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FC Barcelona News: 24 August 2011; Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol Out for Three Weeks, Strike Talks Continue, Jose Mourinho and Tito Vilanova Investigated

Pique will Join Puyol on the sidelines.
Pique will Join Puyol on the sidelines.

Piqué out for three weeks |
In Tuesday evening’s training session, Gerard Piqué tore fibres in his left calf muscle, and the Club Medical Services have said that he will be sidelined for the next three weeks. That means that the Catalan centre back misses Friday’s game in Monaco, but Guardiola still has Fontàs, Abidal, Mascherano and Busquets who can play in that position, as well as the option of drafting in players from Barça B.

Barca skipper Carles Puyol back in three weeks - doctor - ESPN Soccernet
"Puyol will be playing again within three weeks. I expect him back in action halfway through September and he'll soon be in good form again," doctor Ramon Cugat told Esports COPE. "The surgery won't have any long-term consequences. Puyol is here to stay. He still has one, two and perhaps even three more seasons to go."

Barcelona is taking the high road with Jose Mourinho -- Graham Hunter -- ESPN
Amid two matches of absolute beauty, these were all deeply unsavory incidents. So let's salute a moment of rational, thoughtful intelligence from Barcelona's president, Sandro Rosell, this week. He admitted that the natural instinct is to vociferously and aggressively demand justice.

Referee Kuipers appointed for UEFA Super Cup –
Referee Björn Kuipers from the Netherlands has been selected to officiate at the match and his team will include Erwin Zeinstra and Berry Simons, operating as assistant referees, with Bas Nijhuis the fourth official. Richard Liesveld and Danny Makkelie complete the refereeing unit as additional assistant referees.

False 9, true talent - Cesc Fabregas' goalscoring Gamper debut shows he can even fill in for Lionel Messi at Barcelona -
Barca usually present their new signings to the Camp Nou crowd in the Gamper and although Alexis Sanchez was missing through injury, Cesc had been expected to play all along. What was less expected, however, was his position as he began in Lionel Messi's position as a 'false' 9, spearheading the Catalan attack in a starting XI made up of only Spanish players.

Spanish strike talks continue | Sky Sports
Discussions between the league and footballers' union representatives failed to reach an agreement on Tuesday night and there will now be a further round of negotiations. The sides will reconvene at the headquarters of the Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP) at 1600 local time (1500 BST) in a bid to fix the situation, which revolves around the issue of unpaid wages.

Sympathy for the strikers - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Players have had enough and are striking. It's heartening to see so many big names who've had no problem with their wages supporting lads who they came through the youth ranks with and are now at smaller clubs. Threats of strikes happen with credibility-sapping regularity in Spanish football, but seldom occur. They did last week as the fixtures were cancelled for the opening week of the season.

Why it's time to abolish the transfer fee – Telegraph Blogs
There would be some logic to it if it was a figure reflective of the time left on a player’s contract, the wages they were due to earn, the potential loss to the club, that sort of thing. But an arbitrary sum plucked from an oligarch’s imagination? An amount a local baker decides he desires for a teenager with a season’s mediocrity under his belt? Nonsense.

Federation look into Jose Mourinho spat - ESPN Soccernet
The Portuguese coach was involved in an incident with Barcelona assistant coach Tito Vilanova, appearing to put his finger in his eye after grabbing his ear, as tempers became frayed following Marcelo's dismissal for a cynical foul on Cesc Fabregas. Barcelona said yesterday that they would not be reporting Mourinho, but the RFEF have today intervened.

Jose Mourinho: No way I'm leaving Real Madrid - ESPN Soccernet
It had been suggested Mourinho could step down as Real boss amid suggestions he was unhappy over the backing he has received from the club but the Portuguese, who was made the club's head of football operations this summer, has strongly denied the accusations.

'We deserved to go through' - Villarreal's Juan Garrido -
Villarreal coach Juan Carlos Garrido was happy with the 3-0 victory over Odense and stated his side deserved to enter the Champions League group stage. The Spanish club managed to overcome a 1-0 deficit from the first leg with a 3-0 victory at home, a result which assures them of a place in the high-profile competition.

Espanyol's Pablo Daniel Osvaldo nears Roma transfer - report -
The 25-year-old has been linked with numerous moves away from Catalunya, but it seems that Roma will be his next port of call as an announcement is expected sometime during Tuesday under completion of all the necessary documentation.

Javi López extends contract | LFP
RCD Espanyol's Andalusian defender Javi López has renewed his contract with the Barcelona club, where he will now remain until June 2015. The defender, who signed for the blanquiazules' reserve team from Real Betis, broke into the first team last season and became a regular

Atletico Madrid drop Diego Forlan over Inter Milan interest - ESPN Soccernet
"Forlan asked Manzano this morning not to travel to Guimaraes because he is considering joining another team," Atletico said on their official Twitter account. "Manzano authorised him to stay in Madrid because Atletico have a lot at stake and need players who are 100 percent."

Official: Real Zaragoza sign Atletico Madrid's Ruben Micael on loan -
Real Zaragoza have announced they have signed Atletico Madrid midfielder Ruben Micael on a season-long loan. The Portugal international cost Atletico €5 million last week, and though he joined the club together with €40m signing Radamel Falcao, he will not be given a single chance to prove his worth at the Vicente Calderon.

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