The Hard Tackle brings you a roundup of some of the major news stories doing regarding FC Barcelona.
Aleix Vidal’s Exile To End?
Aleix Vidal has endured a nightmarish season so far, having being frozen out of the squad by boss Luis Enrique. He has made only 6 appearances this campaign in all competitions, but according to a report in MARCA, the Spaniard may be set for a positive turnaround in fortunes.
As per ESPN, the 46-year-old Enrique said in his post match-press conference, “Based on the way he’s trained for the last few months, Aleix is ready to play. He’s proved his manager wrong and he’s ready to compete. He was excellent today.”
The report states that with this fine showing against Los Amarillos, he is now back in contention for the right-back position in the squad, one that was occupied by Sergi Roberto ever since Vidal’s exile after their shock loss against Alaves in September.
The 27-year-old started in Barcelona’s 5-0 victory against Las Palmas and put in a superb shift and he also scored one of the goals of the season, in only his second Liga appearance this term which led to boss Luis Enrique heaping praise on the former Sevilla defender.
Srna Rejects Barcelona Move
Vidal’s Barcelona career has gotten a further boost, thanks to Shakhtar Donetsk captain Darijo Srna. The 34-year-old, who had a verbal agreement with the club, has now decided against a move to Barcelona and wants to prolong his stay in Ukraine with his beloved Shakhtar.
The Croatian was heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp in the months leading up to this transfer window as Barcelona looked to fill the void left by Dani Alves in the summer with an actually right back, rather than continue with Sergi Roberto.
He was reported to be on the brink of switching Shakhtar to Spain, but negotiations seem to have broken down since then. According to AS, he spoke of his possible move and had this to say, “In the end I listened to my heart and I will stay at my club!”
It looks like Barcelona will have to make some drastic moves if they want a right back in this transfer window, or be content with using Sergi Roberto in that role for the remainder of the season. However, with Enrique’s encouraging remarks about Vidal, they may not have that much to worry about for now.
Xavi Convinced That Messi Will Renew
After Neymar and Suarez, the Argentine sensation is next in line for contract extension at the club. Messi has been instrumental to Barcelona in what has been a difficult season so far and has saved them on more than one occasion amidst their injury troubles.
His goal in Barcelona’s 5-0 rout against Ud Las Palmas was his 27th of the season in all competitions and his 14th in the La Liga and his former Captain Xavi remained convinced that Messi would continue his ‘idyllic’ relationship with the club which made him a superstar.
According to SPORT, in the recent interview with Fox Sports Xavi said: “He’s the best player in the world and people always want to write about him, but often the noise is false, it’s not true, and I’m sure that’s the case at the moment. I don’t have any doubts that Messi will renew with Barcelona, no doubts.”
The 36-year-old Al-Sadd midfielder believes that Messi would have haf numerous opportunities to leave the club and make a lot of money in the past, but that his heart only belonged to the Catalan giants.
“Throughout the years there’s no doubt he would have had chances to make more money with huge offers from the clubs with rich owners, but his heart is with Barça. His relationship with Barça is idyllic and I think it will continue for many more years yet.”