Barcelona Expresses Interest in Eric Garcia

There’s growing interest in Eric Garcia… 

Futbol Club Barcelona has enquired about the 19-year-old Spanish footballer’s situation at Manchester City as they line up a potential move to bring the defender back to Camp Nou, according to ESPN.

Eric Garcia

Manchester City was quick to knock back Barca‘s initial approach, with high-ranking executives at the English club making it clear that Garcia isn’t for sale. 

Team manager Pep Guardiola is especially fond of Garcia and, while ManCity hope to sign a new centerback this summer, they also want to keep him involved as part of the first-team squad.

However, there is also an understanding at the club that the uncertainty over Guardiola’s long-term future could become a problem at some point. Players are also in the dark and with two years left on his contract, Garcia is in a strong negotiating position.

This provoked Barca to ask about his availability during recent talks between the two clubs regarding a possible swap deal involving right-backs Nelson Semedo and Joao Cancelo.

Garcia was considered one of the brightest prospects in Barca’s La Masia academy when he decided to leave in 2017 to join Premier League champions Manchester City,

Guardiola handed him his full debut in a League Cup game against Leicester in 2018 and he has made 11 appearances this season, starting twice in the league and once in the Champions League.

He’s also been capped five times by Spain under-21s and Barca have followed his development closely since he left three years ago.

A number of different sources at Barca said the club view Garcia as a “good fit” centerback for the team’s style of football. He was brought up on the club’s philosophy and one of his major strengths is his ability on the ball.

Barca, who missed out on Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus last summer, have been searching for a central defender for a long time as they contemplate a future without Gerard Pique, who turned 33 in February.

Manchester City’s reluctance to sell makes a move for Garcia this summer unlikely, especially as Barca expect to be less active in the transfer market due to the effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on their budget. They will focus on their main target, Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, and will not have money left over to invest elsewhere.

But sources tell ESPN that Barca will not give up on Barcelona native Garcia in the long-term and will continue to monitor his situation as he moves into the final two years of his contract at the Etihad Stadium.

Ander Herrera & Manchester United Still Trying to Finalize New Deal While Other Teams Circle

Ander Herrera’s popularity is on the rise while he attempts to finalize a deal with his current team… 

The 29-year-old Spanish professional soccer star and Manchester United are facing a race against time to find an agreement to keep the midfielder at Old Trafford beyond the end of the season, according to ESPN FC.

Ander Herrera

Both parties are keen to agree a new contract that would see Herrera stay at United but, according to sources, there’s still a significant gap to be bridged before a deal is sealed.

Meanwhile, ESPN FCreports that Paris Saint-GermainArsenalJuventusInter Milanand Barcelona are among the clubs ready to sign Herrera on a free transfer if fresh terms are not agreed upon.

If the stand-off continues, Herrera will officially become a free agent on June 30.

Herrera would like to remain at United, but so far the club, who also want him to stay, have refused to meet his demands and a compromise is yet to be found.

There is a willingness of both sides to come to an agreement but there is also an acknowledgement that the clock is ticking and Herrera may soon be forced to seriously consider other options — especially with some of Europe’s biggest clubs circling.

Herrera is closing in on 200 games for United since arriving from Athletic Bilbaoin a £29 million deal in 2014. He was named player of year in 2017 and has played a key role in the revival under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since the Norwegian’s appointment as caretaker manager in December.

Lionel Messi Wins Record Fifth Golden Shoe as Europe’s Top Goal Scorer

Lionel Messi is making history again…

The 31-year-old Argentine soccer star has earned his fifth Golden Shoe prize for being the top goal scorer in Europe last season.

Lionel Messi

Messi, who said he never expected to have such a successful career, scored 34 times in La Liga last season to claim his fifth Golden Shoe award, one more than JuventusCristiano Ronaldo has won.

Messi beat out Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah to the prize after the Egyptian netted 32 times in the Premier League.

“When I started playing I did not expect all this. My dream was, obviously, to be a professional, but I didn’t imagine so much,” Messi said at a gala in Barcelona.

“This is thanks to hard work and effort and, above all, my teammates. I have the best players in the world in their positions playing beside me and that makes everything easier and lets me win these prizes.”

Messi, who also earned the Golden Shoe in 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2016-17, led Barcelona to a league and cup domestic double last season.

The forward leads La Liga’s top scorers chart with 14 goals in this campaign, more than any other player in the top five European leagues.

Josef Martinez Makes MLS History with His ‘Golden Trifecta’ 

Josef Martinez has etched his name into the annals of soccer history…

The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional footballer, a striker for the Major League Soccer club Atlanta United, has become the first player in MLS history to be named the MVP of the All-Star Game, season and MLS Cup.

Josef Martinez

Martinez capped the Golden Trifecta by being named the MVP of Saturday’s title game, a 2-0 win over Portland at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Martinez scored the opening goal and added an assist on Franco Escobar’s capping goal.

Martinez is the third player in MLS Cup history to score a goal and add an assist in the same final. He is the second player in MLS Cup history to score a goal in the final in the same year as winning the Golden Boot.

Martinez was named the league MVP after setting an MLS single-season scoring record with 31 goals during the regular season.  He added four more in the playoffs to set a league record for goals in a season.

He was named MVP of the All-Star game after scoring a goal against Juventus at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“I am most happy with the (MLS) Cup,” he said. “I think this team has had an incredible year, and I think we just have to appreciate the work of everyone this season, the players and coaching staff, because even though we had some ups and downs as a team, everyone on this team contributed something and made sacrifices. This is a win that we want to celebrate because it has been a long year and thank God also.”

Cheered on by the largest crowd in franchise history, United captured the crown in just its second season to set off a huge celebration in a city that has known so much sporting heartbreak. Owner Arthur Blank got to lift the trophy — less than two years after his other team, the NFL‘s Atlanta Falcons, squandered a 25-point lead in an epic Super Bowl collapse.

Yerry Mina Signs Lucrative Deal with Barcelona FC

Yerry Mina is headed to Barcelona…

The 23-year-old Colombian professional footballer has agreed to a deal with Barcelona FC.

Yerry Mina

Mina moves to the Camp Nou for a fee of €11.8 million, and the Colombian’s five-and-a-half-year contract includes a €100m release clause.

Barca had an option to sign Mina for €9m after the 2018 World Cup, but have decided to fast-track the transfer due to Javier Mascherano‘s pending move to Chinese Super League side Hebei Fortune.

As a result, they have had to pay Palmeiras €2.5m more than had originally been agreed for the deal to be completed this summer.

Mina arrives to provide competition for Samuel Umtiti, Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen in defense.

The Catalan club said in a statement: “He will bring a physical presence as his 1.95 metre frame suggests but he is also a quick, ball-playing defender. The Colombian, who is joining from Palmeiras, uses his aerial prowess to impose himself and score goals.”

Mina has won nine caps for Colombia, scoring three goals, and becomes the first-ever player from his homeland to represent Barcelona.

He joined Palmeiras in 2016 from Bogota-based Santa Fe, who are in line to receive a small windfall from the transfer.

Former Colombia international Faustino Asprilla says Mina is more than ready to take the leap to the Camp Nou, comparing him to former Barca and Juventus defender Lilian Thuram.

“Mina’s ready to play for Barcelona,” Asprilla said last month. “He already plays for Colombia, he’s good on the ball, quick and dominates in the air. He would adapt quickly and he has a lot of character. He reminds me of Thuram.”

Santos FC accepts €20m bid for Barbosa from Juventus FC

Gabriel Barbosa could be headed to Italy in the near future…

Brazil’s Santos Futebol Clube has confirmed that the team has accepted a bid for the 19-year-old Brazilian soccer phenom.

Gabriel Barbosa

Serie A giants Juventus have reportedly agreed a €20 million fee with Santos for “Gabigol,” as he’s commonly known, but Barbosa hasn’t signed on the dotted line just yet.

The forward, who has been hailed as the next Neymar, still needs to decide if he wants to move to Italy. Once a decision is made, Santos will need to inform FC Barcelona, who have a first option on the young star.

“We sent a letter to Wagner (Ribeiro, Gabriel’s agent), Valdemir and Lindalva (his parents) with the terms,” Santos president Modesto Roma told Globo Esporte.

“Santos are now waiting for their position. If they think it’s interesting, then we’ll go to the next step, including informing Barcelona.”

Santos reportedly own 40% of the player, while Gabriel and his family own a further 40%, with Doyen Sports controlling the remaining 20%.

Barbosa has made 10 appearances for Santos in Brazil’s Serie A so far this season, and has managed to score five goals along the way.

Telles Transferring to FC Porto

Alex Telles is heading to Portugal…

Futebol Clube do Porto has signed the 23-year-old Brazilian professional soccer player from Turkey’s Galatasaray for the next five seasons.

Alex Telles

The FC Porto said in a statement posted on its website that the termination clause of Telles’s contract is valued at $44.4 million, but gave no further financial details on the transfer.

However, Galatasaray said in a statement reported by Portuguese media that the deal cost the Dragons $7.2 million.

Telles has already worn Porto shirt and will join his new team’s training session later on Wednesday under the command of coach Nuno Espirito Santo.

The Brazilian defender, who started at Juventus, played for Brazil’s Gremio and joined Galatasaray in 2013, where he played for two seasons before moving on loan to Inter Milan last summer.

Hernandez Joining Real Madrid on Season-Long Loan from Manchester United

Javier Hernandez is leaving the United Kingdom…

The 26-year-old Mexican soccer star, known simply as Chicharito, is set to join Real Madrid on a season-long loan from Manchester United with an option for a permanent deal.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez

United had received offers from Juventus and Valencia for Hernandez last week, but he opted to move to Real Madrid.

The Mexico international sealed the loan to the European champion after passing a medical on Monday.

A statement on the Spanish club’s official website reads: “Real Madrid and Manchester United have reached an agreement for the loan of the player Javier Hernandez Chicharito, who will be attached to the club for the current season. Real Madrid retains an option to purchase the player.

“Javier Hernandez Chicharito will give a news conference at the Santiago Bernabeu today Monday at 4:30 p.m.”

The former Premier League champions allowed Hernandez to leave after they agreed to bring in Monaco forward Radamel Falcao, another reported target of Real, on loan.

Hernandez has slipped further down the pecking order at Old Trafford in recent years after the arrivals of Robin van Persie, Juan Mata and now Falcao.

He signed for 6.9 million pounds from Guadalajara in 2010 and was named United’s player of the year in his debut season, when he scored 20 goals.

He has gone on to score 59 goals in 154 games for the club but started only six league matches last season. While he began the current campaign in the team, he was substituted at halftime in the 2-1 defeat to Swansea.

Hernandez, who has scored 36 times in 66 caps for his country, becomes the third Mexican to play for Real after Jose Luis Borbolla and Hugo Sanchez, who scored 208 goals for the 32-time champions of Spain.

Mexico boss Miguel Herrera had earlier tweeted: “Going to Real Madrid is a big opportunity for [Hernandez], for whom I wish the best of success.”

 

Hernandez is expected to understudy first-choice striker Karim Benzema at the Bernabeu. In the past five years, no player has scored more goals as a substitute in the top five European leagues than Hernandez, who has struck 14 times after coming off the bench.

Hernandez will join James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas among Real’s summer signings.

Chelsea Interested in a Deal with Higuain

It looks like Gonzalo Higuain is on-demand…

The 25-year-old France-born Argentine pro soccer player has been tipped to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, as he continues to be linked to several clubs in Europe.

Gonzalo Higuain

In fact, Higuain has been quoted as saying that Chelsea is also interested in a deal, having played under Mourinho at Real.

“Mourinho wants me there,” Higuain is quoted as saying.

At the end of last term Higuain was tapped to join Juventus but when that move broke down he made it clear that he had made his mind up to leave Madrid.

That led to Arsenal being strongly linked to a move, while Rafa Benitez‘s Napoli have also been associated with viewing the forward as a replacement for Edinson Cavani.

With Madrid unwilling to let their star go on the cheap, the Spanish giants put a €40million price tag on his head and that is well within Chelsea’s spending budget.

AS add that while Mourinho has stated his admiration for Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, and insisted he is Chelsea’s only summer transfer target, that is a smokescreen to reveal that he wants to strengthen his front line at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho is a big fan of Higuain and used him as a regular striker during his three years as head coach at Real Madrid.

Messi Could Pick Up a Fourth FIFA Ballon d’Or Award

Lionel Messi has the chance to make soccer history…

The 25-year-old Argentine fútbol star, who just claimed his second Golden Boot award, is among the 23 players in the running for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or award.

Lionel Messi

Should he come out on top, Messi, who made history by claiming the award the last three years in a row, would become the only player to claim the award four times.

But Messi will face stiff competition from several noted players, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Xavi Hernandez, this year’s runners-up for the world’s best player award.

Here’s a look at the nominees:

Real Madrid Players:
Cristiano Ronaldo
Iker Casillas
Mesut Ozil
Karim Benzema
Sergio Ramos
Xabi Alonso

Barcelona Players:
Lionel Messi
Andres Iniesta
Sergio Busquets
Gerard Pique
Xavi Hernandez

Atletico Madrid Player:
Radamel Falcao

Manchester City Players:
Mario Balotelli
Sergio Aguero
Yaya Toure

Manchester United Players:
Wayne Rooney
Robin van Persie

Juventus Players:
Andrea Pirlo
Gianluigi Buffon

Shanghai Shenhua Player:
Didier Drogba

PSG Player:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Bayern Munich Player:
Manuel Neuer

Santos Player:
Neymar

The final three candidates will be revealed on November 29 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Ballon d’Or ceremony will take place in Zurich on January 7, 2013, when the player who receives the most votes from coaches and captains of international teams, as well as reporters, will be announced.