Barcelona plan to wait until the summer to sign Matthijs de Ligt but hope to sign Jeison Murillo in the winter on loan as a temporary solution to their current injury problems in defence. Ernesto Valverde wants an experienced La Liga defender for now and Murillo is the most likely option.
Chelsea plan to reject any move from Barcelona for defender Andreas Christensen. The defender is frustrated with his bit-part role, but manager Maurizio Sarri wants him to stay and fight for his place at Stamford Bridge.
Barcelona players met up on Wednesday in a restaurant to enjoy a Christmas meal together. Ousmane Dembele was the last to arrive (!), Samuel Umtiti missed out as he is undergoing treatment in Qatar and Philippe Coutinho was also absent as he used his days off to travel out of the country.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has been talking about 2018. He said: “It has been a historic year because of the double in football and because all the club’s teams have won the Copa del Rey. We’ve made history because for the first time a team makes a joint tour with the women’s team. Also, financial-wise we are very well, as we are approaching a budget of one billion euros.”
Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich have become the latest club to register an interest in Frenkie de Jong. The Dutch star is wanted by a host of top clubs and is expected to cost around £70 million.
Barcelona will hold their annual open training session on January 4. The men’s team will be joined by the women’s team and tickets are free for club member and €5 for the general public. Afterwards the players will visit local hospitals to wish ill children a happy King’s Day.