Guardiola wants Sanchez before Fabregas
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola’s main priority this offseason is
to reinforce the team’s attack with Chile forward Alexis Sanchez,
but confirmed the club is also negotiating with Arsenal for
midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
”We need a forward. We have more players in midfield than in
attack,” Guardiola said Tuesday in his first news conference since
lifting the Champions League trophy at Wembley Stadium earlier this
”Bojan (Krkic) and Jeffren (Suarez) both want to leave, so the
attack is more important.”
While Barcelona will keep the main core of last season’s
championship squad, it will be challenged by a Real Madrid side
that has bolstered its bench with a number of offseason
”The number of games on the calendar is scary,” said
Guardiola, whose team will add the Club World Cup to its domestic
and European competitions this season.
Guardiola highlighted that Sanchez’s versatility suits Barca’s
offensive system which requires its forwards to constantly exchange
positions to make its short passing game click.
”(Sanchez) is a young player who can play in all three
positions in attack,” Guardiola said. ”He was the best fit for
the profile of player we were looking for. We hope we can be lucky
enough to bring him here.”
Barcelona sports director Andoni Zubizarreta added that a deal
with Sanchez’s Italian club Udinese was ”in the final
Guardiola is entering his fourth season at the helm of the
Catalan giants, and reaffirmed that the club would ”try to the
very last minute” to also bring in Fabregas.
”Last season Arsenal didn’t want to negotiate (for Fabregas).
This year they have accepted to negotiate and we are working at
it,” Guardiola said. ”The club has the money to sign him. We will
try to the very end to bring him here. Until Aug. 31 there is
The former Barcelona player turned coach insisted that Fabregas’
arrival would not create a logjam in a midfield already stocked
with Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and youngster Thiago Alcantara,
who recently led Spain to the under-21 European championship.
”The midfield is our foundation,” he said. ”We can never have
too many players. Cesc can help us in many ways.”
Zubizarreta said that Bojan, who has struggled to break into the
starting lineup since Guardiola’s arrival, is close to leaving for
”A deal will be closed very soon,” Zubizarreta said.
After a preseason tour in the United States, Barcelona opens the
season on Aug. 14 against Real Madrid in the first leg of the
Barcelona will then begin its campaign for a fourth straight
Spanish league crowns under Guardiola.