Barcelona Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of February 24

Jason PettigroveContributor IFebruary 24, 2014

Barcelona Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of February 24

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    Alen Halilovic has confirmed that he will join Barcelona.
    Alen Halilovic has confirmed that he will join Barcelona.Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

    Barcelona put in a wonderful Champions League performance against Manchester City last Tuesday to confound many of the critics who thought their days were numbered.

    A towering 90 minutes from Javier Mascherano and Gerard Pique in particular showed everyone that a central defender may not be a priority for Tata Martino after all.

    Captain Xavi Hernandez was also instrumental, but stories have surfaced once again surrounding his future.

    Let's take a look at some new transfer rumours, and remember to check back throughout the week for updates.

    —Last updated: Friday, February 28—

Thomas Mueller

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    Bayern Munich striker Thomas Mueller is a summer target for Barcelona.
    Bayern Munich striker Thomas Mueller is a summer target for Barcelona.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Bayern Munich striker Thomas Mueller could be on his way to La Liga next season.

    Mundo Deportivo and Bild (h/t Football Espana) are quoted as saying that new Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has giving the go ahead for the Catalans to make a bid.

    At this stage the player does not want to leave and has a contract until 2017, however if Pep Guardiola continues to leave him out of the side, he may look elsewhere for first team football.

    For Barca to have any chance of success, a bid of at least €45 million will need to be put on the table.

Carles Puyol

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    New York City are ready to take Carles Puyol to the MLS.
    New York City are ready to take Carles Puyol to the MLS.David Ramos/Getty Images

    According to Diario Gol, h/t official MLS website, Barcelona stalwart Carles Puyol could be on his way to the USA.

    The report suggests that ex-Barca executive, and now Manchester City/New York City CEO, Ferran Soriano, wishes to install the Catalan warrior as the team's Designated Player for their first year of existence in 2015.

    It will be a sad day when Puyol does actually leave the club and Andres Iniesta is one who doesn't want his captain and colleague to leave:

    I hope and wish that this isn't Puyol's last season with the team. I would like to have him in the dressing room for a very long time.

    However, with only 11 appearances to his name this season, it seems only a matter of time before Puyol brings the curtain down on his immaculate Barca career.

Arturo Vidal

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    Barcelona have opened talks with Arturo Vidal.
    Barcelona have opened talks with Arturo Vidal.Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    According to Sport (Spanish), h/t Give Me Sport, Barcelona representatives have opened talks with Juventus' star man Arturo Vidal.

    Tata Martino has identified Vidal's brand of high-energy football as key to Barca's continued success next season, and €50 million has been set aside to capture the player.

    That will disappoint Manchester United's David Moyes who wanted Vidal in the January window but was put off by the new contract offered him by the Italian giants, at a cool €200,000 a week.

    Barcelona however, do not appear put of by such sums, and will aim to add Vidal to their roster over the summer.

Bojan Krkic

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    Liverpool believe they can secure Bojan Krkic for a bargain £5 million.
    Liverpool believe they can secure Bojan Krkic for a bargain £5 million.Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Barcelona misfit Bojan Krkic looks likely to move to the Premier League at the culmination of this season.

    After failing to impress at Ajax, according to David Maddock of the Daily Mirror, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is hopeful of securing the player for a bargain £5 million.

    Still only 23 years of age, Krkic's value has plummeted from £35 million just years ago.

    Injury hit stints at AS Roma, AC Milan and now Ajax haven't enhanced his reputation, but clearly Rodgers sees something in the player that he can work with.

Alen Halilovic

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    Alen Halilovic has confirmed that he will sign for Barcelona.
    Alen Halilovic has confirmed that he will sign for Barcelona.Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

    Dinamo Zagreb's 17-year-old wonderkid Alen Halilovic has confirmed that he is to join Barcelona.

    Via his personal Instagram account, h/t Chris Davie of Goal.com, the player confirmed:

    Thanks Dinamo Zagreb for everything!!My first club and biggest love!!Now is time to move on to Barcelona.

    The news will disappoint Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Arsenal who were all said to be interested in the player.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen

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    Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has allegedly already had a secret medical ahead of his proposed move to Barca.
    Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has allegedly already had a secret medical ahead of his proposed move to Barca.Frank Augstein/Associated Press

    The transfer of Marc-Andre Ter Stegen from Borussia Monchengladbach to Barcelona is yet to be officially announced.

    However German daily Bild (h/t Raquel Velez Garcia, International Business Times), are reporting on a secret medical that the player has undertaken, showing him to be in perfect physical shape.

    Furthermore, the player is said to have already agreed personal terms with the Catalans.

    The deal, once announced, will be worth £12 million to the German club.

Victor Valdes

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    Victor Valdes will shortly wave bye-bye to Barcelona.
    Victor Valdes will shortly wave bye-bye to Barcelona.Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

    After the news on Ter Stegen leaked out, so Sport (h/t Charles Perrin of The Express) has reported on developments concerning Victor Valdes.

    Not only are Liverpool said to be leading the race for his signature, but according to the report Valdes is actually in talks with the Merseyside club.

Bojan Krkic

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    Bojan Krkic's nomadic existence looks set to continue.
    Bojan Krkic's nomadic existence looks set to continue.Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Since leaving Barcelona, a mixture of injury and poor form has seen Bojan Krkic's career take a nosedive.

    It was thought that a move to Ajax would suit all parties, the Dutch champions playing a similar style to the Blaugrana.

    However, things haven't gone as planned. 

    Just two goals in 16 Eredivisie appearances is a poor return, and as such the move is unlikely to be made permanent.

    Krkic's saving grace may come in the form of Liverpool and Tottenham according to Talksport. Both Premier League clubs are tracking the marksman, who may reignite his career in England from next season.

Eliaquim Mangala

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    Barcelona have been crying out for a strong, physical centre back for years.
    Barcelona have been crying out for a strong, physical centre back for years.Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    With Carles Puyol's appearances becoming more and more infrequent, the need for Barcelona to urgently secure a replacement is obvious.

    According to Sport, h/t Daily Mirror, the Catalan's are ready to battle with both Manchester United and Manchester City for the signature of Porto's Eliaquim Mangala.

    Mangala can provide the physical presence that Barca have been sorely lacking and will be a useful addition to the Blaugrana back line.

     

Rafinha

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    Rafinha Alcantara is wanted by a handful of Premier League clubs.
    Rafinha Alcantara is wanted by a handful of Premier League clubs.Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    On-loan midfielder Rafinha Alcantara could be heading to the Premier League.

    According to Mundo Deportivo (Spanish), h/t Give Me Sport, the player wants assurances from Barcelona that he will be a fixture in the side when he returns from his spell at Celta Vigo.

    With a release clause of €30 million, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City are all willing to raid their coffers to sign the exciting young talent.

Gerard Deulofeu

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    Everton won't sign Gerard Deulofeu permanently.
    Everton won't sign Gerard Deulofeu permanently.Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    Everton manager Roberto Martinez wants to sign Gerard Deulofeu permanently, but according to the Sunday People (h/t Steve Bates of the Sunday Mirror), Barcelona's Mascherano believes the young Catalan will soon come back "home":

    Gerard is a player with a lot of quality. I think Barcelona are already thinking about bringing him back to the Nou Camp.

    I don’t know for certain if it will be for next season, but he is an important player for the future of Barcelona.

    Playing at Everton has been good for his development.

Victor Valdes

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    Victor Valdes is a wanted man.
    Victor Valdes is a wanted man.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Victor Valdes declared his intention to leave Barcelona quite some while ago now, with initial reports per Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail suggesting that AS Monaco would be his destination.

    Whilst the keeper has remained tight-lipped throughout, there would appear to be no shortage of takers.

    Sport (Spanish, h/t Liverpool Clubcall) are now reporting on Brendan Rodgers' desire to take Valdes to Merseyside, whilst TalkSPORT suggest that Manchester City could be his next port of call.

Xavi Hernandez

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    Xavi is on the way to the MLS via Australia
    Xavi is on the way to the MLS via AustraliaDavid Ramos/Getty Images

    It's been a month since Hernandez was fairly unequivocal in his desire to remain at Barcelona for the rest of his career, per FCBarcelona.com:

    I’m not going to Qatar or New York, I want to finish my contract with Barca. I’m staying here, I feel important and useful.

    I’ve been here for many years, there are a lot of memories and we’ve won a lot of titles with this generation of footballers, one look back and you realise that we’ve really enjoyed ourselves.

    However, Dave Burgess of The Dominion Post quotes "reliable sources" as advising that Xavi is on his way to Australian side Melbourne Heart, a club owned by Manchester City.

    The loan deal would then lead to a further move in 2015 to New York City, again owned by the Manchester club.

    Could it be that Barca are willing to let one of their talismen leave the club, allowing the likes of Rafinha Alcantara or Sergi Roberto to claim a more regular starting berth for the Blaugrana?