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FC Barcelona News: 6 August 2014; 22 Players Travel to Geneva to Face Napoli, Barça Make Thomas Vermaelen Bid

Mike Hewitt

FC Barcelona are in Geneva | FC Barcelona
Barça play the third game of their preseason this evening in Geneva. Having left El Prat Airport this morning, they touched down in Switzerland at around 12.30 PM CET. They are taking a 22-man squad, which doesn’t include the World Cup semi-finalist that only returned on Tuesday, or Mathieu, Xavi and Patric, who all have minor fitness concerns.

Napoli v FC Barcelona: toughest test yet | FC Barcelona
Napoli and Barça feature in one of the pre-season’s most attractive friendlies tonight in Geneva (8PM CET). Luis Enrique’s side are in the middle of their pre- season preparations and after Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Nice, they fly to Helsinki on Saturday, just 72 hours after facing the Italians, for their third friendly in a week.

Andrés Iniesta looking forward to Napoli test | FC Barcelona
The side that finished third in Serie A last season will play in the Champions League this season if they win their qualifying match, and at least on paper will provide the sternest test yet for Luis Enrique’s new-look squad. "We are now working very hard towards the new season and the match against Napoli in Geneva on August 6 is very important for us" said Andrés Iniesta. "We look forward to playing in Geneva against this great team."

Double training session for latest arrivals | FC Barcelona
Dani Alves, Javier Mascherano and Leo Messi had their second training session of the day this evening re-joining the rest of the squad. The three worked out in Pitch Number 1 at the Ciutat Esportiva accompanied by trainers Rafel Pol and Edu Pons, after training with the rest of the players this morning.

Luis Enrique key to Xavi decision | FC Barcelona
"I finished last season feeling a little disappointed. I had two big collective and personal disappointments, maybe the biggest in my career. I was benched for the last game of the season and I didn’t feel I was of any use to the team – the same feeling I had with Spain. So I decided, maybe a little too impulsively, to tell the Club that it was best for me to put an end to this part of my career. I hope that people can understand that decision".

Barcelona make bid for Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen | Sky Sports
Vermaelen's future at Arsenal has been the subject of speculation all summer, with the Belgium centre-back entering the final year of his contract at the Emirates. Manchester United and Barca are both thought to have expressed an interest in Vermaelen, but now the Catalan club have firmed up their interest with a £10million bid for the 28-year-old.

Suarez to Barcelona and the 10 most expensive transfers of the summer so far -
The world-record 100 million-euro move of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid last year looked like a fee that would be hard to come close to as Financial Fair Play protocols tighten their grip, but we have already seen the €80m barrier broken twice since the end of last season in a hectic transfer window so far.

No 'bite clause' in Luis Suarez Barcelona contract - ESPN FC
asked if the player had a 'no biting' clause in his contract, Bartomeu said: "No, there is no clause. If the clause did exist we wouldn't say it, but it doesn't exist. We didn't rethink the decision [to sign him] and we told Luis after the bite. He knows he did wrong. He apologised. That's very important for us."

Where does Xavi rank among the greatest central midfielders of all time? -
Spain 2008-2012 was the most successful international soccer team of all time. No side has ever won successive European Championships with a World Cup sandwiched in between. Spain's star was Xavi. Although he didn't hit his very peak until the age of 28, for the best part of five seasons the pint-sized schemer was undoubtedly the best central midfielder on the planet.

Bilbao visit to Camp Nou set for 13 September | FC Barcelona
Kick off times for the third round of La Liga games were published this lunchtime with Barca handed a four o'clock kick off on Saturday 13 September, when Athletic Bilbao will be the visitors. The following Tuesday or Wednesday, Luis Enrique's side will make their Champions League Group stage debut.

Content distribution agreement with Dailymotion | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona have reached an agreement with Dailymotion, one of the largest video platforms in the world, for exclusive use of its video player on the Club’s official website. A dedicated FC Barcelona channel ( will also be launched as part of the deal, providing sporting content to an expected 120 users worldwide.

Marquez makes another Euro run - ESPN FC
The big news coming out of the Mexican media on Monday was Rafael Marquez's transfer to Hellas Verona in Italy. Verona was just promoted to Serie A one year ago and finished the 2013-14 season in a respectable 10th place. With the help of Marquez, they may be able to reach a Europa League spot, something they missed by just four points last year.

Report: Atleti to sign Gamez | Football Espana
Atletico Madrid are close to the signing of Malaga captain Jesus Gamez, according to reports in Spain. AS cite claims from Diario Sur that say Gamez will sign a three-year contract with the champions and compete for the right-back spot with Juanfran and Cristian Ansaldi, the latter joining this summer on loan from Zenit St. Petersburg.

Aquino agrees loan move to Rayo Vallecano -
Mexico international Javier Aquino is set to play for Rayo Vallecano in Spain’s La Liga next season. The speedy winger has been loaned out by Villarreal for the 2014-15 season in La Liga, pending a medical, according to a brief statement on Rayo Vallecano’s website.

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