Barcelona Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of August 18
Barcelona are entering into the business end of the transfer window intent on further strengthening the squad.
Although the Catalans are well set in most positions, Luis Enrique won't want to rest on his laurels if there is other business to be done.
With FFP at the forefront of the minds of any cash-conscious club, Barca will likely have to sell before they can buy again.
Let's take a look at who's been linked to the club during the last couple of days. Remember to keep checking back throughout the week for updates.
—Last update: Friday August 22—
Barcelona's interest in acquiring Koke before the end of this transfer window is serious and genuine.
It appears that Barcelona have cooled any interest that they may have had in Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus.
Given the conformation of Barca's transfer ban from FIFA, the Catalans have ramped up their interest in one or two targets.
According to Sport, via Rob Blanchette of Bleacher Report, Atletico Madrid's Koke remains a prime target and the Blaugrana would like to buy the player now and then loan him back to the Rojiblancos for a season.
Any deal is likely to be extremely difficult to conclude given the players own feelings per Miles Chambers of Goal.com:
The truth is that part of me said it was difficult to say no to Barca but I wanted to continue at home for many years at Atletico. It wasn’t time to leave. This is my home, where I feel wanted and the club didn’t need to sell.
How was I going to leave at the best time for Atletico? It’s not easy to say no to Barca and their interest was appreciated. It means the work I’ve done has paid off. But I’m at home here.
Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus is another name on Barca's "most wanted" list, and it remains to be seen if the Catalans have enough time to convince the Germans to sell in this transfer window.
Sergi Dominguez notes in Rob Blanchette's Bleacher Report article that if Koke cannot be secured, then Barca will go "all out" to acquire Reus.
The possibility to acquire Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado now seems a distant one.
According to Sport via Rob Blanchette of Bleacher Report, any move for the Colombian would appear to be dependant on whether either Koke or Marco Reus can be signed firstly.
It would appear Cuadrado's ship has sailed.
Aidar told waiting media: “Barcelona will buy Douglas and loan him back to Sao Paulo for a year. In 2015 he will go to Spain.”
With Dani Alves set to stay at Barca for the upcoming season, the deal makes perfect sense.
After much toing and froing, Dani Alves will finally be staying at Barcelona for a further season.
Per a report by Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report, the Brazilian noted via Dermot Corrigan that manager Luis Enrique counts on him, and reciprocally he counts on Enrique.
With Douglas coming on board in 2015, it's likely that this will be Alves' final season at Barca.
Transfer Ban from January 2015
Barcelona's FIFA transfer ban has been upheld after much deliberation and the Catalans won't be able to sign any players from January 2015 until January 2016.
Should Luis Enrique want to add to his squad, he has just a couple of weeks left of this transfer window to conclude any dealings.
FIFA.com noted the following:
The FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to reject the appeals lodged by Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Real Federacion Espanola de Futbol (RFEF) and to confirm in their entirety the decisions rendered by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in the respective cases relating to the protection of minors.
As such, FC Barcelona is to serve a transfer ban which will see the club prevented from registering any players at both national and international level for two complete and consecutive transfer periods, starting with the next registration period (January 2015) given that the appeal of the club had been granted suspensive effect by the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee. FC Barcelona has also been ordered to pay a fine of CHF 450,000 and been given a period of 90 days from today in which to regularise the situation of all minor players concerned.
Meanwhile, the RFEF has been ordered to pay a fine of CHF 500,000 and granted a period of one year in which to regularise their regulatory framework and existing system concerning the international transfer of minors in football.
The terms of the decisions taken by the FIFA Appeal Committee were communicated to FC Barcelona and the RFEF today.
Barcelona are so desperate to rid themselves of Alex Song that they are considering allowing him to leave the club on a free loan transfer.
According to Jamie Anderson of the Daily Express, Barca are willng to forego normal loan arrangements, which will mean waiving a £2 million fee, in order to get Song off of the wage bill.
Barcelona do like their Brazilian right-backs.
It would appear that a deal is quite well advanced. Sao Paulo president Carlos Miguel Aidar noted:
Barca want to sell Dani Alves and are looking for a replacement for him, who would be Douglas.
The sale isn't completed because we still have to talk and the economics involved in the operation are the Traffic group [who own 40 per cent of Douglas' rights], Juan Figger [an intermediary], Sao Paulo and Barca.
Two months ago, our partner Figger asked if we would sell the player to Barca. We said we were willing to negotiate.
He's doing everything and things are progressing well. We haven't spoken directly to Barca but we are aware of their interest, so are the agents, Traffic. I guess they have already spoken to the player.
Any notion of Javier Mascherano leaving the club anytime soon has been dispelled with the announcement that he will soon sign a new deal with Barcelona.
Per FCBarcelona.com, the Argentine has signed a deal to keep him at the club until 2018:
FC Barcelona have announced that Javier Mascherano will sign an improved and extended contract on Tuesday, August 26 that will see him stay at the club until June 30, 2018.
[...] The new contract includes a buyout clause set at 100 million euros.
Luis Enrique still hasn't given up his pursuit of Juan Cuadrado.
According to Alex Harris of the Daily Express, Barca's manager, when questioned by reporters on whether the transfer window was now closed for the Catalans, said:
"I'm not saying it's closed. Not me, nor anyone at the club. You always look to strengthen and you always have to be the strongest."
It's clear Dani Alves would need to be sold before Barca can contemplate bringing the Colombian on board, and Enrique noted of Alves: "He's one of the squad members coming back later. Hopefully he's in our squad."
According to Mundo Deportivo, via Tom Thorogood of Here is the City, the report claims:
Radamel Falcao was offered to Barcelona last May.
While appreciating his strengths and recognising that he was one of the best number nines that might be in the market, the club declined the opportunity to sign him because it was clear Luis Suarez was the objective.