Monday, July 13, 2009

Barcelona Entering Decisive Week

Despite starting their squad rebuilding plans well before the 2008-09 season even concluded, Barcelona have made little progress six weeks into the summer transfer market.

The key issue for the club has been their hunt for a top class striker, which has now been whittled down to David Villa, and their search to find a buyer for one of their own, Samuel Eto'o.

And with just one week left until the start of pre-season training (July 20), El Mundo Deportivo believes that the Blaugrana will enter a make-or-break week to complete some of their key transfers.

The paper quoted Barca's vice-president, Rafael Yuste, saying, “Everything is under control. We are doing things with a more tranquillity now.”

But El Mundo is not entirely convinced, even though they outlined a clearer picture of what needs to be done now.

It was reported that Villa will return from his holidays and head straight to his Valencia bosses to demand an exit, after Barcelona made an offer of around €40-50 million to Los Che last week, with the possible inclusion of a player-exchange deal involving Keirrison, who could be announced as a new signing this Tuesday.

The Catalans are also supposedly reviving talks with Manchester City for the sale of Eto’o. The deal had gone cold after Citizens manager Mark Hughes grew weary of the drawn-out saga and decided instead to focus on other targets.

But with their English club's city rivals, Manchester United, now ready to enter the picture, Barca are hoping that the Cameroonian striker’s departure will be confirmed soon as Joan Laporta looks to offload the player for a sizeable fee before his contract runs out next year.

In addition, ‘El Tricampeon’ are still nowhere near finalising an agreement for left-back Filipe Luis or midfielder Javier Mascherano, two vital positions that coach Pep Guardiola desperately wants to strengthen. He is also hoping to bring in another central defender, although that role can be filled by Henrique, who has returned from his loan spell at Bayer Leverkusen.

Sport also reports that the signing of Filipe could be completed today, after the Barcelona board is thought to have buckled and made an offer which Deportivo president Lendoiro likes.

This could then mean that Barcelona complete the signings of Villa, Filipe and Keirrison during this very crucial week, just before the pre-season kicks off.