Barcelona has officially begun the preseason this week confident in being able to sign Alexis Sanchez and Ces Fabregas before the transfer market closes.
It was inevitable for Joseph Guardiola not to talk about the trade market in his first appearance of the 2011-12 season in front of the cameras, especially when the skepticism about the arrival of Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez keeps on growing in Barcelona. Unlike their archrivals Real Madrid, that already signed five players for the upcoming season, the defending champions haven't made any signings and the anxiety from the fans for updates keeps on growing.
About Fabregas, Guardiola reminded the journalists that the club has time until August 31st to sign him, day that the transfer market closes. Up to that day they will do everything possible to make things happen, something that was impossible to achieve last summer when they also tried to sign him, but Arsenal refused to negotiate.
Questioned about whether Fabregas was going to be an obstacle for Thiago Alcantara's evolution, Guardiola stated that "one has nothing to do with the other". It is going to be a long season and there will be enough minutes for everyone, therefore the 20-year-old midfielder will enjoy of his chances regardless of Fabregas arrival or not.
Despite Fabregas being an unfulfilled desire for him, Guardiola's number one need as of today is a forward, and the 22-year-old Chilean Alexis Sanchez seems to be the chosen one for the job. The negotiations with his team Udinese are more advanced than the ones with Fabregas, with leads the majority to thinks that it is Sanchez who is going to become the first signing of the season.
What makes Guardiola confident about signing Fabregas and Sanchez is the fact that director of football Andoni Zubizarreta assured him that the club has enough money to aboard both transfers. Now it is only matter of letting them work things out with Arsenal and Udinese respectively and hope to reach an agreement prior to August 31st.
Regarding 20-year-old Spanish striker Bojan Krkic, who is very close to be transferred to Roma, Guardiola explained that he was in favor of trading him after he considered that in order to keep up with his evolution Krkic needed of more minutes than what Guardiola could offer him.
The only reason why this transfer hasn't been made official is because Barcelona is keeping Krkic as a backup in case they don't close the deal with Sanchez, something that should happen this week according to Zubizarreta, who claims that they are in the final stage of the talks with Udinese.
Guardiola also took time to explain the situation of two defenders: Argentine Gabriel Milito and French Erick Abidal. While for Milito there are offers from several clubs, with Abidal the club is trying to negotiate a contract extension, which they hope to close soon. Either way he said that both players are part of the roster and that he has no plans of getting rid of them either way.