Barcelona have opened talks to sign a Juventus midfielder who has been a mainstay in the starting XI under Andrea Pirlo.
Barcelona relinquished a great opportunity to go top of the La Liga table and take charge in the title race by losing 2-1 to Granada last night. The Catalans have let go of a wonderful opportunity to cap off their good run since the turn of the year and find themselves languishing at third in the table, two points behind Atletico Madrid with five games to go.
Meanwhile, the Barcelona board is preparing ahead of what is expected to be a hectic summer transfer window for the club. Without further ado, let's take a look at the top stories involving Barcelona from 30 April 2021.
Ronald Koeman says the ref disrespected him in the game against Granada
Barcelona fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Granada after Lionel Messi had given the Cules an early lead. Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman's frustration boiled over as the game dragged to an end and he was sent off to the stands by referee Pablo Gonzalez Fuertes for confronting the fourth official.
Speaking to the press after the game, Koeman said the referee disrespected him. Pablo Gonzalez Fuertes wrote in his report that Koeman was sent off for saying "What a character" to the fourth referee after he was warned about his behaviour.
Koeman said (via ESPN):
"According to the report I disrespected the fourth official. I don't understand because I didn't insult him at all. If anything, the way he spoke to me was disrespectful.
"I spoke to him about various incidents but always respectfully. I'd like to know what words I supposedly used because I didn't say anything ugly. It's incredible. But if the fourth official wants to be the centre of attention..."
If Koeman's appeal doesn't go through, he cannot be on the sidelines for Barcelona's next two games.
Oscar Mingueza signs new two-year deal at Barcelona
Oscar Mingueza's future has been the subject of much speculation in recent times with his previous deal set to expire in the summer. However, he has finally put pen to paper on a new deal that ties him to the club until 2023. Mingueza has a release clause of €100 million per the new deal.
Barcelona released a statement on their official website:
"FC Barcelona has decided today to exercise its option to extend the contract of centre-back Oscar Mingueza, who will therefore be remaining at the club until June 30, 2023.
"The player put pen to paper in the company of president Joan Laporta at the Ciutat Esportiva. The Catalan's buyout clause has been set at 100 million euros."
Barcelona and Chelsea keeping tabs on Adrien Rabiot
Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot has been a regular feature in Andrea Pirlo's starting XI this season. However, the Bianconeri are looking to overhaul their squad in the summer and reports suggest that Rabiot is one of the players who is likely to be shown the exit door.
According to Calciomercato, Rabiot's mother and agent Veronique has opened talks with Barcelona. Chelsea are also reportedly keeping tabs on the Frenchman. Rabiot earns €7 million per year in wages and as such, Juventus will be open to selling him as they will be able to free up their wage bill.