Claudio Bravo’s admission, Gerard Pique’s meeting, Luis Enrique’s future and more as TheHardTackle compiles the most intriguing news pertaining to Barcelona for the day.
Former goalkeeper praises Barcelona
It’s fair to say Claudio Bravo has had a rough start to life in England since he joined Manchester City in the summer. The goalkeeper was heard gushing about his time with the Catalan giants, stating Barcelona are bigger than his current club in terms of magnitude even if budgets of both the clubs are similar. Bravo also admitted the pressure of playing for Barcelona is much more intense than for Manchester City.
The keeper also clarified the alleged rift between him and ter Stegen as baseless, claiming it to be a creation of media and nothing more.
Valencia right-back’s valuation a bone of contention for Barcelona
It’s no secret Barcelona are on a desperate hunt for a right-back to complement Sergi Roberto, with Aleix Vidal’s stay at the club expected to end soon. The club’s preference is said to be a low-cost and experienced full-back, but Barcelona’s technical director Robert Fernandez has been extensively scouting 22-year-old Joao Cancelo for quite some time.
Robert Fernandez had made Cancelo a top priority and wanted to acquire him as early as in the upcoming winter transfer window, but Valencia’s asking price for the full-back has put-off Barcelona. Valencia are demanding €25 million for Cancelo; an amount which exceeds the Barcelona budget by quite a margin. This means the Blaugrana will continue to search for the ideal and cost-effective right-back, with a view of a transfer in January.
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Gerard Pique’s awkward reunion with former Real Madrid boss
Gerard Pique and Jose Mourinho share a history going back to the days when the Portuguese manager was in-charge of Barcelona’s arch rival Real Madrid. In 2011, the Spanish defender had lashed out that Jose Mourinho was ruining Spanish football.
As destiny would have it, both of them were in attendance for a tennis match between Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem, and were seated almost next to each other, in what looked like a rather awkward setting, as the above capture suggests.
Futures of Luis Enrique, Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez
In some excellent news for the Barcelona faithful, stars Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez are set to pledge their long-term future with the club. There has been plenty of speculations in the past regarding interest from other clubs for the duo but Spanish outlet AS has clarified Suarez’s renewal is close to being finalized and could be announced as early as next week while Rakitic’s negotiations are ongoing.
However, Barcelona boss Luis Enrique’s future with club is less certain, with the Spanish coach delaying talks on an extension at least until end of this season. Enrique’s current deal ends in June 2017, and as such the club had offered to open the talks for a renewal but the approach has been deferred by the head-coach. However, the club remains confident of a renewal as Enrique is known to negotiate short contracts but tension behind the scenes will rise if an agreement is not reached around March 2017.
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