Like many of you, I love the summer transfer window. Not because it offers any concrete information on players, but because it is filled with rumor-mongering, lying, and general tomfoolery on account of clubs representatives, agents, and the players themselves. While some may despise it for this very reason (ahem, fearless leader Isaiah, ahem); the level of bluster fulfills some deep-seeded desire for gossip that I just need. As such, I am tasked with providing you with all the juiciest gossip on Barça players and possible transfers. I will update this periodically, and if I miss something, I am sure you will all make it painfully obvious to me in the comments. Please remember this is all based on rumors and speculation for the most part.
David Villa – Striker/Winger – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* Barcelona and Valencia agreed to this transfer at some point before the end of the Liga season and announced it momentarily thereafter for a €40M transfer and signed a 4-year contract.
Luke’s Entirely Too Early, Completely BS Prediction (LETECBSP): He’s going to sign with FCB! YES!
Cesc Fabregas – Midfielder – Arsenal
Where We Stand: Wild speculation abounds. It’s all Cesc, all the time everywhere. Depending on who you ask he’s either coming for sure (me) or he is not coming and the price is too damned high (Kevin). My theory is that the new president will want to make a big-name signing, and in Catalan-ville, they don’t get any bigger than the “prodigal son” (if you fancy ham-fisted biblical references). Also, I think he really wants to leave, I mean, really does. I know he loves Arsenal, but depending on what signings are made they are at best the 3rd best club in the EPL, and at worst somewhere around 7th, and he wants to win trophies. Further, a lot of rumors have him telling everyone privately he wants to leave.
LETECBSP: My opinion is that media scrutiny and Cesc’s admissions he wants to leave eventually cause Arsenal to cave on the purported $80M price tag and bring it somewhere in the €40-€50M range, and we sign him. Although that is too high, I’m just calling it how I see it.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Striker – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: I hate to break it to the Eto’o apologists in the room, but this guy is not going anywhere. Despite outlandish rumors to the contrary (an $80M move to AC Milan, really?), Ibra’s agent has stated that he has no desire to move, especially to an EPL club, which seem to be the only ones who could afford the ransom it would require to buy him.
LETECBSP: He’s staying, I’m about 90% confident on it. Unless some team like Man City makes an outrageous offer above €40M or so. Laporta all but confirmed this today.
Thierry Henry – Striker/Winger – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: All but signed, sealed, and delivered to the New York Red Bulls in the MLS, although for some reason he wants a free transfer, even though he has a year left on his contract. I’m not saying he’s gone for good, but…
LETECBSP: He’s gone for good. Some rumor had him to West Ham of the EPL, but my sights are squarely on the NY Red Bulls so Henry can finish out his career in his favorite non-French city. I doubt he leaves on a free.
Yaya Toure – Midfielder/Defenseman – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: Well, his agent is an outright ass, so we know that much. Anyway, he’s probably gone for any number of reasons, not many I agree with. However, if some club offers anything north of €25M, we have to sell. No offense to the big guy, but he is in no way worth keeping with offers coming in at those numbers. While he may want to stay in Barcelona, he also wants time, and while the club may want to keep him around, other younger midfielders plus Pep’s preference for Biscuits may get in the way.
LETECBSP: 80% chance he leaves. I’ll move it higher if he has a great World Cup and a club like Man City offers us way too much money, but right now I’d say he leaves unless the market is dry or he just changes his mind.
Dymytro Chygrynskiy – Defender – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: Chygy has been linked to at least 4 EPL clubs (including Arsenal and Manchester United), but the big new rumor is going to Bayern Munich because Van Gaal loves him in the same way Pep does.
LETECBSP: I think he stays because Pep will put some kind of huge price tag on him, like $30M or something because he likes what he has seen previously. But you never know.
Alberto Botia – Defender – Sporting Gijon
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* Botia has been on loan to Gijon all season from FCB and the youth team. It has been confirmed that he is leaving on a free to Gijon and signed a 4-year contract, although FCB does retain buyback rights during the first 3 years. We wish him luck, and hopefully he will be back.
LETECBSP: He’s leaving for Gijon. Just call me Nostradamus people.
Pedro! – Attacker/Winger – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* Pedro has signed an extension with FCB until 2015.
LETECBSP: He’s going to be here for a long time and we are making a huge investment in him.
Xavi – Midfielder – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* Xavi has signed an extension until 2016. After 2013, he must play in more than half of all games in order for his contract to be extended on a year-to-year basis.
LETECBSP: He’s going to finish out his playing career here.
Aleksandr Hleb – Midfielder – FC Barcelona/Stuttgart
Where We Stand: After spending a year in Barcelona, being unfairly derided, and playing sparingly, Hleb was sent on a 1-year loan to Stuttgart where he started most games in the midfield and showed himself nicely. Now it seems he is on his way back to Barcelona in order to add much-needed depth at mid and hopefully atone for some mistakes.
LETECBSP: He’s coming back, although if he plays poorly this year, he’s gone for good.
Keirrison – Striker – FC Barcelona/Florentina
Where We Stand: After spending the first part of the year on loan to Benfica and playing very little, K9 was shipped to Fiorentina, where he played much better, scoring 2 goals and providing good work rate on the attack. As of right now, his loan to Fiorentina extends until the end of the 2010-11 season with an option to buy at €14M after that.
LETECBSP: He’s in Fiorentina until June 2011, then we will see.
Victor Sanchez – Midfielder/Defender – FC Barcelona/Xerez
Where We Stand: He spent the past year on loan to Xerez and scored 2 goals, while getting some good experience. VicSan spent the year over there on a free and FCB can recall him should they so choose.
LETECBSP: Um, yeah… Your guess is as good as mine. I’d bet his stay is extended permanently, but who knows?
Martin Caceres – Defender – FC Barcelona/Juventus
Where We Stand: Juventus wanted Martin, and they got him. He played well early on and I thought for sure he would be back in the blaugrana until he injured himself and only ended up playing 15 games, although he did score 1 goal. Juventus has an option to buy him now and that is a likely option.
LETECBSP: Probably staying at Juve and will be a big part of their future, although rumors of Arsenal swooping in have popped up.
Henrique – Defender – FC Barcelona/Racing Santander
Where We Stand: Well, he was pissed when he was shipped to Santander last year, especially after the signing of Chygrynskiy. Although rumors have him moving to a more competitive side on another loan, it may also be likely he gets a shot if Rafa is gone, or he may well be sold elsewhere due to clogging at the position and the entrance of Bartra.
LETECBSP: Again, your guess is as good as mine, probably a loan.
Gai Assulin – Winger – FC Barcelona/Atletic
Where We Stand: Being as it is sometimes difficult to find English information for youth games, I can tell you that he has scored 2 goals on the year for Barça Atletic. Recently, rumors have that Arsenal and Chelsea are hot on his trail, wanting to find the next great young La Masia player.
LETECBSP: Um, probably staying. Maybe he will get some more time for the big team? I have no idea. If someone came in with a good offer, I’m sure we might listen.
Jonathan Dos Santos – Midfielder – FC Barcelona/Atletic
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* Re-signed for two years with the club. Huzzah!
LETECBSP: He’s here until at least 2012.
Thiago – Midfielder – FC Barcelona/Atletic
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* According to Sport, he’s coming back with the same deal as his BFF JDS, it will be signed next week.
LETECBSP: Not leaving.