Barcelona Officials Ready for Patient Approach to Jordi Alba’s Contract Negotiations

Barcelona officials have admitted they’ll need to be patient as they continue to work out a contract extension with Jordi Alba.

The left back is now in his seventh season with the Catalan giants and has had a very successful spell with the club, winning four La Liga titles, a Champions League and a FIFA Club World Cup amongst other honours.

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He’s proven to be a vital part to ?Barcelona’s success in recent seasons and has made a blistering start to this campaign, helping his side to the top of ?La Liga heading into the winter break, and he’s now set to be rewarded for his efforts.

?Reports confirmed that the club were working with the player and his representatives to negotiate a contract extension which would see his stay at the club extended until 2023, earning the defenders around €9m per year.

These negotiations seemed to be moving quickly, however according to ?Marca, Barça officials have now admitted that negotiations will in fact not be quick and that they’ll have to take a patient approach if they are to get a deal done.

Jordi Alba Presents New Adidas Boots in Barcelona

With La Blaugrana set to return to action in early January, the players are enjoying some well-deserved time off after what has been a very encouraging start to the season in both La Liga and the Champions League.

However, it looks as though it’ll be a busy break in play for Barcelona’s chief executive Oscar Grau and other members of the board as they work to tie Alba down to a long term deal.

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Lionel Messi Hopeful Barcelona Boss Ernesto Valverde Will Extend Camp Nou Stay

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is hopeful that Ernesto Valverde will stay at the Camp Nou for another season, even though his current contract expires in the summer.

The 54-year-old only took charge of Barça in 2017 and guided them to a domestic double during his maiden season in charge and only missed out on a place in the Champions League semi finals because of a Kostas Manolas header in Rome.

FC Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B

Valverde does already have an offer from Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu which would see his contract extended by 12 months, although nothing has been made official in Catalonia just yet.

Barça captain Messi, according to AS, is eager for Valverde to put pen to paper at the Camp Nou as he’s been impressed at how well the former Athletic Club manager reads the game.

The AS report adds that the Argentina international is also happy with how he is being managed by Valverde, claiming there is something different with their relationship compared to how Messi got on with the likes of Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola, and Luis Enrique.

Barcelona are once again setting the pace in La Liga under Valverde, although this season the Catalan outfit look unlikely to match their 14-point margin at the top of the table by the end of the campaign.

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - La Liga Santander

Barça are still in the running for consecutive Copa del Rey titles as they prepare to face Levante in the last 16, while crucially they can also book their place in the quarter finals of the Champions League by overcoming French outfit Lyon.

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Reports Conflict on Frenkie de Jong’s Future Amid Barcelona, PSG, Man City & Bayern Interest

?The future of Ajax starlet Frenkie de Jong appears no clearer after conflicting reports continue to disagree over whether the much talked about midfielder will end up at Barcelona or Paris Saint-Germain come the summer.

De Jong has been heavily with Barcelona for months, but PSG emerged on the scene earlier this month when gossip originating from his native Netherlands alleged that the French champions had indicated to Ajax of their willingness to meet the €75m asking price.

Benfica v Ajax - UEFA Champions League

The Catalan press has been very keen to stress that Barça still remain favourites for a deal. For example, Mundo Deportivo claimed just two weeks ago that De Jong and younger teammate Matthijs De Ligt were both ‘prioritising’ a move to Camp Nou over elsewhere.

And the latest claim from Sport is that De Jong has already accepted an offer from Barça and that a transfer to Catalonia now relies on an agreement being struck between the two clubs.

‘Half of the work is done’, the report alleges. It is even claimed that De Jong has rejected other more lucrative offers from PSG, Manchester City and Bayern Munich in order to choose Barça, the club that Sport states he always had a preference for.

Barça have apparently promised Ajax that they would come forward with a ‘significant’ offer of a formal fee as soon as they reached an agreement with the player. Any deal would be in place for a transfer to go through at the end of the season rather than in January.

That version of events is the polar opposite to what is being said in the Netherlands. A report from De Telegraaf this week notes how ‘Ajax will almost certainly lose Frenkie de Jong to Paris Saint-Germain this summer and will collect €75m’.

That same report claims that De Jong would choose PSG over Manchester City, while the only mention of Barcelona at any point in the article is related to Adrien Rabiot.

The only consistency in the latest round of De Jong reporting is seemingly that he isn’t interested in joining reigning Premier League champions Manchester City. And yet, the Daily Mirror had recently claimed that De Jong was all set to go choose City after meeting Pep Guardiola, only for the club hierarchy to pull the plug over concerns regarding Financial Fair Play.

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At this rate, the only way you’ll know for sure which club Frenkie de Jong is joining is when he’s holding up a shirt at some point in July 2019 alongside the social media caption #BienvenueFrenkie, #BienvenidoFrenkie or #WelcomeFrenkie.

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Man Utd Have ‘No Intention’ of Selling Paul Pogba Despite Links With Juventus & Barcelona

?Manchester United have ‘no intention’ of selling Paul Pogba when the January transfer window opens next week, with hopes that Jose Mourinho’s recent sacking has removed any motivation the Frenchman may have had to leave Old Trafford.

The relationship between Pogba and Mourinho infamously soured over the final 12 months of the Portuguese manager’s reign. The player was allegedly labelled a ‘virus’ after the 2-2 draw against Southampton earlier this month and was an unused substitute against Liverpool.

Manchester United v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

Juventus and Barcelona have both been heavily linked with an approach for a number of weeks and months, but a report from the Daily Telegraph notes that United are not interested in selling and consider Pogba to be crucial to plans both on and off the pitch.

It is further said that United hope the situation around Pogba’s future will ‘begin to settle down’ now that Mourinho has been removed from the picture.

The Telegraph acknowledges there is uncertainty over whether agent Mino Raiola, who has reportedly been sounding out potential new clubs for nearly a year, will continue to look for a move. But Pogba was apparently informed by United chief Ed Woodward in August that a sale would not be sanctioned and that firm line in the sand has not been redrawn.

Cardiff City v Manchester United - Premier League

Pogba immediately returned to the United lineup after Mourinho was dismissed and his form has already vastly improved in just two games under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

An Opta powered stat revealed that Pogba has been directly involved in four goals in two Premier League games under Solskjaer (2 goals, 2 assists), which is the same total he had registered in his last 12 games under Mourinho (1 goal, 3 assists).

Midfield colleague Nemanja Matic has backed Pogba to be the ‘difference’ for United.

“When he plays at his best, he can make the difference in every game,” the Serbian international is quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.

“He played very well (against Huddersfield), but I think that he can do even more. (It was) very important for him to score some goals. The confidence for the next one is going to be bigger and he needs to know that he still can improve.

Manchester United v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

“He needs to know that he’s very important for this team. As I said, his quality can make the difference every game and, yeah, I hope that he will continue like this.”

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Lionel Messi Claims Barcelona Teammates Will Help ‘Phenomenon’ Ousmane Dembele Focus on Football

Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembélé has acknowledged that he’s made mistakes since moving to Catalonia but is getting help from his teammates to focus on football, according to club captain Lionel Messi.

The World Cup winner has spent the last 18 months on the books with Barcelona, making 45 appearances across all competitions where he’s scored 14 goals and claimed 13 assists for the reigning La Liga champions.

FC Barcelona v PSV - UEFA Champions League Group B

However, most of his time at the club has been marred by problems off the pitch – similar to his brief spell with Borussia Dortmund – which often makes the headlines ahead of Dembélé’s impressive performances for Barcelona.

But according to Messi, the 21-year-old is starting to turn things around and his teammates are chipping in to help Dembélé keep focused on football.

On the pitch, he is a phenomenon and it depends on him,” Messi told Marca. “He has all the opportunity in the world to do what he wants. He can be one of the best. 

“On the other hand, he’s a young guy who is adapting to the city and the club. 

“The less you speak about it, the better. It’s necessary to leave him so he can be calm. He has already realised his mistakes and has rectified them. We are going to help him focus on football.”

Dembélé briefly held the record as Barcelona’s record signing when he swapped Borussia Dortmund for Catalonia in 2017, a deal which cost the La Liga side €115m.

Philippe Coutinho’s arrival from Liverpool months later for €130m eclipsed Dembélé’s transfer fee.

RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Dembélé Has only ever played for three clubs during his professional career. He spent six years working up the ranks at Stade Rennais before being snapped up by Dortmund in 2016. The youngster went on to make 50 appearances for the Black and Yellows before being shipped out to Barcelona.

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