Barcelona Close to Reaching Agreement to Sign Valencia Striker Rodrigo

Barcelona are closing in on striker Rodrigo after Valencia president Anil Murthy travelled to Catalonia in an attempt to thrash out a deal. ?

The Valencia chief is on the verge of negotiating a loan move that would see the Spain international Rodrigo head to Camp Nou before the transfer deadline. 

Rodrigo Moreno

However, it is a deal that has proved problematic, and Murthy is determined that Valencia are granted their wish of agreeing that Barça’s offer includes a compulsory option to buy the 28-year-old.

According to Sport, the deal is finely balanced and has reached crunch time with regards to the two clubs coming to an agreement. 

Negotiations were thought to have come to a standstill last week, with Valencia having initially batted away several approaches from ?Barcelona for Rodrigo. 

But reports now say that Los Che have re-entered discussions with La Liga’s champions.

Rodrigo

It is thought that Barca tried to sweeten any proposed deal with the offer of defender Moussa Wagué and 19-year-old striker Abel Ruiz, two players deemed surplus to requirement by new coach Quique Setién.

However, neither of the players mentioned appeared to appease Valencia, and they are only interested in striking up a cash deal.

They are holding out for €60m and the guarantee that Rodrigo will join on a permanent basis in the summer, as reported by ?superdeporte.es.

Rodrigo would become Setién’s first signing since replacing Ernesto Valverde at the helm less than two weeks ago. 

Quique Setien

Valencia inflicted the first defeat of Setién’s Barcelona reign on Saturday, as a Maxi Gómez strike and a Jordi Alba own goal saw the hosts to a 2-0 win at Mestalla.

As for the man of the hour, Rodrigo was resigned to a place on the bench but did replace French forward Kévin Gameiro on the hour mark in what could have been his last game for the club.

Either way, it’s clear that losing Luis Suarez being sidelined for four months with a knee injury has forced Barcelona into the ?transfer market for a striker.

Kevin Gameiro,Rodrigo

Rodrigo hasn’t exactly been prolific this season, only scoring twice in the league so far.

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?Where Are They Now? The 20 Youngsters ‘Backed by Messi’ in 2015/16 to Become Future Stars

In 2015 and 2016, 10 young talents in each year were ‘Backed by Messi’ as part of an adidas campaign.

The Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi endorsed the up and coming starlets as part of ‘Team Messi’, giving them his own custom boots, while encouraging fans around the world to follow their progress.

But what has become of those 20 players in the years four to five years since? How many have made good on their early potential and where are they now?

Well, it’s a mixed bag…


Season 1 (2015)


Kenedy (Chelsea & Brazil): Joined Chelsea from Fluminense and currently on loan at Getafe – his fourth loan away from Stamford Bridge after spells at Watford and Newcastle (twice).

Maxwell Cornet (Lyon & France): Still with Lyon and has gone on to play over 200 games for the club. Also a full Ivory Coast international after switching allegiance back to his homeland.

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-LYON-TOULOUSE

Jeremie Boga (Rennes/Chelsea & France): The two-time FA Youth Cup winner only played once for Chelsea’s first-team and joined Sassuolo on a permanent transfer in 2018.

Accursio Bentivegna (Como/Palermo & Italy): Currently with Carravese in Serie C, following an initial loan, after leaving Palermo on a permanent deal in 2018.

James Wilson (Manchester United & England): The striker shocked the world with two goals on his debut in 2014. Now, however, he is with Aberdeen after being released in 2019.

Timo Werner (Stuttgart & Germany): Poached by RB Leipzig following promotion to the Bundesliga in 2016 and has become one of Europe’s top strikers – currently Bundesliga top scorer.

Timo Werner

Aleksey Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow & Russia): Remains with Lokomotiv Moscow and has played over 200 games for the club. Also a regular pick for Russia and went to 2018 World Cup.

Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy & USA): Famed for his role in ‘The Journey’ in FIFA 18, the 28-year-old has since left LA Galaxy but stayed in MLS to join Columbus Crew.

Marcos Lopes (Monaco & Portugal): Better known these days as ‘Rony’. Enjoyed a breakout season at Monaco in 2017/18 after impressing on loan at Lille, but now struggling at Sevilla.

Khiry Shelton (New York City & USA): Went from NYC to Sporting Kansas City, before trying his luck with German club Paderborn. Now back in Kansas City for the 2020 MLS season.


Season 2 (2016)


Chanathip Songkrasin (Muangthong United & Thailand): Currently flying the flag for Thai football in Japan after joining J1 side Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo permanently in 2019.

Chanathip Songkrasin

Kasper Dolberg (Ajax & Denmark): Broke into the Ajax first-team in 2016 and enjoyed a strong debut season. He bounced back from a downturn, before Nice paid €20.5m for him in 2019.

Gabriel Boschilia (Monaco & Brazil): Played an impressive small role as Monaco won Ligue 1 in 2016/17. Remains with the club but has failed to kick on since returning from a loan at Nantes.

Kekuta Manneh (Vancouver Whitecaps & Gambia): Has played only sparingly in recent years, despite a strong 2015 MLS season in Vancouver. Now with FC Cincinnati ahead of 2020.

Nadya Karpova (Chertanovo & Russia): The only female player in the selection, the forward left Russia for Spain in 2017 and now plays for Sevilla after a spell with Valencia.

Alex Muyl (New York Red Bulls & USA): Remains with New York Red Bulls and has played over 130 times for the club, but the 2019 season saw the winger lose his place.

Alex Muyl,Russell Canouse

Nathan (Vitesse Arnhem/Chelsea & Brazil): One of the many talents contracted at Chelsea that has never played for the club. Currently on loan at Atletico Mineiro in Brazil until summer.

Davide Calabria (Milan & Italy): Still with Milan but has returned to being a fringe player after injury ended a promising 2018/19 season early. Capped by Italy up to Under-21 level.#

Jean-Kevin Augustin (Paris Saint-Germain & France): ?Has just joined Championship side Leeds on a loan deal from RB Leipzig, where early promise after his 2017 move faded.

Patrick Roberts (Celtic/Manchester City & England): Now at his fourth different loan club from Manchester City in the form of Middlesbrough after hardly featuring for Norwich.


For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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Roma Putting Finishing Touches On €13m Deal for Barcelona Youngster Carles Perez

?Carles Perez will complete his €13m move from Barcelona to Roma in the coming days after the Blaugrana agreed not to include a buy-back clause in the deal.

The sides had been in deadlock as they negotiated the 21-year-old’s proposed transfer to Italy, with the Giallorossi unwilling to insert such a clause. Barça ultimately dropped their demands, thereby breathing new life into the deal, which should be wrapped up by Tuesday evening.

Carles Perez

Speaking via ?Twitter, Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano revealed Perez’s seven-year stay with ?Barcelona will come to an end this week, despite concerns that his move to Rome was on the brink of collapse.

?Recent comments from Giallorossi sporting director Gianluca Petrachi appear to support Romano’s claim. He said: “We continue with our philosophy, investing in young talented players. The negotiations [for Pérez] are at an advanced stage. 

“We have an excellent relationship with Barcelona, and we are talking to the player. Obviously, we need to convince him we have the right sports project here for him. I never say that anything is complete until it is all signed, but I’m optimistic. 

“Roma are nobody’s feeder club, so if anyone comes here they will be a Roma player. There will be no repurchase option.”

Paulo Fonseca

Barça’s eagerness to include a buy-back clause was evidently the only thing holding up progress, and now that has been resolved, Roma can begin putting the finishing touches on the transfer.

Perez’s departure is unlikely to have a major impact at Camp Nou, the youngster making only eight starts for the club this term. He collected three goals and as many assists in that period, with La Bluagrana’s attacking talent making game time hard to come by.

He leaves the team in second position in ?La Liga following the 2-0 loss at Valencia over the weekend, while his soon-to-be new employers occupy the final ?Champions League-qualification place in ?Serie A.


For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter

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The Bulls**t-O-Meter: Ranking How Ridiculous This Week’s Transfer Rumours Really Are

Ah, transfer rumours. Simultaneously the best friend and worst enemy of the football writer. 

In truth, we rarely know if they’re true or not; but it rarely matters. All that matters is they exist, and for better or worse, they give us all something to talk about. 

But while we can’t say with absolute certainty whether Kylian Mbappé is going to ?Liverpool or if Manchester United are going to finally get their act together in the transfer market, we can have an educated guess, thanks to the cutting-edge technology here at 90min. Think of it as rumour VAR.

Yes, less than two weeks since ?its last outing, the famous Bulls**t-o-Meter is back to run the rule over everything that has come to light in the last week or so. 


Steven Bergwijn

Dutch Eredivisie"Training PSV Eindhoven"

?Linked Clubs: Tottenham

One that has really only come to light over the weekend, the Dutch wonder-kid fast becoming a wonder-man is r?eported in his native Netherlands to be verging on a January move to Spurs. 

There’s little to say this one won’t happen; except perhaps the sheer speed at which it has emerged from nothingness. He’s affordable (even for Tottenham) and long overdue a move away from PSV, where even his extraordinary goal and assist numbers have been unable to drag them into a title challenge this season. 

Even PSV coach Ernest Fabian has admitted the player is in talks over a move away; this one looks, for all the world, as if it’s happening. 

Possibility of Future Transfer: Nailed On

Likelihood of January Move: Very Strong

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 1/10


Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud

Linked Clubs: Aston Villa, Barcelona, Inter

Giroud’s January move to Chelsea in 2018 was perhaps the most January transfer in the history of January transfers. Some say it even invented the January transfer window; that theory defies all logic and reason, but so too does the basic concept of Olivier Giroud, so who knows?

Anyway, a whole smattering of clubs ranging from Premier League relegation strugglers to the champions of Spain are said to be in the running. He looks a sensible short-term addition for literally any of them, and he certainly doesn’t look to have a future at Chelsea. 

There is of course plenty of lazy, ill-informed reporting on his situation doing the rounds, but at the core of it all you would imagine there is no shortage of truth in the widespread interest. 

Possibility of Future Transfer: Highly Likely

Likelihood of January Move: Moderate

BULLSH**T-O-METER RATING: 3/10


James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez

?Linked Clubs: Arsenal, Everton

James Rodriguez’s once-unbounded potential has buckled under injury in recent years, and now he sits unfancied at Real Madrid; who are now prepared to sell him for around half of what they paid to acquire him back in 2014. 

However, he remains a favourite of Carlo Ancelotti – the man who initially brought him to Madrid – so with the Italian’s arrival at Everton came plenty talk about a hugely-ambitious and ostensibly far-fetched move to Goodison Park for the Colombian. 

Arsenal are also said to be in the frame, and while neither can be disproved, it’s one of those that would have to be seen to be believed. 

Possibility of Future Transfer: Nailed On

Likelihood of January Move: Low to Moderate

BULLSH**T-O-METER RATING: 5/10


Philippe Coutinho?

Philippe Coutinho ,

?Linked Clubs: Arsenal, Liverpool

Jesus, now we’re getting into it. The Brazilian’s stock has fallen steadily ever since his controversial departure from Anfield, and even a loan spell to Bayern Munich – which initially promised much – has failed to stop the rot.

His parent club don’t want him and his current suitors don’t want him, so his future looks very much in limbo. A return to the Premier League has been subject to much discussion over the last week or so, although it seems highly unlikely that will be back to Liverpool – a rumour that continues to persist despite it making absolutely no sense whatsoever given how the Reds have evolved since his departure. 

A January move is of course a near-impossibility, but a summer switch to the likes of Arsenal isn’t quite out of the picture. 

Still, you get the sense that very little of the speculation here is thoroughly-researched – or researched at all. 

Possibility of Future Transfer: Probably

Likelihood of January Move: Non-existent

BULLSH**T-O-METER RATING: 7/10


Dimitri Payet

FRA-LIGUE1-RENNES-MARSEILLE

?Linked Clubs: West Ham

“Wait, what?” 

– you, just there, probably. 

Yes, it seems the man who left West Ham shrouded in controversy in 2017, because he didn’t want to play in the ‘lower reaches’ of the Premier League, is being linked with a return to West Ham, who currently reside in the ‘lower reaches’ of the Premier League. 

That’s despite the fact he’s currently 32, and very much enjoying his football in France’s second-best team – a team whose chairman recently said he won’t entertain any offers for players this month unless it simply ‘cannot be refused’.  

Everything about this one screams ‘absolutely not.’

Possibility of Future Transfer: Lukewarm

Likelihood of January Move: ffs no

BULLSH**T-O-METER RATING: 8/10


Sergio Agúero

Sergio Aguero

Linked Clubs: Inter Miami

What’s that overbearing stench that seems to have taken over the room? Oh, it’s just this stinking, festering turd of a transfer rumour. Nothing to see here. 

Believe it or not, yes, this is a ?thing that is being reported. Sergio Agúero, the same Sergio Agúero showing absolutely no signs of slowing down with 21 goals in 23 appearances this season, is apparently heading to MLS.

Even allowing for the unlikely event that he is to leave City this summer (he has 18 months left on his deal and is playing at the very top of his game, so go figure) why on earth would he be heading to wind down in MLS? In this unlikely hypothetical universe there is a queue encompassing several blocks for his signature, and that’s just the major European clubs in contention. 

David Silva? That’s another matter – he’s three years further along in his development and his departure has been announced a year in advance. 

Agúero though? Come on, try harder.

Possibility of Future Transfer: Reasonable

Likelihood of January Move: Behave

BULLSH**T-O-METER RATING: 10/10


For more from Robbie Copeland, follow him on Twitter!

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Twitter Reacts as Vibrant Valencia Seal Deserved Win Over Deflated Barcelona

Barcelona fell to a costly defeat in their pursuit of the La Liga title at the Mestalla, as they lost 2-0 to Valencia on Saturday afternoon.

Barcelona travelled to the Mestalla top of La Liga on goal difference, knowing that a win would take them three points clear of Real Madrid, who don’t play until Sunday. A win for Valencia would take them into fifth, languishing down in eighth at the start of the day.

?After a tepid start in which Barcelona dominated possession, Valencia won a penalty after Jose Gaya was brought down by Gerard Pique inside the box. Maxi Gomez stepped up to the spot, but he was denied by Marc-Andre ter Stegen who pulled off an excellent save.

Barcelona were on the back foot in terms of chances, yet ter Stegen stepped up every time to keep out everything Valencia threw his way. He forced Gomez’s powerful driven shot onto the crossbar, before tipping Kevin Gameiro’s scuffed effort round the post in an excellent double save.

With Valencia unable to get past the German shotstopper for the duration of the first half, they needed just two minutes of the second half to beat him. Gomez picked up the ball and steadied himself before shooting, with his powerful strike coming off Jordi Alba’s side and into the back of the net for the hosts.

That was the wake up call Barcelona needed, yet they still showed no signs of scoring. The Blaugrana didn’t register a shot on target inside the first hour, though Valencia were resilient and somewhat stubborn in defence in their efforts to keep the reigning champions out.

Valencia maintained their momentum and deservedly found their second, Maxi Gomez finally getting his goal. After being denied a goal from the penalty spot and his earlier strike given as an own goal, Gomez struck the ball beautifully into the bottom corner to seal the win for Valencia.

Both sides have a round of 16 tie in the Copa del Rey up next, after both reaching the final last year. Valencia travel to third division side Cultural Leonesa – who knocked out Atletico Madrid – on Wednesday, while Barcelona entertain Leganes at the Camp Nou the following evening.

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