Tagged in: Barca

Cadiz shock Barcelona despite Lionel Messi’s return for the Catalans

Cadiz pulled off a shock 2-1 victory over Barcelona in La Liga on Saturday night, piling on to the mounting troubles for the Blaugrana in their domestic campaign this season.

Lionel Messi returned to Ronald Koeman’s starting XI after sitting out the midweek Champions League victory over Ferencvaros.

The hosts took a shock lead from a corner kick when Marc-Andre ter Stegen palmed the ball into the path of Alvaro Gimenez, who simply had to tap it into the net to make it 1-0.

The goal seemed to enliven Barca, who were firmly in control for the remainder of the half, but save for a near miss by Martin Braithwaite the visitors could not score and went into the half-time break trailing.

Koeman rang the changes at half-time in an attempt to spark his team, with Pedri replacing Oscar Mingueza and Ousmane Dembele coming on for Philippe Coutinho.

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Barca continued to dominate possession and drew level just before the hour mark when Messi played in Jordi Alba and his shot from a tight angle took a fortuitous deflection to beat Cadiz keeper Jeremias Ledesma.

However, Cadiz took the lead again minutes later when a miscommunication between Clement Lenglet and Ter Stegen following a throw in left Alvaro Negredo alone for a simple tap in to Barcelona’s open net.

Barca poured on the pressure down the stretch and Messi saw two good possibilities go right to Ledesma, but Cadiz were up to the task and saw out the match to take all three points and stay ahead of the Catalans in La Liga.

The victory was Cadiz’s first over Barcelona since 1991 and put them just outside the Champions League places in the table.

The Andalusians also beat champions Real Madrid 1-0 away from home earlier in the campaign.

Barca’s fourth defeat of the season left them seventh in the standings on 14 points after 10 matches and Koeman’s side have failed to win their last four away matches.

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Arthur wants to stay, Barca open to offers

Over the last few days, Arthur’s name has been linked with several moves away from the Camp Nou. The Barça midfielder is a wanted man across Europe but, according to Esporte Interativo, he’s let the club know he wants to stay and isn’t interested in a transfer elsewhere.

RAC1 claimed Barça and Juventus were in talks over a potential swap deal involving Arthur. That report stated the Italian giants had offered Pjanic in exchange and it was being considered by the sporting department. Another name linked with Barça is Tottenham Hotspur’s Tanguy Ndombele and the North London side would be open to a swap deal too.

As reported by Goal, initial discussions have taken place between the two clubs, with Juve keen on signing the 23-year-old midfielder, potentially in a swap deal that could include Miralem Pjanic.

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Maurizio Sarri is a fan of the Brazil international and is aiming to sign a midfielder when the transfer window reopens, albeit with Paul Pogba being at the top of the Serie A club’s wishlist.

Arthur has made 67 appearances in all competitions for Barca since joining the club from Gremio back in 2018 and is considered an important member of Quique Setien’s first-team squad.

He has also claimed 20 caps for Brazil and was part of the Copa America-winning side that defeated Peru in the 2019 final, with Arthur’s performances seeing him named in the team of the tournament.

While the former Gremio star is keen to remain at Camp Nou, the future of Philippe Coutinho is somewhat more uncertain.

Barca remain hopeful of offloading the 27-year-old, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich, in the summer and have offered him to Premier League clubs in the hope of finding a buyer.

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Barcelona set for big exits due to virus

Lionel Messi, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Frenkie de Jong are the only players safe at Barcelona this summer as the Catalan club predict less spending and more player exchanges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, sources have told ESPN.

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted last month that the club would still be “capable” of landing the game’s best players, but he warned deals could be organized in a very different way after the crisis.

“There is not going to be as much money in the transfer market because of the pandemic,” Bartomeu said. “But I predict that we are going to see a lot more swap deals.”

Barcelona have already committed to two transfers that will be completed in the summer. Forward Francisco Trincao will move to Camp Nou from Braga in a €30 million deal and Las Palmas midfielder Pedri will join for an initial €5m.

However, sources have told ESPN that the club continues to target another attacker and an internal debate has developed over whether it will still be possible to sign Lautaro Martinez or Neymar — or even both — when the window opens.

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There is also a wish to sign a right-back, a centre-back to replace Gerard Pique in the long term and a physical midfielder.

Inter striker Lautaro has a release clause of €111m that becomes active in the first two weeks of July. However, sources say Barca have “no intention” of paying that much. There have already been several meetings with the Serie A side and the possibility of including players to lower the price has been discussed.

Neymar remains Barca’s other big target. A year ago, Barca offered PSG several combinations of cash plus players, with Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic, Samuel Umtiti, Jean-Clair Todibo and Ousmane Dembele all put forward. PSG rejected the proposals then, but Barca hope they will change their stance this summer with Neymar’s deal up in 2022 and the possibility of the player invoking Article 17 to force an exit unilaterally.

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