Tag Archives: catalona giants

Braitwaite could surprise ‘Catalona Gaints’ Next season

Martin Braithwaite can be a surprise package for Barcelona when La Liga resumes after the coronavirus suspension, according to Michael Pedersen, who was the mentor to the Denmark international during his formative days at Esbjerg.


Pedersen helped transform Braithwaite from an unheralded youngster into a player who has featured at the highest level in both France and Spain.

Nevertheless, there was surprise when the 28-year-old completed an €18 million (£16m/$20m) February move to Barca off the back of the Catalans’ injury crisis.

Pedersen, who is currently in charge of a highly successful Denmark Under-17 team, which have won 22 of their last 23 matches, including fixtures against England, Portugal and two against France, believes the deal is a very logical one, though, and he feels the 39-time capped attacker can prove his detractors wrong.

“We haven’t seen Martin play a lot for Barca because of the corona break, but he is much more a Barca type of player than many may believe,” he told Goal of the attacker, who has turned out three times in the Blaugrana, having a hand in two goals on debut off the bench in a 5-0 win over Eibar.


“He has the tactical ability to fit into different tactical set-ups depending on the clubs he has represented in his career so far, and I know that he can play with a vision and anticipation in his game that is quite extraordinary.

“He is very good in that phase of the game, where he can see options that a lot of other players don’t see, where he can create space for other players, which is quite rare, since most players focus on creating space for themselves.

“His timing in his runs is amazing, and he anticipates the dangerous areas to attack into before they appear. Good players run into the danger areas as soon as they see them, but the best players spot the areas, then they wait with their run until the perfect moment with the maximum effect – that is football intelligence, and Martin has that ability. This is why he is a Barcelona player, in my opinion.


“And this is why I am looking forward to watching him play for Barcelona when La Liga restarts because with such great team-mates, he will have a great possibility to show his skills at the very highest level.”

The player’s intelligent nature is something he has shown throughout his career and helped Pedersen, who was a member of the Osasuna squad that first qualified for the UEFA Cup back in 1985, earmark him for a big future.

“Martin was very ambitious as a teenager and I could see huge potential in him,” he continued. “He wanted to hear about my own experiences not only as a coach but also as a player – and especially my time in Spain.


“We talked and worked a lot together in Esbjerg. I’m happy with what he has become and happy that I could help him to focus on taking the right decisions and develop in the right way to play in the big leagues.”

Braithwaite himself has admitted what a positive influence Pedersen was on his game.

“He took me to another level,” the forward told Goal. “He knows me better than almost anyone in football. He was a mentor for me in my younger years and he helped me a lot in my development from a young talent to the player I am today. He took me to another level.


“He educated me for top-level football and did that with a level of coaching skills and football knowledge that I’ve not seen too many times since then. I’m definitely the player I am today because of him.

“He played as a striker himself in Spain and I wanted to follow in his footsteps so much. My ambition was to go to Spain and play in La Liga, so I had a natural respect for him and I knew that I could learn a lot from him in my development.

“Michael taught me to play football with my brain, not only my feet. He showed me how to fall in love with football in a new way. I began studying the mental side and the tactical side of football.


“For example, I began watching football differently than I did previously.

“When I was a teenager watching Barcelona play on TV back home in Denmark, because of Michael’s inspiration, I was trying to read and analyse the game. Now I was not only enjoying the technical side of football, but also the tactical, for example how to run and how to time your runs and actions. And then I would integrate that into my own game on the pitch, and that helped me to develop a lot as a player.

“I was not only training on the pitch with the ball at my feet or in the gym, I was constantly training my mental strength and my football intelligence because he inspired me to do so.”


Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has denied Pedersen, who finds himself out of contract in the summer, the chance to put his promising Danish youngsters in the spotlight, with the Under-17 European Championship cancelled as a result of the virus.

There were high hopes for the young group, many of whom display the same strong mindset that has allowed Braithwaite to reach the top.

“My Denmark U17s have a lot of the same mentality,” he confirmed. “I have worked with them very much in the same way that I worked with Martin.


“I’ve seen many talents hit a wall when they have faced a tough time in football, and believe me, all players will face tough times. So I prepare them for that with my coaching methods, and this group of players have reacted extraordinarily well to my philosophy, developing a unique winning mentality, and that’s why this team have won 22 out of 23 games – against some of the best countries in international youth football.

“I have been asked whether this is the best Danish youth national team ever, and I can only say, that we have delivered some of the best results ever, if not the very best.


“I also qualified for the Euros with my first U17 team due to a great collective understanding of teamwork, but this team have been unique.

“Together we have created a level of winning mentality, teamwork and team spirit that has allowed the stars of the team to shine and has made a very deep squad hit an extremely high international level.

“Some of the players are already playing abroad at clubs well known for talent development – Ajax, Salzburg and Leipzig – and they chose not to go to even bigger clubs because they felt these sides provided the best environment to improve.


“Many players have said ‘No thank you,’ to big international clubs because they believe they could still develop in Denmark, but I am sure – and I know them well – that many of them have the potential to go far in international football and will move abroad in the next few years.

“It is such a shame that this extraordinary team lost their chance of a great, maybe historic result at the U17 Euros this year because of the coronavirus.”

Pedersen, who admits that he has drawn inspiration from both Barcelona and Liverpool, feels a personal loss, too.


“It was an opportunity to show the result of my coaching work to the international football world,” he said. “I must admit that I had hoped to be able to do that since I am now quitting the Danish FA and this summer will be able to move on to new challenges and ambitions in football.

“I am proud of not only the results, but also the way we have won all these games. We have played to our own strengths, almost always having most possession.

“We are good with the ball even against the greatest football nations, but we can also change our style and still win. When, for example, England were trying to overpower us playing very quick, physical and aggressive football.


“As a coach you seek inspiration from the best, and for this team I have taken inspiration from both Barca’s passing and possession game and from Liverpool, who have developed in such an impressive style under Jurgen Klopp and are now able to play with a high tempo, high pressing and direct, but also with a lower press, being more possessive and creating wins out of that.

“Liverpool have mastered multiple ways to win and that shows great coaching work by Klopp.”



Barca and Xavi are destined for each other – Bojan

Former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic believes that it is only a matter of time before his old team-mate Xavi ends up as head coach of the club, stating his belief that the Blaugrana are “destined” to welcome the Catalan icon back to Camp Nou.

Xavi has been cutting his coaching teeth with Al Sadd since 2019, the only club the former midfielder represented other than Barca before hanging up his boots.

Qatar Cup and Qatari Super Cup titles have lifted in that time and many feel a retracing of steps camp to Calalunya will soon be on the cards.

Indeed, Xavi was actually sounded out by the Barca hierarchy following the sacking of Ernesto Valverde, but the 40-year-old turned down the opportunity and the position ultimately went to Quique Setien.

Despite that refusal, Bojan, who now plies his trade with Major League Soccer outfit Montreal Impact, believes that destiny will soon see the icon reunited with his beloved club.

“Xavi is a person who sooner or later has to be part of the club,” 29-year-old Bojan told EFE. “I like when people who came through the club end up at Barca and Xavi is one of them.

“Few are better than him as he knows the place, knows the dressing room – few people will be able to experience it like him. I think both Barcelona and Xavi are destined for each other.”

From lining up alongside Ronaldinho at Barcelona, Francesco Totti at Roma, spells in the Premier League and Eredivisie, Bojan has seen his fair share of stars – in fact, his boss at the Impact is former Barca team-mate and Arsenal icon Thierry Henry.

Still, the one man Bojan is likely to be asked about above any others is the current Camp Nou captain, Lionel Messi, who continues to break records and win titles at the age of 32.

“It’s something that everyone really admires,” Bojan said of the Argentine’s enduring desire to perform a the top level. “I don’t like comparisons in the world of football, but there are regular players and there are players at a very high level and Leo is one of them.

“What makes the difference is the number of years he’s been competing at that level. Getting to the top is not as difficult as staying there – especially at the level Leo is at. The expectations that he generates every day is practically inhuman. Very few can do what Leo does.”


Catalan government accepts Barcelona’s ERTE for employees

The Government of Catalonia has accepted Barcelona’s ERTE application for its employees, effective immediately.

This temporary employment agreement will be applied to 309 of the club’s 540 permanent workers.

Through this government scheme, Barcelona will save around 800,000 euros in two months.

This agreement ensures that club employees will continue to receive one hundred percent of their salaries.


Tottenham will reject Barcelona move to sign Ndombele

Barcelona want to land Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele but the Premier League club will not consider a sale, report El Mundo Deportivo.

The 23-year-old has struggled with injuries and form in his debut season for Spurs, whom he joined in a €60m deal from Olympique Lyonnais last summer.

The Frenchman has made 27 appearances for the North London club this season but has found starting opportunities limited and his application has been criticised by new boss Jose Mourinho.

However, the France international, of Congolese origin, is not likely to be available for transfer from Spurs despite the Blaugrana’s intention of bolstering their ranks.

It is said that Ndombele’s skillset matches the profile that the Catalan giants are looking for – a box-to-box midfielder who can impose himself physically during matches.

It has been said that the player’s arrival would alleviate the pressure of that style of midfielder due to the possible exits of Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic this summer.


Onana: Barcelona is my home and if I have to go back, I’ll go back

Andre Onana has responded to speculation linking him with a return to Barcelona in the future.

The goalkeeper spent time in Barcelona’s academy before leaving for Ajax in 2015, where he has become Erik ten Hag’s first choice.

“It’s difficult to know,” Onana told Canal+ Sport Africa about his future.

“Barcelona is my home and, if I have to go back, I’ll go back.

“But we’re far off from that.

“I’m the Ajax goalkeeper and we’ll see what happens at the end of the season.”


Xavi: Now that I’ve tested myself I feel capable of coaching Barcelona.

Xavi Hernandez feels ready to coach Barcelona despite turning them down earlier this year.

The club approached their former midfielder as they sought a replacement for Ernesto Valverde only for him to turn them down, but that decision doesn’t appear to have been taken due to any self doubt on Xavi’s part.

“I’ve tested myself as a coach,” Xavi told YouTuber DJMariiO in an interview for Post United.

“I see myself as capable and it’s a dream to return to Barcelona.

“I’ve said on a number of occasions that Barcelona is my home, it’s my life.”

Even if Barcelona is his dream job, Xavi is still enjoying his time in Qatar.

“I’m learning a lot in Qatar,” he explained.

“Obviously coaching Barcelona is a big thing. I have to think clearly.

“I have to be very prepared. It’s all a process and I hope that the chance comes someday.”


M. Kempes:’Barca is a train only passes once’ To Martinez

Former Argentina striker Mario Kempes has warned Inter’s Lautaro Martinez that Barcelona are ‘a train that only passes once’.

Links between Martinez and Barca are refusing to die down, and Kempes believes his countryman may not get another chance to join the Catalan giants.

“Lautaro, for a couple of years now, has proven to be a great No 9,” the 1978 World Cup winner told Tuttomercatoweb.

“He’s shown it at Inter and Argentina. I believe that the train only passes once and, beyond the fact that Inter are a great team recognised globally, Barca are totally different.

“Playing with Messi would be fantastic. If he stays with Inter, it could be a good thing in terms of him continuing to gain experience.

“But if he wants to go to Barcelona and Inter are willing to let him leave for good money…”


Lautaro ‘Wants Barcelona Move But Won’t Force A Transfer From Inter’

Inter striker Lautaro Martinez’ agents have received a huge contract offer from Spanish giants Barcelona but aren’t going to force a move away from the Nerazzurri, according to a report from NobleSports Reliable Source in ItalyThe report details how the Blaugrana have offered Lautaro a five-year contract worth €10 million net per season plus bonuses, which he has already accepted. Beto Yaque, however, has no interest in attempting to force a deal to take place, as he understands the wishes of the 22-year-old Argentinian international striker is to leave the Nerazzurri on good terms.

If Barcelona can’t sell enough players to raise funds for the deal, the report continues, they may not be able to pay his €111 million release clause. Inter aren’t interested in the suggested formula of €70 million plus two players in exchange, instead asking for cash only.There are no offers from England, the report highlights, as both Manchester City and Chelsea don’t have the funds to spend on the player. Lautaro and his entourage do consider Inter’s new contract offer worth €4.5 million net per season to be a little low, compared to the figures offered by Barcelona.


Ajax goalkeeper Onana open to Barcelona return amid PSG interest

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana has not ruled out the possibility of returning to Barcelona amid reports that PSG are interested in his services.

According to L’Equipe, the Parisians are keeping tabs on the 24-year-old Cameroon International, but such a move could be complicated by the presence of Kaylor Navas, his understudy Sergio Rico, on loan from Sevilla and Alphonse Areola, on loan at Navas’ former club Real Madrid.

Chelsea have also been linked with a move for Onana, with regular goalie Kepa Arrizabalaga’s future also a topic of speculation.

“It’s hard to say because with FC Barcelona, I am still in very good relations with the president, the coaches,” Onana told Canal+ Afrique.

“As I said earlier, Barca is my home. If I have to go back, I will go back. But today we are still far from it. I’m the Ajax goalkeeper and we’ll see what happens at the end of the season.

“I only take care of the ball game, what happens at the stadium. The rest are my agents who manage.”

Onana started out his career at youth level with Barcelona in 2010 before moving to Ajax in 2014 where he has been the mainstay since the 2016-17 season, playing 178 times in all competitions and keeping 74 clean sheets.

He was a key figure in Ajax’s run to the semi-finals of the Champions League in the 2018-19 season.

Barcelona meanwhile are continuing to negotiate a new contract with their current first choice goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Sources close to the Catalan outfit revealed to Goal last month that Ter Stegen is looking to land an annual salary of around €15 million a year (£13m/$17m). That wage packet would position him among the top earners at Camp Nou, with only captain Lionel Messi above him.

The 27-year-old believes that, after six years with the club, he deserves to have pay parity with the likes of Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and former favourite Andres Iniesta.

Barca are not questioning his value to their cause, but they cannot afford to dig that deep when Financial Fair Play regulations are taken into account.


Lautaro’s agent: There’s a big chance that he goes to Barcelona

An interview featuring Sergio Zarate, one of Lautaro Martinez’s agents, will have given Barcelona fans reason to get excited. But according to the latest report, agent Beto Yaque clarifies that Sergio Zarate is not Lautaro’s agent.

Zarate was asked about the possibility of his client moving from Inter to Barcelona and said it could happen.

“There is a big chance,” he said in response to that suggestion to NobleSports Reliable Source.

When it was put to Zarate that the player could go to Real Madrid, he said that Barcelona would be a better fit.

“The person who decides is the player,” Zarate said.

“With Lionel Messi there, I think there is a bit more of a chance of him going to be with the greatest of all.”

Zarate also responded to comments recently made by Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti.

“They can think all they want, but it’s the market that decides these things,” the agent said.

“When the giants of Europe want a player, they go with everything.”


Ex-Argentina international Fabbri: Lautaro is perfect replacement for Suarez

Former Argentina international Nestor Fabbri believes Lautaro Martinez would fit in to the Barcelona team just fine.

The forward has been linked with a move to the Camp Nou, with his release clause at Inter set at 111 million euros.

One pro of joining Barcelona would be to link up with international teammate Lionel Messi and Fabbri thinks the two would work well together.

“Lautaro could be the ideal replacement for [Luis] Suarez,” Says Nestor Fabbri

“He could form a very good partnership with Messi”


Barcelona’s 20 signings under Bartomeu

Over the past decade, Barca have spent £1.23 billion on new players, giving them the fourth-highest net spend of any team in Europe.

Make of this what you will, but current president Josep Maria Bartomeu took the reins in 2014. Let’s take a look at 20 Barca’s signing under him:


• Clément Lenglet

• Arturo Vidal

• Arthur Melo

• Antoine Griezmann

• Paulinho

• Frenkie de Jong

• Jasper Cillessen

• Samuel Umtiti ⠀


• Arda Turan⠀

• Philippe Coutinho⠀

• Aleix Vidal⠀

• Ousmane Dembélé⠀

• Kevin Prince-Boateng⠀

• Denis Suárez

• Lucas Digne

• Jean-Clair Todibo

• Moussa Wagué⠀

• André Gomes

• Vitinho⠀

• Yerry Mina⠀

Many of their prospective summer targets are likely to inspire either.


Barca ‘prepares to make another attempt’ to sign Bernardeschi from Juventus

Barcelona are again interested in Juventus outcast Federico Bernardeschi, As per information Gathered by NobleSports from maintains Spanish newspaper Sport.

The versatile attacking midfielder had already been linked in January as part of a potential exchange with Ivan Rakitic.

Milan have also approached Bernardeschi in recent months, considering a straight swap with Lucas Paqueta.

According to Sport, Barca are prepared to make another attempt to sign the 26-year-old Italy international over the summer.

The former Fiorentina man has made 24 competitive appearances for Juve this season, contributing one goal and one assist.

He has featured in a variety of roles including midfield, trequartista, as part of a trident attack or as a winger, but failed to really impress in any of them under coach Maurizio Sarri.


Luis Suarez on Gabriel Batistuta: You were an idol for me

Luis Suarez has made clear that he holds a significant amount of admiration for Gabriel Batistuta, with the former Fiorentina icon being one of his idols when he was a youngster.

Batistuta’s powerful style was attractive to many people of Suarez’s generation, as was his eye for goal.

“I would like to tell you that you were an idol for me since I was a boy,” Suarez declared.

“For football, you were the greatest thing I saw: an impressive strength with an ability to score goals of every different type.

“I tried to imitate you since I was a boy, and for that I admire you very much.

“You’re an idol for me and I would like to be able to meet you and talk about football when this bad moment [the coronavirus crisis] passes.”

Batistuta was actually given a chance to react to these words when he was shown the video during an interview with Juan Pablo Sorin on Instagram.

“Ha, did he say he tried to imitate me?” Batistuta responded.

“It went too well for him, he always lets me know that I was his idol, but on top of that I invited him to a barbecue and he doesn’t want to come.

“There will be time to join us, Luis.”


Antonio Pizzi:’Lautaro is the player that best suits Barcelona’

Juan Antonio Pizzi believes that Lautaro Martinez is the player that best suits the Blaugrana.

What opinion do you have of Erling Haaland?

I think he’s a very good footballer; he’s no longer a project. He is playing at a level that would stand out in any league, although I think you must consider the German league is fundamentally different from the Italian and Spanish ones. You have to see how he could adapt to those situations, but he undoubtedly has very great potential as a footballer.

The other name is Lautaro Martinez, whom Barcelona are looking at. What impression do you have of him?

He is the prototypical example of how the position of centre-forward has changed in the modern game. I see a lot of Sergio Aguero in him. Lautaro has already demonstrated the qualities he has in Argentina with Racing and the national team. I think he is the ideal player; the style he has as a player is the one which best suits Barcelona. He also has an advantage in that he has performed at a very high level in the Italian league, which for me is one of the most competitive in the world. Any footballer who excels in Serie A is able to do so anywhere.


Messi’s enormous salary is the biggest obstacle Inter must overcome

Lionel Messi’s enormous salary is the biggest obstacle that Inter would have to overcome if they wish to sign him according to a report in today’s print edition of Tuttosport.

The multi-time world player of the year has drawn several links over a move to Inter in the past few days with it understood that relations between him and Barcelona’s management have broken down.

The Argentine national team attacker currently earns €40 million a year and the report claims he is unlikely to accept anything less than €50 million a year. Such a salary would have an impact of around €90 million on the club’s budget.

The report does however go on to recall what happened the last time Inter broke the bank to sign a player in Ronaldo back in 1997. Upon signing the Brazilian, Inter’s income from the stadium, marketing and sponsors all rose and that would undoubtedly be the same if Messi did arrive.


Barcelona table contract offer worth €10M per season to Lautaro Martinez

Barcelona have offered Inter striker Lautaro Martinez a contract offer worth an annual €10 million to them according to a report in today’s print edition of Corriere dello Sport.

The reigning Spanish champions have tabled the offer to the highly rated 22-year-old striker in a bid to try and entice him into joining them in the coming months.

Barcelona have seemingly identified Lautaro has one of their top transfer targets, if not their top one and Lionel Messi could also play a significant role.

As per the report, Messi could be asked to speak with his compatriot to try and further entice him to join the Nou Camp club.

Lautaro is currently under contract with Inter until the end of the 2022/23 season and has a €111 million release clause in his contract, something Barcelona reportedly do not wish to pay as they would prefer to do a player(s) plus cash deal for him.

This season he has made 31 appearances across all competitions, in which he has scored 16 goals and provided four assists for his teammates.


Chelsea want to sign Coutinho on loan for €13m & cover his entire wages

Chelsea are reportedly interested in offering Philippe Coutinho a route out of Barcelona as part of a loan deal that would see them cover his entire salary.

Coutinho struggled to adapt to life at Camp Nou following a £142m switch from Liverpool in January 2018 and has spent this campaign on loan at Bayern Munich.

The Bavarians have an option to buy clause, which stands at £109m, but are unlikely to activate it when the transfer window eventually reopens after the coronavirus pandemic.

Coutinho has been linked with a Premier League return amid interest from Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea.

Reports have claimed Barcelona are holding out for an £80m fee for the playmaker.

With clubs seemingly unlikely to pay that much for a player who turns 29 next year, Barcelona could loan him out again next season.

And Spanish newspaper Sport say Chelsea are willing to pay a £11.5m(€13m) loan fee and cover Coutinho’s entire wages, which are around £250,000-a-week.

Blues boss Frank Lampard is looking to bolster his attacking options this summer and has already signed Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech for £33m, a deal which will be made official on July 1.

Coutinho, who is able to play out wide or as an attacking midfielder, would only add more firepower to Chelsea’s frontline.

Lautaro to accept the €7m-a-year offer that Barcelona tables for him

Inter striker Lautaro Martinez has prepared to accept the offer that Barcelona have tabled for him according to a report from Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo.

The 22-year-old striker has been heavily linked with the Blaugrana club for a good few months now with it understood that he is one of their top transfer targets ahead of the Summer transfer window.

Barcelona have offered him a contract that would come with a €7 million annual salary, which is three times the amount he is currently earning at Inter, who he has a contract with until the Summer of 2023.

The huge salary increase is one of the reasons why Lautaro is convinced about accepting their offer and another reason is the possibility to play alongside compatriot Lionel Messi at club level too.

With the player now seemingly keen on the switch to the Blaugrana, it remains to be seen if Barcelona can strike a deal with Inter over his transfer.


Inter & Juve to rival for Dembele as Sarri’s side to offer Rugani in deal

Inter and Juventus have recently shown an interest in young French international Ousmane Dembele, per GdS reports.

The report claims that both Italian clubs want to sign Dembele and Juve director Fabio Paratici offers a swap deal involving Rugani.

Dembele has only played around a third of possible minutes since signing for Dortmund and even when fit has failed to become a fixture.

Before this season was interrupted by the coronavirus he had played just two full matches in LaLiga.

Last season he also played just two full games. If he is sold the club will have to take a huge hit on the player they signed for €105m (£92m) plus €40m (£35m) in add-ons three years ago


Barca chases swap deal for Juventus’ Cancelo

Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo is wanted by Barcelona in a deal seeing Nelson Semedo going the other way, with Europe’s top clubs now ready to look at swapping players when the next transfer window eventually opens.

Spending is expected to fall following the loss of revenue from the coronavirus crisis but trading players is being explored by Champions League clubs. Juventus are also understood to have made enquiries about available players for such deals.

Alexis Sanchez’s switch to Manchester United with Henrikh Mkhitaryan going to Arsenal was a rare swap in the Premier League in recent seasons but are appearing increasingly attractive among chief executives once football opens its doors again and the season is completed.

Cancelo, 25, arrived at the Etihad last summer from Juve in a part exchange with Danilo worth £60million. But the Portugal international has started just eight Premier League games and City could use him to freshen up their squad for next season.

Pep Guardiola was asked about Cancelo’s future before sport was halted for Covid-19 spread, with the City manager suggesting he would not stand in the way of a player if he wanted to leave. “This player we bought him for many years, not for six months, but what happens happens,” he said.

Semedo, 26, is Cancelo’s international team-mate and has been at Barca for three years following a deal from Benfica worth £26.5million plus add-ons. He has two full seasons on his deal at the Nou Camp but has not agreed a new contract.

Guardiola also has Kyle Walker competing for a place at right-back but Semedo would add competition in that area.

A swap deal could freshen up both squads without spending cash, while also allowing budgets to be spent elsewhere. Juventus have a recent history of successfully targeting free transfers and swapping players is also seen by the Italians as a good transfer strategy.


Barcelona willing to accept a lower bid to offload Coutinho

Barcelona are reportedly willing to cut their losses and accept a bid lower than their ideal asking price to offload Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian midfielder is expected to leave the Nou Camp this summer after failing to prove a hit since his transfer from Liverpool in 2018.

Coutinho had hoped to secure a permanent switch to loan club Bayern Munich but the Bundesliga giants have decided not to exercise their option to buy.

Barca have now been left in a difficult position as they plan on using any cash from Coutinho’s sale to fund moves for other targets.

The Evening Standard report that the Catalan club are now prepared to accept bids in the region of £70-80million to part with the 27-year-old.

That is a significant mark down from the deal they agreed with Liverpool, which cost an initial £106m up front with a further £36m due in add-ons – some of which have already been met.

Barca boss Quique Setien was open to the idea of Coutinho returning to the club and joining back up with the first-team.

But given the current coronavirus crisis, Barca need to mke one major sale to boost their transfer kitty, and Coutinho is the man set to make way.

Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez and PSG’s Neymar are top of Barcelona’s wishlist, but neither will come cheap.

That rules out any likelihood of a loan agreement for Coutinho, unless it includes an obligation to buy.

Coutinho has still managed to record a decent season in Germany, providing nine goals and eight assists in 32 appearances across all competitions, with only 22 of those coming as starts.

Several Premier League clubs have shown an interest in the playmaker, most notably Tottenham, but there have been no concrete enquiries as yet.

Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal have also been mooted as possible destinations.


PSG Refuse to Hold Neymar Transfer Talks With Barcelona Until Coronavirus Crisis Eases

Paris Saint-Germain are refusing to negotiate with Barcelona regarding a potential return for Neymar, with contract situations and the coronavirus crisis meaning other issues take priority.

Sparing you the repetitiveness, Neymar is probably going back to Barcelona at some point. You’ll be hearing about it for even longer than you already have, only the latest developments mean you’ll be hearing about it for even longer now.

Continue reading PSG Refuse to Hold Neymar Transfer Talks With Barcelona Until Coronavirus Crisis Eases