Josep Maria Bartomeu’s electoral promise of signing in a big name for the Blaugrana has become a speculative joke in many quarters. While attending a city tennis event, the acting president of Barcelona FC hinted that he would certainly sign in this Spanish midfielder if elected for the top post this month. Though Bartomeu has refrained from naming the player, speculation is rife that it could be Atletico Madrid’s Koke. What if Bartomeu were to lose the elections? Would this “mystery player” will still be in the reckoning?
A two-year deal extension for Ilkay Gundogan at Borussia Dortmund has put paid to Barca’s intentions of snaring the 24-year old attacking German midfielder. Gundogan’s contract with Borussia would have normally ended in June 2015 and the 45million euros Barcelona were reportedly interested to pay for the midfielder would have been a seriously big cash infusion for the German club had they released him.
However Gundogan’s case has been weakened sufficiently of late with the rumors of Juventus star Paul Pogba’s transfer to Nou Camp gaining momentum. Remember, Paul Pogba is a favorite of Joan Laporta, another presidential candidate and hopeful. The mercurial French midfielder’s transfer could very well become a reality if Laporta, an ex-president of Barcelona FC, were to get re-elected this July.
A catch in the release clause of Marc Bartra has seen things unfold very much in favor of this 24-year old Barca defender. The clause which pegged the release price at €12 million till June 30 jumped to an astronomical €50 million from July 1st. This puts him beyond the reach of clubs like Porto, Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Tottenham Hotspurs, all of whom had shown interest in him. Bartra has however expressed a desire to stay at Barcelona and fight for a place in the main playing eleven.
While Martin Montoya has not been an active participant in Barcelona’s conquests of late, he seems to have found takers in Italy. A loan deal with Inter-Milan has come through with a buy option of €8 million at the end of his two-year term with the Italian club. Montoya had been struggling to find a place in Luis Enrique’s eleven and with the signing of Aleix Vidal things look bleak for the defender at Camp Nou. The move to Inter-Milan would indeed be a welcome break for the young Spaniard and will mean more time on the field than on benches.
Meanwhile Barcelona’s latest star signing, Arda Turan, flew in from Istanbul on Thursday and paid his first visit after being announced as a player of the Catalan giant. The 28-year old Turkish midfielder was presented to the media at Nou Camp on Friday where he officially signed in as a club member and donned the Blaugrana jersey for the first time. Turan was bought over from Atletico Madrid for €41 million. The Turk has signed a 5-year contract with Barcelona FC that will see him earning a salary of €8 million annually.