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.
I know that some Barcelona fans will not be all that happy about the news that Cesc Fabregas will definitely not be leaving the club this summer. Manchester United were obviously keen on the midfielder and were apparently ready to put in a third and higher offer, but the 26-year old has now made a public declaration that renders any further attempts by the Old Trafford team pointless.
Fabregas said, “It has always been my dream to play for Barcelona and that has not changed. I am very happy with life at the club.
The team mates of Cesc Fabregas, Tirto Vilanova and the player himself have said plenty of times that he was staying at FC Barcelona, amid rumours of a possible move back to his former club Arsenal or their Premier League rivals Manchester United. David Moyes did not seem to believe them, however, and has made two bids of £25 million and £30 million to test the waters.
That seemed to ba that after they were rejected, but the United manager was like a dog with a bone. The news of Tito’s illness forcing him to resign as the manager of Barcelona seemed to offer Moyes fresh hope, but that has been quickly extinguished by the 50-year old Argentinean Gerardo Martino.
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.
For a few weeks now Barcelona have been steeling themselves for the departure of the talented young midfielder Thiago Alcantara. Because of his lack of games in La Liga last season, his release clause was a paltry 18 million euros, and the new manager at Manchester United, David Moyes, was very keen to take advantage.
United had offered the value of the release clause and spoken to Thiago, offering him attractive wages and promising him regular football. The only thing holding up the move, apparently, was Tito Vilanova and the staff and players at Barcelona trying to persuade the graduate from La Masia to stay at the Nou Camp because he was on the verge of starring regularly.
FC Barcelona are, quite rightly, extremely proud of the youth system, which has made La Masia the best known academy in the world of football and produced such illustrious talents as Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol, Xavi and the best footballer in the world for the last four years, Lionel Messi.
One of the more recent products is Thiago Alcantara, who recently captained Spain to glory in the under 21 European Championships. You can understand the talented young midfielders’s frustration at his lack of playing opportunities at Barca. It is also surprising, because a few more games last season would have made his release clause much more than the £15 million it is at the minute.
Wayne Rooney will be having talks with his new manager this week, but David Moyes may struggle to convince the England striker to stay, as he has apparently decided to leave and FC Barcelona is the club he wants to join, according to The Sun.
Rooney fell out with his former boss Sir Alex Ferguson last season, and now feels he has lost the support of the United fans after Ferguson claimed he had handed in a transfer request, something that Rooney denies. Moyes managed the player when he came through the ranks at Everton and is very keen to persuade him to stay at United, but the 28-year old may be impossible to convince.
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.