Barcelona Weigh Up New Contract for Ivan Rakitic as PSG Consider Triggering Release Clause

Barcelona may offer Ivan Rakitic a new contract to ward off interest from Paris Saint-Germain, who are weighing up a move after learning of the Croatian’s surprisingly low release clause.

It was reported earlier this month that PSG and their French rivals Monaco were both taking an interest in Rakitic, but while Monaco’s interest has cooled, the French champions could be set to take their interest to the next level with a bid.

This is made possible by a release clause of 125m – out of reach for most clubs but more than possible for the side that have already paid two transfer fees in excess of that.

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe joined PSG last summer for €222m and €135m respectively, and Rakitic could be the latest nine-figure arrival.

?Mundo Deportivo claims that PSG are now considering whether to launch a bid, with 11 days left until the transfer window closes in France and Spain.

It was also reported that Les Parisiens were interested in Sergio Busquets, but the Spaniard is close to agreeing a new contract at the Nou Camp which would increase his release clause to an unattainable £500m.

The proposed Rakitic transfer makes some sense on paper, as ?Barcelona are keen to sign Adrien Rabiot from PSG and some sort of part-exchange deal could be arranged.

However, the word is that Barca don’t want to sell Rakitic at the moment, and he is in no hurry to leave either. A new contract reflecting his increased value, following his performances for Croatia at the World Cup, could be in the pipeline.

He featured in all of Croatia’s matches at the tournament, including the full 120 minutes in each of their gruelling knockout matches.


Sergio Busquets Set to Become One of Barcelona’s Top Earners After ‘Agreeing’ New Camp Nou Contract

Sergio Busquets has been rewarded for his dedication to Barcelona after he signed a new contract with the club, according to reports. 

The 30-year-old midfielder only put pen to paper on a five-year extension at the Camp Nou in September 2016 and was not due to enter talks for some time. 

However, according to ?Marca, Barça were keen to reward one of their most valued assets with a pay rise, although the length of the Spaniard’s new deal will remain the same as previously. 

The report states that Busquets’ current agreement runs until 2021, although ?Barcelona have the power to increase that by an extra two years should they so wish. 

However, the midfield anchor’s contract improvement did not address the player’s buyout clause – a requirement by law for all players in Spain – which currently stands at €200m. 

Although still a significant sum, especially for a 30-year-old, it may come as a surprise the figure does not stand higher, especially considering team-mate Sergi Roberto’s activation clause stands at a whopping €500m.

However, it appears that the Blaugrana hierarchy are confident their man, who has been with the club for 13 years, will not push for an exit anytime soon – therefore, incorporating a larger fee would be unnecessary. 

Also, although no specific figures regarding Busquets’ new weekly wage have been released – an agreement that sees the players in Spain paid twice-a-year rather than monthly – it is thought that he now sits only below Lionel Messi in the club’s financial pecking order. 


Legends: Listing Barcelona’s Elite ‘1000 Club’ as Lionel Messi Nets Club’s 6000th Goal vs Alaves

Barcelona legend Lionel Messi made the history books once again on Saturday evening, as the Argentine ace’s first goal of two in a 3-0 win over Alaves marked the clubs 6000th in La Liga.

The Catalan giants have won the Spanish top tier 25 times since it’s formation in 1927, with a host of star players treating the Camp Nou faithful to a mountain of goals over the years.

So here’s a rundown of the players who made edged their name in the Barcelona hall of fame by scoring a 000th goal…

6. 1000th – Marcos Aurelio (1950)

Joining the club from Mexican side Club León in 1949, Argentinian star Marcos Aurelio scored 18 goals for Barcelona in 52 league matches.

The forward scored his side’s 1000th league goal in 1950, against now minnows Lleida. Aurelio won a league title, a Spanish Cup, and a Copa Latina in his three year spell at the club.

5. 2000th – Pedro Tomás Zaballa (1964)

14 years later, Pedro Tomás Zaballa fired home Barcelona’s 2000th league goal.

The forward was capped only once for Spain during his career, scoring a brace against Ireland in Dublin.

During his six years with Barça, Zaballa never won a league title, but did add a Spanish Cup and an Inter-Cities Fairs Cup to his modest career trophy haul.

4. 3000th – Quini (1982)

It took Barcelona a little longer to rack up another 1000 goals, but in 1982, goalscoring machine Quini bagged the 3000th for his side.

Following an outrageous 214 league goals in 381 appearances for Sporting Gijón, Quini joined Barcelona in 1980.

In his third season with the club, the beloved forward’s abilities were starting to decline, but that didn’t stop him netting the big 3000 against CD Castellón.

3. 4000th – Guillermo Amor (1996)

Midfield maestro Guillermo Amor struck the 4000th goal in 1996 against Valencia.

The Benidorm born star played for Barça for over a decade, winning five league titles in the process.

Interestingly, Amor finished his career with SPL minnows Livingston, and recently won the Australian A League as the manager of Adelaide United. Lovely stuff.

2. 5000th – Lionel Messi (2009)

A fresh faced Lionel Messi popped home the club’s 5000th La Liga goal in 2009, as he was on the cusp of greatness.

In a season that saw the club storm to the league title with 99 points, Messi bagged the 5000th goal against Racing Club in a 2-1 victory.

1. 6000th – Lionel Messi (2018)

Less than a decade on, Messi came up with the goods again, scoring in his side’s opening day La Liga win over Alaves, to register the club’s 6000th league goal.

The club icon now has a mighty 385 league goals to his own name, and has been pivotal in Barça reaching the next milestone in less than a decade after the 5000th goal.


Manchester United Among Top Flight Clubs Chasing Portuguese Ronaldo (But Not That One)

??Manchester United are believed to have joined the likes of ?Chelsea, ?Manchester City, and   ?Barcelona in the race to sign Benfica’s highly rated wonderkid Ronaldo Camara.

According to the Mirror, the 15 year old prodigy has excited a number of top clubs with his dazzling performance for the Portugal Under-17 side, and could be at the centre of a manic chase as his suitors battle for his services. The midfielder is seen as a real prospect for the future, and could well be signed up before returning to his current club, Benfica, on loan.

Camara started off his career with Sporting CP, but moved to rival club Benfica after spending three years with Leões. The starlet made his debut for the Portuguese Under-17 side at the age of just 14, and would be eligible to represent either his current side or Guinea-Bissau at senior level.

United of course once famously brought in another Ronaldo from Lisbon, when they signed a certain Cristiano from Sporting back in 2003. The Red Devils will be hoping that lightning can strike twice, and could well look to bring in the tenacious youngster in the hope that he can replicate the successes of his namesake.

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??In other news, ?United goalkeeper David de Gea is believed to be on the verge of signing a new contract with the club. The Spanish star is set to extend his stay at Old Trafford, with his new pay packet estimated to be around £200k per week. His manager, José Mourinho, has publicly praised the player’s conduct, following widespread speculation of a move to ?Real Madrid.


Ernesto Valverde Insists There Is More to Come From Barcelona After 3-0 Opening Weekend Win

Ernesto Valverde admitted that his side can still improve following their 3-0 opening day victory over Alaves at the Camp Nou on Saturday evening. 

Despite their herculean defensive efforts throughout the first half, the visitors were eventually broken shortly after the hour mark as Lionel Messi showed his brilliance once again with an under-the-wall free kick. 

Philippe Coutinho added a special goal late on before the Argentine wizard wrapped up all three points in style in second half stoppage time. 

But despite the – in the end – comfortable victory for the Catalonians, Valverde admitted to ?Marca he was not fully satisfied with his side’s showing, but knows there is still a long way to go. 

“We haven’t been able to play our best game,” he explained in his post-match interview. “The fact that they were situated so deep made our first combinations slow down a little.

“They had very tight defensive lines, a very defensive approach, and it made things difficult for us, but we’re in August and hopefully we’ll improve.”

Despite his excellent form at the back end of last term and during pre-season, Valverde opted to leave Coutinho on the bench – alongside his four summer signings – during the first half. However, the Spaniard was quick to explain that his decision was fatigue management based and nothing more. 

“The two possibilities were Sergi Roberto or Coutinho and I didn’t want to overload the team with players who joined us late,” he clarified. “We started last year with this midfield and it has great strength.

“If we had scored in the first half, then we could have delayed our changes, but we missed a player who could take shots on goal and I thought of Coutinho.”

Messi’s smart free-kick not only sent ?Barcelona on their way to ?victory, but it also marked the club’s 6000th goal in La Liga. And Valverde admitted his delight after the match, although, he was not necessarily surprised by his player’s brilliance.

“He already scored a goal like that against Girona,” he intimated. “Leo can always surprise you; it’s not usual. The shot he also fired against the post was masterful.”