The Catalans made offers for both defenders earlier this summer, but Gerardo Martino has claimed they will no longer sign a centre-back
Gerardo Martino has stated that Barcelona no longer plan to sign a centre-back this summer after attempts to lure David Luiz and Daniel Agger away from Chelsea and Liverpool, respectively proved to be unsuccessful.
The Liga champions were prepared to pay €25 million for the Brazil international, but Chelsea were holding out for double that figure, while Barca’s offer for Agger was deemed insufficient by Liverpool, prompting the Catalans to end their pursuit of a new defender.
“A new centre-back? I’m happy with the team I have. There’s always the January window if we need anything. Last year’s problems in defence were the result of injuries. We have enough options if everybody’s fit,” Martino said at a press conference.
“Puyol is on schedule with his recovery process. We are awaiting his return and expect him to be match fit again come September.
“We have Puyi in defence, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Marc Bartra and even Adriano. If someone gets injured, the January transfer window is only months away.”
Barcelona start their 2013-14 Liga campaign on Sunday as they host Levante.
The wing-back is keen to stay at his current club and expects to sign a new deal in the upcoming days
Juan Camilo Zuniga has revealed that he has no intention of leaving Napoli for Juventus as he has set his sights on a new contract with the Partenopei.
The Colombia international’s current deal with Napoli is due to expire at the end of the 2013-14 campaign and clubs such as Juve and Inter are closely monitoring his situation at the Stadio San Paolo.
Zuniga is not thinking about a transfer, though, and insists he is happy with life at his current club.
“I’m flattered by Juventus’ interest, but I’m a Napoli player and not thinking about a move,” Zuniga told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I have never said that I wanted to leave Napoli. I feel Neapolitan. I felt at home right away when I arrived here.
“I am feeling very well here and if we both want the same thing, we just have to find a solution. I don’t think a contract renewal will be problematic. I’m confident everything will be resolved shortly.”
The 27-year-old joined Napoli from Siena in the summer of 2009 and has since developed into a key player at last season’s Serie A runners-up.
The Principality outfit have laughed off suggestions that they could offload the prolific hitman again in the near future
Monaco have denied that they may be forced to sell Radamel Falcao again this summer because of the row brewing over the club’s tax status.
The newly-promoted Ligue 1 side benefit from having their headquarters based in the tax haven of Monaco, but the French league has ruled they must relocate to France by June 2014, making them subject to the same tax conditions as their rivals if the ruling is upheld on appeal.
This has led to rumours that some of the club’s big-name arrivals, such as Falcao, Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez, could be forced to leave the principality-based outfit again in the near future.
Spanish newspaper Marca reported on Thursday that Falcao’s agent Jorge Mendes has been discussing his client with clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid due to the uncertainty over Monaco’s tax situation.
Nevertheless, Monaco have now insisted that Falcao will not be leaving the Stade Louis II any time soon.
“The club categorically deny rumours about a sale of Falcao,” Monaco wrote on their official Twitter account.
“As a reminder, the Colombian attacker has signed with ASMFC for five years.”
Falcao, 27, netted once on his official Monaco debut last weekend as he guided them to a 2-0 win over Bordeaux.
The 28-year-old has his heart set on a move to Germany after a potential switch to Newcastle fell through
Bafetimbi Gomis hopes to continue his playing career in the Bundesliga, according to Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas.
Newcastle have been at the front of the queue for his signature but stumbling blocks over the move – including the sale of Lisandro Lopez – mean the 28-year-old remains a Lyon player.
Aulas has confirmed the striker is yet to receive an offer he would be happy to accept, but revealed that Germany would be his ideal destination should he depart the Ligue 1 club.
“The Bafetimbi situation is still complex,” he told reporters after Lyon’s 3-1 win over Sochaux on Friday.
“There are currently no offers that match what he wants. He wants to play in Germany.
“If you look at the interest of both parties, it is that Bafetimbi comes back in the team and helps us in our hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.”
The striker has been with the club for four years, scoring 72 goals in all competitions, but his indecision has Aulas growing increasingly frustrated.
“Life is often much harder than a footballer’s one, who seeks to change a club, but can return to his team,” he continued.
“We need to know quickly what he will do. The situation has been sufficiently described and discussed.
“For now, the players on the field are getting the job done.”
The player’s representative has ruled out a move to Benfica but says he is in negotiations with the Turkish side after the full-back impressed in a pre-season friendly
Aleksandar Bursac, the agent of Manchester United defender Alexander Buttner, has revealed Besiktas are interested in signing the full-back.
The 24-year-old moved to Old Trafford from Vitesse in 2012 and made 13 appearances for the club in his first campaign in the Premier League.
However, Patrice Evra remains the club’s first choice left-back, and Bursac has revealed there is interest in the Dutchman, although he has ruled out a move to Benfica.
“During the match against Sevilla in the past weekend, interest was expressed,” he told Renascenca Radio.
“He put in a good performance. There was interest from Benfica to sign a defender, but that news is already history.
“Two days later, Benfica confirmed to me that they would keep the two left-backs [Lorenzo Melgarejo and Bruno Cortez] that they have left in the squad.
“I am currently negotiating with Besiktas, but with Benfica? No. Benfica showed interest and then gave up.”