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FC Barcelona News: 4 September 2013; Shirt Numbers for 2013-14 Season Confirmed, Osasuna Fire Coach Mendilibar

David Ramos

Great start for versatile Cesc | FC Barcelona
Cesc Fàbregas has been one of the stars of the first five official matches this season. He has started four of those games, against Levante, Malaga and Valencia in La Liga and in the second leg of the Spanish Supercup against Atletico Madrid. It was at the Vicente Calderón that he played as the ‘false centre forward’, the position where Leo Messi usually plays.

This season's shirt numbers confirmed | FC Barcelona
After the FC Barcelona coaching staff and directors for sport confirmed on Monday that Afellay and Cuenca will be getting shirt numbers this season, 19 and 23 respectively, we now know for sure what numbers each of the 25 first team players will be wearing in the 2013/14 season.

Zubizarreta happy with the squad | FC Barcelona
"I’m delighted with the squad we have" continued Zubizarreta. "The team is competing extraordinarily well. You don’t just find cups in the museum. You have to go out and win them … This team has always wanted to get better and think we’re making an effort to do that."

Cesc Fabregas says Arsenal have signed a star in Mesut Ozil | Sky Sports
The Spain midfielder, who spent eight years at Arsenal before returning to Barcelona in 2011, feels the Gunners have got themselves a top player. He told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope: "I was really surprised by Ozil's departure. He seemed to me the second-best player at Madrid, after Cristiano (Ronaldo).

The good, the bad and the expensive: Europe’s view of the transfer window | Pitchside Europe - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
We think Asier Illarramendi was the worst transfer this summer. Real Madrid paid 40m euros but they have several players in this position (Khedira, Xabi, Casemiro, Modric…). It’s strange that Real Madrid have not transferred a player like Khedira or Casemiro. It’s a very expensive operation for a very young and inexperienced player.

Why Real Madrid had to sell Mesut Ozil -
Madrid had been prepared to include Angel Di Maria in the deal to buy Bale from Spurs, but the Argentina attacker chose to stay and fight for his future at the Bernabeu and impressed coach Carlo Ancelotti in pre-season. When the Italian asked his forwards for extra intensity in training, Di Maria responded. Ozil did not.

Mesut Ozil's former team-mates express disappointment at Arsenal move | Football News | Sky Sports
Ramos said: "Mesut is a different player. If it was up to me he would be one of the last players to go. But he and the club have made their decision and I can only wish him the best. "I get on really well with him. He's a unique player and it's a shame. These are personal things, he decides his future. Everyone chooses what's best and he's free to do what he wants.

Report: Levy tried to block Ozil deal - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Reputed online newspaper El Confidencial claimed that Levy, who had just sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for £85 million, called his counterpart Florentino Perez to try and persuade him not to sell Germany star Ozil to Spurs’ sworn rivals. El Confidencial added that Spurs had initially asked about the availability of Ozil in July, with the North London club wanting a part-exchange deal for Bale. At the time, Real insisted that Ozil was not for sale.

Real Madrid must take the responsibility to develop Gareth Bale's talent - ESPN FC
Then some of the fans, fearful that they might be witnessing some kind of revolving door for heroes (one in, but another important one out) started to chant that Mesut Ozil shouldn't be sold. There is an image, which I think defines an era, of Perez putting his finger to his lips and "shooshing" them. They don't matter, they are only punters, they certainly aren't in the Asian market ... and they were spoiling "his" party.

Osasuna sack coach Jose Luis Mendilibar - ESPN FC
Mendilibar’s side started the current campaign with three consecutive losses, leaving Osasuna at the foot of Spain’s top-flight standings. Club president Miguel Archanco says he has "four coaches in the pipeline'' to replace Mendilibar, and is looking for "a young, committed coach."

Koke extends Atletico Madrid stay to 2018 -
The Rojiblancos have also tied Oliver Torres and Javier Manquillo down to long-term contracts at the Vicente Calderon. Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke has expressed his delight at having committed his future to the club for a further five seasons.

Atleti name CL 'A' and 'B' squads | Football Espana
Diego Simeone has named his Atletico Madrid squad for the Champions League group stages. The squad contains all 23 names that are registered for the League, but the club have also confirmed the 17 names that are on the B list, in case of injuries.

Mystery remains over Manchester United's phantom deal for Ander Herrera | Sky Sports
The 24-year-old appeared to be on his way to Old Trafford on Monday amid reports that a release clause of around £31million had been activated in his contract. There were suggestions three people representing United had turned up at the Spanish league's headquarters to finalise the deal - but it later transpired that the club, who had dealt directly with Athletic, knew nothing of them.

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