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FC Barcelona News: 17 April 2013; Lionel Messi Cleared for Bayern Munich Game, Copa Catalunya Set to Begin

Shaun Botterill

Messi will be fit for Bayern Munich -
Lionel Messi has been confirmed as fit to face Bayern Munich in Barcelona's Champions League semi-final first leg on April 23. The 25-year-old was told at training on Tuesday he would be ready to play against the Bavarians next week with his hamstring problem a thing of the past.

Barça and Bayern – the two teams with most possession in the Champions League | FC Barcelona
On Tuesday 23rd April, Barça and Bayern will face off in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final in Munich. It will be the coming together of two teams who boast the highest possession figures of the competition and below we compare some other stats between the two from this year’s Champions League.

FC Barcelona B Go For Copa Catalunya as Eusebio Sacristan Seeks Extension - Barca Blaugranes
Once again, Barcelona's heavily packed fixture list meant there was no way the senior team would attend the Copa Catalunya. The Catalan FA may be disappointed, as well as a few Catalan nationalists, but with the team already weary of fatigue and injury, it was the only sensible choice.

Alexis turns provider | FC Barcelona
Alexis Sánchez is enjoying some great form right now – having grabbed two goals and provided the passes for two others in the team’s last couple of league games against Mallorca and Zaragoza. The Chilean is now the team’s third highest provider alongside Cesc, with 10 assists behind Iniesta and Messi, with the Spanish midfielder on 18 and the World number One on 15.

Vilanova, Zubizarreta plan 2013-14 - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Mundo Deportivo report that now is the time that Vilanova and Zubizarreta are making their decisions on all transfer moves possible, so as to shape the playing squad for next season. The duo reportedly met yesterday to begin considering options and are understood to then meet with President Sandro Rosell, Vice-President Josep Maria Bartomeu and sporting directors Narcis Julia and Albert Valentin.

Julio Pleguezuelo, Barcelona teen defender, is a target but Tottenham and Manchester City are interested - Mirror Online
Arsene Wenger could be ready to snap up another one of Barcelona’s young gems. Arsenal boss Wenger is in a three-way battle with Tottenham and Manchester City over 16-year-old defender Julio Pleguezuelo.

Barcelona forward has one foot in Liverpool already, negotiations ongoing - Sport Witness
Liverpool have been linked with young Sergi Canos for a while now and if Catalan newspaper Sport are correct he already has 'one foot in Liverpool'. They say that Canos will be the third cadet to arrange a move away from Barcelona recently, with Josimar and Julio Pleguezuelo Selva both likely to go to London.

Should the Bundesliga be worried about suffering 'a Spanish situation'? | Football |
For years, the Bundesliga had learned to feel happy about its largely unnoticed lot, like some provincial, discreet industrial tycoon. It had convinced itself that it didn't need the praise of outsiders, that there was nothing to prove to the wider world. But now that recognition – nay, validation – has actually come in the shape of two clubs in the Champions League semi-finals for the very first time

Supercopa-China talks ongoing - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Likely participants Barcelona and Real Madrid initially offered strong opposition to the RFEF’s proposal of playing the traditional season opener in the Far East for five of the next seven seasons. Whilst reports earlier this year suggested that their pressure had been enough for the RFEF to cut talks with Chinese promoters, reports today have it that negotiations are continuing regards the 2014 edition onwards.

Valencia players 'are being left in suspense' - ESPN FC
Skipper Soldado said whoever was in charge should make it clear to the players what plans for the club's future were, saying the current situation was "not good for anybody". "We hear different people talking, but I do not know the truth of what is happening," he added. "I just hope it is all sorted out as soon as possible, because this is not good for anybody.

Amorebieta set to join Fulham - reports - ESPN FC
Having previously been linked with a move to Arsenal, Liverpool or Everton, the Venezuela international now looks likely to join Martin Jol’s side on a four year deal worth €2 million-a-year, according to El Correo. The Bilbao-based paper reported that Amorebieta had been in London over Easter to discuss a move with Fulham, and said a deal could be made public in the coming days.

Getafe's Alexis apologises to Valladolid fans for spit - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
The centre-back was sent off midway through the second half and on his way back to the dressing room he spat towards a section of Valladolid supporters. With it included in the referee’s post-match report, the 27-year-old risks being handed a four-game suspension from the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) when their Competition Committee meet on Wednesday.

Verdu-Espanyol talks on hold - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
The 29-year-old and his agent have reportedly been in regular contact with Los Pericos in recent weeks, in an attempt to restart negotiations over a new deal that were originally put on hold in the autumn. However, even with all parties described as on good terms, reports in Spain have it that the playmaker is stalling once more, amid Espanyol’s difficulty to reach his wage demands in their current financial state.

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