Barcelona Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of January 13
Barcelona are winter champions in La Liga after remaining at the summit following a goalless draw in the Vicente Calderon.
Here is a manager who makes stands by his own decisions and who is not swayed by the might of the board or the history of the club. He'll do things his way, thank you very much.
As we approach the middle of the month, Tata has yet to delve into the transfer market for Barca, so let's take a look at who has been linked this week, and please remember to keep checking back for updates as always.
—Last updated: Friday, January 17—
Highly-rated youngster Munir El-Haddadi could shortly follow the path previously trodden by the Cesc Fabregas, Jon Toral and Hector Bellerrin.
According to John Cross of the Mirror and Gary Jones of the Daily Star, Arsene Wenger is ready to offer the player a deal before Barcelona themselves tie the player to Camp Nou for the foreseeable future.
Having only recently signed a new contract at San Mames, Laporte won't come cheap at €36 million but according to Talksport the player said:
Barca’s interest flatters me. I’ve dreamed of playing with a team like that since I was a kid.
One of the longest running transfer sagas of the last window looks set to come to a conclusion by the end of this one.
Sky Bet have also shortened the odds of a move by February 1 considerably. Luiz is now priced as low as 5/4 to move in this window.
According to German daily Bild and Spanish paper Sport (Spanish), h/t Tom Conn of Inside Spanish Football, Barca have apparently had several meetings with Gundogan's father Irfan, and his representatives, ahead of a January transfer.
Despite having a contract with the Germans until 2015, Gundogan told reporters:
I have not made a final decision yet. Borussia Dortmund are the first team I am talking to.
I will soon make a well-thought decision.
But I am keeping my options open at this point.
Barca fans can rest easy. Xavi Hernandez is going nowhere.
Nobody has made me any proposition.
I know nothing else about New York apart from that it is very cold there.
Henry has not called me, nor have I spoken with him. I do not have his telephone number.
Already a "good news week" with Sergi Roberto confirming his intention to stay, the knowledge that Bartra has also pledged his immediate future to the Blaugrana will be a huge comfort to fans concerned at the Pique/Mascherano partnership.
It was also be a huge disappointment to those clubs who were hopeful of his signature, Tottenham Hotspur amongst them.
The official site states:
FC Barcelona have agreed to renew Marc Bartra's contract until June 30, 2017. The player’s buy-out clause will be set at 25 million euros.
Bartra will sign his new contract in the upcoming weeks.
Barcelona midfield starlet Sergi Roberto has delighted the clubs legion of followers by insisting he is staying at the Camp Nou.
According to Marca, h/t Myfanwy Garman of Goal.com, Roberto said:
At no time did I consider leaving the club. This is my eighth season here and I think I made the right decision to stay.
At first it took me aback, but I’ve played 12 consecutive matches now. If I had said a year ago that I would find myself in this situation now, I would have been happy.
The player's agent, Silvano Martina, had previously been quoted as saying:
At the moment, I would rule out an extension with Manchester United.
Vidic, given his contract situation, has several teams looking at him. Vidic is a very good player and will have no trouble finding a new club. For the time being we are remaining calm.
Martina is now insisting he "knows nothing" about reports linking the player with a move away from Manchester.
Alan Nixon of the Daily Mirror reports that the Gunners have already opened talks to land the player with Jose Mourinho also preparing to send a high level delegation to scout a player whom he sees as a perfect replacement for outgoing Kevin De Bruyne.
Both clubs efforts, and those of the Red Devils—who sent Phil Neville to watch the player—will be in vain with the player unlikely to turn down any overtures from Barca.
Out-of-favour winger Isaac Cuenca could be moved on during this window in a loan deal to Tottenham Hotspur.
Barcelona are keen to offload the injury-prone youngster, and the north London outfit were advised as to Cuenca's availability through a third party.
According to Metro, Barca would pay half of the player's wages until the end of the season, with the hope of a successful loan sparking bids for his permanent signature.
In some good news for Barca supporters, Martin Montoya appears to have done something of a U-turn.
Despite his contract talks having stalled, laRoma24.it (via Forza Italian Football) quote the player's agent, Jose Maria Orobitg, as saying that Montoya wants to stay put:
Martin's contract expires in June 2014. Obviously, the first option is to negotiate the boy's contract with Barcelona.
Montoya wants to reach an agreement with the Blaugrana.
The boy's calm, this club is his first choice. Only if an agreement is not found will we look around.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen
A bargain price of £7 million has been quoted, and it would appear that Barca have competition in the shape of Arsenal.
Both clubs would be willing to meet the asking price, and although Barca would rather wait until the end of the season before acquiring the player, they may be forced to take him now for fear of him moving elsewhere.