Joan Laporta

Xavi Hernandez accepts offer to become next Barcelona manager

Barcelona have dismissed Ronald Koeman as head coach after he failed to deliver results at Camp Nou.  The Dutch football expert was sacked after the recent 1-0 defeat at Rayo Vallecano left the Catalans in the ninth spot in the league standings.   According to a report from the Guardian, the Spanish side have now made an offer to Xavi Hernandez and he has accepted to take charge of the club.  It is said that the 41-year-old agreed to take the job after discussions with Barca’s president Joan Laporta.  However, it is uncertain whether the former Spain international will be appointed before their upcoming match against Alaves.  The current head coach of Barcelona B Sergi Barjuan has been named as the interim manager and so he could be in the dugout for Saturday’...

La Liga chief: Impossible for Barca to keep Lionel Messi without departures

Barcelona must considerably reduce their wage bill in order to keep Lionel Messi, LaLiga chief Javier Tebas said on Thursday, adding that the club would not be shown any leniency when it comes to obeying the league’s strict financial control rules. Messi, Barca’s all-time top scorer and appearance maker, ended his 21-year association with the club last month and is currently a free agent as the Catalans cannot offer him a new deal due to their financial predicament. President Joan Laporta said last month that Messi was keen to remain at the club but giving him a new deal was being held up by the league’s Financial Fair Play regulations. Spanish media reports had suggested LaLiga could relax the rules to allow the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to stay at Barca but Tebas said there was no chan...

Inter Miami owner ‘optimistic’ that Leo Messi will join in the future

Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas believes his side will be able to land Barcelona star Lionel Messi in the future. Messi’s contract with Barcelona will expire at the end of this month and the club is desperately trying to tie down the 33-year-old to a new deal. Various reports have stated that Messi’s potential Barca extension would include a provision for him to play two more seasons in Spain, then move to Inter Miami in 2023. Mas confirmed that he and Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham have been involved in talks to bring Messi to Florida. “David and I have been working really hard, we have aspirations of bringing the best players here and Leo Messi is a generational player, arguably the best player of all time,” Mas told the Miami Herald. “I am optimistic Messi will play in an Inter Miami sh...

PSG steals Georginio Wijnaldum from Barca’s grips with better offer

Liverpool’s Dutch midfielder, Georginio Wijnaldum, who had been a long-time target to firm up the Catalan midfield for Barcelona, made a sudden volte face by deciding for former French Ligue champions Paris Saint-Germain instead. Just when the details of his move from former English Premier League champions Liverpool were almost fully sorted with arrangements on course for Wijnaldum’s medicals at Camp Nou, PSG jumped ahead to challenge for the midfielder’s interest with a juicier offer which appears to have worked in their favour. The Ligue 1 side has now won the race to sign 30-year-old central midfielder on a free transfer from Liverpool. PSG found their way around advanced talks between Wijnaldum and Barca by showing the defender their determination to attract him to Paris by improving ...

Jordi Cruyff returning to Barcelona in advisor role

Jordi Cruyff, the son of Barcelona legend Johan, is returning to Camp Nou in an advisor role. The 47-year-old followed in the footsteps of his famous father when stepping out of the La Masia academy system in Catalunya. Much of his career was spent away from Barca, while he has also dabbled in coaching since hanging up his boots, but a familiar face now forms part of the restructuring work being put in behind the scenes by Blaugrana president Joan Laporta. Barca have said in a statement on the club’s official website: “FC Barcelona announces that Jordi Cruyff will join the football area of the Club and form part of the new organisational structure as of August 1. “Jordi Cruyff, who was a player in Barca’s youth teams and in the Barca first team from 1993 to 1996, returns in a strategic rol...

Barcelona announce the signing of Eric Garcia

Finally, the signing of Eric Garcia has been officially announced by Barcelona. The 20-year-old centre-back has been linked to the club for almost a year now. He came very close to signing for his boyhood club last summer before the talks broke down on the deadline day, as well as January of this year. Garcia had spent nine years at the youth level in Barça before moving to Manchester City in 2017. The youngster has been captain of almost all the youth Barça teams he played at. He was also the captain of the U-19 team of Manchester City. After a triumphant spell with Manchester City in England, Garcia will return to Catalonia, securing the Premier League winners medal twice. Manchester City’s manager, Pep Guardiola, rates the young centre-back very highly. When asked about not selecting Ga...

Super League: UEFA begins disciplinary proceedings against Barca, Real Madrid, Juventus

UEFA have announced that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus for a potential violation of their legal framework. The decision comes following an investigation conducted by UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors in connection with the so-called Super League project, and further information will be made available in due course, according to their statement. The three are the last men standing in the Super League project. Initially there was 12 clubs involved; Atletico Madrid, Milan, Inter, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur were part of a shoddy launch. The six English clubs left first, with Atletico, Milan and Inter following shortly after. Madrid’s Florentino Perez and Juventus’ Andrea Agn...

Barcelona secure 500 million Euro loan

Barcelona have secured a €500m loan from Goldman Sachs, with €100m arriving immediately to cover unpaid wages. Like many of the clubs who had signed up to the Super League project, Barca are struggling financially in the wake of the COVID pandemic and in need of fresh funds. President Joan Laporta has seemingly found the key with a loan worth €500m from American investment bank Goldman Sachs. ESPN claim there will be €100m arriving immediately, so Barcelona can settle outstanding payments owed to players. The club’s gross debt is said to now be almost €1.2 billion. Sources told ESPN the situation with outstanding payments was so bad that the squad was preparing to take the matter to the Spanish Footballers’ Association. Barcelona agreed with the players to defer payment of their wages duri...

Barcelona supremo: European Super League a ‘necessity’

Barcelona president Joan Laporta described the European Super League as a “necessity” on Thursday but said the final decision would be given to the club’s members. Barca, Real Madrid and Juventus are the only clubs yet to withdraw officially from the breakaway competition, which lasted just 48 hours before the project imploded. Nine of the 12 clubs involved have pulled out. With total debts of more than a billion euros, Barcelona are struggling to keep up with Europe’s elite, making the prospect of a hugely lucrative new tournament particularly attractive. But Laporta said Barca’s members would have to approve the idea in a vote. “We understand it is a necessity but on the other hand, the members will have the last word,” Laporta told Catalunya Radio. “It is absolutely necessary the big cl...

Key issues to address for Barcelona’s Joan Laporta: Lionel Messi, wage bill, new signings

Joan Laporta was officially elected as the 42nd president of Barcelona yesterday after receiving 54.28 percent of the votes in his favour. The 58-year-old has taken over the position for the second time, having previously held the role between June 2003 and June 2010. One of the election highlights was Lionel Messi, who was pictured casting his vote alongside Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba. Laporta was full of praise for the Argentine after he took over as the new president, and his main focus will now lie on convincing the captain to stay put. Messi’s current deal with the club expires in June this year, and it is reported that Laporta will make it a priority to convince the 33-year-old to sign a fresh deal. However, this may not be the only objective for Laporta in the sho...

Joan Laporta: PSG have been disrespectful in Leo Messi pursuit

Paris Saint-Germain have been “disrespectful” in their pursuit of Lionel Messi, according to Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta, who has threatened to report the Ligue 1 champions to FIFA. PSG have been strongly linked with Messi ever since his decision to hand in a transfer request at Camp Nou at the end of the 2019-20 campaign. The 33-year-old ultimately decided to see out the final year of his current contract with Barca after opposition from club officials and La Liga, but his long-term future remains up in the air. Parc des Princes has been mooted as the most likely next destination for Messi, and PSG sporting director Leonardo publicly sounded out the six-time Ballon d’Or winner earlier this month. “Great players like Messi will always be on PSG’s list,” said the Brazilian...

Cash-strapped Barcelona wants Sergio Aguero, David Alaba for free

Barcelona are hoping they can land Sergio Aguero and David Alaba on free transfers this summer after their contracts expire at Manchester City and Bayern Munich respectively. Aguero is expected to depart the Etihad Stadium after 10 years which have seen him become the club’s all-time top goal scorer with 256 goals and lift four Premier League titles in a glittering career. However, injuries have since caught up with the 32-year-old and he has now gone a full year without scoring a Premier League goal at the Etihad. According to Mundo Deportivo, Barca see the striker as the ideal No 9 replacement for Luis Suarez, who departed for Atletico Madrid in the summer, in providing a big name signing for supporters. Barca are in desperate financial struggles following the coronavirus outbreak, and t...