Category Archives: Barcelona

Manchester United Move In For £15m Italian As An Alternate Option For Barcelona’s Dani Alves

Manchester United have identified Torino full back Matteo Darmian as a January target. United are reportedly willing to offer £15m for the 24-year old.

Earlier reports indicated that Louis Van Gaal had agreed a deal with Barcelona to bring in Dani Alves as a free transfer in next June, however, the Italian international could provide a cheaper and better option for Manchester United. Darmian’s natural position is at right back, but he has been used as a left back and wing back on either side, which will be an added benefit to Van Gaal as the Dutchman has often used the 3-5-2 system this season.

Darmian has made 6 appearance in the Serie A so far and has caught the eye of Van Gaal in those games. He is contracted till 2017 and will definitely entertain the prospect of joining Manchester United from Torino as he’ll stand a good chance of making it into the 1st team. United’s current right back Rafael Da Silva has been in poor form, but has looked slightly better in the last few games. Van Gaal considered selling the Brazilian in the summer due to his injury record, but Rafael stayed on and proved his fitness. The addition of Darmian will also add competition to the squad.

Van Gaal has tried a number of formations this season but his defence still hasn’t convinced. The likes of Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Rafael have been deployed as right backs and right wing backs, but it hasn’t worked out so far. Darmian is used to playing in those positions, so his versatility will be of good use if United do manage to sign him.

Darmian graduated from the Milan academy in 2006 but failed to make an impression with the Rossoneri and was sold to Palermo in 2010 where he made 11 appearances. It was enough to earn him a move to Torino, and since moving to the Turin club in 2011, he has made 101 appearances.

11 Goals, 5 Assists – Chelsea Are In Prime Position To Sign This £32m Manchester United Target

Chelsea are set to make a £32m bid for Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado in the January transfer window according to Daily Express.

cuadrado
cuadrado

According to reports, the midfielder’s contract talks have come to a halt which have enabled some clubs to start considering a bid for the 26-year old. Cuadrado’s contract expires in June 2017, but despite that the Viola want to tie him down to a new deal as he is one of the best players in their squad.

The Colombian can play either as a winger or as a full-back. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho can use Cuadrado anywhere down the right hand side as his work rate is impeccable; a characteristic that the Portuguese manager likes his players to have.

Cuadrado has made 5 appearances so far for Fiorentina and has scored 2 goals in the process. Last season, he has bagged 11 goals and 5 assists in Serie A. He was an essential figure in Colombia’s World Cup run along with James Rodriguez and has the highest number of assists to his name.

Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Barcelona also interested

Cuadrado is also being chased by United, Bayern and Barcelona. The trio were linked with him in the summer transfer window as well. However, according to reports, Chelsea are in prime position to sign the winger.

He suits the profile of all the 3 teams because of the system they play. All the 3 teams tried the formation with 3 at the back which in turn requires good wingbacks to support the midfield and defence. While Barcelona tried to use Dani Alves as a wingback, Bayern used Rafinha in that position. Louis Van Gaal has changed the system after it did not produce the required results with attacking players like Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia playing as the wingbacks. Cuadrado’s signature could be the missing piece that could solve the ‘wingback position’ problem.

Cuadrado has represented Udinese, Lecce and Fiorentina in the Italian Serie A. He is at the peak of his powers now, so it won’t be long before he moves elsewhere to realize his full potential.

I like this atmosphere & I could see myself coaching here: Pep Guardiola Reveals His Admiration For Manchester United Hot Seat

A book on Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola was released on Wednesday, and there are certain excerpts in the book that Manchester United fans will be proud to read. The former Barcelona manager has revealed in the book that he could see himself managing in the Premier League someday with Manchester United, owing to the atmosphere of Old Trafford. In the book, he says, “I like this atmosphere. I could see myself coaching here one day.”

The book is written by journalist Marti Perarnau who revealed that Guardiola travelled to Old Trafford with his personal assistant to watch Manchester United in action and was impressed with the surroundings.

“It was 4 May 2011, and the pair sat together in the stands of Old Trafford watching Sir Alex Ferguson’s team beat Schalke 4-1. Once again Pep had turned to his friend and said: ‘I like this atmosphere. I could see myself coaching here one day.’ Guardiola has always felt a deep admiration, almost veneration, for the legendary teams and players of Europe.”

Guardiola has had a massively successful career so far after dominating the game with FC Barcelona in 2009 when they won an unprecedented 6 trophies using the ‘Tiki-taka’ style where the starved the opposition of the ball. He left Barcelona in 2012 after a 5-year spell and winning 14 trophies that includes 2 UEFA Champions League titles.

After leaving Barcelona, Guardiola stayed away from management for a year. He returned to management with Bayern Munich last season and has won 4 trophies with the club since then (Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup).

In the year when he decided to take the sabbatical, few clubs wanted to acquire his services. Perarnau also reveals in the book,

“During his sabbatical year in New York, the job offers poured in. His ex-colleague, Txiki Begiristain, the director of football at Manchester City, was very insistent. He also met up in Paris with Roman Abramovich, who was prepared to do anything to lure Pep to Chelsea … Within a few months Pep, had chosen Bayern.”

Considering the Louis Van Gaal is 63 years old, the United faithful will hope that Guardiola will eventually manage the club in the next decade or so.

 

 

SHOCKING! El Pistolero Wants Gerrard At Barcelona

Barcelona’s summer signing Luis Suarez has revealed that he would have taken Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard to Camp Nou with him if he had the power of doing so. Suarez also praised the 34-year old for his leadership skills, “I don’t think the fans would have been happy if I had taken their players, but every team could use Steven Gerrard.”He is such a leader, such an inspiration – Liverpool are very fortunate to have had him for his entire career.”

Suarez won the European golden shoe award after scoring 31 goals for Liverpool last season and the Uruguayan was presented with the award by none other that Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish earlier in the week.

At the event in Barcelona, Suarez thanked his former teammates, “My three-and-a-half years there were spectacular and I would not have won this without them.”

Gerrard wasn’t Suarez’s partner like the Torres-Gerrard days, but the retired England midfielder’s role was such that he could affect the play from deep. That role led to a lot of counterattacks with Gerrard being the catalyst of it all.

Suarez, the El Pistolero is set to make his debut for Barcelona after a lengthy ban resulting from him biting Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup. The 27-year old’s first game will be against Real Madrid on 25 October at the Bernabeu, which will be quite an occasion. The game is already being dubbed as Barca’s attack against Real’s attack, such is their fire power at the moment.

On the other hand, Gerrard’s team find themselves 9th in the Premier League after a slow start due to the signing of many news faces who are slowly starting to know each other. Like his former teammate, Gerrard too faces Real Madrid in the coming weeks as they host the La Liga giants in the Champion League. The last time these two sides met, Liverpool ran out comfortable winners with the captain scoring a brace.

Gerrard was linked with moves to Chelsea and Real Madrid through the course of his career but decided to stay with his boyhood club.

Report: Manchester United Target Demands A Massive £250,000 Per Week Salary

Barcelona right back Dani Alves’ exorbitant wage demands could scupper a potential deal to Manchester United as revealed by Daily Star. Alves, who had revealed that he wants to move to the Premier League, wants a mammoth £250,000 per week to play on the Premier League.

The right back was being linked with the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea after announcing that he’ll leave at the end of this season.

Considering Alves’ age (31), it’s highly unlikely that Manchester United and Louis Van Gaal will dish out wages as high as that. Another factor that could go against the Brazilian is that Manchester United already have a lot of high earners at the club. Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria earn in excess of £200,000-a-week. Balancing the books is key, even though United have massive cash inflow without Champions League football. Ed Woodward will not want to spend silly money after a summer where they have spent more than £150m in transfer fees alone.

A move to City might not be the a logical one as they already have Bacary Sagna as a backup option to Pablo Zabaleta. It will be really odd if they sign a right back with wages as high as Alves’ demands only for him to sit on the bench or make a handful of appearances. The only remaining option is Chelsea, but it remains to be seen whether or not Jose Mourinho entertains the idea of signing the Brazilian who isn’t the best when it comes to defending.

Alves will have to settle for wages significantly lower than that reported if he wants to play in the Premier League. Or he’ll have to look at the possibility of extending his contract with Barcelona before June if he doesn’t find the the French League too exciting where PSG and Monaco are waiting to pounce.

£10m Rated Arsenal Target Set To Be Offered A New Contract With European Giants

Arsenal are set to lose out on Barcelona attacker Pedro Rodriguez as his club are willing to offer him a new contract. Pedro’s current contract runs till June 2016, so the Spanish international has ample of time to decide if he wants to stay or move on. According to Mirror, the attacker will cost close to £10m.

Pedro had grown disillusioned after lack of game time last season and was prepared to move on, however, the 27-year old stayed at the club as manager Tata Martino was sacked and Luiz Enrique was brought in. Arsenal have suffered from injuries this season, and with Lukas Podolski set to leave in January, Wenger could make a bid for the versatile Barcelona player who can play in any position upfront.

Despite reports indicating that Barcelona want to keep the attacker, the emergence of Munir El Haddadi, Sandro Ramírez and the arrival of Luis Suarez, who is yet to play, will push Pedro down the pecking order. Subsequently, that might open the door for Arsenal who will want to strengthen in January after a disappointing start to the League that has seen them pick up only 2 wins after 7 games in the Premier League.

Pedro has made 7 appearances in all competitions so far, but after Suarez’s ban ceases to exist, one wonder how anyone will get into the team ahead of the Neymar-Suarez-Messi combination.

Pedro made his debut for Barcelona in 2008 after graduating from the famous La Masia academy. Since then, he has represented the club 174 times and scored 53 goals in the process. His best season was came in 2009 where he scored a total of 23 goals in 52 appearances and helped Barcelona win 7 unprecedented trophies under Pep Guardiola. His form in the last 2 season has petered off some what which has impacted his international career as he rarely starts a game for the Spanish national team.

Chelsea And Manchester United, Beware – City To Swoop In For Lionel Messi

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi could make a switch elsewhere if his long battle with the alleged tax evasion case sees no end. A few weeks ago, Messi and his father Jorge were accused of tax evasion and defrauding the authorities of close to £3.1m. The Argentina international will have to face a trial as the Spanish judge ignored reports of dropping the charge on the grounds of his father Jorge being responsible for his finances.

cristiano Ronaldo Messi
Lionel Messi

The matter ‘tax evasion’ was first brought to notice in 2013. Messi and his father Jorge made €5m corrective payments in August 2013, but despite that the case hasn’t been closed.

Now, the Mail have revealed that the complication of the case could make Messi move with Manchester City being the likely candidates. City were previously linked with the 27-year old only for his club to reveal his massive release clause which stood at somewhere close to €250m, a figure that is high even by City’s standards! However, if the 4-time Ballon d’Or winner decides to move then Barcelona will have to settle for a fee less than half of the release clause.

Manchester City aren’t the only ones interested as French giants Paris Saint-Germain are also being linked with a possible interest. However, a move to the Premier League might be more attractive to Messi who will want to test himself in the most exciting and physical league in the world.

Messi had a slightly disappointing season last time around after a torn muscle injury ruled him out from November to January. He subsequently lost out to Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for Ballon d’Or award, which ended a period of 4 continuous years of his domination over the prestigious award. This season, he looks more determined as ever after having scored 7 goals in a total of 11 appearances so far. Messi has also turned provider for teammate Neymar as he boasts 9 assists to his name.

Manchester City already has a super squad and if they manage to sign Messi somehow, it will send a strong message onf intent to other top teams in the league including Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United.

Alexis Sanchez: Arsenal Can Win The Champions League

Arsenal’s summer acquisition Alexis Sanchez has revealed that the Premier League is by far the toughest league in Europe, but at the same time he has found it enjoyable. He also insisted that the current Arsenal side has the potential to win any major trophies (Champions League, EPL, and the domestic cups).

The £35m summer signing had 3-year spells in Serie A with Udinese and in La Liga with Barcelona. The 25-year old said, “Compared to other Leagues I’ve played in this is the hardest but I really like it a lot.

“Before signing people told me how great it was at Arsenal and how many quality players they had.

“Now I’m here I look at my teammates in training and realise that.”

Sanchez has made 12 appearances for the Gunners so far and has been deployed in a number of positions. The Chilean can play either as a left winger, a center-forward or as a right winger. Sanchez however admitted that he likes playing on the left side, “I can run and cut inside on my left foot, although any position is good for me as long as I’m in the team and not sitting on the bench. If I get taken off it’s like taking the ball from me.

“I want to win everything and looking at the coaches and players we have, with their winning and attitude and ambition, we can win absolutely anything,” he added.

The former Barcelona man has had a sound start to his career at Arsenal after scoring 5 times in 12 appearances. Sanchez had a good career at Barcelona but was always underrated in a team filled with star studded names. He was sold by manager Luis Enrique in the summer despite scoring 39 goals in 88 appearances for the Blaugrana; a games-to-goal ratio that any attacker will be proud of.

With the injury to Mesut Ozil, the Chilean will have to shoulder more responsibility in the attack for Arsenal. In addition, the return of Theo Walcott will keep Sanchez on his toes as the England international is quite capable of playing in a number of positions just like his teammate.