News of the Day: July 15, 2010

So, it feels like time has slowed down. Perhaps it’s that I’m in the middle of one of those horrible “gotta look for an apartment” moments where my antipathy towards brokers reaches a tipping point and I just want to scream into the phone that no, I really don’t want a [bleeping] [bleep] [bleep] studio in the middle of [bleep] [bleeping] [bleep] nowhere. And then there have to go and be rumors. Quickly, the daily wrap:

Javier Faus, our VP of Economic Area and Strategy, has come out with a press conference on our €155m loan. I’ll let more financially-minded people answer the question as to whether this is intelligent or not or whether it even signals anything negative from us. The loan breaks down as such: €79m to repay previous debts (which I think means that this whole loan package should be mentioned as €76m new loan), €15m for previous guarantees (not explained in what I’ve read), and €61m to cover “outstanding salaries and payments.” I think it’s fair to say that this is a short-term cash problem rather than a systemic failure or insolvency problem. It remains to be seen, of course, whether that is true, but it is certainly more likely than anything. [Thank you to reader Patrick for his insight into this particular area]

What is odd, however, is that we still have €50m for transfers this summer. Weird, if we’re strapped for cash and we just used all of our loan to cover other things. Makes me think that Rosell is merely posturing about the fiscal crisis at Barcelona. Why do I think this? Hidden away in EMD’s report about it is a little gem: our debt stands at €210m. Don’t believe me? What about quotes from Faus himself:

“Debemos 210 millones a los bancos (155 del crédito sindicado y 50 por pólizas de crédito) y tenemos que ganar 50 millones anuales, devolver los créditos e invertir en las instalaciones y en jugadores.”

We owe 210 million to the banks (155 from the syndicated loan and 50 for credit policies [I’m not entirely sure what “pólizas de crédito” means in English financial jargon]) and we have to earn 50 million yearly, repay the loans, and invest in infrastructure [facilities, literally] and players.”

Odd, then, that we’re looking at “astronomical debt” when just under half of the debt comes from the recent €76m in new loans we took. So, roughly speaking, besides Faus’ bad math (155+50=205, not 210), we seemed to be pretty terrific financial shape. Funny enough, Faus remarked that the signing of Ronaldinho was part of the gradual increase in our debts–funny, of course, because it was Rosell that got that deal worked out in the first place. Suffice to say that Rosell and his administration come off as sounding like they’re talking out of their asses, even if they are giving it to us straight.

Another slight caveat here. According to (yes, yes, I know, don’t trust them): “[Barça’s] debt at the end of June 2009 stood at €202 million, up from €190m the year before.” It makes perfect sense, then, that the debt would be, after a year of paying off debt in rather intensely (if Laporta and the member-approved budget is to be believed), at €210 thanks to €76m in added debt. That’s not a knock of what could be a useful amount of money, but it certainly isn’t the end of the world.

Marquez to leave? This one seems fairly obvious, but then again, we just shipped out Chygrynskiy, so who is Rafa’s replacement cover? It strikes me that Muniesa, Bartra, and Fontas are all capable of making the step up, so why not let them? Muniesa’s record of 1 red card per first team appearance has to be a fluke, right? Regardless, El Kaiser de Michoacan has given us a lot of wonderful playing and if he goes, I’ll remember him fondly despite his ineptitude and aggression against the US in international play. And the ubiquitous and horrible commercials he was in throughout the 2006 World Cup while I lived in Mexico.

Apparently we like Javi Martinez. Okay.

Apparently we like Filipe Luis. Okay, but why didn’t we sign him last year for, uh, free? Didn’t the court for arbitration for sport (or whatever it’s called) rule that we could have him on a free? I can’t seem to find the link, but anyway, he was valued at €10m by us (and like €234897million billion by Lotina), so anything less than that would have been worth it, no? Of course, we didn’t do that and instead picked up Maxwell for €5m which was a great deal in the end.

More news to come tomorrow as things continue to pick up steam around these parts.

Categorized as Team News

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. Concerning the “Apparently we like” statements: with this new administration, it is not clear to me whether the preferences that I am hearing rumors about belong to Rosell or Guardiola.

    In Pep We Trust. In Rosell, Not So Much.

  2. My mind is boggled as to who we actually will sign with out €50million as soon as we move on from Cesc cos let’s face it, if we were to sign Cesc we would have made some progress with Arsenal.

    A lot of people are suggesting that we should sign a left back but that makes no sense to me with Abidal & Maxwell’s form last season. If we were to sign a left back I’d be looking at Fabio Coentrao of Benfica instead of Filipe.
    A backup right back to alternate with Alves is obvious enough. Van der Wiel is the easiest fit. Azpilicueta has joined Marseille so he’s out so Cristian Ansaldi is the only real alternative.

    A defensive midfielder will be tough to pick and we will need another attacking midfielder to fill in for Xavi and Iniesta. I don’t have the answers to those though

    1. Agreed on the whole LB thing, I dont see why we need another one just yet as the Greyhound is still tearing it up and Max is filling in beautifully. Although getting Coentrao would be a great pickup as we could use Max as Midfield backup.

      At RB we missed out on a great signing in Azpilicueta, but we have our young blokes to fill in when Dani is out.

      With Toure gone, the question of a DM is raised, and that so called 50mil that we have could be used on the likes of Banega and/or Javi Martinez instead of hewhoshallnotbenamed. That will sort the midfield and both are players who can get into the passing game.

      Up front we are sound as a pound.

      PS: Citeh apparently just turned around and said… “Hmmm… this Pedro character looks ok, how much you want for him?” (Produces wallet filled with Saudi gold)

      Classic City

    2. No good Isaiah?

      I’ve only seen him once or twice and my cousin (living in Valencia atm) swears he is quality for a youngin.

      I like Martinez though, looks pretty good.

    3. He’s quality, but he’s more like a deep lying playmaker than a pure DM. I think we need a pure DM with some size on him more than Banega.

    4. Ever Banega is going to be an excellent, excellent player (he’s only 22). for midfield cover i think he’s an excellent choice, but Valencia would be nuts to part with him after losing Villa and Silva in the same summer.

  3. I seem to remember that we still owed several clubs some money for some of the transfers we have done the last couple of years, so maybe some of the money is going to wipe out that debt? Maybe the “Outstanding salaries and debts” portion?

    Otherwise the loan seems a lot like refinancing your house. We have loans at a certain interest rate, but it is a higher rate than we can get at the moment. The obvious thing to do is take out a loan that will pay off our old debts, but at a lower rate. The debt doesn’t go away, you just pay less over time to pay it off. That’s good business.

    As for Marquez, I wish him the best, whether he stays or leaves.

    I would like to sign Filipe Luis. I believe the deal with signing him for free had to do with him terminating his contract through a strange law – an option that no big club has taken with any player and an option that would open a pandora’s box in the game (I think it is the same law that had people saying Fabregas was going to opt out of his contract for very cheap). I’ve expounded on my love for Filipe before, so I will restrain myself this time.

    1. He got rid of the bowl looking thing… did he want to look uncool in the world cup?? who knows.

    2. it looks pretty bad in that picture. could just be a bad hair day. i liked it short in 08-09.

  4. im quite worried with our transfers thus far.
    look at EE. they have been signing good players and they did it quietly.
    we only signed villa so far and we lost a great DM, a back up CB, a CB starter in 3 years, a back up LW.
    yet, we spend the whole summer chasing a CM which is not the # priority.

    i’d say sign felipe luis, javi martinez and arteta.

    1. Who cares who they buy, after preseason last year they called Granero the new Iniesta and look at how he performed. These Pedro Leon and Canales type players are more to fill the quota for Spanish born players than anything else. Those players don’t have enough quality to make me worried.

    2. RM have signed good players? Sure, Di Maria will be good in the future, likely so will Canales, but they don’t need offensive help, especially from young unproven, overpaid kids. They need defense, because Arbeloa is not going to cut it.

    3. they sure have skills but EE can ruin any career. they are spanish you know, world champions 😉

  5. right now, I wouldn’t jump to buying Martinez or other midfielders just yet.

    Right now our priority is a RB or LB, Felipe is the best option for price and also hopefully negotiations go more smoothly. But his terrible injury puts a question mark over his head unfortunately. But there arn’t many good LB out there in the world, probably the hardest position to buy for. Abidal is probably the best out there (and yes, even better than EVRA)

    As with Madrid buying players, well they don’t have any youth players so for them buying players are their only option. As for us, fortunately, we now have space in defence for young defenders to be tested thanks to our President for pointlessly selling Chygry.

    Our biggest concern is Abidal and Maxwell getting old, plus a LB adds Maxwell to the midfield and it saves us from buying another squad midfielder or a RB.

    Alves is priceless for us, but we can’t hold on to him for ever, and well Pep and co. know now what a good RB has to be like for a team like Barca. So this makes it easier for us to look for the future at RB. maybe this season Pep wants to see what the youngins have install for us.

    Another big concern is Keita, he is getting old, but he is also another type of midifelder Barca should be looking for.

  6. Out of interest, at what price do we sell pedro for?I would say 25m but I don’t think city would pay that. I rate him on the same level of usefulness as di maria but there is the additional sentimental valua with pedrito

    1. Same usefulness as Di Maria? Que? We don’t know how useful Di Maria is for Madrid yet, but I can almost guarantee he won’t score 21 goals and won’t chase down every lose ball and work for the team as hard as Pedro does. No chance.

  7. Supposedlywe are interested in Adriano from Sevilla as a RB backup for Alves. I say hell no. Smells like a Rosell move to me.

    1. Is that the fullback signing EMD is claiming is imminent? Adriano is versatile and fast, but I don’t really like the defensive side of his game. I don’t know, he is almost ambidextrous and can play both LB, RB, and winger, but I’m not convinced.

    2. Eh, I’m thinking about it and his versatility and speed really is a good thing.

    3. Adriano is a fine player,I always wanted him at Barca. Perfect for the bench. Hes aggressive,fast and very competent going forward. Hes defensive side can improve. What do you want,spend 20 mil on a bench warmer? Rossell does like the Brazilians

    4. Nah, not 20 mill, the only thing I’m questioning is his defensive abilities, but besides that, we agree on his qualities.

    5. I doubt Sevilla are willing to sell though, they are not short of money. So I don’t expect Sevilla to sell only for 9.5 mil

    6. El Mundo Deportivo reporting the deal is closed for 10 million euros plus variables. Sad that AS has more inside info regarding Barça than EMD.


  8. I was hoping to get some more details about the loan. What Faus said about the loan breakdown it more or less what we know already. Basically we need to know more about the following:

    – 79 M will sub old bad debts or will serve costs of existing debts or mix of this and that? If the 79 M will take the place of old debts then our overall debt must not increase by 155M, but 76 M.

    – I didnt understand the 15 M. Did they pay debts due to other clubs from previous transfers? Again That means that we closed a liability that was basically increasing the overall debt . Bank debt increased, but the overall financial status didnt (for this part).

    Which leads to say that we are not diving 155M deeper in loan, but only 61 M in the best case or something closer to the 100 M depending on how the rest of the loan will be distributed.

    There is another unclear point about renegotiating the bank guarantees three years from now.

    There is also the austerity procedures that will be applied to meet the requirements of this loan what kind of operation costs will be chopped first and what will the impact be on the long term.

    I will not comment on the transfer budget, I am sure we will hear something totally different before I publish this comment. They are not good liars in this one.

    Now Sandro has the cash to do his promised financial reengineering. Let’s see how it goes…

  9. Cesc said (regarding shirt incident) “whoever doesn’t understand that it was a joke and wants to take it wrong, has no sense of humor.” Damn.

  10. Another Brazilian RB from Sevilla….

    The last one has been awesome, why not?

    He’s a very impressive player, and can play either side at fullback or wing…

    Something like an ambidextrous Maxwell, except younger…

  11. Khedira close to signing for EE. Not liking this,the usual mourinho tactic-pack the team with DMs

  12. some fans in albacete are petitioning for the stadium of albacete balompie to be named after iniesta and he is not even retired yet 😆
    it would be great albacete balompie got promoted then
    iniesta can play in a competitive match there.
    or they should arrange a friendly, iniesta vs the world

    and he even has a street under his name.

    they really love him over there.

    any updates on luis?
    is adriano better than luis? i dont think so.
    and luis loves our club. he was in tears last year

    1. It looks like Filipe Luis is close to signing with Atletico again. I think Adriano’s versatility is the reason he is being considered. He really can play a bunch of positions and use both his feet extremely well.

  13. If it was up to me, id scrap fabregas and focus on other positions. My take is bring back caceres, use him as backup for dani alves. Dont sell anymore CB, and buy Coentrao; Maxwell is now a midfield backup. Buy Schweinsteiger to play at DM. End of Story 🙂

    1. I always wanted Caseres to succeed but man he’s a nervous wreck when he has the ball. Unfortunately for him that is the main attribute a Barca player needs to have.

  14. Adriano deal is done and dusted apparently .
    It seems like its a pep signing and came out of nowhere, extremely versatile and being a real enhancement of our rotation squad!

    1. you won’t believe me but I always thought he’d be great for barça when we played vs sevilla he has so many virtues… the dude can play anywhere and always good, and he has good touch ( I believe he can really do tiki taka with our players ) great defense and personality. he can sit on the bench and probably won’t complain and he’s only 26!!! I thought he was older. what a perfect silent signing

  15. I was walking my Scotch terrier the other day, when I was approached by a man who said – “Look, I won’t pay 50 pounds for your dog”.

    I sad, politely – “Excuse me, but this dog is not for sale, he is the member of our family”.

    But the guy went on “No no no I will not be held for ransom no way I will pay you 50 pound for this doggy”.

    I said “Why on earth do you think I would even consider selling my dog to you?”

    He said “But I am Scott and we share the same DNA”.

    I sad “look, Sandro..”

    He said “How do you know my name is Sandro?”

    And I said “The whole world knows it now”.

    1. is the dog terribly bored and stuck in your tiny garden? just look for his own good if you like animals so much. let him play in our private forest 😉

    2. Perhaps you should consider the following facts :

      1) Your dog WANTS to go the other man
      2) The other mans family doesnt want the dog
      3) You probably secretly want to milk 80 pounds for the dog
      4) The dog was raised by the other man, when taking advantage of a legal loophole you took him to your place for peanuts.

    3. Or all the while the dogs really attempting to visit some guy names flo-flo house to dress in white for about 400 pounds, and you and Sandro argue NOTHING.

    4. And in the meantime since the terrier is actually Spanish he takes a sh*t on the street. Lesson: You can talk the talk but you better look down when you walk!

  16. should the singing of adriano be interpreted as if maxwell did the best season possible?

    1. No Maxwell was great, and similar to Adriano he is very versatile. My concern would be the fact that Maxwell and Ibra seem to be joined at the hip when it comes to transfers. Think about it….
      However as we all know mf is the key next reinforcement. Anyone know anything about this Capoue guy?

    2. Think we have too many non EU players to sign a Brazilian. He might be headed to Lazio anyway.

  17. now even busquets has a stadium under his name.
    both the octopus and ghostface iniesta will have a stadium under their name.
    busi in the Second Regional Division and iniesta in the segunda

  18. what are the odds of us using the loan of Keirrison to Santos as leverage for a bid on either Neymar or, more importantly, Ganso? i’ve heard this before, it makes sense, and the latter especially i think is going to be fantastic; his passing is exquisite in a very un-Brazilian way and looks more than capable of fitting into our midfield.

    it’s the midfield that’s really bothering me right now. center-back could be remedied by bringing up some of the youngsters (although ideally not a position you’d want to throw kids into), but we only have *4* proven midfield players in our entire squad without promoting kids: Xavi, Iniesta, Keita, and Busquets. that’s it. we’re all familiar with Iniesta’s injury problems, Xavi HAS to be worn down from 3 straight years of football and Busquets hasn’t yet faced a full season as first-choice DM. we must sign another 1 or 2 quality midfield players who are capable of slotting in with little fuss and i’m not seeing any names beyond Cesc flippin Fabregas. that’s worrying.

    1. This how we have been doing business the past few years though. The press will be harping on and on about one player and then all of a sudden we sign another player pretty much out of the blue. Happened last year with both Ibra and Maxwell and just now with Adriano (I hadnt heard a thing before the deal was pretty much done). It wouldnt surprise me at all if the press keep going on about Fabergas while we do some other deals in the background.

    2. adriano can play there me thinks, and do more “flashy offense” than keita

      besides thiago and JDS are more than ready, I thought they were gonna play more with the 1st team last year

    3. Santos denied any agreements with Barca (first option or so) for any player they have as a part of Keirrison agreement. But you never know.

      There were whispers about Javi Martínez. But I cant take it seriously yet. I strongly agree we need midfield signing (Though I also consider signing a CB as a must, if Marquez leaves). I think the 4 midfielders are covered by other players who can serve there. With Pedro-Ibra-Villa, Messi can play in the midfield. Pedro can also serve there. Maxwell played some good games in the midfield and now with Adriano in the squad things are slightly better. Beside the youth who will get better chance this season -I hope. Not to say that we dont need a midfielder -because we do need. But even one midfielder without considering the mentioned options will not be enough.

      “i’m not seeing any names beyond Cesc flippin Fabregas. that’s worrying.”

      I see it more promising than worrying. Adriano Vs Cesc samples shows that the best deals are the deals that take place behind closed doors. We are still in July, its a long way till the end of August.

    4. President of Santos said we have no first option or anything preferential on Neymar and Ganso.

  19. A physical mf who can double as a cb would be perfect. Im all for the youth but we need someone who can play a lot of games a season

    1. Remember we have just sold a lot of size. With mourinho as typical we will see a bigger more physical ee

    2. I’d generally agree with this point. Although, with a good CB you have the possibility of pushing Pique into a DM roll.

      I still think Yaya going away means Pep is set on a Busi/Kieta DM system with random fill-ins in a worse case scenario.

    3. True but Keita is one player,we need a backup with similar qualities.
      What happens if barca sell ibra-who’ll be the plan b

    4. Keita as DM backup will only happen if we sign another box to box player, otherwise, we will sign a DM to backup Busquets.

  20. Great news about signing Adriano, even though it means we won’t sign Filipe or Van der Wiel.

    I agree with Dave, we need a strong, fast, physical center mid who can also double as a center back. Then we need one more versatile midfield player, and we could be in good shape.

    As Keita is getting old, how about someone like Ramires to replace him?

  21. To ride the bench behind Alves, I’d be content with Adriano…
    but notice the Barça style in signing players, no press, no rumors, just almost seemingly buy. Cesc and Wenger are the ones giving us a bad name. Stay at Arsenal Cesc, we don’t need the theatrics.

  22. Adriano signing is official in principle. 9.5 +4 in variables. *

    Regarding the midfield, we will certainly sign 1 or 2, so I wouldn’t worry too much. Surely Pep wouldn’t go into this upcoming season with a short squad again, knowing how unhappy he was he didn’t get the midfield cover last summer. Sport and EMD will continue to pick names out of hat, while we, the club, sign players without fuss.

  23. from the official site, re: adriano


    9.5 million euros plus 4 in variables

    august 14 sevilla vs barca in spanish supercup

    “he has demonstrated in his last 6 seasons with sevilla not only his ability and quality but also a versatility that has permitted him to be chosen by the barcelona coaching staff.” i.e. Pep wanted him.

    1. LB, RB, LM, RM, LW, RW. Definitely the most versatile player we have on the squad right plus, he can use both feet extremely well.

      I forgot when it was, but one of the matches against Sevilla, he was giving Dani a problem on our right side of the field.

  24. Baby Kxevin likey the Adriano signing. The only problem is that I call (Henrique) Adriano because he didn’t play well enough for us to warrant his real name. This is confusing me. So henceforth, Henrique is Gone Adriano, and then Adriano is …. well …. Adriano.

    All clear now?

    And Rosell has come out to say that Ibrahimovic is going nowhere. Check out THIS ringing endorsement:

    “He is our player until our coaching staff says otherwise,” said Rosell on the club’s official website. “For the time being they have said they want him.”

    I’m not even going to try to like Rosell any longer. I give up. In other words, I don’t like him, but the coaching staff does, and they might rebel if I sold him from under their noses as I did a certain big, furry Ukranian.

    And Fabregas has spoken as well:

    “I make no apologies for the comments I have made in the past. I have expressed my interest in returning and I stand by that, as that is my personal wish.”

    If it’s your personal wish, man up and submit a transfer request. We’ll know you’re serious when you do that.

    To me, rather than the dog analogy above, submitted by a literary-minded Arsenal supporter, this situation is like when your girlfriend wants to leave you for another man, and you blame the other man. If that’s what gets you through the night, rock on, but this situation was bollixed up from the start, and still hews to my contention that we had no real interest in acquiring Fabregas this season.

    The Adriano deal is how Barca does business, as I have also said before. A name pops up, and ding! The deal is done, and it’s a great signing at a great price. Del Nido must have bought him for a plugged nickel if he’s selling for a scant 9m which, by the by, leaves us with 41m to play with, and we still have needs.

    I’ll have to go back and watch those Sevilla matches again now, before I get truly excited, but I recall him vexing the crap out of us. He looks as though he will fit right in, and is immensely valuable midfield cover, not to mention that he can also play fullback? Nice signing, Mr. Guardiola.

    1. “To me, rather than the dog analogy above, submitted by a literary-minded Arsenal supporter, this situation is like when your girlfriend wants to leave you for another man, and you blame the other man. If that’s what gets you through the night, rock on, but this situation was bollixed up from the start, and still hews to my contention that we had no real interest in acquiring Fabregas this season.”

      Exactly. It’s funny how he is just a “poor, little lad” without any culpability in the whole thing. Oh, well. Looking forward to the player(s) we sign for the midfield next.

    2. Stop denying the collective Barca conspiracy to hypnotize our dear Cesc!! Pique sending him text messages, Xavi talking about him, Puyol having drinks with him all come from orders from the higher-ups!!

    3. Even Del bosque called him to the national team to keep him close to the catalans!

      Kxevin and co. Stop living in denial.

    4. it’s true. don’t hate the player, hate the game.

      i always thought adriano l’imperatore(ex-inter, now roma) was the real adriano, despite his implosion. he was fucking badass in his day.

  25. The signing of Adriano brings depth and quality to our side. With it you can forget Van Der Weil cause, he will be primarily used as cover at RB, and in the midfield. Also he played with both Dani and Seydu for 2-2.5 years, so im sure he will fit right in. I see him as secon option RB, third option LB, 3 option DM and who knows where on the list in the Xavinesta role, I dont know him well enough to answer that question. So for between 13 million €, we got a bit of cover when we need it. I see him as a less offensive Hlieb in the midfield, but maybe a bit more offensive that Abidal at full back.

    1. That was one of the ones that I watched. Whoa! Um …. this signing is looking better and better, if’n you ask me. And he’s genuinely two-footed.

  26. “I have another four years of my contract,” recalled Ibrahimovic, who ironically wanted to “send a greeting to those who spread these rumors.” And Barca striker does not understand why they are speaking of his possible departure from the Nou Camp: “I congratulate all those who have used my name, because it’s fun being in Chelsea, Manchester City, and so on, without having been there “

    1. Damn, I love me some BANGS. You know he has a grasp of a language, when he do sarcasm innit.

    2. regardless of how you feel about his performances on the pitch, you gotta hand it to Ibra in how he treats the press: like the nattering adolescents so many of them are.

  27. goes to show how worthless rumors are…i dont remember sevilla’s adriano ever mentioned as a possibility until <24 hours before the signing. we cant ever know whats really going on, can we…

    just gotta wait for Pep to show his hand.

  28. HA! Now we have 2 Adrianos! Kxevin now HAVE to call Henrique by his “real” name! Ha-HA! 😀

    1. haha!

      That’s why I keep reading from top to bottom before posting anything 😉

  29. so is adriano correia dani’s back up or iniesta’s? or keita’s? either way, i’m pumped & he’ll be getting a lot of playing time. where’s our new dm, zubi?

    1. adriano can do anything, he’s that good. he has been 5 years in sevilla and people love him there, just like villa and unlike ibra. I just read he left sevilla in tears. Next year though, with abidal and maxwell I think he’s gonna play midfielder most of the games. I doubt he plays forward ever but pep is our coach who knows. I am already seeing him in camp nou, pressing like crazy, doing some tikitaka and running up to the box. He can turn into a cocu or a bakero or something like that what a player adriano he’s better than the earlier two (now that we have him) 😉 villa and adriano those are some signings (40 millon for both), not ibra and maxwell… we’re gonna kick ass just think of those two

      with our 1-4-3-3

      1 g: valdes/pinto
      2 rb: alves/barta/puyi
      3 lb: abi/maxwell/ADRIANO
      4-5 cb’s: puyi/pique/milito/marquez/fontas/muniesa
      6 dm: busi/keita/ADRIANO???
      7-8 om’s: xavi/iniesta/ADRIANO/??? … keita
      10-11 w : messi/pedro/VILLA/bojan/ADRIANO
      9 cf: VILLA/ibra/bojan

      villa and adriano are great they run a lot know our footy and can play in different positions.

    2. Ah, poipoi, I love how you always have to throw shots at Ibra, lol. At least you’re consistent.

      I’m also sure you were the happiest man in the world when Henry signed for the Red Bulls.

  30. Looking at midfield options a bit closer to home:

    Victor Sanchez: back from his “loan” at Xerex, he is a versatile midfielder who can also play fullback. I assume he will be sent along again this season, especially after the purchase of Adriano, but should he be given a chance to impress in the preseason?

    Alexander Hleb: back from his (successful?) loan at Stuttgart, he is a midfielder who could cover for Xavi and Iniesta or on the wing. Two questions surround his future with the club, first is he willing to accept a bench role, and second is Pep willing to give him a second chance. This one is tough to figure, but my guess is he is sold to raise some funds.

    Marc Crosas: a largely forgotten figure who is currently plying his trade fairly successfully at Celtic. Barcelona had the option to buy him back at the end of the 2009/2010 season, but whether that deadline has passed or not is unclear. May never be World Class, but if cheap midfield cover who can fit into the team is the objective, Crosas may be an option to look at. My guess is the closest to returning to Barcelona Crosas gets this summer is my comment right now, and it is a shame.

    Rafael Marquez: After his successful stint playing as a defensive midfielder in the World Cup, could he be the solution for a backup DM? My guess is he leaves this summer. He has been an excellent servant to the club, but there is a right time to move on.

    Jonathon Dos Santos and Thiago: will either or both of them receive substantial time this season? They are different types of players, but despite who you like more (I prefer Thiago) they both look like they deserve some first team time. My guess is they both get integrated into the first team squad this season, but barring any serious injuries don’t see much more time than the Copa and the occasional easy league game.

    Looking at that, I would say we seriously need to sign at least one midfielder, probably two this summer.

    1. As far as Victor Sanchez goes, I don’t think he will be with us past preseason. He turned down a couple of offers from Greece and Romania, but he will probably get one he will accept. He just isn’t good enough to play for the club.

      Hleb- We have shopped him around and there has been little to no interest in him, so Pep really have no choice but to give him a chance in preseason and see what he can bring to the team.

      Crosas- No chance. He hasn’t even played regularly for Celtic from what I hear, so I don’t see Pep paying the 2 million ( even though that’s cheap) to bring him back. This is the last summer we can buy him back and he had potential, but I think Thiago or Jonathan would be better choices.

      Marquez- I think he will go if we can get upwards of 6 or 7 million for him. Backup for DM, he isn’t reliable enough at this point for that role. I think Fontas has a serious chance to be a full member of the squad this upcoming season. If not him, then Bartra or Muniesa is next, but I think Fontas will hold it down.

      And as for Thiago and Jonathan- I think they will see significantly more minutes than they did last season, especially Thiago, because I think he has a contract length based on how much playing time he gets for the 1st team. Shame he probably won’t be able to take part in the preseason because of the u19 European championships, but I’m sure Jonathan will be invited to take part in preseason.

      I’m certain we will sign one midfielder and hopeful we will sign two.

    2. Hleb’s been shopped around with no interest. Why not? He may not be right for us but he’s a world class player. I can’t believe the nose-dive his career took when he came here. At Arsenal, he could’ve worn the number 10 and deserved it.

    3. Good post VS.
      In my opinion
      V Sanchez hasn’t got the pace for full back and has been overtaken by the younger ones for mf
      Hleb- oh dear,liked the idea of keeping him but can’t face another year of whinging
      Crosas see above V Sanchez.
      Marquez- no pace left but our most intelligent defender. Perhaps the prototype Barca defender for future transfers.Great wc in mid-f but I believe club level to now be a step above international, so it depends on pep’s instincts
      Jonathan and Thiago,yes like both.Jonathan more Xavi like imo whereas Thiago more like deco/shades of R10. JDS does the simple things well,strong lad too. Thiago more flash and explosive-Im a fan of both-but feel Thiago is closer

  31. Give me the €155m loan money.
    I totally deserve it because I was poor for just 18 years of my life.
    I will take it and go to City and you suckers will keep saying
    o YAYA this and o YAYA that, and THE MOUNTAIN – YAYA etc when I count my money.

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