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Joao Felix – Now a Permanent Signing for Barcelona

Barcelona president Joan Laporta confirmed that Felix is now a permanent team member ahead of the critical Champions League clash. 

Joao Felix at Barcelona

The announcement that Joao Felix’s loan deal is now permanent was one of the most anticipated news items for fans with Barcelona tickets. Barcelona president Joan Laporta confirmed that Felix is now a permanent team member ahead of the critical Champions League clash. 

The Portuguese representative had a rather turbulent time at Atletico Madrid before deciding to make the trip to Barcelona. He was signed as a part of a $137 million (€127 million) transfer from Benefica that raised eyebrows at the time.

With the extremely high price tag, several concerns about his appointment existed, and that put him under tremendous pressure. 

Critics wondered whether Felix’s type of football would be suited to that which the Rojiblancos’ head coach, Diego Simeone, likes to play, and an eventual falling out between the pair resulted in the 24-year-old heading out on loan.

The loan move came out of desperation, and he soon saw himself in the Premier League

A temporary spell at Chelsea for the remainder of the 2022/2023 season proved unsuccessful, leading to Felix landing in Catalonia with compatriot Joao Cancelo on the last day of the summer transfer window while the current campaign was already underway.

Fans and pundits have mixed feelings about how well Felix has done under Xavi Hernandez. However, it is still expected that a known admirer of the left winger in Barca president Joan Laporta – who is also close to the player’s representative Jorge Mendes – will look to make the temporary arrangement permanent.

Felix’s stint at Barca has been his revival season, as he proved he is top-quality material for the footballing world. His playing style and attitude have won the hearts of all fans who turn for the games with Barcelona tickets

Regarding Cerezo’s comments from the mentioned event, SPORT reported that Laporta’s Atleti counterpart took the proposed transfer “for granted”.

He added that he is happy to play at Barcelona, and the team wants to have him there. He said that everyone at the club is also pleased to have him. 

According to Radio MARCA’s Luis Rojo, Felix has been tipped to cost Barca around $75.6 million (€70 million) unless Laporta and Sporting Director Deco can force the club from the capital to accept less.

In a turbulent time when Barcelona struggles to navigate its Financial Fair Play concerns, the signing of Felix could be a bargain and an investment in the future. 

In the meantime, Barca is looking at a few player sales to increase its spending budget this summer. 

Barcelona wants Xavi to Stay!

In the early days of 2024, the fans with Barcelona tickets were shocked by Xavi’s announcement that he would be stepping down as manager. 

At the time, the club wasn’t doing too well and was facing back-to-back losses in the La Liga. 

Fast-forward to April. Barcelona has consolidated its position at #2 and is now looking at a UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal. Now, the management wants Xavi to stay. 

As strange as it might sound, the man who said he was stepping down as Barcelona manager a few months ago now looks like the club’s preferred choice to lead them next season.

On January 27, Xavi announced his intention to resign at the end of this term as he described the Barca job as “cruel”, cited concerns over his mental health and said, “At some point, you realise there’s no point in staying.”

But for weeks, with the team unbeaten since he spoke those words—an 11-match run that includes reaching the Champions League quarterfinals—support for keeping Xavi has been growing.

Barcelona club president Joan Laporta said before the international break that he would try to persuade the 44-year-old to stay, and on Saturday, vice-president Rafa Yuste continued in that vein. “Xavi knows what we want,” he said. “It’s his decision — what I’m going to do as far as I can try to convince him to continue.”

Earlier, Xavi had been quite vocal about his frustration at the club. He added that it was taking a toll on his well-being and that he wanted to focus on himself. 

But now it looks like Barcelona has no option as well. 

After the legendary former club midfielder Xavi revealed his decision to leave — following a 5-3 home defeat by Villarreal that left them fourth in La Liga — Barca began their search for a successor, but they have not made much progress.

Senior club sources, speaking anonymously to protect their positions, say that a lack of suitable candidates is the main reason there has been little development — at a time when money is tight.

In the meantime, Barcelona management has also looked at three different individuals to fill the position: Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique, and Mikel ArtetaBut none of these individuals were available. 

Next, they describe coaches who excel at managing dressing-room harmony and those who get the best out of a group by finding the best balance among diverse personalities.

Inside Barca, there’s a belief that the latter type would best fit them. But again, club sources say no suitable candidate has been found.

Former Bayern Munich and Germany manager Hansi Flick was approached (he was offered to the club through his new agent Pini Zahavi). 

While Flick might have been an ideal fit, his lack of fluency in English or Spanish was seen as a factor in his rejection. 

The other candidate on the shortlist was Thomas Tuchel, the current Bayern manager – but there was no movement on this move. 

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi was also discussed, but he still needs to be proven at the elite level. Football clubs have the case study of Graham Potter, the ex-Chelsea manager who was sacked weeks after his appointment. 

Many at Barcelona consider sticking with Xavi a safer bet. He may have flaws and aspects to improve, but it appears the club would be happy to wait for him to change his mind.

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