Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona transfer ban upheld; Di Maria looking to stay at Real Madrid; and more

LionelMessiXaviBarcelona1-AtleticoMadridUCL2014 (Getty)


With big-money acquisitions Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Thomas Vermaelen highlighting the club’s summer expenditures, Barcelona has done its fair share of business heading into the 2013-14 season. But the Catalan club better make the most of the current transfer window, as it looks to be their last in the near future.

FIFA announced Wednesday that they have rejected the club’s appeal of an imposed transfer ban that will see Barcelona unable to register any new players for two consecutive windows.

FIFA will allow the club – who were also fined $494,000 – to finish out the remainder of the current window with the ban being imposed during the two 2015 transfer windows.

Barcelona announced Wednesday that the club is set to put together another appeal, this time through the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“FC Barcelona may not in any way share a resolution that is an affront to the spirit of our Masia,” the club said in a statement, “a world renowned example of academic, human and sporting education.”

Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Wednesday morning:


Like their Spanish rivals, Real Madrid have conducted plenty of transfer business throughout the summer window. With the additions of James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas, the 2013-14 Champions League winners will have plenty of depth as they try to retain that title.

One player that many expected to be excluded, due mainly to the newly acquired depth, was winger Angel Di Maria, who has been heavily linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain in recent weeks. However, Real Madrid centerback Sergio Ramos believes the Argentine expects to stay despite the added competition.

“I am not one to recommend what to do, we live in a democratic country,” Ramos said.     “[Di Maria] knows what it is like abroad, and what it is like being at Madrid. I do not believe [Di Maria] intends to leave. I would sign for him to stay here all his life.”

Di Maria’s potential replacement, Rodriguez, echoed Ramos’ sentiments while insisting the two are creative enough to play together.

“Of course we are compatible,” Rodriguez said.. “That there are great players is always good, and he is a great player.”


Monday’s 3-1 victory over Burnley may have netted Chelsea much more than three points, as Jose Mourinho’s men may have finally secured their long-term goalkeeper.

Thibault Courtois is reportedly set to sign a new five-year deal with the club that had previously been delayed due to Courtois’s desire to be named as the club’s top goalkeeper. The Belgian is reportedly sign the extension with the London club after his status as starter was all but confirmed with Chelsea’s victory over Hull.

The 22-year-old’s new deal will reportedly net him $146,000 a week, joining teammates Ramires, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic in the second-level of Chelsea earners.

The Belgian’s new deal will put the future of longtime starter Petr Cech into major question, with Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco reportedly interested in acquiring the services of the 32-year-old. However, Mourinho insists he intends to keep the Czech Republic international.


Real Madrid announced Wednesday that midfielder Luka Modric has signed a four-year extension with the club. (REPORT)

Hull City’s Robert Snodgrass set to miss six months due to a dislocated kneecap. (REPORT)

Following the departure of Tony Pulis last week, Crystal Palace will reportedly name Malky Mackay as the club’s new manager. (REPORT)

Swansea City have completed the signing of defender Federico Fernandez from Napoli. (REPORT)

How will Barcelona cope with the transfer ban? Can Di Maria and Rodriguez coexist? Where does Courtois rank among the world’s top goalkeepers?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Sly

    Barcelona will buy atleast 3 more players. And then loan out half of Barcelona B to La liga and premier league sides so that they can get first team expience an not even wthe kindest transfer ban in years.

    Im pretty sure they will get another defender and a wide forward.


    • RK

      Good point — their system is stocked well enough that they can adjust. I like Barca, but they deserve this.


  • Tony in Quakeland

    Stupid question that I’m sure I could answer if I bothered reading, but…

    Can players leave? Can they sell a guy who wants out but are prohibited from bringing new guys in? Just wondering


  • The Imperative Voice

    Swansea does realize Federico is Argentine and won’t meet their quota of touch-player Spaniards, which is strictly enforced.


  • bryan

    was glad to see the crowd backing Di Maria against Atleti, i truly hope he stays. he came on and was making a difference, even if it ended 1-1. like the linked article says, Madrid would really hate to see him go if Ronaldo continues to have knee problems and has to sit out. Di Maria and Bale on the wings is still an incredible combo.

    also, Man United have been the ones heavily linked with him recently. PSG obviously backed out but with the rumors about Cavani interest from some EPL teams, maybe they’ll get the room they need to buy Di Maria. until then, it’s Man United who were reported to be close to offering a $100m+ deal for him.


  • Gill King

    Not only do I hope the Di Maria sticks with Real, I’m wondering when Keylor supplants Casillas? The equalizer away goal to Athleti in the closing minutes yesterday was a disaster and imho totally on the keeper!


  • Andreas

    It is very fun to hear that di maria want to stay after he threaten to leave. He must be a man and stand his words


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