Barcelona Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of July 21
With pre-season already a week old, manager Luis Enrique will be formulating drills and patterns of play, and it's important that he has a settled squad buying into that as early as possible.
Those involved in the latter stages of the World Cup will be back into training soon. In the meantime, Andoni Zubizarreta should pursue any targets with vigour. Time is of the essence.
Let's take a look at who has been linked with the club over the last couple of days, and remember to keep checking back throughout the week for updates.
—Last update: Friday, July 25—
Arsenal captain could be the next face through the door at Barcelona.
It is also suggested that the Gunners are already on the look out for his replacement, and with relations between the Catalans and the north Londoners still cordial after the signing of Alexis Sanchez, it's believed that Barca are in the box seat to tie up any deal.
Like London buses, wait an age for a centre back and then two arrive at once.
As FFP bites hard, and with the rumoured addition of Real Madrid's Angel di Maria to the roster in Paris, Barca are in the right place at the right time to buy a player who will fall down the pecking order behind David Luiz and Thiago Silva.
Barcelona have finally signed their first true centre back since August 2009.
Agreement has been reached to acquire the services of Valencia's Jeremy Mathieu.
According to FCBarcelona.com:
Jeremy Mathieu will sign a contract with FC Barcelona for the next four seasons, plus an optional season more. The cost of the transfer is 20 million Euros and the buyout clause will be 50 million Euros.
Xavi Hernandez will remain at Barcelona for now but will leave Camp Nou in January.
According to Mundo Deportivo via Football Espana Xavi himself contacted the newspaper yesterday to contradict a report that his departure was imminent.
Xavi has an agreement with New York City, which will come into effect in January, although the player could see out the season with the Catalans and move to the United States next summer.
Luis Enrique is happy to allow Xavi to make his own decisions as to exactly when he takes up any new opportunity.
Another day and another twist in the Xavi Hernandez transfer saga.
According to Matt Monaghan of Sport360, Fujairah of the Arabian Gulf League have emerged as contenders for the 34 year olds signature:
NYC remain favourites to secure the stylish midfielder as one of their three designated players – joining ex-Barca and Spain team-mate David Villa plus former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard ahead of their entry into the United States’ elite competition next year.
However, a stumbling block could be that the salary they are willing to pay is worth a lot less than the 8million EUR per year (Dh39.6m) tax free their Qatari rivals offered at the start of the summer.
Fujairah have been made aware of his wage demands, which stand at approximately ¤6m per year (Dh29.8m) without tax, to make the switch to the UAE.
Sky Sports News quote Stoke's official Twitter account:
"#HolaBojan Stoke City are delighted to confirm the signing of @BoKrkic from @FCBarcelona on a 4-year deal."
Stoke chairman Peter Coates also noted: "Attacking players have been very much the focus for Mark since the end of last season and obviously Bojan would be another very good addition."
Xavi Hernandez could finally be on his way from Barcelona by the end of the week.
According to Simon Jones of the Daily Mail, all that remains to stop Xavi from joining former Barca club colleague David Villa at New York City FC is the negotiation of a settlement with the Catalans.
Barca could be on the verge of signing their first true centre back in five years.
According to Catalunya Radio via Marca, Sao Paulo's 20-year-old Rodrigo Caio is interesting the club after impressing in the recent Toulon Tournament.
Barca's Albert Valentin has flown out to Brazil to see the player in league action before making a decision on whether he fits the profile of what the club are looking for.
It seems as though Bojan Krkic could be on his way to the English Premier League after all.
I haven't heard anything over the weekend, but will probably hear something soon.
He's a young player who's proven at the highest level and once again he's a player who's different to what we have got here already.
Yes, he has lost his way somewhat, but you don't play 100-odd games for a club like Barcelona unless you've got some ability.
With a new centre-back an absolute priority for the Blaugrana, the north Londoners can expect a bid in the region of £17.5 million to be tabled in the coming days.
Spurs are ready to increase the Belgian's wages from £40,000 per week to £60,000 in order to fend off the interest of the La Liga giants.
Ajax star Daley Blind is being linked with a move to the Catalans and is in Barcelona presently.
Blind's agent, Rob Jansen, told Voetbal International (via Football Espana):
At the moment there is nothing concrete. But the rumours of today could very well be tomorrow's reality.
There are many clubs interested in Daley. We'll have to wait and see what happens when the transfer market shakes up.
When Cuadrado returns we want to see if he shows us the desire to stay at Fiorentina. If he really does want to remain then we will talk to him and be honest about resolving the situation.
It's complicated, but not impossible. I'll do everything I can to keep him, even if requires making sacrifices elsewhere, but if Cuadrado is no longer motivated to stay here then we can only accept that and move on.
However, at the moment I don't get that vibe from him.
It's unclear at this juncture just how expensive Cuadrado might be.