Barcelona have seen better days and they've been in better shape. The team is preparing ahead of a high-profile UEFA Champions League game against Bayern Munich in midweek. It has been a strange summer for the Catalans and the board is now focused on helping the team rebuild and are looking keenly to the future.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the top stories involving Barcelona from 13 September 2021.
Ronald Koeman says Barcelona have a future because of him
There was plenty of speculation around Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman's job this summer. After being guaranteed at least another season, Koeman had to make some big decisions this summer as the Catalans looked to trim their wage bill.
Koeman made a statement in the interview, which is unlikely to be met positively by the Barcelona fanbase. He said (via NOS):
"Thanks to me, this club has a future.”
The Barcelona manager made a few more very interesting comments in an interview with Dutch TV over the weekend. Koeman has discussed his relationship with club president Joan Laporta. He aired the opinion that he's not too pleased with the latter's latest comments to the press over Koeman's future.
Koeman wasn't too happy about the reports which claimed that Laporta will give him a new contract only if certain conditions are met. The Dutchman said:
“Last week there was also something in the media, which I think is not possible.
“That again suggests that the trainer does not have full power. He said a little too much. That is best done in private. I like it when a president is committed and also asks questions. But that shouldn’t be in the press, that was the problem.”
He also opened up on how he took to all the speculation in the summer regarding his future as Barcelona manager.
“I don’t look back on it fondly. I think you should always be clear. When you, as a club, let things blow a bit and are not clear in the future of a trainer, then you get speculation. And if you’re the one who’s the trainer, that’s no fun.”
Joan Laporta hits out at Javier Tebas over recent comments
La Liga president Javier Tebas has been making some interesting claims regarding Barcelona recently. He claimed that he doesn't believe Lionel Messi's departure happened due to the Catalan's financial troubles. Tebas added that Real Madrid are holding Barcelona hostage over the European Super League.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta hasn't taken kindly to the comments. He claimed that Tebas has a 'sick obsession' with Barcelona. Laporta said (via Mundo Deportivo):
“Instead if looking to resolve discrepancies politely, Tebas always looks for conflict and disagreement. He has a sick obsession to see how much he can hurt Barça and its values, we Culés already know that.”
Tebas also claimed that Messi left the club because of Laporta. The Barcelona president didn't hold back in his response to that.
“Tebas says that Messi has not stayed at Barça, but he’s the main culprit. He did not stay because of this man’s pride and his fair play rules. He always wants to be the protagonist. Other leagues were more flexible with FFP, and no one else lost their best players.”
“What we will not do is allow Tebas to hurt the club in ways that we can control. We will not agree to Mr. Tebas’ personal projects that only want to use Barça’s interests to make more money for himself, taking our TV rights for the next 50 years.”
Barcelona keeping tabs on Youri Tielemans
Barcelona are keeping tabs on Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans, as per Mundo Deportivo. The Catalans were keen to reinforce their midfield and looked set to sign Georginio Wijnaldum on a free transfer this summer before he signed for PSG.
According to the report, Barcelona have been monitoring Youri Tielemans for a while and are happy with his physical and technical abilities. They believe that Tielemans has the right balance of aggression and intelligence and can be a great addition to their midfield.
Tielemans has two years remaining on his Leicester City contract but he has not seemed too keen to extend his contract. Real Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool are also reportedly interested in the Belgian international.