The early stages of the 2021-22 season have been quite testing for Barcelona. The Catalans have just a single win in their last six games and lost 2-0 to reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid in their latest outing. There is a lot of pressure on the manager and the players to start delivering some positive results.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the top stories involving Barcelona from 12 October 2021.
Louis van Gaal says Barcelona blame foreigners when things go wrong
Current Netherlands national team manager Louis van Gaal has some choice things to say about his former club. The Dutchman won two La Liga titles, one Copa Del Rey and one UEFA Super Cup during his time in charge of Barcelona.
He has now rushed to the defence of his compatriots who have come under criticism at Barcelona.
Manager Ronald Koeman and players Memphis Depay and Frenkie De Jong have been criticized following Barcelona's poor start to the season. Defending them ahead of the Netherlands' final game during the international break, Louis van Gaal said:
“Frenkie de Jong, criticised? It's typical [at] Barcelona. When you have the great contributions he's had in the past two years, there's not too much to worry about. [But] when things go bad, people in Barcelona always look for the foreigners [to blame].”
“When I look at the data from Memphis, I’ve never had a striker like this. Someone who runs so much, goes deep so many times and gets into the ball so much. That’s commendable.”
Barcelona keen on AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie
Mundo Deportivo's front page features AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie. The report claims that Barcelona are keen to sign the 24-year-old. With his contract set to expire next summer, the Catalans are keeping an eye on his situation.
Barcelona believe Kessie is the kind of well-built midfielder who can help improve their midfield. They were looking to sign Georginio Wijnaldum on a free transfer this past summer. However, the Dutchman had a last-minute change of heart and decided to join Paris Saint-Germain instead.
Kessie scored 14 goals and provided six assists from central midfield in 50 appearances across all competitions for AC Milan in the 2020-21 season. He was the second top-scorer for the Rossoneri after Zlatan Ibrahimovic last term.
Xavi demands five signings if he is to become Barcelona manager
Ronald Koeman's future at Barcelona is hanging by a thin thread right now. Club president Joan Laporta has already publicly revealed that losing more games will have consequences. But he has also backed Koeman to get the team back to winning ways.
Barcelona legend Xavi is one of the frontrunners to replace Koeman if he gets the sack. Xavi made a total of 767 appearances for Barcelona in his career before leaving for Qatari club Al-Sadd, of which he is the manager presently.
The 41-year-old has already revealed that he is 'open to anything' when quizzed about the prospect of returning to Barcelona as manager. As per El Nacional, Xavi has demanded five signings if he is to be appointed.
He wants the club to sign a creative midfielder who can add some spark to their play in the final third. He wants two full-backs, one versatile and the other more adept on the attacking side of things. Xavi also wants a winger who is excellent at dribbling and a long-term solution in the centre-forward position