Premier League Teams Eyeing FC Barcelona Phenom Pau Cubarsí

It appears that all eyes are on Pau Cubarsí.

The 17-year-old Spanish soccer player, a defender for F.C. Barcelona, is being targeted by several Premier League clubs with his release clause set at around €10 million ($10.7m), per ESPN.

Pau CubarsíCubarsí only signed his first professional contract with Barça last year, but his emergence in the first team has accelerated the need for the club to agree a new deal with the teenager. 

Barça was already negotiating an improvement with the center-back’s camp, but sources explain his performances with the first team have “changed the starting point” when it comes to reaching an understanding over a new long-term agreement.

Sources close to the coaching staff detail the maturity and bravery Cubarsí has demonstrated since being handed his debut as a 16-year-old in the Copa del Rey against Unionistas de Salamanca in January.

Cubarsí has since made six appearances under coach Xavi Hernández, including starts in LaLiga wins against Real Betis, Osasuna and Alavés.

“We were joking about him the other day because at just 17 he already seems like a veteran,” Xavi said after last weekend’s 3-1 win over Alavés.

“He is already playing like a player who is far older than his years. He is aggressive, he does not lose possession and he’s so good at bringing the ball out from the back.”

Those qualities have led to an urgency to renew Cubarsí’s contract as some of England’s biggest clubs circle due to his clause being fixed at a relatively affordable €10m.

Cubarsí joined Barça in 2018 as an 11-year-old after spending four years at Girona. He has since progressed through the Catalan club’s La Masia academy before he made his Barça Atlétic debut earlier this season as he began to train regularly with the first team.

Xavi handed him his first-team debut on Jan. 19. He has made six appearances since, impressing at the heart of the defense alongside Uruguay international Ronald Araújo.

“He’s very well prepared,” Xavi said of Cubarsí after he made his LaLiga debut against Betis in January, just days before his 17th birthday.

“He doesn’t seem 16 when you speak with him. He is a focused and responsible kid. I don’t think he lost a single ball, either.

“He’s going to mark an era, the same as Lamine [Yamal] .We are continuing to build a team with young footballers. These are players who we must build the club’s future with.”

Cubarsí is one of several youngsters to breakthrough under Xavi, with Yamal (16), Hector Fort (17) and Marc Guiu (18) among the others to have made an impact this season.

Fort, who can play across the back four but is primarily a full-back, is close to being signed to Jorge Mendes‘ agency, sources have told ESPN.

FC Barcelona Signs Iñigo Martínez on a Free Transfer

Iñigo Martínez is Barcelona bound…

FC Barcelona has announced the signing of the 32-year-old Spanish professional footballer on a free transfer following his departure from Athletic Club.

Inigo MartinezMartinez joins Barca on a two-year deal and will provide competition at centerback for Ronald AraújoAndreas ChristensenJules Koundé and Eric García.

Barca tried to sign Martinez last summer, but they couldn’t agree a fee with Athletic Club, who held on to the Spain international despite at the risk of losing him as a free agent this year.

However, they maintained their interest in bringing him in, with negotiations accelerating at the start of the year after Gerard Pique retired from football.

ESPN reported in March that Barca had reached a verbal agreement with Martinez, who left Athletic Club when his contract expired last month.

Barca’s defense was one of their strengths as they sealed a first LaLiga title since 2019 this season, with Xavi Hernandez‘s side keeping 26 clean sheets in 38 league games.

However, Xavi was keen to add a left-footed centerback to his options, with Martinez also adding experience to what is a relatively young backline.

Martinez began his career with Real Sociedad, making over 200 appearances for the club before joining their Basque rivals Athletic Club in a deal worth €32 million ($34.8m) in 2018.

He made 177 appearances for Athletic and helped the club beat Barca to win the Spanish Super Cup in 2021, but will now embark on the next chapter of his career at the Spanish champions.

Barcelona Reaches Agreement to Sign Brazilian Teen Vitor Roque from Brazil’s Athletico Paranaense

Vitor Roque is switching sides…

Barcelona has reached an agreement to sign the 18-year-old Brazilian professional footballer and Campeonato Brasileiro Série A club Athletico Paranaense forward for approximately €40 million ($43.6m).

Vitor Roque,It remains unclear when the Brazilian teenager will be able to join the club, according to ESPN.

ESPN revealed in June that Barca was optimistic of landing Roque as they look for a backup and heir to veteran striker Robert Lewandowski, who will turn 35 in August.

Roque ticked all the boxes and following negotiations led by new sporting director Deco, Barca has struck a deal for the Brazil international.

However, due to the club’s financial problems, it remains unclear when he’ll be able to join his new team, with Barca currently in excess of their LaLiga-imposed spending limit and only able to spend 50% of anything they save or raise on registering new players.

Therefore, the LaLiga champions are working on three different scenarios, which involve Roque either arriving in January, next summer or in the current transfer window.

On Tuesday, Barca’s directors put up a guarantee of €6.7m ($7.3m) against their viability plan to ensure they will be able to inscribe the new contracts signed by Ronald AraújoMarcos AlonsoSergi Roberto and Iñaki Peña.

They also still need to register Ilkay Gündoğan, who has arrived from Manchester City as a free agent, and defender Iñigo Martínez, whose signing from Athletic Club is expected to be confirmed this week.

Therefore, any further additions will be subject to players leaving first, with Barca also keen to lighten the load in attack before bringing in Roque, who can also play wide if needed but is predominantly a No.9.

Lewandowski, Ousmane DembéléRaphinhaFerran Torres and Ansu Fati have been competing for just two places in the front line since coach Xavi Hernandez switched to a midfield four.

Despite closing a deal for Roque, Barca’s main aim after signing Gündoğan and Martínez is still to find a midfield replacement for Sergio Busquets, who will join Inter Miami CF.

Girona‘s Oriol Romeu is currently the leading target, while ESPN revealed on Tuesday the club are also in talks to sign Real Valladolid right-back Iván Fresneda.

Therefore, sources say signing and registering Roque in the current transfer window is complicated, with January perhaps more likely, although the window remains open until Sept. 1.

Roque caught Barca’s attention after starring for Athletico and Brazil’s youth teams. He helped his club reach the final of the Copa Libertadores last season and recently earned his first senior cap for his country.

The teenager has scored 22 goals in 65 appearances for Athletico, including six in his last five games and one at the weekend in a 2-2 draw against Palmeiras, for whom Real Madrid-bound Endrick was also on target.

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.

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.

Ronald Araujo Agrees to New Contract with FC Barcelona Until 2026

Ronald Araujo is a new Billion Dollar Man

The 23-year-old Uruguayan professional footballer and FC Barcelona defender has agreed a new contract until 2026 with his release clause rising to €1 billion ($1.16bn), the club have announced.

Ronald Araujo Araujo’s previous deal was due to expire in 2023 and ESPN revealed last month that Manchester United and Liverpool were both keen on signing the Uruguay international.

The money on the table from the Premier League sides was higher than Barca‘s offer, but sources have told ESPN that the player’s priority was always to remain at Camp Nou.

Araujo has been on the same terms at Barca since 2018, when he first joined the club’s B team from Boston River in his homeland in a deal worth an initial €2 million.

That made him one of the lowest-paid players in the first team going into the current campaign, with his agents keen for his salary to rise according to his new status at the club.

Under coach Xavi Hernandez he has emerged as a key player this season, making 39 appearances in all competitions and scoring four goals, including one in the 4-0 Clasico win over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu Stadium.

With Barca having to adhere to LaLiga‘s strict financial rules due to their financial problems, they have played hardball during negotiations with Araujo’s camp.

However, sources told ESPN earlier this month there had finally been a breakthrough in talks, with Barca upping their initial offer and Araujo willing to meet the club in the middle despite the offers from English clubs.

Ronald Araujo Nearing Long-Term Deal with FC Barcelona

Ronald Araujo is thisclose to a new deal…

The 23-year-old Uruguayan professional soccer player and Barcelona defender is close to agreement on a new long-term contract with the Spanish club, according to his agent.

Ronald AraujoAraujo’s current deal is set to expire in 2023; and Manchester United and Liverpool were reportedly keen on signing the Uruguay international.

Barca’s previous offer to Araujo was worth around €5 million annually, with sources saying the money on offer from the Premier League sides was worth almost double.

But, Barca has now upped its proposal, with the player’s agent, Flavio Perchman, revealing an agreement is close after a meeting with sporting director Mateu Alemany.

“It’s close,” Perchman told reporters. “There is a desire on both sides [to finalize the renewal] and Ronald wants to stay at the club.”

Araujo has been on the same deal at Barca since 2018, when he first joined the “B team” from Boston River in his homeland in a deal worth an initial €2m.

That made him one of the lowest-paid players in the first team going into the current campaign, with his agents keen for his salary to rise along with his status at the club.

Under coach Xavi Hernandez he has emerged as a key player this season, making 34 appearances in all competitions and scoring four goals, including in the recent 4-0 Clasico win over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

With Barca having to adhere to LaLiga‘s strict financial rules due to their financial problems, though, they’ve played hardball during negotiations with Araujo’s camp.

At the same time the team has been holding talks with Araujo, Barcelona has also been negotiating the signing of Andreas Christensen and even met with Antonio Rudiger‘s agent last week.

Christensen will join the club from Chelsea on a free transfer in the summer, but a move for Rudiger is less likely.

The public nature of those negotiations forced the club to up their offer to Araujo, who was willing to accept a lower deal to remain with the LaLiga side.

Araujo, Gerard Pique and Eric Garcia have been Barca’s first choice centerbacks under Xavi, with Christensen set to compete with them from the summer onwards.