Barcelona Still Keen on Junior Firpo Deal With Marc Cucurella Close to Getafe Loan

?Barcelona are still holding a firm interest in Real Betis left back Junior Firpo, with recently re-signed Marc Cucurella heading straight back for the Camp Nou exit door – with a loan to Getafe.

If the move goes through as expected, Jordi Alba will once again be the only recognised left-back at the club – with Ernesto Valverde seemingly having made his mind up on who will join the club to fill the void.


According to ?Marca, that is fellow Spanish international Firpo, who shone for his country as the Under-21’s lifted the European Championship title last month. While Firpo will add immediate cover for Alba, it is also thought he could be the legendary ?Barcelona star’s long-term replacement.

The player is expected to jump at the chance to join the ?La Liga champions, with the only stumbling block remaining an arrangement over the 22-year-old’s fee – as his current release clause sits at €50m.

Negotiations shouldn’t prove an issue, with Marca adding the two clubs hold a solid relationship, while Betis have already secured an apparent replacement after Alfonso Pedraza joined on loan with an option to buy.

Barça’s pursuit of Firpo comes off the back of beINSPORTS’ ?Ruben Naria claiming that Getafe are edging closer to a deal for Cucurella – this after La Blaugrana exercised their buyback option with Eibar for €4m after the player initially signed for the club following a loan spell.

Ever since selling Lucas Digne to ?Everton last summer, Barça have been on the hunt for a new left back, with Betis academy graduate Firpo the man they’ve targeted.

The Spaniard has made 43 appearances across two seasons for the club, netting five times and dazzling La Liga with some fine displays down the left hand side.

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Free Agents: 8 Players Who Would Not Cost Your Club a Penny

Pre-season is now in full flow, and clubs are looking to get their transfer business done ahead of their respective leagues resuming. 

Fans love to hear about the rumours of big-money signings. It shows ambition, and brings excitement that your club can attract the best players.?

Yet it is not all about the most expensive players as there are some absolute bargains to be had elsewhere. And when we say bargains, we mean freebies….players who don’t actually have contracts or any cost attached to them!

Here’s eight such players who could be rather handy and cost you diddly squat..


Mario Balotelli

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The Italian forward seems to have been around forever, but he is still only 28. Having moved from club to club across a variety of countries, he is now looking for a new club after his contract with Marseille ended last month.

It would be a gamble to sign Balotelli given his widely-publicised off-field indiscretions. ?Yet he does offer quality on the pitch, scoring eight goals in 15 Ligue 1 appearances for Marseille last season to show that he is far from a spent force. Perhaps a gamble worth taking.


Fernando Llorente

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Llorente only netted two league goals in as many seasons for Tottenham, hardly eye-catching numbers. He also missed from three yards in the Champions League semi-final against Ajax last season, before Lucas Moura spared his blushes. He is probably still thanking Moura to this day for that.

He does possess positive attributes though. The way he unsettled Matthijs de Ligt in the Champions League was impressive, ?whilst he also held the ball up well when he got his chance due to Harry Kane picking up an ankle problem. Four league assists last season highlight his ability to bring others in to the game. 

He is 34, but pace has never been his strength, so his age should not be a concern. Llorente may still have a couple of good years left in the game.


Dani Alves

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Alarm bells might start ringing with Alves when you hear about his age. He is 36. However, he does not appear to be done just yet.

The full back, who has won the Champions League on three occasions, recently captained Brazil to the Copa America title, as they beat Peru 3-1 in the final. This shows that he has plenty still to offer.

The experience that he brings with him after winning trophies in Spain, Italy and France would be invaluable for any side. Expect him to get another big move in the coming weeks.


Hatem Ben Arfa

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Ben Arfa has had his fair share of issues throughout his career. ?Falling out with managers has become common place, whilst he has struggled with weight problems at times as well.

However, one thing is for certain: he is supremely talented. Fans of the Premier League will remember him dazzling for Newcastle in their superb 2011-12 season, and he has been producing moments of magic in France since then.

Last season he scored seven goals and provided two assists in Ligue 1 for Rennes. Now he is seeking a new challenge and he will surely receive an offer before the window shuts.


Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge

It had all looked so good for Sturridge. He scored 22 Premier League goals in the 2013/14 campaign, nearly taking Liverpool to the title, and continued that form in to that year’s World Cup, netting in the opening game against Italy. Sadly, that tournament went downhill quickly for England, and the same can be said for Sturridge’s career. 

In the six seasons since, Sturridge has scored just 19 league goals, and has been plagued with injuries. It was no great shock to see him released by Liverpool this summer. 

His next career move is crucial. The forward is 29 and needs to hit the ground running when he finds a club. He has proved that he can do it before and will hope that he can produce at the top level again.


Gary Cahill

Gary Cahill

Cahill endured a nightmare season last year, as Maurizio Sarri cast him aside when he walked through the door at Chelsea. 

The England international is a proven winner though, having claimed two Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy in his career. Having hardly featured last season, he will have to get back up to speed quickly.

Will his level have dropped that much in one season? That remains to be seen, but Cahill has experience on his side, and will believe that he can get back to his best. He may get the chance to prove it next season.


Yacine Brahimi

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Brahimi impressed at Porto last season, enjoying his highest scoring league campaign with the club, netting ten goals. He also made his mark in the Champions League, as the side reached the quarter-finals before exiting to the eventual winners, Liverpool.

After five seasons in Portugal, he is looking for his next move. At the age of 29, it is fair to assume that he is currently at his peak. As he is available on a free, expect someone to snap him up before too long.


Filipe Luis

Filipe Luis

Chelsea fans may remember Luis, though perhaps not too fondly. The Brazilian left back did not make too much of an impact in his one season at Stamford Bridge, before returning to Atletico Madrid ?in 2015.

That does not make Luis a poor player. He has shown his class for Diego Simeone’s side over the years, helping the team to a La Liga title and two Europa League triumphs.

Now approaching his 34th birthday, Luis is coming towards the end of his career, yet his reading of the game could entice clubs to make a move to acquire his services.


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Barcelona’s Asking Price for Malcom Revealed After Showdown Talks With Player’s Agent

?Barcelona have met with Malcom’s representatives to discuss his future at Camp Nou amid continued interest from abroad.

The Brazilian winger struggled for playing time last season after joining from Bordeaux, and is likely to find himself further down the pecking order after the arrival of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid for a whopping €120m.

Malcom

Leading Spanish publication Marca state that Malcom’s agent did not go as far as asking for a move away from Camp Nou, but did discuss potential transfer options this summer.

It’s claimed that Barça didn’t categorically tell Malcom’s agent that he’s not for sale – nor did they tell him that he is for sale – but instead informed his entourage that it would take an offer around the €60m mark for a sale to be considered.

The winger struggled in his debut year in Spain as he featured just 24 times across all competitions, contributing only four goals and two assists in that time. 

With rumours abound that Barça are keen to bring Neymar back to Catalonia, his playing time will likely diminish further – fuelling rumours that a summer exit could be on the cards.

Jordi Alba,Malcom Filipe Silva de Oliveira

As of now, no offers have been tabled for Malcom but Premier League trio Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur have all been credited with an interest.

Barcelona may be open to a loan deal with an option to buy, as it’s likely that his €60m valuation will put any interested parties off – given his lack of regular game time.

He has proven his ability previously, though, starring for Bordeaux during the 2017/18 Ligue 1 season. The then 21-year-old scored 12 goals and contributed seven assists in that time, catching the eye of many high profile European clubs – including Roma, who though they had a agreed a deal with Malcom, only for Barcelona to steal in at the last minute.

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PSG Chairman ‘Threatens’ Neymar With Solo Training & No Football Until 2022

Paris Saint-Germain chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi has lost his patience with Neymar’s on-going attempts to leave the club, ‘threatening’ the Brazilian with solo training sessions and telling him he won’t play again until 2022.

Neymar has garnered plenty of attention this summer, thanks to his desire to engineer a return to Barcelona. Following controversial ?comments by Neymar regarding the 6-1 victory over PSG while he was at Barça, the chairman is said to have lost it.

Neymar Jr.

According to a report from El Pais, al-Khelaifi threatened the 26-year-old with solo training sessions at Paris, as well as no football until his contract expired in 2022.

Neymaris yet to return to the Ligue 1 champions scheduled pre-season training sessions, which began last Monday, after remaining in Brazil to work on his NJR Institute project in Sao Paulo, for which the club have opened disciplinary proceedings against him.

In response, the forward has claimed that former sporting director Antero Henrique granted him permission to miss the first week of training before his departure.

In any case, the Brazilian has not helped himself in recent times, after telling reporters his favourite footballing moment of his career so far is Barca’s against-the-odds comeback against PSG in the Champions League. 

The player declared: “My best memory as a footballer? When we won against PSG with Barcelona. What we felt when we scored the sixth goal I never felt something like this, it was incredible.”

During this time of unrest, the club’s chairman sent several intermediaries, including sporting director Leonardo, to the player and his father, systematically increasing the tone of his threats with each meeting.

Neymar has since returned to France, although only to meet with the club once more, in which he is reported to have told the hierarchy he wishes to leave, before – in a move that fulfilled half of Al-Khelaifi’s threats – training alone in the gym.

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Frenkie de Jong’s Barcelona Shirt Number Is Revealed as Midfielder Settles into Life at Camp Nou

?Frenkie de Jong will wear the number 21 shirt at Barcelona this season, as La Masia graduate Carles Alena switches to number 19.

The Dutchman occupied the squad number throughout his four-year association with the Amsterdam side, and wearing it, he earned himself iconic status, helping his side to an Eredivisie title and a Champions League semi-final before leaving for a club-record fee. 

Keen to carry it with him as an homage to his days in the Dutch capital, the number was already occupied by Alena upon his arrival at Camp Nou, but it seems as if the 21-year-old was happy  to adjust to accommodate. 

As per a ?club announcement, Alena has taken the number 19, which was held by Kevin-Prince Boateng last season, in order to free up 21 for De Jong, 

The midfielder becomes the ninth player to don the number 21 since permanent squad numbers came into effect in 1995, with esteemed names such as Luis Enrique and Lilian Thuram having made it famous during their playing careers.

?Alena, meanwhile, takes the number that one Lionel Messi wore prior to inheriting the number ten from Ronaldinho, while it was also famously worn by Patrick Kluivert, another Ajax alumnus. 

Ronaldinho,Lionel Messi

In other ?Barcelona squad numbering news, Antoine Griezmann will wear the number 17, while incoming goalkeeper Neto takes 13. 

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