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This page last updated: 21:34:28

11 Oct 2021 23:10:09
With Barcelona's documented financial troubles are there any teams interested in the three promising youngsters Fati, Pedri and Gavi? Granted Barcelona won't want to sell but could the right offer force their hand?

{Ed002's Note - Ansu Fati (LW) Chelsea approached Barcelona about Fati and wer pointed at a huge €170M buy out clause which will soon rise to €400M when a new contract is agreed.
Pedri (CM) Bayern Munich made a significant bid for Pedri that was immediately turned down. Not for sale.
Gavi (CM) Barcelona will not sell and that has been shared with Manchester City and PSG who enquired. He will get a contract with a Buy Out clause which will make him pretty much untouchable. Still a kiddie.}

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22 Sep 2021 14:41:16
Hi Eds, what do you expect to happen with the management situation at Barcelona? Thanks for all your work!

{Ed002's Note - Barcelona have a debt of more than €1B and need to make huge savings on salaries and other costs totalling €200M in order to comply with RFEF rules. Target is to reduce wage bill and bonuses by €135M a year. Plan was to sell players in January and the summer and look to removing big earners - Messi (€70M) and Antoine Griezmann (€45M) have gone but Coutinho, Pjanic and Busquets alsoneed to go from the bill. They also have a number of polayers over 30 and need to start to refine the squad. Koeman has done a good job using some of the youngsters but it was largely by necessity. The club see significant opportunities in their younger players but want a high profile buy next summer - ideally Mbappe or Haaland but wages will be a significant issue. Koeman will no doubt be gone soon - but the club want to negotiate an exit payment that is spread over two or three years. Finding a replacement will probably not be easy but they have desires but may not get any of their preferred choices.

Pep Guardiola (C) Laporta would like to take Guardiola back and add Mbappe or Haaland next summer. I understand that Laporta has already spoken with Guardiola and his brother. It has been suggested that Guardiola would look to replace Luis Enrique after the 2022 World Cup. Barcelona will push in 2022.
Joachim Loew (C) Will be in no rush to take on a club job just yet but number two to Gaurdiola on Barcelona's list.
Julian Nagelsmann (C) On the list but certainly won't be happening.
Antonio Conte (C) A safe option but personalities may clash and the lack of funds will make life difficult.
Albert Capellas (C) Would be seen as a bit of an wildcard - but don't lose sight of him as he will be more open to working with the youngsters.
Roberto Martinez (C) has some support from the board.
Xavi Hernandez (C) The fans solution but lack of European experience will be an issue - too high risk and should continue in Qatar for a year or two more else Barcelona could need to make another change soon.
Eric ten Hag (C) If he were approached he would likely not be interested.
Domenec Torrent (C) lots of knowledge of the club and no longer tied to Guardiola - but would be high risk.

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31 Aug 2021 22:38:41
Hi Ed, just curious about Barcelona and there situation. I know it looked dire and now they have finally registered all their signings, but I doubt it’s any better.

Players like trincao, moriba Emerson etc were they deemed not good enough, or just the most saleable assets?

Seems mad their team is full of 30 year olds on pique busquets Alba aguero etc and I know they were struggling to sell the ones they wanted in umtiti countinho etc, but this seems like horrible planning for the future. They need a rebuild with no money. Depay is decent but now they’ve lost griezemann too, who I know was on huge wages so helps, it just seems like a club in free fall.

{Ed002's Note - You don’t seem to understand what has happened. Messi has gone, Griezmann, Moria has gone because he had a serious attitude issue, Emerson was a complicated transaction and not needed by Barcelona. Firpo and the others who have gone were all avaiable. They need to continue to make savings like Real Madrid and will be fine going forward.}

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05 Aug 2021 19:07:25
Hey Ed002,

So another twist.
I was sure La Liga sold the 10% to make sure Barcelona can use the (supposed) 250 million euros share to retain Messi.
And now it was announced that they will part ways.

So where‘s he going now?
Are City going to stop the Grealish transfer for Messi? Do PSG stop caring about FFP altogether? will Juventus use their 400 Million to sign Messi on top of Ronaldo?

Could Chelsea jump in and abandon Lukaku?

Or is it Miami FC earlier then planned?

Thank you so much for all the input you can give.

Take care.

{Ed002's Note - Lionel Messi (F) The plan was to leave in the summer although a new contract might be possible, but he would need to take a significant cut in wages. In terms of clubs who could potentially put a suitable package together, there would only likely be Manchester City (who could have used Gabriel Jesus and Eric Garcia in exchange last summer but didn't want plans disrupted) can be probably be discounted as they turn their attention elsewhere because of the costs, Juventus (who can also certainly be discounted as they are working to a fixed plan for other targets), PSG (who could have looked to use Neymar in a deal last summer - but Neymar is no longer in the plans of Barcelona, but they could end up being the only viable option - but also have other plans) and Inter Milan (who had the chance to offer Lautaro Martinez in any transaction and Javier Zanetti could yet look to sell the project and tax laws which would keep the cost to the club to lower than competitors). Other sides who are financially in a position to take him (Bayern Munich, Chelsea etc.) have other plans and see the costs as obscene. He will have no interest in playing in China or the Middle East. My expectation was that Messi would stay another year or two to play with Aguero at Barcelona. One day perhaps a season at Inter Miami, Boca or Newell's OB before retirement. If he left, PSG or possibly Manchester City appear the only fits in Europe.}

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05 Aug 2021 21:56:50
Thanks Ed!
Amazing, would love to know what happened today in the meeting. It seemed to go smoothly and then the club releases the statement, I guess Messi Sr must have moved the goalposts and infuriated the Barcelona top brass.

And it seems he backed himself into a corner now with only PSG viable.

Guess Pogba moving to PSG is not going to happen then but Barcelona might have a lump sum of budget to play with now.

Very interesting to see what’s going to happen in the coming weeks in Barcelona.
No need to get rid of the other stars to free budget now, I guess.

{Ed002's Note - It is nothing to do with Pogba.}

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05 Jul 2021 23:43:15
Hi Eds, with more details about just how bad the state of affairs are at the Camp Nou, please please could you give us a rundown of who if anyone is interested in the many players they are trying to get rid of, what obstacles they face to do so and if any clubs could swoop in for the players they want to keep, like youngsters entering the final year of their contract Pedri, Moriba and Fati for example, or any others.
A big question but this seems to be a big summer in Barcelona.
Thanks a trillion in advance.

{Ed002's Note - No. If you have specific questions I will try and answer them.}

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07 Jul 2021 13:49:36
Okay thanks Ed002. So do you expect Pedri, Moriba and Fati to sign new contracts or are there any clubs looking to sign them this summer?

{Ed002's Note - Pedri (CM) Bayern Munich made a significant bid for Pedri that was immediately turned down. Not for sale.
Ilaix Moriba (CM) Barcelona fended off interest from Chelsea when he was 16 and the sustained recent interest of RBL who offered a structured career growth option when he turned 18 in January by explaining they would sell if his €100M release clause was met. He is playing in Spain, and for Spain, inially under the Cotonou Agreement.
Ansu Fati (LW) Approaches from PSG and Juventus were turned down - and again not for sale.}

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22 Sep 2020 15:50:24
Ed if you can spare some time, would like to know what barcelonas plans are for

Dembele - seen links to man utd and liverpool

Will they be in for a new RB?

Is memphis depay still a target?

Thank you for your time, no worries if you can't respond.


{Ed002's Note -
(1) Ousmane Dembele (LW/RW/F) Barcelona could be stuck with the player as it is unlikely other clubs will match their valuation - unless he can be used as part of another transfer, loaned or the price drops considerably. Liverpool had enquired after his price earlier in the year but likely only want a loan with an option to buy - if that were to become an obligation to buy then it could be possible if Mane or Salah were to leave. PSG would resist his involvement as part of a deal for Neymar and Barcelona have moved on from Neymar in any case. Juventus could be open to a loan but will not want to buy the player. This could be very disruptive to other transfer plans. I am not aware of any approach by Manchester United. The player is not keen on leaving Barcelona and has been working hard to prove himself to the new coach.
(2) A new RB is under discussion.
(3) MD remains an option to replace Suarez but there are others on the list as well, and other clubs talking to Lyon about Depay.}

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30 Sep 2020 13:13:09
Lots of chat about dembele to man utd in the last day or so, have you heard anything new?

{Ed002's Note - As I have explained on the Manchester United page he is one of several options to their first choice.}

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30 Sep 2020 14:09:43
I did read that ed just so much going on you never know if it's real or papers just bringing back old stories.

Really like the player if he can stay fit I'd love to see him at United.

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21 Sep 2020 03:55:51
Is it true that Barcelona have told Puig that he doesn't have a future at the club?

{Ed002's Note - I would not think there is any chance of that. He is available to go on loan for the season to gain experience.}

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22 Sep 2020 07:14:09
thanks - I did wonder when i read those reports.

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05 Sep 2020 16:26:54
Ed002, with the statement yesterday that Messi released, is that the end of him leaving this summer? If so, how does this affect the other transfer plans of Barca?


{Ed002's Note - Probably. Their transfer plas were put in place assuming he would be staying.}

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31 Aug 2020 00:58:39
Morning Ed, I really hope this doesn't annoy you I know it isn't a question you like but its the worlds greatest player and your so much more informative then any garbage read in papers or twitter.

Do you see messi moving this summer and if I could push you do you see him coming to the prem, if just love to see him play in the prem even if it is for city be nice for my kid to see him live. Just wondered what your opinion on the matter is do you see this has a power play or genuine attempt to leave and do you see Barcelona and la Liga backing down from the current stance of 700m or no deal apologises in advance I know ordinarily this is a question you wouldn't like to answer but every football fan is wondering. Thanks mate.

{Ed002's Note - Lionel Messi (F) The plan was to leave next summer and not this, it is possible he will leave before next summer now. In terms of clubs who could potentially put a suitable package together, there would only likely be Manchester City (who could use Gabriel Jesus and Eric Garcia in exchange but also have Guardiola intending to leave next summer), Juventus (who can likely be discounted as they are working to a fixed plan), PSG (who could look to use Neymar in a deal - but they would be less attractive to the player and Neymar is no longer in the plans of Barcelona) and Inter Milan (who have the chance to offer Lautaro Martinez in any transaction and Javier Zanetti will look to sell the project and tax laws which would keep the cost to the club to lower than competitors). Other sides who are financially in a position to take him (Bayern Munich, Chelsea etc.) have other plans. He will have no interest in playing in China or the Middle East. Barcelona will look to demand the €700M buy out clause in his contract but in reality know that if Messi were to force the move it would see a fee of around €200M including players. One expectation is that Messi will start taking English lessens and Manchester City will offer Messi a 2 years plus 1 year deal with Guardiola giving assurances he will extend by 2 years as well. One day perhaps a season at Inter Miami, Boca or Newell's OB before retirement.}

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31 Aug 2020 12:39:51
Really appreciate that Ed I know it’s not the kind of question you like but thanks, feels so strange to want a player to come even if it isn’t for you right team he’s just mesmerising to watch at times thanks again mate.

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04 Sep 2020 12:37:03
Hi Ed, I'm just curious about the Messi to Boca at the end of his career rumours I've seen around a bit. To my understanding he was always more sympathetic towards River Plate than Boca Juniors, and also tried out at the club before moving to Barca. I think it was Maxi Lopez who said he used to watch River's matches with Leo when they were in the Argentina youth team, but Messi has always publicly supported Newells because to support one of Boca or River would massively split public opinion of him in Argentina. Incidentally when he went to the Bernabeu to watch the Libertadores final there was a close up of him as Boca scored, and he seemed to have either no reaction at all or leaning slightly towards a negative reaction. And then there was the goal he scored against River in the club world cup and immediately apologised to the fans for.

Sorry this is getting a bit longwinded but I've always taken all this to show he favours River to Boca, so I'm now wondering why Boca is coming up every time as a club for Messi to retire at, is it due to them possibly being in a stronger financial position? Or following on from legends like Maradona and Riquelme?

Appreciate any insights, thanks!

{Ed002's Note - It is someway down the line and one day perhaps a season at Inter Miami, Boca or Newell's OB before retirement - players do not always get the chance to play for clubs they support as a child.}

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04 Sep 2020 18:56:14
With messi staying ed002 does this effect interest in mane and put it off to next season?

{Ed002's Note - Mane was offered to Barcelona - not the other way around.}

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05 Sep 2020 14:56:30
Thanks ed002, I am guessing by his agents. Similar to Salah with Madrid last season?

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31 Aug 2020 00:33:27
Just to add, that my question was more of me interested to know more about the system, not so much on any specific player including Messi. Hope you can help. Thanks Ed02.

{Ed002's Note - Perhaps a reminder about transfer related clauses would be apt. This is a horribly complex area not least because they are written under individual national laws. They cause a great deal of misunderstanding with football supporters and the media alike.

The "buy out clause" is legally binding between a club and a player. The "buy out" is effectively what it says - a means for the player to buy himself out of the contract. As an example, if a player wishes to buy himself out of a contract, he pays the applicable FA (on behalf of the club) the amount of the "buy out" clause effectively becoming a free agent. The problem is that in most cases a player would need to obtain that money from the buying club - and this is fraught with issues regarding "tapping up" and, of course, taxation (as it can be seen as income for the player and would therefore be subject to income tax). There was a test case about the taxation issue in Spain about seven years ago which is why they have an exception. All players in Spain and Portugal have a clause that allows the player to buy himself out of his contract without tax implications - the tax implications passing to the buying club - typically at 50% on top of the value of the clause for the higher profile players. This was to address a ruling from around 30 years ago allowing players a way out of their contracts. The other notable point about Spain and Portugal is that the clauses, if invoked by a non Iberian club, need to be paid in full by the player (there are local rules that stop tax being due) but by needing to put up 100% of the money upfront would end many transfers then and there. It works differently in Iberia to elsewhere as the tax implications do not make such clauses viable in other countries. All players in Iberia must have a figure set and agreed with the club. So "buy out" clauses are very rare elsewhere. Related to this is the Webster Ruling but I don't intend to go in to that now.

A "release clause" is far more common in that it gives a figure that the club would accept for the sale of a player to another club - but it is not legally binding except where both parties (clubs) are in the same country (for the sake of argument I should say that football Spain and Portugal count as the same country as do England and Wales) for legal purposes. These are normally unreasonably high figures (Messi at Barcelona for example) introduced to act as a deterrent for hostile bids - and even then the club could easily block a move. However, if a club in the same country does agree to match a release clause then the selling club would be obliged to ask the player if he is interested - there is no obligation on the player to make a move. For interested clubs outside of the country, the selling club may use it as a guide but are under obligation to accept a bid and may demand a higher figure.

There is then the becoming popular "termination clause" which is binding between the player and the club and if met would see an offer from anywhere accepted and the player given the opportunity to make a call on a move. This overcomes the issues associated with "buy out" clauses as the money would be paid by one club to another and about the legal proximity of the buying side.}

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31 Aug 2020 00:29:10
I just read an article La Liga said Messi's release clause must be met.

Ed02. Sorry if this is a silly question. That statement from La Liga I understand is if Messi wants to leave for free, but still its very much possible for any negotiations between clubs for lower transfer fee. Am I right? And its also possible for a release for a much lower fee (if Messi and Barcelona agreed on a reduced term) . Am I right?

{Ed002's Note - Something has been lost in translation. It does not have to be "met" but is still legally binding. If he were to leave this summer Barcelona would be loking for something around the £200M mark probably involving othe rplayers.}

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30 Aug 2020 20:37:02
Ed it was said that koeman decided to join barcelona if he could get one player with hik qnd that player was van de beek?

So now with VDB going to man utd will koeman likely leave? It seems barcelona have been unable to stick to their promise with the new coach?

{Ed002's Note - No, he did not join on that basis. As part of the process he asked for DvdB. It would not have been a promise.}

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28 Aug 2020 14:48:25
Only one I'd prefer from Barcelona is Frenkie De Jong.

They will have a tough job replacing Suarez, Messi, Pique, Rakitic etc, .

{Ed002's Note - They have a plan to replace all of those players. }

Thought i'd bring it to the appropriate page. Couod you give us their prefered targets for each position if you have time please ed? I was thinking Barcelona would struggle for a few years after losing their top players but curious about who they'll replace with now.


{Ed002's Note - I don't have the time to go through the who squad but their plan for the ideal attacking line up would see Messi, Suarez, Dembele, Rafinha, Greizmann and Braithwaite gone, interest in Neymar gone and a line up of: Ansu Fati, Trincao, Joao Felix, Lautaro Martinez, and two out of Sadio Mane, Gabriel Jesus and Dybala with Calvin Stengs added as a youngster. Kouman also wants Depay but there are those at the club that would block it.

Obviously it won't all happen and Moussa Dembele might turn out to be a more cost effective solution if they cannot strike a deal for Lautaro Martinez.}

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29 Aug 2020 17:30:54
Wow, big changes then. If that team plays together for a couple of years, it may be tough to beat with the right defensive players.

Thanks Ed, great stuff as usual.

{Ed002's Note - You are welcome.}

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27 Aug 2020 21:13:29
Ed002, you mentioned on the Liverpool page that Mane was one of three players Barcelona have identified as a Messi replacement. Do you mind saying who the other two players are?


{Ed002's Note - Mane, Dybala, Gabriel Jesus and they would like two and drop the interest in Neymar.}

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27 Aug 2020 20:53:53
Hi Ed002 you mentioned Sadio Mane was on a list of 3 potential Messi replacements - are you aware of the other 2?


{Ed002's Note - Mane, Dybala, Gabriel Jesus and they would like two and drop the interest in Neymar. Additionally they want Stengs as a youngster.}

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28 Aug 2020 00:19:04
Thanks Ed002. Separately what is the plan for Griezmann?

{Ed002's Note - Antoine Griezmann (F/W) could be moved on if things don't improve and they won't. Sale or trade and PSG or just possibly Inter may provide options - if used in a trade as the €100M asking price is very steep. Barcelona are willing to use Griezmann in an exchange and Inter Milan were approached about using him as part of the deal for Martinez but Inter cannot afford his wages without the endorsements Messi would bring. PSG is a different matter and they can afford his wages, but it is unclear if the desire is there to take him and it is still unclear what will happen regarding the coach.}

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26 Aug 2020 22:33:04
Eds - you previously mentioned that Koeman asked Barcelona to sign one midfielder before agreeing to coach them. Was Van Der Beek this player?

{Ed002's Note - Yes.}

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27 Aug 2020 05:57:35

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27 Aug 2020 05:57:46

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26 Aug 2020 10:05:24
Ed002, do you think the reported resignations of several board members including bartomeu will change messi’s mind about leaving Barca? Or do you think it’s already gone too far?

{Ed002's Note - I am not aware of this sorry. The elections are due in the Spring. The club is bigger than any one player.}

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25 Aug 2020 20:26:53
Hi ed,
Is Messi’s request to leave legitimate? Is he really going to leave or is it to force the hand of Bartomeu and make him resign?

{Ed002's Note - It would have happened next season in anycase.}

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26 Aug 2020 01:09:57
Thanks ed.
I think he will end up at city.
Would he be happy to take cut in his salary?

{Ed002's Note - I am sorry but I don't know - it would be driven by endorsements.}

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26 Aug 2020 16:19:25
Thanks ed.

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25 Aug 2020 19:40:52
Just wondering if the headlines are true and messi has opted out? Can he with the season ending later? What clubs are interested and vice versa if he were a free agent?

{Ed002's Note - It depends what his contract says.}

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25 Aug 2020 19:39:23
Huge news today about Messi

Eds, from your understanding, is Messi in a position to leave on a free? Or are reports that the clause in question expired in June correct?

Would you expect Messi to get his way?


{Ed002's Note - No, Barcelona will not be looking to let him leave for nothing.}

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