Barca must countenance a Messi exit

Over the course of the last few days, an interview that Lionel Messi gave to a Catalan newspaper has received widespread coverage.

The reason for the same has been because it was arguably the most in-depth the Barca captain has been in some time, in response to a tough line of questioning.

Moreover, it was an extensive interview covering all topics, with seemingly nothing off limits.

Not even the thought of Messi earning his living elsewhere. Continue reading

Long way back for Umtiti

It wasn’t that long ago that Samuel Umtiti was a fixture in Barcelona’s back four. An untouchable player and one of the first on the team sheet.

He’d taken to La Liga effortlessly and, considering how prices for players have sky-rocketed, at just €25m, he looked like an absolute bargain.

His skillset also complemented that of Gerard Pique perfectly, and there were never any question marks over his starting spot in the team.

In the space of a year, all that has changed. Continue reading

Bartomeu puts Neymar myths to bed

In a late night interview with Barca TV, FC Barcelona club president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, finally had his say on the Neymar saga.

The soap opera of this summer dragged on for the final two months of the window, and eventually the Brazilian was unable to rejoin the Blaugrana.

Right up until the deadline, rumour and counter rumour kept everyone guessing, but it appears that much of what was written was inaccurate. Continue reading

Transfer chaos finally over for Barcelona

Here we are, the day after the end of another transfer window, and one which Barcelona will be glad has finished.

Even Ernesto Valverde alluded to being bored by it during his most recent press conference.

And it’s little wonder with a constant stream of rumours and counter rumours which the coach has to attempt to address when, frankly, other matters are far more pressing. Continue reading

Ansu Fati and Carles Perez hint at a bright future for Barcelona

After Nabil Fekir had put Real Betis ahead against Barcelona on Sunday, coming on the back of a surprise defeat at Athletic Club, supporters were already getting restless and the groans could clearly be heard.

By the end of the 90 minutes, the mood at Camp Nou had completely changed, however.

Antoine Griezmann’s fine performance was the main reason but there were plenty of other things to put a smile on the face of even the most pessimistic cule. Continue reading

Barcelona have to stop Neymar signing for Real Madrid

The transfer saga of the summer just keeps on giving.

Rarely can there have been so many column inches devoted to one player across the course of one transfer window.

But that’s exactly what’s happening with Neymar.

At the time of writing, the Paris Saint-Germain player is still no closer to knowing where he will be plying his trade next season. Continue reading

Barcelona had to let Coutinho go

Eighteen months ago, Philippe Coutinho arrived at Barcelona as the second most expensive footballer in history.

The Catalans also had a role in the most expensive when selling Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.

Though not ostensibly a replacement for his fellow Brazilian, Coutinho was at least expected to show the form that he had done for Liverpool. Continue reading

Why Ernesto Valverde is right to keep Ivan Rakitic at Barcelona

As the Neymar to Barcelona rumours intensify, it appears that Paris Saint-Germain are softening their stance towards the Catalans and will accept players in part-exchange for the Brazilian.

One name that is repeatedly mentioned as a makeweight is midfielder, Ivan Rakitic.

The vastly experienced Croatian has made it known that he wishes to stay at the Camp Nou and has no intention of moving, and coach, Ernesto Valverde, has once again sung his praises. Continue reading

Barcelona have hit the jackpot with De Jong

Pre-season is done and dusted, and now it’s time for all of the Spanish top flight clubs to get back down to business.

Barcelona kick-off the 2019/20 campaign with a visit to San Mames and a date with Athletic Club.

The Catalans come into their opening fixture full of confidence after a decent pre-season, albeit they’ve suffered an early blow or two with the injuries to captain Lionel Messi and reserve keeper, Neto. Continue reading

Barcelona v Napoli: Three things to watch

The second game in Barca’s double header against Napoli takes place on Saturday evening at the Michigan Bowl, the biggest stadium in the United States.

After touring Japan, flying back to Barcelona to take on Arsenal in the Gamper Trophy and then playing the Italians in Miami, this game will be their final warm-up before the new La Liga season begins in a week’s time.

Ernesto Valverde has had quite a bit to contend with across the last few weeks, not least and injury to Lionel Messi and a continuous pursuit of Neymar which has overshadowed everything else at the club. Continue reading