*UPDATED* Kind of piggy-backing on Kxevin’s excellent news article yesterday, this has a few more links for you to check out. 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.
Juan Carlos Unzue- Goalkeeping Coach – FC Barcelona/Numancia
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* Sort of a transfer, but FCB’s long-time goalkeeping coach has moved to Numancia of the second division as their manager. He has been with the blaugrana since 2003 I believe, meaning he has basically been Valdez’s coach through all of the maturation, the bad times, and now in his prime. We wish him well.
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: Pick your poison here. Fabs wants to leave or he doesn’t? He told Arsene but Wenger is having none of it? Messi is sending him text messages… ZOMG!!! Seriously, it’s getting crazy around here with the rumors and Rosell still seeking the Catalan golden boy. Rosell has said he still think they will pull Fabs away from Arsenal before the end of the summer, and I would tend to agree with him.
LETECBSP: My opinion is that media scrutiny and Cesc’s admissions he wants to leave eventually cause Arsenal to cave, although the price will be too high. I wish Barcelona would focus efforts elsewhere until Cesc makes it abundantly clear to everyone in the world or he settles down and accepts he signed a deal with the Gunners for a lot of years.
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. Laporta, Rosell, and the like have all confirmed Ibra is going to stay, although you can’t go wrong with a great rumor about swapping Ibra for Pato, Robinho, or Fernando Torres.
LETECBSP: He’s staying, I’m about 95% confident on it. Unless some team like Man City makes an outrageous offer above €40M or so. Laporta all but confirmed this.
Dani Alves – Winger – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: We offered him an extension past his current deal, but it appears we short sold him in the process (seems to be a common theme for non-La Masia boys. So, Man City is coming in to offer some giant contract and some outrageous sum of money, although I seriously doubt he leaves and I am guessing this is just to call our bluff.
LETECBSP: He will stay, but we had better stop short-selling the kids, especially since Dani is the second best right back in the world.
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. Laporta recently said he wanted Toure to stay, but he wants to go and Man City is going to offer between $25-$30M, which is going to be enough.
LETECBSP: His move is “imminent”.
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. Now reports have that Shaktar may be looking to get back in on the game (TV interview). Apparently his brother recently said he talked to Dymytro and was told he was sticking around after the season, per Pep.
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, lots of smoke here may mean a fire?
Gregory van der Wiel – Defender/Winger – Ajax
Where We Stand: Woo rumors! A lot of clubs are interested in the talented Ajax right winger and Barcelona want him as a backup (possible replacement in the future) for Dani Alves. He is aware of the interest and rumors are that talks have occurred, although it seems now he is getting tired of the interest during the World Cup and is talking about being back at Ajax next year.
LETECBSP: If he can be had for around 12-15 million, Barcelona will sign him. I hope they do because he’s very good.
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. However, other reports have him going to Italy, possibly Sampdoria.
LETECBSP: May be coming back, may be going to Italy, I am unsure.
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. May be going to Santos according to Sport?
LETECBSP: He’s in Fiorentina until June 2011, then we will see. But if Santos comes a calling, I’m sure an amicable solution could be offered.
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. Looks like Barcelona is going to do just that, according to Sport.
LETECBSP: Looks to be coming back, but with the crop of players we have, I don’t see how he plays?
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 one option. However, his future, like most of these loaners, is so up in the air, it’s hard to guess. Looks like we balked at Juventus’s lower offer and they withdrew interest? AC Milan may also be interested here.
LETECBSP: Absolutely no idea?
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. He may be going back to Brazil?
LETECBSP: Again, your guess is as good as mine, probably a loan.
Gai Assulin – Winger – FC Barcelona/Atletic
Where We Stand: Rumors have that Arsenal and Chelsea are hot on his trail, wanting to find the next great young La Masia player. These rumors are still the latest, although a move away seems certain if Barça are not putting any pressure on him to stick around.
LETECBSP: His contract is up here and there seems to have been little, if anything, on FCB’s end to indicate they want to keep him around. He’s leaving.
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. His deal has an automatic two year extension if he becomes a permanent part of the first team over the next year (h/t vicsoc).
LETECBSP: Not leaving.
Marc Bartra – Defender/Wing Back – FC Barcelona/Atletic
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* Bartra, like JDS and Thiago before him, has re-upped until 2012.
LETECBSP: He’s going to be here for a long time, and is the future in the back.
Gerard Deulofeu – Winger – Juvenil B/Atletic
Where We Stand: The next big one or whatever you can be when you are only 16 and look like you won’t shave for another 15 years has signed his first professional contract.
LETECBSP: He’s young, but a lot of people like him a lot.
Fernando Quesada – Midfielder – Cadet A/Atletic
Where We Stand: Same as Deulofeu, he has signed his first professional contract.
LETECBSP: Second verse, same as the first. A lot of people rave about him, but 16 is 16.