Grêmio’s Luis Suarez Agrees to Deal with Inter Miami CF

Luis Suarez is headed to South Florida…

Inter Miami CF has agreed to a deal with the 36-year-old Uruguayan professional footballer and Grêmio star, according to ESPN.

Luis SuarezAs confirmed last month by his current coach at Grêmio, Renato Gaúcho, Suárez will depart the Porto Alegre-based club at the end of the Brazilian Serie A season in December despite being only halfway through the two-year contract he signed in December 2022.

The one-year deal with an option to renew for a second year has been agreed upon with Inter Miami and all that remains is to sign the contract, said ESPN.

Suárez — Uruguay’s all-time top scorer with 68 goals in 137 appearances for La Celeste — is Grêmio’s leading scorer this season, with 10 goals and 10 assists in 31 league games.

The two-time Serie A champions, who were relegated in 2021 only to bounce back one year later, sit third in the table, three points behind leaders Palmeiras with seven games remaining.

Rumors about a potential Suárez move to South Florida began circulating over the summer when Suárez admitted the high demands of the Brazilian league were taking a toll on his body, especially his knees.

He had meniscus surgery on his left knee in 2014 while with Liverpool and a similar surgery on his right knee in 2020 as a Barcelona player.

Along with Lionel Messi, Inter Miami signed fellow former Barcelona stars Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba in the middle of its season.

Suárez spent six seasons playing alongside that trio at Camp Nou from 2014 to 2020, winning four Spanish La Liga titles and the 2015 UEFA Champions League.

Last month, Inter Miami coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino confirmed his club’s continued interest in signing the veteran striker.

“When the moment arrives to make Suárez’s situation with respect to Inter Miami official, we’ll be prepared to go in the corresponding direction,” he said.

Lionel Messi Notches Two Goals & an Assist in First Game as an Inter Miami CF Starter

Lionel Messi is off to the races…

The 36-year-old Argentine professional footballer followed up his game-winning goal last week by netting two goals and logging an assist in Inter Miami CF’s 4-0 win over Atlanta United.

Lionel MessiMessi and Sergio Busquets were officially in Inter Miami CF’s starting lineup Tuesday night at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the first time since joining the MLS side.

It didn’t take long for the former Barcelona teammates to make an impact, with Busquets lofting a perfect ball over Atlanta’s defense to Messi, who missed his first attempt but put back the rebound to give Miami a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute.

Messi added another goal on a counterattack in the 22nd minute to double the margin with an assist from Robert Taylor, who scored Miami’s third to give the team a 3-0 advantage at halftime of the Leagues Cup match.

Taylor scored the final goal for Miami after the break with an assist from Messi, who was substituted in the 78th minute to a rousing ovation from the home crowd.

Busquets left the game six minutes earlier and was replaced by Victor Ulloa.

“It was a good performance and I’m pleased we were able to make our fans happy. A very good game and we took another step in the right direction,” Miami manager Gerardo Martino said.

Miami swept its group and moved on to the round of 32 in the Leagues Cup, in which it will host an opponent to be determined.

Atlanta became the 100th club that Messi has scored against.

Busquets and Messi spent 13 years playing together in Barca‘s first team before Messi moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021, and they have remained close friends since their trophy-laden run at Camp Nou.

“So many years playing together, so it’s very easy to play with him,” Busquets said. “I’m so happy to be by his side.”

Messi and Busquets came on as substitutes in their debuts in a dramatic win over Cruz Azul on Friday that saw Messi win the game on the final kick.

Martino managed Messi and Busquets for a season at Barcelona and said after the match he wasn’t surprised to see them connect for the opening goal.

“These two players are so good at what they do, they create space,” Martino said.

“Since those two have gotten here, the spirit has changed,” Miami right-back DeAndre Yedlin said. “Obviously, guys are really excited. But I think just their presence gives everybody more confidence. And I think also the teams that we’re playing against now have a bit of fear in their eyes. When those two are on the field, you know you’re in for a tough game.”

Miami and Atlanta are currently playing in the inaugural Leagues Cup competition — a World Cup-style tournament between MLS and Liga MX sides. Messi could make his official debut in an MLS game at home against Charlotte on August 20.

Joao Mendes de Assis Moreira Signs Permanent Contract with Barcelona’s Under-19 Team

Joao Mendes de Assis Moreira is making things permanent…

The 18-year-old Brazilian footballer, the son of former Brazil forward Ronaldinho, has signed a permanent contract with Barcelona‘s under-19 team, the Catalan club has announced.

Joao Mendes de Assis MoreiraMendes had been training with Barca‘s Juvenil A side, pending a decision on whether to hand him a deal.

Following a successful trial, Barca have now taken up an option to extend Mendes’ stay. He signed a contract on Thursday alongside academy director Jose Ramon Alexanco.

Mendes’ contract will reportedly run until summer next year, when the forward would exit the U19 age bracket. Sources added the club will assess whether to offer an extended deal after his initial contract expires.

The teenager had been playing for Cruzeiro since he was 14 but rescinded his contract with the Brazilian side at the end of last year.

He is a left-footed forward who can play across the front line, with his career being overseen by his uncle, Roberto de Assis Moreira, who also played an active role in Ronaldinho’s playing career.

Mendes’ move to Barcelona will allow Ronaldinho to spend more time back in the city where he spent five years as a player, from 2003-08.

Ronaldinho, 42, has already been in Barcelona while his son has been on trial at Camp Nou and he turned out in Gerard Pique‘s Kings League last weekend.

The 2002 World Cup winner played for Spanish streamer Ibai Llanos‘ team in the seven-a-side competition, but could not stop them falling to a penalty shootout defeat.

During his time as a Barca player, Ronaldinho scored 94 goals in 207 appearances for the club, helping them win the Champions League in 2006 and two LaLiga titles.

Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan are among his other former sides in Europe, while he played for Gremio, Flamengo, Atletico Mineiro and Fluminense in Brazil and for Queretaro in Mexico. He retired as a player in 2015.

Joao Mendes de Assis Moreira On Trial with Barcelona’s U19 Team

Joao Mendes de Assis Moreira is one step close to following in his father’s footsteps…

The 17-year-old Brazilian soccer player, the son of former Brazil forward Ronaldinho, is currently on trial with Barcelona‘s U19 team, according to ESPN.

Joao Mendes de Assis MoreiraMendes is training with Barca‘s Juvenil A side pending a decision on whether to hand him a permanent contract.

The teenager has been playing for Cruzeiro since he was 14 but recently rescinded his contract with the Brazilian side.

Mendes, who has been joined in Barcelona by several members of his family, is a left-footed forward who can play across the front line.

His career is currently being overseen by his uncle, Roberto de Assis Moreira, who also played an active role in Ronaldinho’s playing career.

The source asked for “patience,” explaining that there is no rush to take a decision and that it needs to be remembered that it takes time to adapt to a new country coming over from South America.

Ronaldinho spent five years at Camp Nou between 2003 and 2008 and his time at the club is remembered fondly in the city.

He scored 94 goals in 207 appearances for Barca, helping them win the Champions League in 2006 and two LaLiga titles.

Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan are among his other former clubs, while he was also a World Cup winner with Brazil in 2002. He retired as a player in 2015.

His son is now training with Barca’s U19 team, who are coached by Oscar Lopez and assistant Javier Saviola, the former Argentina striker who played alongside Ronaldinho.

Chelsea Reportedly Submit €50 Million Bid for Ajax’s Edson Alvarez

Edson Alvarez could be heading to

Chelsea have made a €50million bid for the 24-year-old Mexican professional footballer, a midfielder for Ajax and Mexico, according to ESPN sources.

Blues head coach Thomas Tuchel is thought to be concerned about the club’s midfield options in the wake of Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Southampton and nagging injury concerns over key midfielder N’Golo Kante, who is set to be sidelined for around a month with a hamstring problem.

Sources have told ESPN that Ajax are under no pressure to sell having already allowed AntonyLisandro MartinezSebastien HallerRyan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui to leave the club in the summer transfer window.

Chelsea were keen on a move for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie De Jong but the Dutchman has so far shown no interest in leaving Camp Nou.

The Blues are mindful that both N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, who has endured a difficult start to the season, have less than a year remaining on their current deals and believe Alvarez could be a long-term solution.

The transfer window in the Netherlands also closes 24 hours earlier than most of Europe due to an administrative error made by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) meaning less time is available to complete a deal.

Cesar Azpilicueta Extends Chelsea FC Contract for Two More Years

Cesar Azpilicueta is staying put…

The 32-year-old Spanish soccer player has decided to extend his contract with Chelsea for another two years instead of moving to FC Barcelona.

Cesar Azpilicueta ESPN sources report that the Spain international reached an agreement to join Barcelona a few months ago but negotiations between both clubs stalled more than expected and Azpilicueta has opted to stay at Stamford Bridge.

Azpilicueta had been hoping to resolve his future before Chelsea’s Premier League opening game at Everton on Saturday.

He has already informed Barca of his decision and signed a contract extension with the London club for the next two seasons.

“I am really happy to extend my stay at Chelsea, my home,” Azpilicueta said ion Chelsea’s announcement. “It is almost 10 years since I first arrived and joined the club so I really feel the love and I am really excited for the new project we have in our hands.

“I would like to say thank you to [chairman and co-controlling owner] Mr Todd [Boehly] and [co-controlling owner] Mr Behdad [Eghbali] for giving me the opportunity to keep my journey at this amazing club and I am really looking forward to continuing our adventure. I am a really proud captain and I hope we can share many good memories together.”

Manager Thomas Tuchel wasn’t keen on letting his captain leave this summer and new owner Boehly stood by his wish, according to ESPN.

According to sources, Tuchel sees Azpilicueta as a key member in the dressing room and his presence brings stability amid upheaval at Chelsea in recent months.

“We are so happy that Cesar is staying at Chelsea for a minimum of two more years,” Boehly said. “We are thrilled with our captain showing his exemplary commitment and leadership yet again. There is still so much to do together.”

ESPN reported in November that Xavi told Barca to sign Azpilicueta to strengthen his defensive options.

Barca obliged and reached a verbal agreement for the defender to move to Camp Nou as a free agent. However, an appearance-related clause triggered an automatic one-year extension for the player at the end of the season.

Xavi was so interested in bringing the defender to the club that Barca were ready to pay a small fee to Chelsea to sign Azpilicueta. But the LaLiga giants prioritiszed other signings and decided to delay their pursuit of Chelsea’s captain.

FC Barcelona Acquires Raphinha From Leeds United

Raphinha is headed to the Iberian Peninsula…

Barcelona has successfully signed the 25-year-old Brazilian soccer player after reaching an agreement with Leeds United in a deal for the Brazilian winger, beating out Chelsea for the star, according to sources.

RaphinhaThe total cost of the deal is still unknown, but the fee is thought to be worth over €60 million including add-ons, with Raphina expected to travel to Barcelona on Wednesday.

ESPN revealed in June that Leeds had also accepted an offer from Chelsea for Raphinha, but the player’s desire to move to Barca has allowed the Catalan club to win the race for his signature.

There was also interest from Arsenal, but the Gunners never returned after having an initial bid turned down by Leeds in June.

Barca’s agreement with Leeds comes following weeks of negotiations, with the Premier League side pushing for a deal similar to the one they agreed with Chelsea worth in excess of €70m.

Sources close to the negotiations previously explained that Barca’s initial offers were not deemed acceptable because they were add-on heavy and in several installments.

However, with Raphinha prepared to wait for Barca, and his agent, Deco, holding a series of meetings with the club’s sporting director Mateu Alemany to help unblock the situation, the two clubs have finally struck a deal.

The arrival of Raphinha will not have an effect on Ousmane Dembele‘s future. The Frenchman’s contract with Barca expired on June 30, but he was at the training ground on Tuesday ahead of signing a new two-year deal at Camp Nou.

Sources told ESPN that Dembele will sign his new contract no later than Thursday, with the final documentation currently being reviewed by the club’s legal team.

Raphinha is a full international with Brazil and played a key role as Leeds secured Premier League survival on the final day of last season.

His penalty in the win over Brentford was one of 17 goals he scored during two seasons at Elland Road following a €20m move from French side Rennes in 2020.

He first made the move to Europe in 2018, joining Sporting Lisbon from Vitoria Guimarães and spending one season in Portugal before his move to France.

Rafael Marquez Returning to FC Barcelona as Barca Atletic’s Coach

Rafael Marquez is returning to Camp Nou

The 43-year-old Mexican former-professional-footballer-turned-coach will replace Sergi Barjuan as coach of Barcelona‘s second team, Barca Atletic, according to ESPN.

Rafael Marquez, Barca has announced that Barjuan would not remain in the role after missing out on promotion into the second-tier of Spanish football last season.

Marquez, as first reported by Relevo, will take over, with “just the contract left to be signed” before an official announcement, according to ESPN’s sources.

Marquez was one of the first signings of Joan Laporta‘s first spell as Barca president in 2003 and went on to win two Champions Leagues with the club.

Laporta and Marquez have maintained a good relationship ever since and the Barca chief first attempted to bring him back to Camp Nou last summer.

He had been earmarked to take over the Under-19 team, but a deal fell through at the last minute due to his presence on a list in the United States linking him to drug trafficking.

The sanctions imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department could have had a knock-on effect for Barca in terms of their commercial activity in the United States.

However, Marquez, who always maintained his innocence, was removed from the list last September, finally teeing up his return to Barca.

It will be his second coaching job in Spain following a fleeting spell working as the manager of Alcala de Madrid‘s U16 side.

Barca Atletic play in the third tier of Spanish football and act as the bridge between the youth academy and the first team.

GaviNico Gonzalez and Ronald Araujo are among the players who have recently made the jump from the second team to the Xavi Hernandez‘s first-team squad.

Barca Femeni Star Jennifer Hermoso Heading to Mexico’s Pachuca

Jennifer Hermoso is headed to Mexico…

Mexican club Pachuca have completed the signing of the 32-year-old Spanish professional soccer player and the 2021 FIFA’s The Best runner-up on a free transfer as she announced her departure from Barcelona.

Jennifer HermosoHermoso, who is Barca Femeni‘s all-time leading scorer with 174 goals, announced she is making the switch to Pachuca after turning down a contract extension at the Camp Nou.

“To have won everything with this jersey is something that I will take with me forever,” Hermoso said in a message posted to Instagram.

“To play in a sold-out stadium, to celebrate a goal at the Camp Nou and to lift high up our first Champions [League]… Now is time for a new adventure that fills me and that make me feel truly valued.”

Hermoso, who has scored a record 45 goals in 91 appearances for Spain, has been ruled out for Euro 2022 after sustaining ligament damage in her right knee and is expected to miss the start of the Liga MX Femenil season, which kicks off on July 12.

Hermoso has won seven league titles during her 18-year career, including five at Barca, who she initially played for between 2013 to 2017 and rejoined in 2019 from Atletico Madrid.

Hermoso was also a crucial part of Barca Femeni’s first European title when they won the Women’s Champions League in 2021.

She has also had spells at Paris Saint-Germain, Rayo Vallecano and Tyreso FF.

Barcelona Femeni Signs Geyse Ferreira in Free Transfer from Madrid CFF

Geyse Ferreira is headed to Barcelona…

Barcelona Femeni has completed the signing of the 24-year-old Brazilian forward on a free transfer from Madrid CFF, the Catalan club has confirmed.

Geyse FerreiraGeyse joins on a two-year deal with her contact with Madrid expiring at the end of June.

Along with Barca striker Asisat Oshoala, she was the top scorer in the Primera Division, netting 20 times in a team that finished 13th in the table.

She becomes Barca’s third signing of the summer following the arrivals of England international Lucy Bronze on a free transfer from Manchester City and Real Sociedad left-back Nuria Rabano. Geyse further strengthens Barca’s attack following the loss of Dutch winger Lieke Martens, who joined Paris Saint-Germain this week after running down her contract at Camp Nou.

The Brazil International first joined Madrid in 2017 from Corinthians in her home country. She left the club for Benfica in 2018 but returned in 2020.

She now joins a Barca side that has won the Spanish league in each of the last three seasons and reached the last two Champions League finals.

They won 45 out of 47 games last season, including all 30 in the league, but a defeat to Lyon in the European Cup final left a bittersweet feeling at the end of the campaign.