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 By PA Sport

Barcelona deny asking permission to speak with Ernesto Valverde

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique had an unusual problem to deal with in a recent press conference, a sleeping journalist!
Barcelona emphatically denied a television report on Friday.

Barcelona have denied seeking permission to speak to Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde over their summer managerial vacancy.

Valverde, enjoying an impressive campaign with Athletic, is one of a number of names linked with replacing Luis Enrique, who announced earlier this month that he will not be Barca's head coach next season.

But a statement from the Catalan club on Friday evening read: "FC Barcelona emphatically denies having asked permission from Athletic Club to negotiate the hiring of...

Tottenham knew of Pochettino's meeting with Barcelona chief - source

The Tottenham net-minder talks up the team's hopes to qualify for the UCL again, and their vision for league success.

Tottenham Hotspur were aware of manager Mauricio Pochettino's meeting with Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu in Spain this week, a source has told ESPN FC, with the get-together increasing speculation he is a contender to become the La Liga club's next coach.

The source at Tottenham said Pochettino and Bartomeu have been friends for years, and that the club knew of the meeting in a central Barcelona restaurant.

Current Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has announced that he will step down at the...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi court date three days prior to Barcelona-Real Madrid Clasico

Lionel Messi court
Lionel Messi has appealed a tax fraud sentence handed down by a Barcelona court.

Spain's supreme court scheduled a hearing for the appeal of Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father against a 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud on April 20, three days before the Catalan club are to play Real Madrid in the Clasico, Spain media reports.

The five-time World Player of the Year and his father, Jorge Messi, were handed a 21-month suspended sentence by a court in Barcelona on July 6 after being found guilty of three counts of tax fraud. 

Prosecutors maintained that Messi...

Barcelona deny Rafinha will leave amid reported Arsenal, Liverpool interest

Rafinha in action for Barcelona against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga.
Rafinha has started Barcelona's last six games, all of which they have won.

Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez has played down speculation that Rafinha will leave for a new club this summer.

El Mundo Deportivo claims on Friday that Arsenal, Liverpool and Juventus are all interested in the Brazil international midfielder, while pointing out that no offers have been made yet.

Asked if Rafinha would leave Barca at the end of the season and if the player would be available on the transfer market, Fernandez told Cadena Ser: "No.

"Many things have come out. I understand...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Isco's link to Barcelona shows rarity of transfers from Real to Camp Nou

Isco has frequently been the subject of transfer speculation after falling out of favour at Real Madrid.

Reports on Thursday indicated that Barcelona may pay Isco a €20 million bonus to remain at Real Madrid for one more year and then leave for Camp Nou on a free transfer in the summer of 2018 once he is out of contract.

Isco, 24, has frequently been linked to Barca after joining Real in 2013 as he has not nailed down a first-team spot. Indeed, he has come off the bench in nine of his 22 appearances in La Liga this season and has played in just two of eight Champions League games after falling...