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FC Barcelona News: 19 February 2011; Focus On Athletic Bilbao, Villa Back In Training

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Villa absent from Bilbao preparations | FCBarcelona
After enjoying a day off, the Barça first team returned to work today as they start training for Sunday’s game at 21.00 against Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou following the return to Champions League action midweek.

Villa back in training | FCBarcelona
Pep Guardiola was able to call on 18 of his first team squad for training on Saturday morning, including striker Villa who seemed to have fully recovered from the knock on his left ankle he was receiving treatment for on Friday.

Guardiola makes century | FCBarcelona
From August 31, 2008 at Los Pajaritos to February 12, 2011 at El Molinón Josep Guardiola has managed the first team for 99 matches and two and a half years, which have coincided with the finest period in the club’s history. On Sunday he makes it 100 games against Athletic Bilbao, which makes this the ideal time to look back on the amazing achievements in that time.

Lionel Messi: I'm Sure Cesc Fabregas Will Leave Arsenal For Barcelona | Goal
And Messi feels the inevitable will happen, suggesting the lure of trophies and Blaugrana excellence will be too much for Fabregas to resist. "I think that in the end Cesc will do what he feels like doing, the same with Barcelona," Messi told

Exclusive: Arsenal Want Barcelona's Thiago Alcantara As Part Of Cesc Fabregas Transfer | Goal
Blaugrana president Sandro Rosell is eager to lower the transfer fee, and knows including players will be easier than twisting Wenger's inflexible arm. Guardiola sees Thiago as one for the future, but the Catalan club would be willing to sacrifice him to get to long-time target Fabregas.

Barcelona & Dani Alves Closer To Contract Extension - Report | Goal
Brazilian right-back Dani Alves is close to reaching an agreement with Barcelona for a contract extension, according to reports in Spain which contradict previous voices suggesting a break-down in talks over wage issues.

Maxwell: "We need to get 12 points before Arsenal come" | FCBarcelona
It’s time to refocus on the domestic championship after the 2-1 defeat at the Emirates Stadium, and Maxwell’s only concern is the forthcoming clash with Athletic Bilbao. "We have to get the three points and forget about what happened in Gijón and London" he said. "Before we play Arsenal we have 12 points to play for in the league and we want to get them, starting on Sunday".

Real Madrid Coach Jose Mourinho Confirms Intention To Rotate Squad For Visit Of Levante | Goal
The Portuguese named his squad earlier today, announcing that Pepe would be rested for the match, but addressing the media in this afternoon’s press conference, he confirmed that there will be more alterations to his team given the proximity of the journey to France.

Mourinho ends Real quarrel | Sky Sports
"We have the same thought, the same philosophy, there is much more empathy, because the personal empathy has always been very good with the president (Florentino Perez) and Jose Angel (Sanchez, director general)."

Real Madrid Interested In Hoffenheim Defender Andreas Beck - Report | Goal
It is thought that an offer in the region of €6 million may be enough to secure the former Stuttgart stopper, who is likely to be the subject of a bidding war at the end of the season. Madrid have also previously been linked with resurrecting a move for Brazilian defender Maicon, who coach Jose Mourinho worked alongside during his time at Inter.

Bilbao looking to Europe | FCBarcelona
Fernando Llorente is the team’s main threat up front. The Spanish international has bagged 13 goals so far this season – 8 of them headers – and is bound to be keen to show what he can do at the Nou Camp after missing his team’s Cup game here in December.

Juventus Scouting Villarreal Striker Giuseppe Rossi - Report | Goal
Tuttosport reports Fabio Paratici, the Bianconeri's technical area co-ordinator and trusted aide of Giuseppe Marotta, was at the San Paolo to see Rossi play against Napoli on Thursday night. | Goal

Málaga suffer Baptista blow | LFP
Baptista was diagnosed with a sprain to the lateral internal ligament in his right knee on Thursday but fresh tests conducted on Friday have revealed a torn meniscus in the same knee which means he will be ruled out for at least six weeks.

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