Barcelona Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of July 22

Jason Pettigrove@@jaypetti1971Contributor IJuly 22, 2013

Barcelona Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of July 22

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    Barcelona were true to their word and acted swiftly with a new managerial appointment.

    Gerardo 'Tata' Martino begins work this weekend acutely aware that a central defender remains the priority.

    Will he raid old club Newell's Old Boys or use his knowledge of the South American game to hunt down a bargain, rather than wasting time in a moribund European transfer market?

    He doesn't have too long to identify his transfer targets so will be keen to tie up potential deals as soon as possible.

    LAST UPDATE: Saturday, July 26

David Luiz

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    Chelsea's David Luiz has once again jumped to the front of the queue as Barcelona look to strengthen their defensive options.

    Wayne Veysey of reports that Barcelona have enquired as to Luiz's availability and have now been given encouragement by the London club to mount a bid.

    The Catalans are already talking to the player's representatives with a view to making a £25 million move in due course.

Cesc Fabregas

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    Manchester United are wasting their time trying to sign Cesc Fabregas according to Ben Hayward of

    The Premier League champions had already made public that their pursuit of the player was "ongoing" however new Barca manager Gerardo Martino told reporters in his first press conference; "I am not going to get involved in the club's finances, but the club have already rejected two bids and I'll reject a third."

    If The Reds hadn't received that message loud and clear then vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu was even more direct.

    We are not thinking of selling Cesc.

    We are not annoyed [by United's persistence]; we are proud that there is interest in one of our players, but we are very happy with him.

    Whatever offer we receive for him, he is not for sale.

    The unequivocal nature of both statements should finally put paid to this transfer saga.

Walter Samuel

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    Veteran defender Walter Samuel is interesting new Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino.

    The 35-year-old started his career at Newell's Old Boys and Marca report (h/t Forza Italian Football) that he could become Martino's first signing in a surprise deal.

    How Barcelona fans would view the signing of a player whose best days are behind him and who has played for Barcelona's great rivals Real Madrid is anyone's guess.

Santiago Vergini

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    Santiago Vergini could be the central defender that Barcelona have been looking for.

    Inside Spanish Football are reporting that Gerardo Martino may bring Vergini with him from Newell's Old Boys.

    The 24-year-old is highly rated by the new Barcelona manager and would represent better value than Thiago Silva for example.

    An official approach from Barcelona has yet to be made but the player certainly remains an option at this stage.

Omar Abdulrahman

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    Ben Jefferson of The Express is reporting that Barcelona have joined Arsenal and Manchester City in the chase for Al Ain's Omar Abdulrahman.

    The 21-year-old plies his trade in the UAE and his coach Mohammed Obeid has confirmed that several bids have been received for his players' services.

    Abdulrahman came to prominence after impressing in the 2012 London Olympics for the UAE.

    His performances earned him a two-week trial at Manchester City and only work permit issues appeared to scupper a four-year contract for the player at the time.

    City's Brian Marwood said of Abdulrahman:

    We continue to monitor him, we keep in touch with him, we are aware of how he’s developing.

    He’s come back [to the UAE] and done very well and is a real talent.

    Technically, he is very, very good so he has those components, those ingredients.

    Obviously, it’s a much more physical game but he’s still young, he can develop those aspects of his performance.

    A year further forward and after winning the Gulf Cup and earning the tournament MVP award in the process, Arsenal and Barcelona are now ready to battle Manchester City for the highly-rated player's signature.

Cesc Fabregas

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    The Cesc Fabregas saga has taken yet another turn.

    Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail is reporting that the player has told friends in English  football that he wants to leave Barcelona to join Manchester United.

    According to the report, David Moyes told a press conference that another bid for Fabregas was imminent and that the continued pursuit of the player was "ongoing."

    The thought of regular football and the chance to link up with ex-Arsenal colleague Robin Van Persie is attractive to Fabregas, and the belief that he has now decided that his future lies away from the Camp Nou is understood to be the key to sealing the deal.

Cesc Fabregas

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    Despite pledging loyalty to Barcelona, it appears that the courting of Cesc Fabregas by Manchester United is beginning to win over the player.

    Pete Jensen of The Independent reports that Fabregas is now “considering his future” after United made a further offer.

    One of Gerardo Martino's first duties will therefore be to persuade Fabregas that his future does indeed lie at Camp Nou.

    The new manager will be officially presented on Friday July 26 and he cannot contemplate losing another midfielder after the recent departure of Thiago Alcantara.

Marc Andre Ter-Stegen

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    Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter-Stegen has long been identified as a potential replacement for Victor Valdes when the latter departs for AS Monaco at the end of the 2013/14 season.

    According to the player himself however, his departure to Barcelona may not be the foregone conclusion everyone expects.

    Stefan Coerts of reports that Ter Stegen insists that there is no truth in rumours suggesting the stopper has signed a pre-contract at the Catalan club.

    The things that I have supposedly already signed at is quite amusing.

    It seems like a lot of people know much more about my future than I do. Fact is, though, that I'm still here at Gladbach.

    I am looking forward to the new season and the club's good signings. I'm very excited about what's happening at Borussia.

Ibrahim Afellay

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    Another youngster that could be on his way out of Camp Nou is Dutch international Ibrahim Afellay.

    According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Football Espana), new Malaga manager Bernd Schuster is keen to take the player on a one-year loan with an option to make the move permanent at the end of the 12 month period.

    Much was expected of the player upon his arrival at Barcelona in 2011 but he has only managed to turn out for the first team on 20 subsequent occasions in La Liga.

    After a year's loan at German side Schalke, a similar arrangement with Malaga suits both parties.

Thiago Silva

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    The courtship of Thiago Silva by Barcelona continues.

    The Catalans are playing a dangerous game having already been warned of the consequences by PSG owner Sheikh Nasser Al-Khelaifi of placing another bid for his club captain—per Lucas Brown of Sky Sports.

    This hasn't deterred Barcelona captain Carles Puyol from having his say.

    Alex Moretto of reports Puyol as having told reporters; "The centre of defence is a position hit hard by injuries. Thiago is one of the best centre-backs in the world and I think he would adapt well to Barcelona."

    Whether new Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino is willing to risk the wrath of Al-Khelaifi we may find out in the coming days.

Cesc Fabregas

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    According to Paul Hetherington of the Daily Star Sunday, Manchester United will break their transfer record in order to see Cesc Fabregas at Old Trafford next season.

    A fee of £30 million plus add-ons, meaning a total outlay of nearer to £35 million, is rumoured to have been put on the table.

    Jack De Menezes of The Independent also reports news of the new bid, and it appears that David Moyes will not rest until he has secured the signature of the Barcelona midfielder.

    However, the clause inserted into Fabregas' contract when he signed for the Catalans sees Arsenal having first refusal on the player should he decide his days at Camp Nou are numbered, as reported by Eurosport.

Pepe Reina

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    One player definitely not moving to Barcelona this season is Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

    Having been strongly linked as a replacement for Victor Valdes, Reina has reportedly taken up residency in Italy on a year-long loan to Napoli, where he is reunited with his old boss Rafael Benitez.

    Chris Bascombe of The Telegraph reports that Liverpool will save themselves in the region of £4 million a year in wages and were willing to let Reina move after securing Simon Mignolet from Sunderland.

    It remains to be seen if this time next year the move is made permanent or if Barcelona will attempt to sign the Spaniard with Valdes definitely leaving Barcelona 12 months from now. 

Daniel Agger

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    Liverpool's Daniel Agger is once again being seriously considered by Barcelona.

    The procurement of Thiago Silva now appears to be over as Barcelona accept that Paris St-Germain will not sell their captain, and one-time target Marquinhos has now joined Silva at PSG.

    Antony Kastrinakis of The Sun reports that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is certain to block any sale of the highly rated defender, but this won't deter Barca, who are now absolutely desperate to bolster their back line.

    A transfer fee between £12 million and £16 million is rumoured.

David Luiz

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    Jose Mourinho will not be a happy man this morning.

    The Chelsea manager has already told Barcelona that David Luiz is not for sale.

    However, as Sport (h/t Daily Star) report, Barcelona's sporting director, Andoni Zubizarreta, has been back in contact with the player's agent.

    It is thought that Luiz wishes to link up with international teammates Dani Alves, Neymar and Adriano at Camp Nou.

    Giuliano Bertolucci will have his work cut out persuading the Chelsea hierarchy to accept his client's wishes. 

Jonathan dos Santos

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    Inside Spanish Football are reporting that Jonathan dos Santos has completed a one-year loan deal to Real Sociedad, who have an option to buy the player at the end of the 12 months.

    The player has only managed 11 first-team appearances in four years, and it is to his benefit that he is moved on from Camp Nou.

    Dos Santos had been happy to remain at Barcelona to fight for his place but has now reluctantly accepted that in order to play regularly, he must move elsewhere. 

    He will link up with international teammate Carlos Vela at Sociedad and becomes the seventh La Masia graduate to leave the club this summer.