Afternoon Ticker: Laporta staying as Barca president, Atletico lands Coupet and Ajax signs Sulejmani

Afternoon Ticker: Laporta staying as Barca president, Atletico lands Coupet and Ajax signs Sulejmani

European Soccer

Afternoon Ticker: Laporta staying as Barca president, Atletico lands Coupet and Ajax signs Sulejmani

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Just when we thought things were settling back down at the Camp Nou, word has come that Barca president Joan Laporta will not resign, despite more than 60% of supporters voting for his exit.

After two straight seasons without hardware, including last year’s meltdown and third-place finish in La Liga, Barcelona supporters decided to take a stand against club president Joan Laporta. The sufficient amount of signatures from club members were acquired to achieve a referendum on Laporta’s role in the club and 37,294 turned out to vote.

A two-thirds vote would have been required to oust Laporta, and 23,870 (60.6%) did in fact choose that yes they would like to see Laporta gone. However in this case the majority will go unheard as Laporta has vowed to stay on despite his apparent lack of popularity. Of course, this is news now as Barca are at their lowest point in years, but expect things to smooth out once the Catalan giants win a few games next term.

Coupet seals Atletico move

After more than ten years at French power Lyon, goalkeeper Gregory Coupet completed his transfer to Atletico Madrid. In what’s been a strong off-season for Atletico, the French international comes at a bargain basement price of €1.5 million ($2.35 million).

Why so cheap? It was a poorly kept secret that the 35-year-old was ready to move on to a new home and at his advanced age Coupet’s days as one of the better backstops in Europe are numbered. Although he was always the second-choice keeper for France behind Fabian Barthez, Coupet has played for one of the most successful national teams in the world and one of the most successful clubs in the world in Lyon.

They’ll need the experience at the Vicente Calderon as Atletico prepare for Champions League qualifying and their first European football in several years. Although it seems a little weird to imagine Coupet not in a Lyon uniform, I like the move for Atletico and I think they’ve found an impact player, albeit for only a year or two.

Ajax pay Dutch transfer record for Sulejmani

Another Heerenveen player is on the move and no it’s still not Michael Bradley.

19-year-old Serbian starlet Miralem Sulejmani completed a transfer to Ajax Amsterdam for a reported $24.5 million, a Dutch record. The previous record, between the same two clubs, came when Klaas-Jan Huntelaar moved to Ajax in 2005. Not bad company to be in.

Sulejmani had 15 goals and 10 assists last term for Heerenveen, helping them flirt with first place in the Eredivisie before eventually finishing fifth.

Not entirely interested in Dutch league transfers? If you read between the lines, the capture of one rising star might mean the exit of another. With a legitimate successor in place, Ajax may now be more willing to listen to a generous offer for Huntelaar.

Will Barcelona bounce back and reach an even-keel? Is Coupet the last piece to help Atletico compete in the Champions League? Does Sulejmani’s transfer mean a new home for the sought-after Huntelaar? Share your thoughts on these and any other news stories from Monday below.

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