In news land, in brief:
—Pep Guardiola is going to sign on for two years after a meeting with Rosell. Our coach still prefers going year-to-year, but understands the value of the appearance of stability as regards a new president. Rosell wants an even longer deal, but Guardiola will not agree to that.
—The Yaya is headed to Citeh for around 30m, in deal that will be finalized in a day or two. There were many suitors, and it’s a nice bit of business for us, as we bought him for 7m. Like the decision or not, it’s also a great time to sell, since his wage demands will be significant, and his price will never be higher.
—Victor Sanchez has, however temporarily, returned home from his loan. No word on his future disposition, but there is no way that the versatile mid/defender gets a first-team shot, and after experiencing A-side life at Xerez (sure, giggle all you want, but he was still starting with a Liga side), it is difficult to imagine that we’ll be able to do anything for him except sell him or do another loan deal.
—Alexander Hleb will be meeting soon with new management and the coaching staff to get his future sorted. Rumors abound of interest from other teams in Italy and Germany, and if we sell him, it will of necessity be for a cut-rate price. That, and the depth that he would add to the midfield on the bench, almost argue for keeping him. At least we can give him a chance to redeem himself in pre-season, then sell him in the winter window for a price that won’t soak us as much.
–We have a new deal with MediaPro which the company’s head, Jaume Roures, describes as the best TV rights deal of any club in Europe. No numbers were disclosed, but expect rumblings from people who believe in a more egalitarian, Premiership-style sharing of TV wealth. After all, say the Deportivos and Bilbaos of the world, people tune in to watch us as well, when we’re playing you. Don’t we deserve a cut of that pie?
—Juan Carlos Unzue has left us to become head coach at Numancia. This opens up the keeper coach position, and the father of Sergio Busquets, Carles, is rumored to be one candidate for the vacancy.
–Yes, it’s true and official: Alberto Botia will be a Sporting Gijon player for the next four years, as we kept our word to the defender to facilitate his move there. We have repurchase rights, should he continue to improve, and show some of the immense potential that we all gawked at those few shots that he received with the A side.
And because we can’t let anything pass without getting silly ….
–Has Lionel Messi been texting HeWhoWillNotBeNamed, saying “Come to Barca, you big dummy?”
–Incoming president Sandro Rosell has been quoted as saying to EMD that he is “confident” that HWWNBN will be wearing the colors next season. Strong words.
—Sport is continuing its campaign, reporting that AC Milan’s Galliani has met with the agent of Ibrahimovic, and that we want 56m for a player who everyone has said isn’t for sale. Now, some will say “That means he isn’t for sale, so shut up.” Others will say that Arsenal are saying the same thing about HWWNBN, and yet the silliness persists. Who knows, but I do know that Torres isn’t the solution to that equation.
–“Oh yeah, we don’t like Txigrinski either,” says Sport, so they are reporting on a bit of speculation during a show on RAC1 as something approaching viability, that the Ukranian defender might return to Shakhtar, who would be happy to have him, and even pay us in return something approaching the price that we paid for him. Now, even the most logical person can see that deal making sense, right? “We sold you this dude for a bunch of money, and we’re sorry he didn’t work out for you, so we’ll buy him back at almost the same price, because we’re just nice that way. Yes.”
–Brazilian club Santos want them some Keirrison, as we continue to try to find a home for the player we bought in 2009 for 15m. Stay tuned for that one.
That should tide you kids over until the next World Cup matches start, eh?