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FC Barcelona News: 25 July 2023; Ilkay Gundogan talks Champions League dream, Barça and Juventus in advanced talks for Franck Kessie

A round-up of the latest Barcelona news and rumors

FC Barcelona v Girona FC - LaLiga Santander Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Alejandro Balde: “The team is doing well" - FC Barcelona
LOS ANGELES — One year ago, Alejandro Balde traveled to the United States with an uncertain future. During the preseason, he was one of the top performers, earning a spot in the squad, and even in the starting lineup. He became a regular for Xavi and, this season, he is determined to keep progressing.

Normal training activities resume - FC Barcelona
The FC Barcelona first team resumed training on a hot and sunny Monday morning here in Southern California. They once again gathered at the iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with all players present and accounted for, after overcoming the viral gastroenteritis that had afflicted a significant portion of the squad on the day when the much-anticipated Barça-Juventus match in Santa Clara was meant to take place.

13 players who have appeared for FC Barcelona and Arsenal - FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona start their preseason with a friendly against Arsenal on Wednesday 26 July at 7.30pm local time (4.30an Thursday CEST), at the SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles. There's a long history between the two clubs, including no fewer than 13 people who have played for both.

Exclusive Riqui Puig interview: It hurt when Xavi didn't let me train with Barça - SPORT
Riqui Puig spoke to SPORT in Los Angeles to assess his first year at MLS side LA Galaxy and his departure from Barcelona. The midfielder was hurt by the way Xavi Hernandez opened the door for him to leave, a criticism that is not new, but he assured that he is having an excellent experience in the United States league.

Barcelona left back Balde on contract renewal talks: "We are very close" - SPORT
Alejandro Balde is confident of completing his contract renewal soon. The defender spoke to reporters after the first team's Monday training session at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and assured that "there have been talks and we are very close. It is a matter that I leave in the hands of my agent and the club. I hope it will be solved soon. Now I'm focused on the tour and coming back from my injury."

Gündogan exclusive: I joined Barça to win LaLiga, the Copa & the Champions League - SPORT
SPORT was able to catch up with new Barcelona signing Ilkay Gündogan in Los Angeles. The German midfielder is Barça's big reinforcement for this season. After winning LaLiga, Xavi Hernandez's team wants to take an important step in the Champions League. Gündogan accepts the challenge.

French side Olympique Marseille are targetting two Barcelona centre-backs - SPORT
Olympique Marseille have made the signing of a top centre-back a priority and have contacted Barcelona to ask about the situation of two defenders who are on the exit ramp. The Ligue 1 club are interested in Clement Lenglet or Eric Garcia and would be willing to pay a fee, although the option of the French centre-back is extremely complicated due to the high salary he has for the next three seasons.

Juventus make progress in negotiations with Barça over Kessié signing - SPORT
Franck Kessié's future at Barcelona is being decided during the tour of the United States. Juventus are pushing to sign him and the two clubs are working on a deal that will almost certainly bring in at least €15 million for the Blaugrana.

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