IIn the current Absurd Football News, permission was granted in Barcelona to sign a replacement for Ousmane Dembélé, a man so shaken by the tensions that Barça players even took to the field on the weekend in a funeral way, every single member the team wore specially prepared Dembélé shirts. He pulled his hamstring, guys!
The result of Dembélé’s injury is that Barcelona are a little short on offense. This, of course, is entirely their fault. Dembélé encountered the problem long before the end of the January transfer window, but despite their almost limitless financial resources, Barcelona chose not to lend or buy a replacement. Rather, they actually left one of their potential substitutes, Carles Pérez, leaving on the day of the transfer’s expiration, joining Roma on loan. Bring out the violins! Listen closely and you can feel the heart of the Rumor Mill breaking into a million pieces.
Any normal club would now be in a difficult position. But Barcelona probably has the world’s most famous talent production line in its academy, La Masia. Maybe Ansu Fati could start a series of starts or Riqui Puig could be added to the team of the first team? Maybe there is another star of tomorrow who could be called to play the last 15 minutes of another routine La Liga win?
No, instead, Barcelona goes shopping after 15 days to sign a player who is already playing in La Liga or is a free agent. Of course, they turned to the former Middlesbrough flop Martin Braithwaite, who has scored nine goals in two years for the league club, but is currently playing Leganés under threat of relegation. The Danish striker would cost 20 million euros and it could very well be the difference between them going up and down.
By the way, the Leganés will not be able to sign a replacement, another blow to a club in a league that is already massively financially distorted in favor of the bigger clubs. Braithwaite will likely play a handful of minutes and make no significant contributions. His Mr 15%, Ali Dursun (who also takes care of Frenkie de Jong) will receive another payday. Leganés, second from bottom and two points from security, could very well go down. This is football, folks!
The Paul Pogba the car has just started running again. You can read it here, if you have a stomach.
Donny van de Beek he leads a list of names that are invited on Ajax’s golden merchant ship, Do Een, as the Dutch club tries to cash in on the stars that led them to last season’s Champions League semifinal. Goalkeeper André Onana, left behind Nicolas Tagliafico and wing David Neres are the others who are advertised for the money moves, with Real Madrid connected to Van de Beek. He said last month: “Nothing is official [with Madrid]. There is no contract. This is the situation. This hasn’t changed over the course of the season. I don’t want to choose. Both are great clubs, but like I said before, Ajax is also a great club. “
Yaya Touré is back, baby! The great Ivorian could very well appear to the Brazilian club Botafogo, which also signed Keisuke Honda in January, if personal conditions can be agreed. Recently, Touré has played in China with Qingdao Huanghai.
Finally, Tottenham and Everton are reportedly thrilled Chris Smalling, who recently earned the nickname “Smalldini” for his Roma shape. Manchester United has a contract with the defender until June 2022, with the possibility of extending it for a further year, and therefore could still impose a heavy tax on the thirty-year-old.