Transfer Watch – FC Barcelona

– Anustup Sikdar

This is probably the time when ‘football’ is played off the pitch too. Indeed in this inflated market, transfer is as much a game as is football on the pitch. Sandro Rosell may say that the club is going through a financial crisis but that doesn’t discourage them from chasing the elusive dream to capture the signature of Cesc Fabregas.

The club has had a metamorphosis when it comes to their management. Joan Laporta and Txiki Begiristain made way for Sandro Rosell and Andoni Zubizarreta as the new President and Director of football respectively. Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova have been retained. Josep Guardiola signed a contract extension which keeps him with the club till June 2011.

Joan Laporta came to power in 2003 and since then the Catalan club has seen a curve which has only gone up. Along with Txiki Begiristain (the ex-Director of football), Laporta transformed a distraught FCB of the early 2000’s to an all conquering unit by the turn of the decade. Influx of extremely talented individuals from other clubs along with constant supply of spectacular talents from the La Masia worked in favour of the club. Frank Rijkaard took over from where Luis Van Gaal left in 2003 and contributed to the club’s cause. Txiki Begiristain is rumoured to be courted by Chelsea, who wants to sign him as their Technical Secretary. Indeed an extremely prudent move by the English club who are yet to make their mark in UEFA Champions League, despite all their Premier League exploits. Rosell surely has large shoes to fill.

Confirmed Player Transfers:


David Villa (From Valencia): Quite surprisingly FCB snapped the Spanish superstar who was being courted by many top clubs in Europe. The first signing of the season and the last for Joan Laporta and Txiki Begiristain. After having a fabulous world cup it seems a shrewd piece of business. Expected to fill up the void left by Thierry Henry, Villa might be incorporated on the left side. Vincente Del Bosque showed that Villa can be quite lethal when playing on the left. And with Leo Messi to his right and Xavi and Iniesta behind him, amalgamation might not be a problem for our new no.7. As of now, a fabulous signing for €40 million.

July 10, 2010 - Johanesburgo, SOUTH AFRICA - epa02244151 Spanish national soccer team striker David Villa (L) and midfielder Xavi Hernandez (R) attend their team's training session at the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, 10 July 2010. Spain will face the Netherlands in the FIFA World Cup 2010 final at the Soccer City stadium on July 11.
THAT combo! Be afraid! Be very afraid!


Adriano (From Sevilla): A 25 year old full-back who can play in 3 to 4 other positions sounds like a very good deal. The deal looks even better when the price is revealed. €9million (£7.6m) to land the player, with that figure set to rise to a possible €13.5million (£11.4m) should certain criteria be met. By nature a left sided full-back, the Brazilian can also play as a right back, centre half and also as an attacking mid-fielder. Adriano has what it takes to be a perfect utility player. He has been awarded with the no.21 which has been vacated by Dmytro Chygrynskiy.



Dmytro Chygrynskiy (To Shakhtar Donetsk): A highly rated centre-half somehow who could not recapture his form at Shakhtar Donetsk which made FCB pay €25 million for the services of the 23 year old. A few bad performances coupled with a horrendous one against Xerez in his last outing for Barca paved his way to return to the Ukrainian giant. He was bought at €25m and sold for €15m which seems like a decent business. Many believe, he should have been given at least one more year to prove himself at The Camp Nou.

Yaya Toure (To Manchester City): This is probably the most sensational transfer of the season for the Catalan club. The Ivorian is surely an intimidating figure in the middle of the pitch. He has a good defensive ability coupled with thunderous shooting. Th Ivory Coast man was bought for €9million from Monaco and sold for £24million to Manchester City, and that is certainly a good investment for Barcelona. The BPL will be the perfect place for him given the fact that he’s a phenomenal athlete.

Thierry Henry (To New York Red Bulls): King Henry bids adieu to European Football. After 3 seasons at FCB, Titi was in the twilight of his career. Arriving to FCB with the desire to lay his hands on the elusive UEFA Champions League in his otherwise illustrious career, Henry has played a pivotal role in Barcelona’s all conquering campaign. Along with Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi, Henry shared 72 goals between them earning themselves the distinction of being the most devastating trio in La Liga, surpassing the previous record held by Real Madrid’s Puscas, di Stefano and Luis de Sol.

Rafael Marquez (To New York Red Bulls): Following the footsteps of his club team mate the Mexican International too has made his foray into the MLS. Seven seasons at the Catalan Club, Marquez has won everything he could with Barcelona. A versatile player who could contribute equally to defense and attack.  Recurrent injuries towards the end of his tenure at FCB hurt his chances of making it into the first eleven, more so with the coming of age of Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets.





EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 6:  Rafael Marquez #4 of the FC Barcelona looks on from the bench during their game against the New York Red Bulls at Giants Stadium August 6, 2008 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  Barcelona defeated the Red Bulls 6-2. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)
The Mexican served us long, served us well




Miguel Luque (To Almeria): Promising Barcelona B midfielder (19) has joined the Andulasian side UD Almeria. Luque was the product of Villareal’s youth set up; was bought by Barcelona B by Luis Enrique. Despite a few good performances, he could not hold on to his place in the first XI.

Alberto Botia (To Sporting Gijon): The centre half spent a season at Sporting Gijon on loan after making his debut for Barcelona senior team. Unwilling to give up his regular first team spot at Gijon, the youngster decided to extend his stay and penned a 4 year contract. Barcelona has a buy-back clause for the first 3 years.

Gai Assulin (Free Agent): The gifted Israeli winger is currently a Free Agent as FC Barcelona, chose not to renew his contract.

FC Barcelona has revealed a transfer kitty of around €50million. David Villa’s transfer fee was practically negated by the departure of Yaya Toure and Dmytro Chygrynskiy. So Barcelona still has around €40million. The Cesc-saga has been going on for quite some time now. It should take some more time for FCB to lay their hands on the coveted no.4.


Cesc Fabregas to FC Barcelona: Had Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique not done what they did, I think things wouldn’t have blown out of proportion. Cesc is still an Arsenal player who supposedly has his heart at the Catalan Club. How much of it is true, your guess is as good as mine. Barcelona may have pursued the gifted midfielder, but had to retract because of Arsenal’s hefty financial demands.

Ibrahimovic moving out of FC Barcelona: The towering Swede seems to be unsettled here in FCB. Although scoring at a decent rate of 20 goals in 41 matches, Ibra has done quite well and if persisted, he might just be the missing piece (Read PLAN B) in the Barcelona puzzle. Manchester City, Real Madrid (in lieu of Kaka) & AC Milan are rumoured to be frontrunners in securing the hit man’s signature.

Fernando Torres, replacement for Cesc: Rumours have it that if FCB fails in capturing Fabregas’ signature they might just shift their focus on the Spaniard who is supposedly not being able to cope with the brusque English League.

Marcos Senna as a possible replacement for Yaya Toure: With the departure of Yaya Toure, Pep Guardiola is reported to be on the lookout for someone who could act as a possible replacement for the Ivorian and yet wouldn’t mind being the backup for the more preferred Sergio Busquets. Villareal values the 34-year old Brazil-born Spanish footballer somewhere around €4million.


EURO 2008 M28 Ernst Happl Stadium Vienna Italy v Spain (0-0) Spain win 4-2 on penalties 22/06/2008 Marcos Senna (SPA) Photo Roger Parker Fotosports International
Too old to rock’n’roll, too young to die


There’s still some time left before the transfer window closes. What will happen to the likes of Hleb, Martin Caceres and Henrique is yet to be seen. Josep Guardiola has always been an admirer of talents from the La Masia. We would thank him for persisting with an exceptionally talented Pedro and Sergio Busquets. Seventeen B squad players were called up for pre-season training predominantly because only 10 members from the senior roster were available as the rest are yet to come back from post World Cup vacation.

Amongst the 17 players called up, the ones most likely to make the cut will be from amongst: Marc Muniesa (defender), Andrue Fontas (defender), Oier Olazabal (goalkeeper), Victor Vazquez (midfielder), Jonathan Dos Santos (midfielder), and Edu Oriol (forward). Jeffren Suarez (winger) and Victor Sanchez (defender) aren’t amongst the 17 Barca B players but are amongst the 10 Barcelona senior team players. The duo has been impressive. Jeffren made 14 appearances for FCB and scored twice whereas Sanchez made 8 appearances for Barcelona before going to Xerez on a season-long loan (2009-10). He made 25 appearances for Xerez while notching up a couple of goals.

Notable absentees are Thiago Alcantara (midfielder), Marc Bartra (defender) & Ruben Rochina (striker) as they were with the Spanish U19 National team for the ongoing UEFA U19 European Championship. Special mention must be made of Thiago Alcantara, as he has not only made his debut for the senior team like most of the others (from the B team) mentioned but also scored for them.

How many of these young guns make the cut is yet to be seen, but given Barcelona’s reputation of unearthing fabulous footballers, a lot is expected from them.         

75 Responses to “Transfer Watch – FC Barcelona”

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  1. kunwar ! says:

    will cesc come???

    fight on! :)

  2. The Adriano signing looks excellent if his first game for the club is anything to go by. He was excellent against Valerenga.

  3. @Kunwar: Going by JDS’s performance in the game against Valerenga and Thiago’s in the U-19 Euros, I hope Cesc doesn’t come coz these two kids have the potential and the quality.

  4. kunwar ! says:

    arsene wenger also hopes the same ! , But i am sick of this saga.

  5. anirban says:

    nice one…….torres would be a wonderful pick…..but yaya toure s replacement cn be a bit difficult to find…tho busquets is fine….otherwise quadra attackin force of xavi iniesta messi villa will be the highlight of european season……

  6. Jayant says:

    For me Ibra will play a key role this season. Villa isn’t as effective as a central striker as he is playing off someone so both Messi and Villa will benefit from the space that Ibra creates. The DM issue should be top priority right now and I hope the Senna rumors are true. Both Busquets and Romeu can learn a lot from the veteran.
    If Hleb stays and both Thiago and JDS are promoted then the mid field is set IMO. We could probably get another CB but in all probability one of Batra, Fontas or Muniesa will be promoted.

  7. Jayant says:

    In other news, Rafael Marquez has been officially released from the club today. This was expected as he now moves to NY Red Bulls. I’ll probably try and catch a few Red Bull games now seeing as I’m in DC. :)

    All the best Kaiser and thank you for all you have done for the club!!

  8. Anustup says:

    As far as CB is concerned, as Pep said, occasionally Abidal might be brought in and Adriano might be used. I’d like if Caceres stays. He’s had a decent season for Juventus.
    Hope JDS and Alcantara are given enough chances. Although that’ll be difficult cause Jeffren too will need playing time. I don’t think Pedro will be preferred over Ibra. So Pedro too is another contender who’d demand more time.
    If Caceres stays, I think he can play DM at times. His attacking is quite good.

  9. Jayant says:

    And that is exactly what worries me. Eric Abidal is terrible as a CB. He has openly said that he prefers playing on the left. Adriano is more of a wingback/winger than a CB. The most he can do is fill in for Busquets at DM but playing him at CB shouldn’t really be an option. I’ve never seen him play that position at Sevilla either.
    As for Jeffren/Pedro, if Ibra clicks then these guys become super subs otherwise we might see Pedro in the starting line-up. The way the team lined up against Valerenga, one can see that Pep plans to play Ibra as the big man in the middle. Ibra played a deeper role in the game allowing both Benja and Edu Oriol to take advantage of the space created.

  10. Anustup says:

    I meant Adriano might be used in place of Abidal as a fullback 😐

  11. Somnath Sengupta says:

    Caceres had a decent season only attacking wise, defensively he is still very, very suspect. I am assuming that his attacking ability is not that required in Barca as they already have quality in that department. Caceres’ tackles are all over the place at times, his positioning is suspect. At times he goes into challenges like the whole world depends on it, getting carded for those often.

    Playing Caceres as a CB can be disastrous. In Juventus he played only one game as CB, a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Villarreal in pre-season.

  12. ipone says:

    I think it was a good choice from Thierry Henry to join the New Yorker Red Bulls. He will be an awesome player for the MSL.

  13. Jayant says:

    Actually Caceres was a hasty buy by the club. Both Madrid and Barca were after Garay and Madrid won that race. Barca were left with Caceres.

    @Anustup: Adriano can cover both flanks while Maxwell can cover for Abidal but we are still a CB short. Pique, Puyol and Milito is all we have right now in terms of people you can count on to step up. Either we need to buy one (don’t see the need) or we need to promote one of the kids (Pep had a talk with Fontas before pre-season so we might see more of him this season).

  14. Anustup says:

    @Jayant: I have a doubt when it comes to Maxwell against pacy opponents. Remember Walcott against Maxwell last season?
    I just hope its just an aberrant situation 😐

    PS: Had Maxwell been so good, then I doubt would have let him go so cheaply 😐

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  17. Jayant says:

    Good start to the season for the boys!! We start with a trophy and the team looked brilliant on the pitch. Mind you that Sevilla had rested a few players (keeping the game against Braga in mind) but the movement on the pitch looked brilliant. Villa had a good game and shouldn’t really take too long to adapt to this system. Let’s get the season rolling!! :)

  18. Not a Devil says:

    Messi saved ur assess once again….

  19. A Blaugrana says:

    @Not a Devil: Yes he did… He is meant to do that… Save ours and kick others :)
    Btw… Do try and watch Pedro’s performance if you think that it Messi who saved us… the Sevilla OG is nothing short of a fabulous one-man (Pedro) effort and Busquets through pass to find LM10 for his first goal, is simply out of the world. Quite Zidanesqeu… :)


  20. Not a Devil says:

    @ Blaugrana: i did watch the match….the Pedro`s dribbling was ok…but the goal was sheer luck..& when did *facepalm* through a pass…it was Xavi i think…any ways…congrats 2 Barca on their success…

  21. Biplab says:

    @Not a devil & Blaugrana: It was Xavi indeed…

    The teams runs on Xavi and Messi – a 2 month injury lay-off for any one or both of them – and you can count out Barca for the Liga title. Thankfully for Barca – these two guys are not injury prone. :)

  22. Biplab says:

    @Not a devil & Blaugrana: It was Xavi indeed…

    The team runs on Xavi and Messi – a 2 month injury lay-off for any one or both of them – and you can count out Barca for the Liga title. Thankfully for Barca – these two guys are not injury prone. :)

  23. Jayant says:

    @Biplab: I wonder if you were around for last season. I won’t deny that Xavi and Messi are instrumental to our success but I wouldn’t go far as to predict doom and gloom if they get injured. We played a fair few games last season without Xavi and Iniesta in MF and we did just fine. We might not be as attractive but that doesn’t mean we can’t get the result. Hell we played 3 games at a stretch last season with a MF of Keita, Busquets and Yaya with Maxwell on the left.
    We have options upfront this season so we should be fine.

  24. A Blaugrana says:

    Sorry for the mistake… I saw it on youtube.. couldn’t make out whether it was Sergi or Xavi… 😐

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