It has been a very quiet month at Can Barça. Despite the continued hype in the press neither Cesc Fabregas nor Alexis Sanchez can be considered as a definite signing. Of course I hope the impasse can be broken, either player would be a useful addition but unless the price is reasonable then we do not need to go crazy to get them. Fabregas is the name in the papers today with El Sport reporting that his signing is “imminent”. The fact that Cesc is here on his holidays always gets the papers excited, but I’m not sure where they get the idea from that Fabregas will not start pre-season training with Arsenal on July 5th if Arsenal refuse to sell him. The only important question here is whether the clubs can agree on a transfer deal, and from what has been reported so far they are still a long way apart in their valuation of the player. Barça are reported to be preparing a higher bid than the rather insulting first bid of €30 million, but it remains to be seen whether Arsenal will accept. Frankly I can’t see us going much over €40 million while I think it will be hard for Arsenal to accept anything under €45 million. We may just get there in the end but don’t hold your breath.
There’s not a lot on other transfer news. Luis Enrique has become coach at Roma and has put in a bid for Bojan but this was a few days ago and the deal has still not gone through. Roma are also supposed to be interested in Martin Montoya who impressed for Spain’s under-21 team in their recent Eurocopa win. Thiago Alcantara knocked a bit off our next bid for Cesc with a splendid goal from 40 yards in Spain’s 2-0 victory over Switzerland in the final.
I was also delighted to see Barça’s Juvenil A team complete a treble this season with a 2-0 win over Espanyol in the Youth Cup. The last time our youth team won the treble was back in 2005 with Pedro in the team. We may have some more stars of the future with excellent promise shown by Gerard Deulofeu, Rafa Alcantara, Sergi Gomez and Javi Espinosa.
For those of you dying to see some top quality football we have the 43rd Copa America starting on Friday starring a certain Leo Messi. I always have mixed feelings watching Messi play for Argentina. I always want him to do well but at the same time I just want him to get back to Barcelona in the best possible conditions for next season.
Talking of next season: it all starts in Split on July 23rd with our first pre-season friendly against Hajduk Split. We then play two games in Munich on July 26th against Porto Alegre and on the 27th against either Bayern Munich or AC Milan. We then fly to the states where we play Manchester United in Washington DC on July 31st, followed by games in Miami (Chivas – Aug 4) and Dallas (America – Aug 6). More on the pre-season as we get closer, let’s hope we get a little bit of transfer activity in the meantime.