Goretzka could have joined Barcelona if not for Bayern
The Schalke midfielder is in the final six months of his contract and was wanted by several top clubs in Europe such as Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Liverpool and Arsenal. The 22-year old finally took a decision regarding his destination and he chose to stay in Germany with Bayern Munich. The Bavarian club confirmed the move on their official website and the player is set to join them on 1st of July.
While Barcelona look to have missed the player but it is common practice in recent years for the best German players to eventually move to Bayern. However, in a news slightly more upsetting for the Blaugrana, the club CEO, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, revealed that the talented midfielder's next likely destination could have been Barcelona.
Rummenigge wrote in Bayern's club magazine:
"If we had not signed Leon Goretzka, there's a high probability he would have moved to Barcelona. Fundamentally, that cannot be in the interests of German football."
"Only 22, Leon Goretzka is an enormously talented German international with great potential in his position. We would have been really crazy not to try and sign him."
Thus, the La Liga leaders can consider themselves extremely unlucky having come extremely close to adding Goretzka.
Mauricio Pochettino rules out future Barcelona move
The Tottenham boss has done a great job of making the North London side a force to reckon in the Premier League. Naturally, questions regarding his next steps are put up and in a clarifying response, the Argentine shed some light on a few destinations he will not want to work at. Pochettino told in his pre-match press conference:
"For me it’s the same question as before. I am so clear. I am never going to be manager of Barcelona or Arsenal because I am so identified with Tottenham and Espanyol."
"I grew up at Newell’s Old Boys and will never manage Rosario Central. That is my decision because I prefer to work on my farm in Argentina than in some places. But my commitment is massive in this club. I am working like I am going to be here forever.
Thus, Barcelona can strike off Pochettino from their wish-list in the future if they ever want to replace Ernesto Valverde. However, the worrying part could be he becoming the manager of Real Madrid in the near future, especially with Zinedine Zidane's side struggling badly compared to the heroics of the previous season.
Barcelona sign Ballou Tabla from Montreal Impact
The 18-year old becomes the first ever Canadian player to be signed by the Blaugrana as he joins the Catalan outfit for an undisclosed fee. Also, this is the first instance of a product from an Impact youth academy joining a European club. No wonder, Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo was elated and said:
"This first transfer is an important moment in the history and evolution of our club," said Montreal Impact. We take a lot of pride in seeing a young player, developed in our Academy, climb the ladder all the way to the first team and realize his dream to play in Europe with a big club like Barcelona."
Tabla played 21 times in his solitary Major League Soccer (MLS) campaign, scoring twice. The attacker is a regular for the Canada U20 team and is now set to join the Barcelona B team. He could prove to be a great signing in the long-term for Barcelona, given former Chelsea player, Didier Drogba, advised the London side to sign the youngster.
However, the Blaugrana stole a march on their Champions League round of 16 opponents and landed Tabla. Thus, the La Liga giants continue to strengthen not only their present but also their future.Published 26 Jan 2018, 20:23 IST