Barcelona Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of December 16
La Liga will shut up shop for a fortnight at the end of this week, but in all likelihood Barca will continue to work feverishly behind the scenes in order to ensure any deals are brought to completion during the January window.
Tata Martino alluded to as much, per Inside Spanish Football:
I'm focused on the football side of things. I don’t get involved in the economic side of things. When you have important business situations, there’s another part of the club that deals with that.
In a footballing sense, I would very much like to finish the season with this group of players. That’s good for finishing competitions, if we don’t have any injury problems.
What I can’t say, is that this will happen or not.
Let's take a look at any new faces that have been linked with the Blaugrana in the last couple of days and remember to check back throughout the week for updates.
—Last update Saturday 21 December—
Lionel Messi is not a happy man.
Messi told Catalan radio station RAC1:
Barcelona is the best club in the world and should be represented by the best board members too. Senor [Javier] Faus is someone who doesn't know anything about football and wants to manage Barcelona like a business, which it is not.
Besides, I would remind him that neither I nor anyone from my camp has asked for any wage increase and he knows that very well.
City are one of the few clubs that could afford to buy the player and meet his salary demands, and may feel that January is an opportune time to get their man.
Manchester United's David Moyes is likely to be disappointed again, after Barcelona President Sandro Rosell disclosed that midfield genius Andres Iniesta will sign a new contract, tying him to the club until 2018.
Andres Iniesta's renewal is confirmed.
It's a great Christmas present.
He will stay with us until 2018 and he could renew every year after that based on his playing performances.
Barca fans will be absolutely delighted that Iniesta, who already has 479 official appearances and 21 trophies to his name, has put pen to paper.
In more good news for cules, it would appear that Martin Montoya is also ready to commit his long term future to the Catalans.
The player's agent Josep Maria Orobitg will meet with club officials after the winter break to open conclude the negotiations.
According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t hereisthecity), Dinamo Zagreb President Zdravko Mamic told Croatia weekly that there is a £15 million offer on the table for the left-sided attacking midfielder from the Catalans.
Tata Martino will face a fight to get his man however, with the report also detailing interest from Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur, the latter apparently offering £13 million and six players.
For those unfamiliar with Halilovic, you can watch his best moments here.
With Carles Puyol's appearances becoming ever more sporadic, Tata Martino's need for another central defender is clear, and his conversation with Musacchio at the end of the recent Barcelona vs. Villarreal game did not go unnoticed.
Musacchio's contract with the "Yellow Submarine" ends on June 30th, 2014, and he could therefore be available for a knockdown price.
After another superb individual performance at Camp Nou, Barca would be ill advised to pass up the opportunity to sign the 23-year-old.
With Barcelona thought to be the player's preferred destination, it might come as a shock to him that, according to Charles Reynolds of The Independent, he is a makeweight in a swap deal with Ranocchia.
Jose Mourinho is a fan of the 25-year-old Italian international and Inter are equally keen on acquiring Luiz.
An obviously fractious relationship with Barca may see the Portuguese force through Luiz's move to the Italians.
It seems that hot-shot Barca B striker Antonio Sanabria may not be on his way to North London after all.
Arsenal were thought to be his next destination after his agent confirmed to Barcelona that his client wished to leave Catalonia, however, it now appears that the player will move to Italy.
However, as the Italians have already registered two non-Europeans for this campaign, it's likely that Sanabria will remain at Barca until the summer, even though he will, technically, be a Roma player.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has issued a hands-off warning to Barcelona in their pursuit of David Luiz.
It had been thought that the defender had told close friends and family that he would be playing for the Catalans as from January, however, as the Metro report, Mourinho is having none of it:
Everything is clear. He’s our player and we are happy he’s back in a moment when we need him and John in defence.
The market is open in January but I don’t think we will be buying or selling. There has been no contact from other clubs or from his people.