The Hard Tackle brings to you some transfer news and updates from La Liga side FC Barcelona.
Spanish court close case involving Neymar’s move to Barcelona
Neymar’s transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013 has been embroiled in immense controversy on all fronts, but on Wednesday the club confirmed that it had reached a settlement over a charge accusing them of misappropriation of funds in the Brazilian starlet’s transfer.
The Catalan club reached a settlement worth €5.5 million earlier this year regarding the tax transfer saga stemming from the Brazil international’s arrival from Santos in 2013.
Board members voted 14-2, with two abstentions, in favour of the pact which absolves current president Josep Maria Bartomeu and former president Sandro Rosell of any misdeeds. In a statement the club said, “On Wednesday morning, at the headquarters of the Provincial Court of Barcelona, the legal representative of FC Barcelona ratified the writ of conclusions and approval in relation to the open proceedings concerning the signing of the player Neymar Jr.The ratification of the agreement was signed jointly along with the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office.”
“This agreement will be certified in the decision to be handed down shortly by the Provincial Court of Barcelona, which will close the proceedings stemming from a complaint filed by club member Jordi Casas before the National Court of Spain in December 2013.”
Club member Jordi Casas filed the original complaint back in 2013 citing corruption in the club’s dealing of the Neymar transfer. He claimed that then President Sandro Rosell allegedly hid the real cost of the Brazilian’s transfer behind false contracts.
It was a case that led to Rosell submitting his resignation and leading the case through a three-year saga. It was eventually Josep Bartemeu who struck the settlement agreement early on in the year after releasing the tax returns and hence finally bringing the case to a close.
However, there is still another case regarding the controversial transfer yet to be resolved pertaining to the Brazilian investment company DIS, which owned 40 percent of the player’s rights when he moved to Spain. The company claim the club still owed them money from the deal. After recently reopening the case, Spanish prosecutors are calling for a hefty fine and a two-year prison sentence for the Barcelona forward on grounds of corruption with regard to his transfer to the Catalans.
Claudio Bravo unhappy at City
It has been far from an ideal start to life at the Etihad for Claudio Bravo, with the Chilean goalkeeper coming in for a lot of flak for his performances recently. Since coming into the fold replacing Joe Hart, the 33-year-old has done little to justify Pep Guardiola’s trust in him.
With Hart turning up with sparkling performances in Italy for Torino, fans are calling for the Englishman’s return to the club, especially after the 4-2 thrashing at the hands of Leicester City.
According to Spanish Newspaper Don Balon, the Chilean goalkeeper in touch with his mates at the Catalan club has told he was disillusioned by English football and is considering his future in Manchester, just 4 months since making the move. Bravo is reportedly struggling off the pitch as well, with a poor English speaking ability doing little to aid his struggle in adapting to the life and climate in Manchester.
Pep Guardiola will keep faith in Bravo but it’s unlikely the Chilean will survive another season at this rate and could well be on his way out of the club, with Don Balon stating that he’d be ready to take up the role as a back-up keeper to free him off his ‘Manchester hell’.
However, with Marc Andre ter Stegen and Jasper Cillessen already embracing the ranks at the Camp Nou, the move back seems unlikely but it cannot be completely ruled out.
Joao Cancelo set for January move?
Valencia are ready to sell right-back Joao Cancelo to Barcelona in the January transfer window. According to Ramiro Aldunate of Marca, Valencia’s stance is softening after the club previously made it clear that the 22-year-old would not be sold in the midseason market.
“Valencia’s hierarchy are extremely unhappy with their indifferent form and are willing to make changes this winter and will listen to offers for players, including Cancelo,” the report continued.
The Portugal international would fill a hole in the Barcelona squad, as they’ve had some issues with depth in the right-back spot. Nonetheless, if Valencia are willing to let him go and Barcelona are keen to secure the right-back, then Cancelo would surely come round to the idea of joining the Blaugrana. He’d fancy his chances of pushing for a spot in the starting XI.
The Valencia man offers a tremendous attacking threat on the right flank, something Barca have lacked since Dani Alves departed in the summer.
@Raashaad Most take-ons completed in LaLiga:
Lionel Messi (38)
João Cancelo (37)
Filipe Luis (35)
Yannick Carrasco (34)
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 14, 2016
Admittedly, Sergi Roberto has done a fine job at right-back so far this season for Barcelona, demonstrating defensive tenacity and an ability to link play in the final third. But manager Luis Enrique has barely used his deputy Aleix Vidal and is desperate to recruit another suitable player in that position.
It’s hard to reject an advance from Barcelona and it’s probably only a matter of time before Cancelo opts for a transfer to the Camp Noi given how he can immediately slot into that starting XI to solve their deficiencies at right-back.