Guillem Balague Insists Samuel Umtiti Is Playing A Two-Card Game

Sky Sports football expert Guillem Balague believes Samuel Umtiti is playing a two-card game in order to earn a new bumper contract at Barcelona. The France international has stressed his ambition to stay at the Camp Nou despite reports suggesting that he wants to treble his current wages of £50,000-a-week.

 

Speaking on Sky Sports, Balague said: “What is absolutely true at the moment is that Samuel Umtiti is playing a two-card game, on the one hand he is telling Barcelona he would like to stay but on the other he wants to treble his wages. It’s not normal for a player in their second season at Barcelona to renew their contract just because Manchester United reportedly wants to trigger his €60m buy-out clause. At this moment in time negotiations have stopped and right now Barcelona are less positive than they were in the past, but there is still a long way to go.”

Continue reading Guillem Balague Insists Samuel Umtiti Is Playing A Two-Card Game

Thomas Vermaelen: Lionel Messi is better than ‘world-class’ Eden Hazard

Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen has said that Lionel Messi is on a different level to Eden Hazard despite the latter becoming the go-to player in the Chelsea ranks. The former Arsenal man is set to return to London this week when the Catalan giants face-off against the Blues in the Champions League round of 16 first-leg.


In an interview with The Guardian, the experienced centre-back was asked to compare the individual abilities of Hazard and Messi. Though he initially admitted that there are similarities in their style of play, the 32-year-old stressed it is difficult to place him into the calibre of Messi, who has five Ballon d’Or titles to his name.
Continue reading Thomas Vermaelen: Lionel Messi is better than ‘world-class’ Eden Hazard

Thomas Vermaelen confident injury problems are behind him

Belgium international Thomas Vermaelen is looking forward to contributing towards Barcelona’s success after having overcome his concerns with regular injuries. The former Arsenal man started the campaign as the fourth-choice defender, but injuries to Javier Mascherano and Samuel Umtiti have enabled him cement a regular role in central defence alongside Gerard Pique.

In an interview with Mundo Deportivo, Vermaelen is pleased to have gone unscathed for more than a year, and he is aiming to integrate into prove his worth to the Catalan giants, he said: “I understand that people had doubts about my physical condition because in recent years I have had a few physical problems. But since November 2016 I have not had any more problems and I’ve been feeling good for a year. I know I have a reputation as a player made of glass, but I have managed to overcome that. I knew I had the ability to play for Barca but in previous years, due to injuries, I had not been able to show what I am capable of.”
Continue reading Thomas Vermaelen confident injury problems are behind him

Ernesto Valverde calm over Antoine Griezmann speculation

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde refused to discuss the possibility of signing Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann in the New Year. The Catalans had been hot on the trail of both Philippe Coutinho and Angel di Maria during the dying stages of the summer transfer window, but a deal could not materialise for either player.

Ahead of the Leganes clash, Valverde admired the qualities of Griezmann and revealed that the club have not closed the door on pursuing fresh recruits in January, he said: “Griezmann is a great player, one of the names being talked about but for now I have the players that I have. In the future, we will see. Of course, the club, like all clubs, is open to doing business in the January window, even though we’re happy with what we already have. We’re not going to close the door on anything.”
Continue reading Ernesto Valverde calm over Antoine Griezmann speculation

Inter Milan set sights on signing Thomas Vermaelen

Inter Milan have reportedly set their sights on signing Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen as they look to bolster their central defensive department in the New Year. The Nerazzurri currently have Milan Skriniar, Joao Miranda, and Andreas Ranocchia as the only senior centre-backs in the club’s ranks.

According to TMW, Luciano Spalletti’s side have earmarked Vermaelen as their top defensive target for January as they look to maintain their strong start to the campaign. The San Siro outfit are currently just two points adrift of league leaders Napoli, and the manager is hoping to add more options to the defence in order to avoid burnout in the second half of the season.
Continue reading Inter Milan set sights on signing Thomas Vermaelen

Arsene Wenger: Barcelona playing in the Premier League would be difficult

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted that it would be difficult for English clubs, if Barcelona were to join the Premier League in the future.


Catalonia is currently pushing through its independence referendum from Spain, and Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu admitted this week that the Camp Nou outfit could end their association with La Liga.

In response to this, Wenger joked that he would ‘try to learn Catalan’ and said: “If Barcelona want to join the Premier League, it makes things even more difficult for everybody. I don’t think they have gotten as far as that. It is interesting and there will be incidents on the sporting side as Barcelona are a highly political club. I think it will be interesting to see how they respond in the championship. We have enough clubs here with 20 but if you want to go up to 24, we have to invite the Scottish clubs before we go for the Spanish.”

The English Football League has previously proposed including the likes of Rangers and Celtic in the English division, and SPFL chief Neil Doncaster admitted earlier in June that there is the prospect of the Old Firm playing in England. Continue reading Arsene Wenger: Barcelona playing in the Premier League would be difficult

Everton failed with deadline day move for Thomas Vermaelen

Everton reportedly failed with a deadline day bid to sign former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen from Barcelona.


The Belgium international was impressive during his first pre-season under Ernesto Valverde, and this caught the eye of Ronald Koeman, who was eyeing a left-sided defender, who could provide to Leighton Baines.

According to The Liverpool Echo, the Merseyside outfit held extensive talks with Barcelona over an initial loan deal with an obligation to buy at the end of the season. However, the Spanish giants decided to block the defender’s exit with Marlon Santos having been sent on loan to Nice for the campaign.

Vermaelen, 31, has largely struggled to make an impact since his arrival at Camp Nou in the summer of 2014. The Belgian international has endured a series of injuries during his time in Catalunya, and he was sent on a temporary spell to Roma last season, where he struggled to make the first-team cut. Continue reading Everton failed with deadline day move for Thomas Vermaelen

BARCELONA TO TRADE ARDA TURAN FOR COUTINHO

Reports in Spain claim Barcelona are willing to let ArdaTuran join Liverpool this summer as the Catalan side remain desperate for the signature of Philippe Coutinho.


Barca have been linked with the player for long but the Reds are insistent on keeping the playmaker.

Barcelona, who are searching for new employers for Turan, want to use the former Atletico Madrid man as a deal sweetener to convince Anfield to release Coutinho to them. Turan joined in 2015 but he had to wait until the following year to have his debut due to a transfer ban.

The Turk faced a tough time initially but seemed to find his feet with time. His ball control and dribbling skills were not enough to immerse him in the team. He was a top attacking talent at Vicente Calderon but he has not been able to make his mark at the Nou Camp. Continue reading BARCELONA TO TRADE ARDA TURAN FOR COUTINHO

Crystal Palace plot move for Thomas Vermaelen

Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer is prepared to offer an escape route to Thomas Vermaelen, who has had a miserable spell at Barcelona.


The Belgium international joined the Catalan giants from Arsenal back in the summer of 2014 and has since missed large spells of first-team football through injuries.

Vermaelen has been absent for 65 games in total over the past three seasons including 17 in a season-long loan with AS Roma last term. In spite of this, he has performed efficiently whenever on the playing field, and he has the desire to return to England during this summer’s transfer window.

According to The Sun, the Eagles could lodge a transfer attempt to sign the former Gunners centre-back with de Boer keen on adding more options in the central defensive department. Mamadou Sakho proved a huge hit during his short-term loan from Liverpool last season, but a permanent deal looks a long way off the cards with the Reds having placed a hefty £30m price tag. Continue reading Crystal Palace plot move for Thomas Vermaelen

TORINO AND BESKITAS IN RAT RACE FOR VERMAELEN

Belgium international centre-back, Thomas Vermaelen seems to be out of favour at the Camp Nou after the expiration of his loan out to AS Roma.


His period at AS Roma saw him hit with injury, thus appearing no more than 12 times on competitive levels for the club.

Vermaelen is a player that has always been prone to injury ever since his days at Ajax, and from there in 2009 to Arsenal.

Football Italia has it that the centre back is wanted by both Beskitas and Torino for the next season.

The 31-year old remains a quick defender and also with a keen eye for goals when he is fit. Serie A club, Torino believes the defender would be a wonderful addition to their club for the upcoming season.Torino is looking to take the player on loan next season but wants Barcelona to help them pay his salaries.

However, if Vermaelen is able to stay fit, he might still have a role with Ernesto Valverde’s side for the next season.

Barcelona’s squad seems to be lacking in quality at the centre back, with only two reputable players, Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti holding forte at the position. Continue reading TORINO AND BESKITAS IN RAT RACE FOR VERMAELEN