Bale and Ronaldo on the same team? No thanks... - Mike Stobe
Alex Song has missed training in Oslo, and may miss tonight's pre-season friendly with Valerenga, while multiple media outlets report that Tottenham Hotspur have rejected an £81 million bid for winger Gareth Bale
Barça have trained for the second time in Oslo. The session started at 19.00 in the Bislett Stadion, but ended on the secondary field called Valle, where the Valerenga first team usually train. The only absentee was Alex Song, who stayed in the hotel gymnasium doing specific exercises rather than join the rest of the team. The other 22 worked out normally with Jordi Roura and Rubi as they await the arrival of Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino, the new Barça manager who should be landing in Norway very shortly.
Andoni Zubizarreta and Josep M. Bartomeu joined Gerardo Martino at his presentation to the press and explained why they chose to sign him. "Some ten days ago, last Tuesday, Sandro Rosell told me about the situation with Tito Vilanova’s health," said the director of football. "After getting over the initial shock, we started looking at possible options and one the names that came up was that of Gerardo Martino. We wanted a manager who can develop Barça’s idea of football, because our ideas are not there to be debated, they are there to evolve … Football grows out of mixing, combining and doing things together. And throughout this process, Tata was listening and giving his own views. Finally, with these ideas in mind, we came to the conclusion that he was the best option".
The Sun can exclusively reveal the Spanish giants have made an official world-record £81million bid for the wing wizard, which has been rejected. Spanish paper Marca, which has close links to Madrid, claimed Bale was furious Spurs turned that offer down — even though it pips what Real paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in July 2009.
The Argentinian said that "Barça is used to winning and not doing so would have to be considered a failure". He is confident that he can ensure Barça keeps its famous style, though he’ll be adding aspects that he has instilled in his own teams. "Barça have a lot to win" he insisted.
Barcelona have stepped up their search for a defender by making a £25 million move for Chelsea’s David Luiz, Goal understands. It is believed that Barca have enquired about Luiz’s availability and have been given encouragement that Chelsea could be willing to sell the 26-year-old.
Spanish soccer champions Barcelona will lease space in a building in Central as the team takes on Manchester United in attracting fans in Asia. The team will occupy a floor measuring more than 3,000 sq ft at 8 Queen's Road, Central, owned by Sing Pao Investment, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is not public.
Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino flew on Friday night to Oslo where he’ll be meeting up with the FC Barcelona first team, who have been in the Norwegian capital since Thursday. The new FCB manager’s flight landed in the Norwegian capital at around 23.05 and he arrived at the team hotel around midnight. He was joined on the flight by the director of football, Andoni Zubizarreta, the director of communications, Xavi Martin, and the head of operations, Emili Sabadell.
Mexican midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos’ pending move to Real Sociedad appears to be less of a sure thing after incoming Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino signaled the 23-year-old is in his plans for the upcoming season. "I’m counting on the whole squad that Barcelona has today and evidently Jonathan is included," Martino said in his first press conference as coach of the Blaugrana on Thursday.
Mascherano is a keen follower of his country’s championship, and feels that at Newell’s, Martino had "a similar idea of football to the one at Barça … The names are different, but the idea is still to pass the ball from the back, with the full backs pushing forward into the midfield, and with a ‘false centre forward’. In Argentina they appreciated the way that, whatever the score, they always played the same way. That’s like Barça … I have never worked with him, but he changed the way Newell’s play, he transformed the team and they became Argentinian champions."
Deportivo La Coruna defender Juan Dominguez has taken leave after learning that two of his relatives were among the victims of Wednesday's fatal train crash in Spain. The 23-year-old centre-back, a native of Galicia who has spent his entire senior career at Deportivo, lost a cousin and an aunt in the crash near Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, which has claimed the lives of 80 people.
Reported Everton target Denis Cheryshev has signed a new contract with Real Madrid, the Spanish club have confirmed. Cheryshev had been linked to a host of other sides around Europe as well but the Primera Liga side released a statement saying that he has extended his contract at the Bernabeu.
Laurent Blanc has revealed Paris Saint-Germain's 64 million pound signing Edinson Cavani could make his debut for the club in a friendly against Real Madrid on Sunday. The Uruguay international will link up with his new teammates in Gothenburg this weekend and the 47-year-old PSG boss will assess his physical condition - and that of Thiago Silva - before making a decision over their participation.
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