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

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

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

LionelMessiXaviBarcelona1-AtleticoMadridUCL2014 (Getty)

By RYAN TOLMICH

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:

RAMOS BACKS DI MARIA TO REMAIN WITH REAL MADRID

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.”

COURTOIS TO SIGN FIVE-YEAR DEAL WITH CHELSEA

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.

QUICK KICKS

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.

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