villa has struggled to make a real impact despite forcing his way back into the Barcelona first team after injury, and the club now appear willing to listen to offers for the Spanish national team's greatest ever goalscorer.
More importantly, Villa himself is open to the transfer.
Having lost out last summer to Paris St Germain in the race to sign highly-rated defender Thiago Silva, Barcelona may well try their luck again during this summers' window.
Although the transfer may prove difficult, Miles Chambers of Goal.com has told how the player's agent Paulo Tonietto has paved the way for a bid from the Catalans. Said Tonietto:
A transfer for Thiago Silva seems to me difficult—in his words—and I think that in the end he will remain at PSG. He has a contract and, before discussing with Barcelona, he should talk with PSG.
Last year we discussed [a transfer] with Barcelona but in the end PSG acted very quickly by offering a lot of money, [resulting in] an agreement with Milan. This year, however, we have not closed the door to Barcelona, nor to other clubs.
German international centre-back Mats Hummels is another defender of quality that has been interesting the Barcelona management team.
SportBild.de have reported that Barcelona are serious in trying to secure Hummels from his current employers Borussia Dortmund, and his transfer may be easier to complete given the players' own stated desire to consider a move to Catalonia (via Lucas Brown for Sky Sports):
My father and I reject 99.9 per cent of all clubs around the world when they let their interest be known.
But Barcelona is one of two or three clubs that would make me listen to them if they did make a move for me.
I would have to look at it, but I am not saying that I want to go.
The suggested transfer fee for Hummels is in the region of 25-30 million euros which would represent a cheaper option than Thiago Silva. For that reason the German may be a more attractive purchase to the Barcelona board.
Marc-André ter Stegen
Barcelona had hoped to hold Victor Valdes until the expiry of his contract in 2014, to give themselves enough time to find a suitable successor.
Borussia Moenchengladbach's Marc-André ter Stegen has been watched a number of times by various scouts at Barcelona and Sky Sports have reported that, according to one of his team mates Alvaro Dominguez, the young keeper has been learning Spanish in view of a potential move.
"Ter Stegen has spent the last few months learning Spanish," said Dominguez.
"He would adapt to Barca's style. He has a great personality, quality, can use both feet and starts moves up field for the team."
Despite being just 21 years of age Ter Stegen has built up impressive credentials following a number of great displays for his club in the Bundesliga.
At the other end of the goalkeeping scale we have Liverpool's Pepe Reina.
The Spanish World Cup winner is an ex La Masia graduate and the pull of returning home may be too much for him to resist.
His father Miguel also kept goal for Barca during the 1970's and the club appear confident of repatriating the player—according to Rob Draper of the Daily Mail.
A fee of £10m has been rumoured and with Jose Manuel Pinto staying at Camp Nou for at least another season, Barca need to make a decision on whether they sign Reina for his wealth of experince or Ter Stegen with one eye on the future.
One of the stranger transfer stories to illuminate the sports pages is that of Cesc Fabregas returning to England.
Arsenal, apparently, have first option on the player and it remains to be seen if Barcelona are willing to sell.
Despite not really setting the world alight since the transfer two years ago back to the club of his youth, Fabregas' performances have been acceptable in the main.
Is there any logic in selling a player only to replace him with another of similar type and quality, who may also be unable to dislodge the twin genii of Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta?
That any transfer rumours surround Cristian Tello are solely based on his pitiful contract get-out clause of just 10 million euros.
Should any club meet that valuation, then they are entitled to talk with the player and there is little that Barcelona would be able to do about it.
Questions need to be asked that if they rate the player so highly, why have they not justified their confidence in him by placing a much higher buy-out on his contract.
Liverpool have been long time admirers of Tello and manager Brendan Rodgers has now seen the opportunity to cash in.
With Pepe Reina expected to go the other way, Rodgers wants Tello as part of a swap deal according to The Mirror.
With just 11 starts to his name this season, the player has food for thought over the summer.
Another central defensive alternative to Mats Hummels is the young Brazilian Marquinhos.
The sticking point to this transfer could be the fee with Barca only willing to go as high as 20 million euros and Roma demanding at least 30 million according to Marca.
If the club decide to look to youth and consider Marquinhos as a purchase, one has to wonder as to the future of a youngster already at Barcelona, Marc Bartra.
Bartra has the knowledge of the inner workings of the club having graduated through La Masia, yet he is constantly tossed aside in favour of others.
It really would sound the death knell for Bartra's career at the Camp Nou if a younger player like Marquinhos is added to the roster.
Vincent Kompany certainly fits the profile of the sort of defender that Barca are in the market for. Strong in the air, dominant in the tackle and quick over the ground, he is ready-made to step into Carles Puyol's shoes.
However the player himself has rubbished reports that he is willing to swap the Etihad for Camp Nou.
I have no reason to go elsewhere.
I am happy here, I have five years left and if you knew the plans for this team for the future... I consider that to be a real objective.
We are already preparing for next season.
Unless there is a sea change of opinion from the player, it seems likely that Kompany is one player that Barcelona will have to scrub off of their wish list.
Italian giants AC Milan have already made their intentions clear concerning their loanee from Barcelona, Bojan Krkic.
A formal bid of five million euros has been lodged with the Catalans according to Mundo Deportivo via InsideSpanishFootball.com, however this falls some way short of the original 15 million euros asking price, agreed as part of the loan deal.
While Milan clearly wish to keep the player, they are not willing to part with the full amount.
Barcelona will therefore need to decide whether they keep the player as part of next season's squad, loan him to another club or cash-in now.
Currently on loan at Schalke, Dutch striker Ibrahim Afellay has fallen way down the pecking order at Barcelona.
It's almost certain that Afellay will leave Barcelona in the summer after being placed on sale by Barcelona with a price tag of six million euros.
Both Inter Milan and Lazio are rumoured to be interested in taking the player on a permanent basis after both failing to secure him during last summers' transfer window—when Barcelona were only interested in offloading the player on loan.
Isaac Cuenca is yet another right-sided forward that is out on loan, this time at Dutch giants Ajax.
While the player seems perfectly happy with the current arrangements—as it aides his development at a time when he is unable to force his way into the first-team picture—he is still unsure if he is wanted at Barcelona.
He told Cadena SER's La Graderia, via InsideSpanishFootball.com:
I’m a Barça player, but I don’t know if they want me back. I think I’d be better off spending another year in the Netherlands.
It’d be good to get more minutes and see how my knee evolves. I’ll return to Barça one day.
Should Neymar be signed and Gerard Deulofeu be promoted from the Barca B team as expected, then there seems to be little space within the first-team picture for Cuenca to settle into role he desires.
Jonathan Dos Santos
Poor old Jonathan Dos Santos.
He has been so far removed from the first team picture at Barcelona that you would be forgiven for thinking that he's no longer there.
The fact remains he is still at Camp Nou but the 22 year old has finally realised that he must change clubs if he is to fulfil his ambition of regular first team football.
James Dickenson of the Express reports that the player doesn't believe he has wasted the last year at Barcelona despite a solitary performance:
I’m learning from the best in the world. I’m in the best school and best club in the world"
People can say I wasted a year, but for me I haven’t.
I still don’t know what’s out there, we’ll see in the summer. You don’t know what could happen.
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