Wayne Rooney, Johan Cruyff, Adriano, Sergi Samper, Pedro | Barca Top 5


Wayne Rooney: Barcelona are as good now as they've been in the last 10 years

Wayne Rooney explained: "Barcelona are a fantastic team and, after Real Madrid winning the Champions League, they wouldn't have liked that and they've come out again and been incredible really. They're probably as good now as they have been for the last 10 years, I believe. It's a different way of playing -- they're defending a little bit deeper and not going and closing down teams the way they did and they're hurting teams on the counter-attack. You can see there's a change in the way they play but, with the players they have got, obviously Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, they are a massive threat to anyone."

Francesc Tomas' view: Wayne Rooney knows about Barcelona's strength first hand, especially after losing a couple of Champions League finals to the Camp Nou giants. No longer a promising youngster but a successful professional with a club and international career to be proud of, Rooney is right to appreciate the strength of the current Barcelona side.

Adriano agent confirms interest to join Roma

Paul Affonso, Adriano's agent, explained: “Adriano has a great relationship with everyone at Barcelona. He still has a year on his contract, and the Blaugrana hierarchy have been very good with us. With his performances, Adriano has won 20 trophies in 10 years at Barcelona. The player is highly-rated by his teammates, the staff and Luis Enrique, but Adriano thinks it’s time for a change of scene. It’s time to face new challenges and seize and opportunity. Playing for a big, historic Italian team is an enticing prospect for Adriano, who would like to face new challenges and goals with Roma. At the moment, since we’re both professionals, we must handle the situation with intelligence and patience, to find an agreement between the two teams. It’s essential to conclude negotiations for the transfer of the player.”

Francesc Tomas' view: Adriano has given Barcelona the best years of his career and, despite never becoming a regular starter, he has always been reliable and ready to step into his role as a back-up player. However, that does not mean he should be allowed to leave the Camp Nou on the cheap. Sure, the €90 million buy-out clause will not be met by any potential buyers, but expecting an offer around €12M for him should not be unrealistic either.


Arsenal set to pay buyout fee on Sergi Samper contract

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is keen on signing Sergi Samper, and is willing to buyout his contract for a €12 million fee and lure him out of Camp Nou for a move to the Premier League. The 20-year-old midfielder has had impressive performances on the first team, including on the 2-1 preseason win over LA Galaxy.

Francesc Tomas' view: Sergi Samper has been approach by Arsenal pretty much every year since he was 12 years old, which is not surprising given his unique vision, astute way of understanding the passing game and well-crafted skills. His dream to succeed at the Camp Nou remains untouched and, with that in mind, we can safely say that Samper is going nowhere this summer.

Luis Enrique: Pedro can go - but only if release clause is met

Luis Enrique stressed earlier this month that he is hopeful Pedro will stay put and he has now made it clear Barca will not allow the forward to leave on the cheap: "Pedro? If he wants to go, a club will have to meet his release clause. I have talked with Pedro to discuss his situation. I have told him how I think about it and he told me how he feels about it. I obviously won't reveal the exact content of the conversation we had."

Francesc Tomas' view: Totally agreed with Luis Enrique on this occasion. If El Canario wants to leave, then Barcelona must get the agreed sum of €30M as compensation. Simple.

Johan Cruyff, father of modern soccer, fades on the sidelines

Johan Cruyff hasn't had a full-time job since Barcelona sacked him as coach in 1996. He doesn't want one either. However, Cruyff does crave influence. Arguably the spiritual father of both Ajax Amsterdam and Barcelona, he still wields soft power at the two clubs. Ajax is run by a clique of ex-players whom he installed. And Josep Maria Bartomeu, reelected as FC Barcelona's president in the elections of July 18, wants to get Cruyff back on board in some sort of role. Yet in both Catalonia and the Netherlands, Cruyff's influence is waning. The man who invented modern soccer may have to content himself with watching it on TV in his mansion.

Francesc Tomas' view: Johan Cruyff is a unique character who has spent years in the shadows influencing Barcelona players, directors and even presidents. As a club legend, Cruyff should be heard and taken into account, even when his thoughts don't necessarily sit well with those may be running the club at that moment in time.

Now, it's your turn

Would you allow Adriano to leave this summer? What do you think about the other stories in our Barca Top 5? I'd love to hear your views. Share your comments with our community in the box below.