For the first time in almost a month, FC Barcelona has avoided the grueling midweek match. That doesn’t stop the news from chugging along though, so here are this week’s Top 5.
Matias Messi’s Controversial Comments
Lionel Messi’s brother Matias Messi caused a bit of stir with comments about a potential return for his brother to Barcelona. Since then, Messi has distanced himself from those comments; but clearly there is some truth to them.
While many can say that Messi and Laporta can never be at Barcelona again, the truth is less political and more financial. Messi’s relationship with Barça’s president may forever be mired in resentment, but even that resentment wouldn’t be enough to prevent his return if it was possible. Unfortunately that’s the key – it may be three or more years before Barcelona can come close to matching the minimum salary that Messi would require (based on La Liga rules, not even Messi’s financial desires), ruling out any possible transfer.
More likely, Laporta’s presidency will face another challenger in the next election before Messi is set to return to Barcelona, whether as an ambassador or some other role.
Vitor Roque Negotiations Pick Up
Athletico Paranaense’s 17-year-old Vitor Roque looks to have chosen FC Barcelona as his next stop. His agent Andre Curry is a former scout for Barcelona and the player’s family is reportedly also comfortable with the move. If the player and his support have chosen Barcelona, the only hurdles that remain are negotiating with his club and finding a way to fit that offer within La Liga’s financial limitations. That last part will be easier said than done, especially if Barcelona hopes to get the deal done before Roque turns 18 at the end of the month.
Ansu Fati to Manchester United?
No, definitely not, well, at least not yet. Whenever you mix a club in need of funds, agent Jorge Mendes, and the EPL’s rumor mill, you’re bound to see a story about a big transfer for one of Barcelona’s young talents. Barcelona has said that any move for Ansu Fati would need to come as a request from the players, and that hasn’t happened yet. Manchester United also haven’t called about the player, according to Fabrizio Romano, but it is a destination due to Mendes and his relationship with those in Manchester.
Franck Kessie’s Role Moving Forward
Against Sevilla’s low block, Xavi got it right by inserting Kessie over a traditional left winger. But Villarreal on Sunday will be a tougher task, at least based on recent league form. Culers may get more answers as to Kessie’s role with Sergio Busquets out. For our best guess, check out the latest podcast:
Speaking of Busquets, he does have some things to think about while his recovers for the next few weeks. Recent results and his new defined role in Xavi’s system next to de Jong and behind Gavi and Pedri may have given him the push he needed to return to Barcelona next season instead of heading to Inter Miami of MLS or Saudi Arabia. With his contract up, he would need to renew at a much lower number, similar to Marcos Alonso has already done.