Barcelona have contacted Tottenham regarding the availability of Ryan Sessegnon, and are considering the possibility of a swap deal to make the move happen.
Sessegnon joined Spurs from Fulham ahead of the 2019/20 season, but has struggled to nail down a regular place in the starting XI since making the switch.
Barcelona are said to be long time admirers of 20-year-old Sessegnon and have been keeping tabs on him since his breakthrough as a teenager at Fulham. Sky Sports report that Barça have now made Spurs aware of their interest and are exploring the possibility of a swap deal this summer.
La Blaugrana had already enquired about Spurs’ record-signing Tanguy Ndombele with regards to a potential deal this summer, but have since cooled their interest in the midfielder after signing Miralem Pjanic from Juventus.
Barça are willing to let go of several players in order to restructure their squad this summer, and there have previously been claims of Nelson Semedo and Samuel Umtiti being offered to Spurs.
As for Sessegno, he joined Spurs in a deal worth £25m last summer and despite struggling to break into the side so far, is focused on finishing the season before considering any potential departure.
Spurs’ hierarchy, meanwhile, are keen to see both Sessegnon and Ndombele used more frequently – considering the hefty finances involved in signing both players – but head coach Jose Mourinho is still yet to be convinced by the pair.
Over in Spain, Barça are looking to rebuild in a number of positions this summer. As well as left back, a striker is also seen as a priority, with Inter’s Lautaro Martinez continually being linked with a move to Camp Nou.
In order to facilitate any new signings, though, the Catalan giants must move on a number of players. With Arthur Melo being used as a makeweight in the deal that brought Pjanic to the club, Barcelona could look to conclude player-plus-cash deals more regularly this summer – with Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal also mentioned as potential big-name sacrifices.
Barcelona’s faint hopes of a third consecutive La Liga title continue with the visit of Osasuna to the Camp Nou on Thursday night.
The Catalan giants trail league leaders Real Madrid by four points with just two games of this elongated season to play with the title challenge out of their hands.
Osasuna’s first season back in La Liga since 2017 has seen the club avoid the relegation scrap, spending almost the entirety of the campaign oscillating around mid-table – they go into Thursday’s clash sitting comfortably in 11th place.
When Is Kick Off? Thursday 14 July What Time Is Kick Off? 20:00 (BST) Where Is it Played? Camp Nou TV Channel/Live Stream? fuboTV (US)
Along with the long-term absentee Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona could be without several first-team players for this midweek clash. Antoine Griezmann was substituted at half-time during their last outing against Real Valladolid with ‘discomfort in his quadriceps’ while Arthur missed the game after a bout of tonsillitis.
Samuel Umtiti has missed the last three games with a knee injury but Frenkie de Jong could return after being sidelined since June with a calf problem.
This match comes too soon for Osasuna’s star forward Ezequiel ‘Chimy’ Ávila to play his first game since January while fellow attacker Brandon will also miss out in midweek. Rubén García, Robert Ibáñez and Marc Cardona are all doubts.
As the season restarted after the coronavirus-induced hiatus, Barcelona were top of the table and boosted by the return of Luis Suarez. Nine games into the campaign’s addendum and they are yet to lose but three draws have seen Real Madrid replace the Catalans at the top.
While there has been suggestions that Quique Setien’s future as the club’s manager is in question, Barcelona have delivered three consecutive victories as the 61-year-old ditched the tried and tested 4-3-3 for an experimental 4-3-1-2 in recent weeks.
When Osasuna shipped five unanswered goals to an Atlético Madrid side not exactly famed for scoring in vast quantities in their second game since the restart, some feared the worst for the Pamplona team. Especially given how much they thrive off their usually boisterous crowd. However, they go into Thursday’s fixture with four wins from their last six games, safely ensconced in mid-table.
Here’s how each side has fared in their last five outings.
Real Valladolid 0-1 Barcelona (11/07) Barcelona 1-0 Espanyol (08/07) Villarreal 1-4 Barcelona (05/07) Barcelona 2-2 Atlético Madrid (30/06) Celta Vigo 2-2 Barcelona (27/06)
Osasuna 2-1 Celta Vigo (11/07) Real Betis 3-0 Osasuna (08/07) Barcelona 0-0 Getafe (05/07) Eibar 0-2 Osasuna (02/07) Osasuna 2-1 Leganés (27/06)
With the title race all but decided, Barcelona can enjoy their last home league game of the season free of pressure. These final few outings are effectively preparation for the long-awaited Champions League round of 16, second leg against Napoli at the start of August as Setien deciphers his best lineup and system for the crucial European tie.
Osasuna harbour the less lofty ambitions of a top half finish for the first time in La Liga since 2012.
Barcelona’s meagre record on the road has been one of several reasons behind their faltering title bid but the club’s home form has been nothing short of superb. In 18 league games, only Real Madrid and neighbours Atlético have escaped the Camp Nou with a point and Osasuna don’t look as though they will join that select list.
Barcelona have officially launched their new home shirt for the 2020/21 season, which features prominent gold trim and is inspired by the club’s first golden generation of the 1920s.
The thick gold round neck is also reminiscent of the kit worn during the 2010/11 season when Barça won the Champions League and laid claim to the moniker of greatest club side of all time.
The thin gold stripes bordering each of the classic blue and red stripes, which had been swapped for squares in 2019/20, is said to mimic the design of the crest worn on Barcelona shirts in the 1920s.
It will be worn with blue shorts and horizontally striped socks in the same design as the shirt.
Buy your brand new FC Barcelona home kit on the club store and from Nike.com now!
The jersey is made by Nike and features primary sponsor Rakuten on the front, as well as Beko on the sleeve. Stanley remains the sponsor of Barcelona Femeni.
The tagline, ‘Only for Culers’ refers to the popular name for Barça fans that traces its origins from the Catalan word for ‘bums’ – when people passing by the club’s original Camp de la Industria home in the early years of the 20th century could see a row of fans sitting along the top wall of the stand.
The 1920s saw Barça win their first Spanish league title, as well as five Copa del Rey triumphs. The decade also gave rise to early club legends like Paulino Alcantara, Ricardo Zamora, Josep Samitier and Emili Sagi-Barba.
As yet, only the more expensive €139.99 ‘match’ shirt, the same as worn by the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann on the pitch is on sale. That is because of a technical issue in the manufacturing of the replica ‘stadium’ version that is more affordable to fans.
The club has promised to issue an update in due course when it will be available to buy.
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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has insisted that he is certain Lionel Messi will choose to extend his contract at Camp Nou.
The Argentine has already rejected the chance to trigger a break clause in his contract as he plans to spend next season with Barça, but there have been rumours suggesting it could be his final campaign in La Liga.
Messi found himself at odds with certain members of the Barcelona hierarchy over their handling of both Ernesto Valverde’s departure and the players’ decision to take a wage cut during the coronavirus outbreak, while he is understood to have a frosty relationship with manager Quique Setién.
However, speaking to TV3, Bartomeu informed fans that there is no need to be concerned as Messi has made it clear he plans on ending his career at Barcelona.
“Leo Messi fits in with what Barça wants to do in the coming years, his contract ends in June next year and he is in great shape to play two or three more years,” he said.
“We talked about his renewal. We are talking about it. And we’ll talk about it. He has always said that he wants to end his football career at Barça and I am convinced that it will be so. We will renew it for sure. He is well-prepared to compete for as many years as he wants.
“Our relationship is smooth and not angry. What happened during the salary cut situation is that some people within the club talked too much, but now they are gone.”
Bartomeu also took the chance to offer an update on the future of Setién, who also has just one year remaining on his contract and has been heavily linked with an exit. There was even talk suggesting he wouldn’t make it until the end of the season, but Bartomeu insisted he still has faith in the boss.
“Quique Setién will be the coach in the last two league games and also in the Champions League,” he revealed. “Our will is to fulfil the contract with Setién and have him next season. When we went to his house, we went to plan for the future.
“Xavi will be Barça’s coach sooner or later. Time will tell, but I reiterate that we are not looking for a coach right now.”
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed that the club has ended talks with Inter over Lautaro Martinez, and will instead look to re-assess their transfer strategy in light of the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis.
Barça have been eyeing Martinez all season in a bid to freshen up an ageing attacking line. But with Inter not expected to accept less than the player’s €111m release clause and the reigning Spanish champion’s already well documented financial concerns, plans might have to change.
“We talked about Lautaro with Inter a few weeks ago but now the issue is stopped. Now we are not talking about it,” told Catalan broadcaster TV3. “We have to finish the League and the Champions League and see what the priorities are. It is also a time for internal reflection to clarify how the crisis is affecting the club.
“It is a market in which you cannot think of large investments. We need to see when people can return to the stadium, tourists to the museum. We have to wait and see how it all evolves.”
It was only last week that ESPN reported that Barça had struck an agreement with Martinez over personal terms. That was always likely to be the more straightforward part of the deal, with negotiating a fee with a much tougher obstacle to clear.
That report made it clear that any deal for Barça to sign Martinez might be dependent on the club finding a way to sell expensive flop Philippe Coutinho. Inter are said to prefer cash than player swaps, which is how Barça hoped (and failed) to re-sign Neymar last summer.
It remains to be seen whether the current climate will actually yield a buyer for Coutinho, even with Barça thought to be willing to take a loss on the Brazilian.
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