Barcelona have been the most annoying fly in our transfer ointment this summer, one that we’ve not been able to swat aside despite our best intentions. But they may have had their fill of buzzing about now.
In a wide-ranging interview with CBS Sports, Barca president Joan Laporta has played down the idea of signing either César Azpilicueta or Marcos Alonso in the last month of the window, talking about respect for Chelsea and Todd Boehly instead when quizzed about the situation.
“We have a good relationship [with Chelsea and] Todd Boehly is an extraordinary person. We have had this necessity to be active in the transfer market in order to improve our squad. And it just so happens that some of the players they wanted, we did also. Those players wanted to come to Barcelona because they believe in our project, our history, our style of playing and our coach. Xavi is important.
“[But Azpi and Marcos] are under contract at Chelsea and we respect this as well as the new owner. I don’t want to talk about players who belong to other teams. I respect Cesar and Marcos as footballers. They are very, very good players. They show their quality and talent at Chelsea. But I don’t want to talk about them as a matter of respect for Chelsea.”
Boy, so much respect, you’d think it was another magic financial lever being pulled! But perhaps the balance sheet trickerations have run their course and even the token fees we’re demanding — respectfully, to be sure — not to mention wages and such are just a step too far for them at this point. Straight up trade for Frenkie De Jong then?
Incidentally, Laporta also confirmed that the Koundé situation’s outcome had more to do with the player himself rather than anything on Chelsea’s end, unlike what the face-saving exercise from Sevilla claimed earlier.
“The player preferred Barcelona because he understood we have a consistent project with a coach he likes. And in this case, we had an advantage compared to our competitor. This was thanks to the good job that Mateu Alemany did. He and Jordi Cruyff performed miracles last summer and are doing an excellent job again. The player also helped us in this specific deal.”
-Joan Laporta; source: CBS Sports
In any case, Azpilicueta and Alonso both have one year left on their contracts, and as things stand, should be seeing out that year with us at the very least.