With most of the current stars, like Messi, Iniesta and Xavi, having come through the youth system at FC Barcelona, the Club has every right to be proud of the academy at La Masia, but there have been a few cases of players slipping through the fingers and then going on to star for another club. The most obvious example is Cesc Fabregas, who joined Arsenal as a 16-year old and was extremely hard to get away from the Premier League club afterwards.
There was nothing that FC Barcelona could do to stop the transfer of Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich, because the German champions met the release clause in his contract, and the young midfielder accepted the move to the Bundesliga club. With Cesc Fabregas, however, things are different.
Manchester United and their new manager David Moyes were also interested in Thiago, but they have now turned their attention to the former Arsenal man. The Daily Mirror has reported that Moyes has launched an opening bid of around 30 million euros for the 26-year old, roughly the same as Barca paid for him two years ago. In my opinion, it would be a huge mistake to sell Cesc, even if United raise their offer significantly.
If the stories are true about FC Barcelona and Robert Lewandowski, Barca could soon have the most fearsome forward line ever assembled in the world of football. With the not inconsiderable skills of Neymar already adding to those of the best player in the world Lionel Messi, signing Lewandowski would seem to be simply unfair on the rest of Europe.
Officials and staff at the Nou Camp are clearly concerned about the struggles the club had in the Champions League last season. Following shock defeats to Celtic and AC Milan, we nearly went out to PSG before Bayern Munich produced the astonishing 7-0 aggregate defeat in the semi-final.
The president and coach of Barcelona were firm and resolute in their intentions of not selling David Villa in the January transfer window, despite the 31-year old striker appearing only 15 times in La Liga, usually as a substitute, for an average of 40 minutes a game. Rosell and Vilanova have both stated that Villa is still an important part of their plans and will be a valuable part of the team, at least for the rest of the season.