Barcelona transfer news: Suarez to Chelsea, Messi's offer from China and more - 7th February 2018
Enrique to bid for Suarez if he becomes next Chelsea boss
Current Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte is in the doldrums with his side conceding seven goals in the last two Premier League games as the defending champions continue to struggle this season. As talk of the Italian getting sacked heats up, the replacement appears to be ready in former Barcelona boss, Luis Enrique.
Enrique managed the La Liga leaders from 2014 until 2017 and won nine trophies during his time at the Catalan club. Spanish news outlet, Sport, claim that the 47-year old has been offered a two-and-a-half year deal to join the London club. If the deal does go through, then Enrique is set to face Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16.
However, the deal is currently on hold as Chelsea will have to pay Conte a severance package of around €30 million if they decide to discontinue his services.
Meanwhile, if the Blues indeed bring Enrique as their manager, then the latter wants to make Luis Suarez his first signing. The Uruguayan already has a mixed history of playing in England with Liverpool before joining Barcelona in 2014, the same year as Luis Enrique.
Thus, a potential reunion could be on the cards for one of the best strikers in world football if the Blues can convince Suarez to not only leave Barcelona but also join Liverpool's rivals in England.
In such a scenario, it could prove to be a big blow for the Blaugrana as it is extremely difficult in the current market to find proven strikers who can lead the line and deliver consistently.
Lionel Messi rebuffed offer from China before renewing contract
The 30-year old renewed his contract until 2021 last November after months of intense speculation regarding a possible move away from Camp Nou. Now, Mundo Deportivo has revealed how the Argentine did receive an offer from China.
Messi was offered a whopping £100m-a-year deal by the Chinese Super League officials, that would come down to £1.7 million every week. However, he preferred to continue at Barcelona and renewed his contract with a new release clause of €700 million.
While a few of the clubs are willing to meet the release clause, the CSL officials believe that no amount of money can lure Messi to China, even with the presence of his close friends, Javier Mascherano and Ezequiel Lavezzi, at Hebei China Fortune.
Meanwhile, the Blaugrana and Ernesto Valverde will be both relieved and proud that Messi decided to continue his career in Spain with the increasing possibility of retiring at his boyhood club.
Arthur to stay at Gremio until December
The Gremio midfielder was linked to Barcelona back in December and the player posed in a Barcelona shirt with club director, Robert Fernandez, irking the Brazilian club. The Catalan club subsequently apologised for the same and were expected to sign him in January.
Now, it could prove difficult for Arthur to join Barcelona at the start of next season as well, considering the statements of Gremio president, Romildo Bolzan Jr. He told UOL Esporte:
"At this moment it's [transfer talks] stopped. But I can tell you that all the ideas are Arthur will stay with us until December. All parties agree that it is more or less agreed that Arthur will stay until the end of 2018 if the negotiations are completed. I repeat, if they are completed."
This could complicate Barcelona's plans as they look to find an outright midfielder unlike Philippe Coutinho, who is used to playing in a more advanced position. Now, it remains to be seen whether Valverde would want to pursue Arthur if he is unavailable until next January or look to sign other targets.