Barcelona

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Another Alexis link; Zlatan, the coach?

Leave a comment

Rumors linking Alexis Sanchez to the half-dozen clubs bigger than Arsenal won’t subside until the summer transfer window closes, which is to say, Thursday’s grandest transfer rumor links the Chilean with a move away from north London.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Tuesday | Monday ]

With his current contract down to just 10 months, Manchester City are the latest club reportedly interested in snatching him away from the Gunners for a pittance of his true value. That’s not to say $77 million is anything to scoff at, but given the current climate of the transfer market, Sanchez would fetch something closer to $120 million with three or four years to run on his contract.

[ MORE: Diego Costa releases statement — “I must return to Atletico Madrid” ]


Zlatan Ibrahimovic is four months into rehabilitation from the career-threatening knee injury he suffered in April. With five or six months still to go, the big Swede is nearing the point of the process during which he’ll likely announce his next club.

If Manchester United have their way, the 35-year-old might just stick around Old Trafford a while longer. Here’s the catch: Jose Mourinho is reportedly considering offering Ibrahimovic a role on his coaching staff in the interim before he completes his rehab and gets the OK to return to action.

[ MORE: Chelsea plan to raid Spurs — Danny Rose for $64 million ]


14 days remain before the end of the summer transfer window, and Tottenham Hotspur are still yet to sign a single player. The $65 million received upon Kyle Walker‘s departure would burn a hole in the pocket of everyone not named Daniel Levy.

That said, Tottenham are still expected to sign someone before the window closes, and they could certainly do worse than Suarez from Barcelona — that’s Denis Suarez, of course, not Luis. The 23-year-old Spanish midfielder is reportedly close to completing a move to Napoli, but Spurs are said to be late entrants into the race and could easily hijack the deal.

Barcelona GM: “We’re close to signing Coutinho, Dembele”

Philippe Coutinho
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Barcelona did not post a magical comeback versus Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup second leg, instead losing 5-1 on aggregate after Wednesday’s 2-0 loss at the Bernabeu.

[ MORE: Barcelona falls to Real… again ]

But perhaps the celebrated La Liga club has worked some wizardry in the transfer market, with not one but two big targets “close” to the Camp Nou.

Barca general manager Josep “Pep” Segura was on television after the match, and noted Spanish football expert Sid Lowe relays his words: Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele are coming to Barca, “but until it’s closed I can’t say anything.”

Well, you just said something about it, so what gives.

Now before anyone freaks out at Anfield or Westfalenstadion, this is a man speaking after a relatively embarrassing performance for one of the biggest clubs in the world. Segura could simply be treading water for new manager Ernesto Valverde after his club was simply worked over in 120 minutes versus its El Clasico rivals.

VIDEO: Asensio, Real Madrid outclass out-of-sorts Barca; PSG trolls?

Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
2 Comments

This one wasn’t even close, and is going to instantly have many Barcelona fans wondering if the loss of Neymar is going to be too much for Ernesto Valverde to handle.

Real Madrid rode a stunning Marco Asensio strike to a 2-0 first half lead at the Bernabeu on Wednesday en route to a 5-1 aggregate win over Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup.

It’s Real’s 10th Spanish Super Cup, and first since 2012.

[ MORE: Bacca to Villarreal ]

Karim Benzema also scored in the opening frame, which saw Barca looking out of sorts and rudderless.

As in the first leg in Barcelona, the Blaugranas had their moments but failed to show sharpness and class against the reigning La Liga and UEFA Champions League winners.

Lionel Messi hit the crossbar, Luis Suarez headed off the post. The second half wasn’t producing a magic comeback.

Both teams kick off their La Liga seasons on Sunday, with Barca hosting Real Betis and Real off to Deportivo de la Coruna.

Meanwhile, it seems like PSG spent the afternoon trolling Barca, first posting a shot of ex-Blaugranas stars Dani Alves and Neymar training, and then an incredulous Neymar accompanied by a laughing emoji.

Liverpool issue update on Philippe Coutinho

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Liverpool’s Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho has not traveled to Hoffenheim for their UEFA Champions League playoff first leg.

Many believe the end game is near but these comments suggest otherwise.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Coutinho, 25, emailed in a transfer request last Friday amid interest from Barcelona but Liverpool have turned down a second bid for their star man, said to be in the region of $114 million.

Speaking to the media ahead of Liverpool’s return to the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, Klopp had the latest update on Coutinho’s situation with the midfielder said to be struggling with a back injury which also kept him out of the 3-3 draw at Watford on Saturday.

“Nothing has changed in the last few days, not on the one side, not on the other side,” Klopp said. “He is not available for us in the moment, that’s the main issue if you want. He cannot play for Liverpool in this moment and, how everybody can imagine, that’s quite a blow for us.

“We’ve known for a few days about it so we can prepare this game without him, like we have to prepare the game without Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge.”

So, there you have it. Nobody is budging.

Coutinho and his camp obviously want the move to Barca to go through but with Liverpool’s Fenway Sports Group (FSG) owners releasing a statement earlier on Friday saying he is not for sale and will be at Anfield at the end of the summer transfer window, a stalemate has arrived.

FSG are now in an awkward position as the man who scored 13 goals and added seven assists last season may not play for the foreseeable future with his injury muddying the situation, while the club know an offer this big, courtesy of the Neymar money Barca received from PSG, may not come again and Coutinho is perhaps aware this is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Only time will tell how serious Coutinho’s back injury is, but even if he plays in Liverpool’s UCL playoff second leg next Wednesday he will not be cup-tied and could play for another club, say Barcelona, in European competition this season.

The plot thickens, with no end in sight.

Barcelona to sign Paulinho from China for $47 million

Getty Images
Leave a comment

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says it has reached a deal with Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande to buy Brazil midfielder Paulinho for 40 million euros ($47 million).

[ MORE: Ronaldo to get 12-game ban? ]

The Spanish club says that Paulinho will sign a four-year contract after a medical exam on Thursday.

Paulinho is set to be Barcelona’s first signing since Neymar left for Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record 222 million euros ($262 million) last week.

The 29-year-old Paulinho played for Tottenham for two seasons before moving to Guangzhou in 2015. He has made 41 appearances for the Brazil national team.