The lowdown on Real Betis | FC Barcelona
Betis (together with Sevilla) are one of two Liga teams from the fourth biggest city in Spain, Seville, where they share one the most heated rivalries in world football. The magnificent city is the capital of the most southernmost province on the European mainland, Andalusia. It is home to the world famous Alcázar palace, and very much typifies the ‘real’ Spain of flamenco, bullfighting and very hot temperatures.
Junior: ‘Setién is close to the players’ | FC Barcelona
The Betis-Barça fixture this weekend will see the return of Junior Firpo to Benito Villamarín. The No.24 goes back to the stadium for the first time as a visitor. In an interview with Barça TV, Junior talks about Betis, Quique Setién and his first six months in Barcelona.
Dugarry on Barcelona: It’s a club of clowns | Marca
Former French striker Christophe Dugarry, who played for Barcelona during the 1997/98 season, has criticised the Catalan club after their Copa del Rey elimination to Athletic Club on Thursday. The 47-year-old made a point of lamenting Barcelona’s transfer strategy in recent years, pointing to the signings of Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele in particular, before stating that the club doesn’t have a project in place.
Quique Setien backs Real Sociedad forward Willian Jose | Sport
FC Barcelona are still studying the idea of signing a forward to replace injured winger Ousmane Dembele - and Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. Getafe’s Angel Rodriguez has been linked heavily but Quique Setien also likes Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose. The forward nearly joined Spurs in the window and Quique had him at Las Palmas.
I don’t know if Willian Jose will join Barcelona, says Real Sociedad president | Goal
Real Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay said there has been no approach for Willian Jose but added “we all know Barcelona are looking for a striker”. Barca are looking to bolster their attack with Luis Suarez sidelined and Ousmane Dembele set to undergo hamstring surgery on Tuesday.
Lionel Messi urged to stay at Barcelona by Pep Guardiola | Sky Sports
Pep Guardiola has urged Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona amid speculation he could leave the Nou Camp and reunite with his old boss at Manchester City. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner become embroiled in a public row with Barca sporting director Eric Abidal this week after he accused the players of not working hard enough under former manager Ernesto Valverde.
Barcelona feel victimised by referees - sources | ESPN
Barcelona continue to feel victimised by referees after another big decision went against them in Thursday’s Copa del Rey exit at the hands of Athletic Bilbao, sources have told ESPN. Barca were denied a penalty for a push on Frenkie de Jong in the second half at San Mames and went on to see Inaki Williams score the only goal of the game in stoppage time to send Athletic into the semifinal.
Barca’s Vidal will join Sanchez at Inter, says Zamorano | Goal
Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal is set to join Chile team-mate Alexis Sanchez at Inter next season, claims former Nerazzurri striker Ivan Zamorano. Vidal was heavily linked to Antonio Conte’s Inter before the January transfer window closed, but a move did not materialise.
Jordi Alba joins criticism of Barcelona’s Eric Abidal | Football Espana
“Many players weren’t satisfied or working hard and there was also an internal communication problem,” Abidal told Diario Sport. “The relationship between the Coach and the dressing room has always been good but there are things as an ex-player that I could smell. I told the club what I thought and we reached a decision (on sacking Valverde).”
Barcelona reduce Philippe Coutinho asking price | Football Espana
Barcelona are willing to lower their asking price for playmaker Philippe Coutinho to €80m for the summer transfer window, say El Mundo Deportivo. Bayern Munich - where the player is currently on loan - have an option to buy the Brazil international for €120m at the end of the campaign but nobody is confident this will be exercised.
Barcelona look to sign Brighton goalkeeper Carl Rushworth | Football Espana
Barcelona are weighing up a summer move for teenage Brighton goalkeeper Carl Rushworth, according to reports. El Mundo Deportivo cite a news story from the Daily Mirror that the Catalan club are willing to pay £4m (€4.7m) for the 18-year-old shot-stopper, who is currently on loan at Worthing.