Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is under a great deal of pressure after the El Clasico defeat.
Barca signed a raft of world-class players and also managed to offload much of the deadwood at the club this past summer transfer window. They are now laying the groundwork for future transfer windows.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the top stories involving Barcelona from 18 October 2022.
Florentino Perez says Neymar chose Barcelona over Real Madrid in 2013
The trial involving Barca and Neymar over the alleged corruption in the Brazilian's move to the Camp Nou in 2013 commenced on Monday. Investment company DIS, who owned Neymar's rights when the transfer was closed, has sued the parties involved in the deal.
As part of the trial, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez was summoned to produce evidence at the trial. Los Blancos had an interest in securing Neymar's services back in the day and had reportedly offered €45 million for the player to Santos in 2011.
Perez said (via Barca Universal):
“We were interested, I think like 10 years ago, that’s how the Real Madrid sports management told me, although I didn’t talk to him about it. I don’t know what the clause was, but in 2011 the sports management made an offer to Santos, I think it was €45 million. It’s the only offer that I know of in Real Madrid’s files."
“The players go where they want. Neymar I think he wanted to go to Barcelona and that’s why he went to Barcelona."
Mateu Alemany to address contract situations of five players in January
Barca have a number of players on their books whose contracts expire next summer. As per SPORT, the club's sporting director Mateu Alemany is set to address the contract renewal of five of those players in January.
The players whose contract situation Alemany will address are Inaki Pena, Marcos Alonso, Memphis Depay, Hector Bellerin and Sergi Roberto. Only Alonso and Pena are guaranteed to be given new deals. Barca plan on extending Alonso's contract by two years.
Depay's high wages could force Barca to not hand him an extension, while Roberto is unlikely to get a new deal as the club are currently planning on signing a new right-back. The Catalans have been planning on assessing Bellerin's performances before handing him a new contract.
But since the Spaniard has hardly played since arriving at the club in the summer, there is no clarity over what will happen with his contract situation.
Barca eyeing Thomas Tuchel as Xavi's replacement
Spanish outlet Fichajes claims that Barcelona are considering roping in Thomas Tuchel as Xavi Hernandez's replacement. Xavi is under a lot of pressure following the El Clasico defeat to Real Madrid. The Catalans' poor form in the Champions League has also contributed to putting the current manager in a precarious position.
The Blaugrana are on the verge of elimination from Europe's elite competition following a 3-3 draw with Inter Milan at the Camp Nou last week. As a result, Joan Laporta and co. are looking at potential replacements for Xavi.
Tuchel was sacked from the managerial position at Chelsea earlier this season. He did a very good job with the Blues and steered them to Champions League glory in his first half-season with the club. Tuchel remains unemployed and if Barca make a generous offer, it will be hard for the German coach to turn them down.