The medical team at Barcelona will not one to make a mistake in the next two weeks as they try to get Xavi Hernandez fit to return for the trip to Italy to play AC Milan in the Champions league on February 20th. It looks like being a close run thing as the prognosis for the length of time he will miss is 15 days, giving just one extra day to play with.
It appears that Barcelona are going to continue with the practice of giving playing opportunities to many of the fringe players in the Copa Del Rey games. Malaga come to the Bernabeu tonight for the first leg of the quarter finals, and they may also rest a few players, because Manuel Pellegrini has crucial games coming up in the league and Malaga do not have much strength in depth in their squad.
Malaga will feel a little unlucky to have lost 3-1 to Barcelona in the league at the weekend. Until the terrible backpass that let Messi in to score the first goal, they were coping well with Barca, and they will try to play the same way tonight.
It is widely expected that Jordi Alba will be a Barcelona player next season.The 23-year old left back has been a fixture for Spain during Euro 2012 and has been very impressive. Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has claimed that Alba wants to come home. He spent seven years in the Barcelona youth system and was born in the area.
Apparently, Valencia are holding out for 15 million euros rather than the 12 million Barca have offered, but this should soon be resolved. Any announcement will probably be left until after the competition. It is a worry for Brazilian left back Dani Alves, who is in trouble with the club again. Alves passed himself fit to play in the charity match organised by Leo Messi in Miami.
Valencia and Spain left back Jordi Alba has just one year left on his current contract. He will not be signing another one as he intends to join Barcelona. The only real doubt is whether Valencia will sell him this summer, or keep him for a year and see him join Barca for nothing next summer.
Valencia president Manuel Llorente is demanding 15 million euros and knows that Barca are in dire need of a left back. He also thinks that a Premier league club might come in for Alba after his performances at Euro 2012, according to Marca.