XAVI SET TO STOP BARCELONA CAPTAIN FOR VILLARREAL CLASH

It’s safe to say that Sergio Busquets’ struggles in a Barcelona shirt have been evident, more so than ever this season. In the Catalan giants’ 3-1 defeat in the latest El Clasico, especially, the veteran midfielder was far from his best. For Karim Benzema’s opener, the World Cup winner was unable to stop Toni Kroos in his tracks, who slipped in a pass for Vinicius Jr., whose initial shot led to the Frenchman scoring the rebound.

Many have even suggested that the World Cup winner was out of position for Los Blancos’ second goal, as Fede Valverde was given the license to strike the ball from outside the ball as he was nowhere to be seen to mop things up. After a culmination of poor showings, Sergio Busquets is set not to be Xavi’s first-choice defensive midfielder, with Frenkie de Jong being handed the responsibility instead, as per journalist Javi Miguel.

BARCELONA HIT WITH SEVERAL INJURIES

It’s safe to say that Barcelona fans won't be enablers of the international break for the foreseeable future after their players picked up injuries barely two days into the current international break.A lot of the Barcelona players have picked up injuries and the September international break is not at the halfway stage yet.

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez would be hoping for positive news on the players who were injured in various UEFA Nations League games. Xavi and Barcelona have a tough run of fixtures between now and the break for this year's World Cup tournament in Qatar scheduled for November. To this effect, Xavi would be hoping for the swift return of his injured players.

BARCELONA FAVOURITES FOR PLZEN CLASH

Five-time European champions Barcelonaare massive favourites ahead of their home clash with Viktoria Plzen of the Czech Republic in the Champions League. The two teams have been drawn in the same group alongside German champions Bayern Munich and Italian side Inter Milan.

Barcelona would be hoping to avoid a repeat of last season when they were knocked out of the Champions League at this stage having been drawn in the same group as the aforementioned Bayern Munich, Portuguese outfit Benfica and Dynamo Kyiv in the Ukrainian top flight. Bayern won the group, while Benfica were runners-up thus leaving Barcelona to finish in third spot and drop into the Europa League. They were then knocked out of the Europa League by German team Eintracht Frankfurt who went on to win the competition. Eintracht Frankfurt stunned favourites Barcelona over two legs at the quarterfinal stage.

BARCELONA EYEING FIRST LEAGUE WIN AT SOCIEDAD

Five-time European champions Barcelona are eyeing their first league win of the new Spanish La Liga season ahead of their trip to play Real Sociedad this weekend. Real Sociedad welcome Barcelona to San Sebastián on Sunday evening hoping to build on their winning start to the new league season.

Barcelona fans were disappointed after their team started the new La Liga season with a home draw. They were forced to a goalless draw at home to Rayo Vallecano on Saturday. The Catalan giants finished the Rayo Vallecano game with ten men after club skipper Sergio Busquets was sent off for two yellow cards in the third minute of stoppage time. Manager Xavi Hernandez tried to affect the game positively with some attacking substitutions in the second half, but it turned out to be ineffective after Rayo Vallecano managed to secure a point from the game.

BARCELONA IDENTIFY MILAN SKRINIAR AS JULES KOUNDE ALTERNATIVE

According to Spanish journalist Gerard Romero, as relayed by SPORT, Barcelona have identified Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar as an alternative for primary transfer target Jules Kounde. Skriniar has established himself as a permanent fixture at the heart of the Inter Milan defence over the past few years, and is one of the most reliable performers in his position across Europe. The 27-year-old was key to the Nerazzurri’s Serie A title triumph in 2020/21 and enjoyed another solid season last time out.

<center><img src="https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FAZOpqfVcAAupyO.jpg:large" width="100%" /></center>However, Skriniar is being heavily linked with an exit from San Siro this summer. At first, Chelsea had shown a strong interest in the Slovakian international, but they have turned their sights on other targets. Paris Saint-Germain, though, are pushing hard to sign the Inter Milan mainstay this summer. And now Barcelona, too, have entered the picture for Skriniar’s signing.

BARCELONA STAR NETO OFFERED €2 MILLION PER YEAR CONTRACT BY NAPOLI

According to Tutto Mercato Web, Barcelona goalkeeper Neto is negotiating a contract with Serie A giants Napoli as he pushes for an exit from Camp Nou this summer. The Brazilian international has been offered a deal worth €2 million-a-year by the Partenopei, but he is seeking an additional €300,000. Neto’s time at Barcelona is coming to an end. The 33-year-old Brazilian joined the club in 2019 from Valencia but has struggled for game-time during his spell at Camp Nou, having had to play second-fiddle to Marc-Andre ter Stegen.


Neto has been pushing for an exit from Barcelona for quite some time now. And the La Liga behemoths are ready to sanction a departure this summer, with Inaki Pena ready to take over as ter Stegen’s understudy. To that end, the Blaugrana omitted Neto from their pre-season tour of the US so that he can sort out his future at the earliest. A move to Celta Vigo seemed close until Neto decided not to join the La Liga rivals. Following that, he has been offered to Napoli, who are in the market for a new goalkeeper following the exit of David Ospina.

GIRONA OFFICIAL HINTS AT MOVE FOR BARCELONA OUTCAST SAMUEL UMTITI

Speaking on Que T’hi Jugues (h/t SPORT), Pere Guardiola, the president of the board of directors of Girona FC, has claimed that the newly-promoted La Liga side could be in contention to sign Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti in the summer transfer window. The French international’s career has completely stalled over the past couple of seasons, with injuries and poor performances seeing him drop out of favour at Barcelona. The Catalan giants were pushing to offload him last summer but he managed to convince president Joan Laporta to give him another opportunity.

However, that did not work out for Umtiti as he spent much of the 2021/22 campaign out injured and played just one official game all season. With Barcelona intent on cost-cutting this summer, the French international is one of the priority candidates who are likely to be shown the exit doors. Umtiti has attracted interest from clubs in Ligue 1, but his salary is proving to be a major hurdle for any transfer to go through. Premier League giants Arsenal have also been offered a chance to sign the injury-prone defender in the ongoing transfer window. But the Gunners have shown little interest in the centre-back.

JUVENTUS INTERESTED IN BARCELONA STAR CLEMENT LENGLET

Serie A giants Juventus are reportedly interested in signing Clement Lenglet from Barcelona in the summer transfer window. According to a report by Spanish publication SPORT, Clement Lenglet is the subject of interest from Juventus over a possible move in the summer transfer window. The Serie A giants want to secure the services of the Barcelona defender on a loan deal, with Tottenham Hotspur also vying for his signature.

Clement Lenglet has seen his stock plummet at Barcelona in the last two seasons. The Frenchman was once the first-choice centre-back for the Blaugrana but has now become a squad option after the advent of Ronald Araujo and Eric Garcia’s return to Barcelona last summer

BARCELONA TEAM NEWS: INJURIES, SUSPENSION LIST VS VILLAREAL

Barcelona will be bidding to finish their 2021-22 La Liga campaign on a high when they welcome Villarreal to Camp Nou on Sunday night. The Catalan giants played out a goalless draw with Getafe last weekend, which has left them in second position in the table on 73 points. Xavi's side have already secured the runners-up spot in the division behind Real Madrid, and they will be looking to record their 22nd league victory of the campaign against the Yellow Submarine.


We round up all of the team's latest injury and suspension news ahead of the fixture with Villarreal, who are battling to keep hold of seventh spot in the division.
Gerard Pique
Barcelona injury, suspension list vs. Villarreal
Status: Major doubt
Type of injury: Groin

BARCELONA RECEIVE €15M OFFER FOR DEPAY

Five-time European champions Barcelona have reportedly received a €15m offer for Dutch forward Memphis Depay ahead of this summer's transfer window. This is according to Spanish journalist who stated that the offer is from an unnamed Premier League club.

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