Tags: yaya touré

So precious.

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This post is sponsored by kleenex


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barça; hugz

summer summary, so far




  • Villa wants a Barça contract, Valencia want lots of $$$$$$$. Now some reports are saying Villa has decided to stay at Valencia. Make up your mind buddy.
  • Ibrahimovic in on the verge of signing.
  • Barça might kill 2 birds with 1 stone, Eto'o & Hleb are supposedly part of the Ibrahimovic deal.
  • Caceres will most likely leave on loan. Juventus and Zaragoza seem the most interested.
  • Gudjohnsen was told to look for a club elsewhere and could be returning to England.

* = barça atletic

quick news post ahead of Barca v Valencia

+ Abidal is fit again! Match squad for the Valencia game hasn't been released yet [because Pep likes to keep all of us, including the press and the players, on our toes]. The certain absentees so far: Victor Sanchez, who's been drafted in to help the B team again, Sammy Eto'o who is suspended, and injury victims Andres and Gabi Milito.

+ Speaking of fitness, the first day of training after the Sevilla game saw the players undergo some fitness tests, same as when they first turned up for pre-season. The coaching team wanted to see how everyone was going - apparently things look fine, which is always nice to hear.

+ Feel free to disregard the rumours regarding Yaya Toure, because he's not going anywhere. Yay!

+ The club launched a major initiative this week in conjunction with Nike and UNCHR (the United Nations refugee agency) - the MES campaign, which will see a range of sports goods being put on sale with the proceeds to going towards improving the conditions of refugees. The project was unveiled on Thursday in a big press conference with players and coaches from most of Barca's major sports teams in attendance.

Bit more on the Valencia game: they haven't lost away yet this season, so it's going to be a tough game, especially since David Villa is so very good at scoring against Barca. The good news is that Valencia won't be at full strength - Silva, Edu, Moretti and Alexis are injured, Vicente's a doubt, and Marchena is suspended. The bad news is that they have a coach who knows how to make the most of what he's got.

The tactical battle between Pep and Unai Emery, the two youngest coaches in La Liga, should be a fascinating one.

Kick-off is at 10PM local time. Visca el Barca!

Post international break update

+ Injury news first: Aleks now has medical clearance, so he'll be fit to play in Bilbao. Dani's probably going to be okay too, after missing the Atletico game as a precaution.

That's the good news. The bad news: Pedro broke in training with the Spanish U21s, and he's out for a month, Guddy got an injury playing for Iceland and will be out for at least a week, and Yaya's got some sort of knock from playing for the Ivory Coast which is not terribly serious but might be enough to rule him out for the Athletic game.

+ Quick international highlights round-up: Titi and Andres both scored fantastic goals for France and Spain respectively [both definitely worth watching], Leo now has 8 goals in his last 9 games, Sammy has now scored 10 goals in his last 11, Puyol saved the day for Spain (and scored a goal in their other game) and Sergi Busquets made his debut for the Spanish U21 side with a goal.

+ the Fundacion FC Barcelona's collaboration with UNICEF is expanding to cover projects in Malawi and Angola as well as Swaziland. The article also details the good work that's been done in Swaziland already.

+ Leo made his official first team debut four years ago. Seems like longer, to be honest. So much has happened.

+ On the contract extension front, talks for Sergi Busquets' new contract have begun. There's a lot of BS flying around about other clubs poaching him, but I wouldn't worry. Firstly, he's a cule who is the son of a cule who works at the club. Secondly, he shares an agent with Guardiola and said agent has a record of dealing well with the club. As long as Barca don't screw him over economically, we should be fine.

+ Further contract news: it has now emerged that the club sneakily signed a new contract with Leo a couple of months back and just didn't tell anybody. There's no extension involved - it still goes until 2014 - and the buyout clause is still an astronomical 150 million euros, he's just earning a lot more money now. No one's sure as to the figure, but the rumour that was floated a while ago was 8 million euros + up to 4 million euros in performance-dependent bonuses per year.

[This is Leo's fourth professional contract, which just goes to show how careful Barca are about keeping him, even though neither him nor his dad (who acts as his agent) have ever come out and publicly demanded anything of the club.]