Barcelona Pushing to Sign Julian Araujo from LA Galaxy

Julian Araujo is a hot commodity…

Barcelona FC is pushing to sign the 21-year-old Mexican American professional soccer player and LA Galaxy right-back before the transfer window closes in Europe on Tuesday, according to ESPN.

Julian Araujo Barca have been tracking Araujo for a while and want to sign him on loan initially with an option to make the deal permanent given Hector Bellerin‘s possible move to Sporting Club.

Sources have told ESPN that Araujo would initially be registered with Barca’s B team if signed, but that the Catalan club feel he has the potential to be involved with the first team in the short term.

If Bellerin joins Sporting Lisbon this week — with sources telling ESPN that the deal is likely to happen once Tottenham Hotspur complete the signing of Pedro Porro from the Portuguese side — then Barca would be left without a natural right-back.

Jules KoundeRonald AraujoSergi Roberto and Alejandro Balde have all been used in the position this season, often at the expense of Bellerin.

Araujo, who was born in California, represented the United States at the youth level and has one cap for the senior side. However, in 2021 he switched allegiance to Mexico, although he’s not played for El Tri since winning his third cap in a friendly against Suriname in June 2022.

Barca are hopeful of closing the deal before Tuesday’s deadline but sources add it is a “complex situation.” A source close to the negotiations in the United States says “it isn’t final by any means.”

Araujo has been a regular for the Galaxy across the last two seasons and convincing the Major League Soccer side to let him leave initially on loan is not a simple task.

In addition, the operation may also have to be approved by LaLiga, although registering him with the B team could prove a workaround.

Barca were unable to register midfielder Gavi‘s new contract last week due to the league’s salary limits, although LaLiga president Javier Tebas confirmed on Monday the club do have “some room” to maneuver this month following the departures of Gerard Pique and Memphis Depay.

Pique announced his retirement in December and Memphis joined Atletico earlier in January in a deal worth an initial €3 million.

Gavi Becomes One of the Youngest Goal Scorers in FIFA World Cup History

Gavi has kicked his way in to the World Cup history books…

The 18-year-old Spanish midfielder has become the third-youngest goal scorer in FIFA World Cup history and youngest since Brazil legend Pele in 1958 with his 74th-minute strike in a 7-0 win against Costa Rica on Wednesday.

GaviWhen he stepped on the field to start the game, the Barcelona prodigy also became the youngest player (18 years, 110 days) to appear for Spain in a major international tournament (World Cup or European Championship).

“I never dreamed to be here at this age,” Gavi said through an interpreter. “I’m so happy to be here. This is only one step. I need to keep going.”

Pele was aged 17 years, 249 days when he scored in Brazil’s 1958 World Cup final win over Sweden. He holds the record for the youngest to score in a World Cup when scoring 10 days earlier in the quarterfinals.

Mexico‘s Manuel Rosas is the second-youngest scorer, aged 18 years and 93 days when finding the net in the inaugural 1930 tournament.

Spain led 4-0 when a driving run from Alejandro Balde pierced the Costa Rica defense and after goalkeeper Keylor Navas’ partial clearance, Alvaro Morata found Gavi on a late-arriving run.

The teenager struck it with the outside of his right boot and it deflected in off the right post in what was one of the most impressive displays of skill in the tournament so far.

His overall contribution earned him FIFA‘s player of the match award.

“It was a great game. We started from the first minute to win this game and I’m really happy,” Gavi said. “Now I’m waiting for the next one. I’m really happy to win MVP but today we all did a really great game and I’m really happy for all of them.

“I know I’m the youngest in the team and I respect everyone, but on the field it’s different and I bring out my best. I’m proud to be in that podium.”

It was a historically dominant win for Spain, who didn’t allow a single shot and recorded the most passes (1,043) and highest possession percentage (81.3) in a World Cup match since at least 1966.

Spain’s victory was the most lopsided win at a World Cup since Portugal beat North Korea 7-0 in 2010.

Gavi Named World’s Best Under-21 Footballer

Gavi is celebrating his Kopa moment…

The 18-year-old Spanish professional footballer has won the Kopa Trophy, the award presented to the best player under age 21, prior to the 2022 Ballon d’Or presentation.

GaviThe Barca midfielder, who turned 18 in August, claimed the prize ahead of Borussia Dortmund‘s Jude Bellingham and Bayern Munich‘s Jamal Musiala.

He succeeds Barcelona teammate Pedri, last year’s winner.

After breaking into the first-team setup at age 16 last year, Gavi went on to make 47 appearances for Barca in all competitions in 2021-22, scoring two goals.

His performances for the Catalan club earned him a call-up to the Spain national team and he became the youngest player to ever represent La Roja, at the age of 17 years and 62 days.

Gavi has since won 12 caps for Spain and is a regular for club and country heading into next month’s FIFA World Cup.

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.

FC Barcelona Signs Rising Soccer Star Pablo Torre

Pablo Torre is headed to Camp Nou

FC Barcelona has signed 18-year-old Spanish soccer player from Racing Santander, the LaLiga club announced on Friday, beating Real Madrid to land the talented youngster.

Pablo TorreTorre is viewed as a potential future star but will initially feature for the club’s reserve team Barcelona B beginning this summer, before challenging for a first-team place in the medium term.

Barcelona stated the transfer fee was €5m with the amount potentially reaching €20m based on variables.

Torre, an attacking midfielder, is now signed with the Blaugrana through June 2026, with a release clause of €100 million.

A number of top teams including Madrid had been tracking Torre, who has been starring for Racing this season, but Barca moved to wrap up negotiations on Friday.

The Spain Under-19 international has scored six goals in 21 appearances — 18 of them starts — for Racing to help them top their group in the Primera RFEF, the third tier of Spanish football.

Barca have made a habit of prioritizing emerging Spanish talent, signing Pedri from Las Palmas in 2019 and promoting academy youngsters like Gavi and Nico to the first team.