FC Barcelona News: 17 December 2013; Barça Look to Advance in Copa del Rey, Andres Iniesta Nears New Contract

David Ramos

FC Barcelona v FC Cartagena: time to close out the tie | FC Barcelona
After getting the job done in Europe (Celtic) and La Liga (Villarreal), FC Barcelona want to close out the Copa del Rey tie this evening against Cartagena (22.00, TV3 and Antena 3). The 1-4 from the first leg 11 days ago gives Barça a huge advantage as the Blaugrana could lose 0-3 and still qualify for the next round of the competition.

Players get behind Neymar | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona striker Neymar Jr has put to bed recent rumblings in the press about his lack of goals with five goals in the team’s last two games – a hat trick against Celtic and two more against Villarreal - and his team mates were quick to get behind the Brazilian after the match on Saturday

Manchester City, FC Barcelona's rival in the last 16 of the Champions League | FC Barcelona
Manchester City are one of the strongest teams to finish second in their Champions League group. Manuel Pellegrini, a manager well known in the Spanish league, took charge of the 2011/12 English champions this summer and he’s seen to it to add world class players to his already deep roster: Fernandinho, Jovetic, Navas, Negredo and Demichelis.

FC Barcelona and Manchester City, statistics overview | FC Barcelona
Two of the strongest teams in the Champions League will face off against each other in the round of 16. The English side have scored and conceded more goals than Barça. The Blaugrana shoot on goal and pass the ball more than the English side.

Tata Martino: "We'll have to see what form City and Barça are in in February" | FC Barcelona
Tuesday's Cup game against Cartagena was very much in the background at Tata Martino's press conference this lunchtime, with the attention on the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League, which has pitted Barça against Manchester City. As far as Martino is concerned: "they are a team who find it easy to score - we'll look to have a good tie and more importantly, win it."

Iniesta nearing Barca agreement - Yahoo Eurosport UK
The player and club have been in negotiations over a new contract since the summer and, although the 29-year-old was seen to have rejected the first offer on financial grounds, an agreement is now close, according to Sport. It is understood that a recent delay has been on the final year of the proposed new contract, with Iniesta and his representatives pushing for a run through to June 2018 and Barcelona believed to be requesting that the final year of the deal remained optional.

The first team will play a friendly in Qatar in the first trimester of 2014 | FC Barcelona
[Freixa] added: "We want to express our concern because lately there’s been an effort to undermine the reputation of our athletes and our institutions. The Board, just as it as done in similar situations, will act strongly. We want to send a message that everything isn’t fair game and that we are aware of what is being produced."

Messi Snr money laundering denied - ESPN FC
"Leo Messi Management [LMM] wish to clear up the information published in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo today Monday December 16 2013, which made reference to Jorge Messi and the ‘Messi & Friends’ games played this year and last year," the statement said. "As sources from the Interior Ministry and the Guardia Civil have told news agencies, Jorge Messi was never connected to the case. He has not been investigated, nor called to testify, nor much less been charged."

Everton loanee Deulofeu out for 'a few weeks' - Goal.com
Everton have confirmed Gerard Deulofeu is set to be out until 2014 with the hamstring injury he sustained on Saturday. The Barcelona loanee was taken off on a stretcher after pulling up in the second half of Everton's 4-1 win over Fulham.

Juvenil A to face Copenhagen in the UEFA Youth League | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona’s Juvenil A team will face Copenhagen in the round of 16 of the UEFA Youth League. The team managed by Jordi Vinyals will host the Danish team at the Miniestadi on the 18th, 19th, 25th or 26th of February for the one-match tie.

LFP confident over EC investigation into La Liga clubs - ESPN FC
The EC is reported to be examining official links to Primera Division clubs Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Osasuna, Valencia and Elche, as well as Segunda Division side Hercules, to determine whether any have received illegal government support or preferential tax treatment. Should the authorities find evidence against any of the clubs involved, sums running into many millions would need to repaid.

Gareth Bale will miss Real Madrid's clash with Olimpic Xatvia with a calf problem | Sky Sports
Bale will join the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo on the sidelines for Wednesday's match as Real seek victory to secure passage to the quarter-finals after a 0-0 draw in the away leg. "Bale has taken a knock to the calf," Ancelotti said. "We will see how it evolves in the coming hours but I do not think it is a problem for Sunday."

From Tottenham totem to Bale Madrid: the inside story of the biggest transfer in football history - Goal.com
The Welshman had earlier been introduced to his new supporters as he described his €100 million move from Tottenham as a "dream come true" against the backdrop of a picture of him in a Real Madrid shirt at the age of nine. It marked the end of a long summer for Bale and the two clubs after his representatives, Stellar Group, were given a mandate in May to broker a deal from which their cut alone was worth around €11.5m.

Miroslav Djukic has left his role as head coach of Valencia | Sky Sports
Miroslav Djukic has left his role as head coach of Primera Division club Valencia, with youth coach Nico Estevez placed in charge for the weekend clash with Real Madrid. Djukic, 47, has finally paid the price for overseeing a disappointing start to the season that has delivered only 20 points from 16 league games, culminating in Sunday's 3-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid.

Three and easy for Javi Guerra | Sky Sports Football
Valladolid spent most of the first half on the back-foot, but once Charles Dias had been sent off early in the second half the hosts took control and Guerra's goals gave them a hugely important 3-0 win. The result sees Valladolid move to 16th place, two points clear of the bottom three and level on points with their opponents, who are one place higher on goal difference.

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