Last Saturday Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as Barça recovered from their first leg loss to defeat Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup. New signings David Villa and Adriano won their first trophy and made their home debuts at the Camp Nou, in a match that showed the Catalans are ready to defend their La Liga crown, starting their defence this Sunday against Racing Santander. The victory was the ninth time that Barcelona have won the Cup, meaning they are now the record winners.
Since then the news around the city has been of transfer talk. Liverpool want-away midfielder Javier Mascherano has been the subject of discussion, but the clubs are still far from agreeing on a price. Rumours of an £18 million bid plus a player in exchange, probably Alexander Hleb, was reportedly rejected by The Reds, who are holding out for £25 million. Owner Sandro Rosell has worked hard since he took over the club to sign a high-profile player, but deals for the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Mesut Ozil have broken down with manager Pep Guardiola having faith in his players from the canteria. If Mascherano was to join, it might highlight the doubts over Andres Iniesta’s ability to remain fit for the season. It would allow Sergio Busquets to adventure forward, although fans are doubtful over why they need to sign a player of Mascherano calibre, which would restrict Busquet’s role in the team when everyone is fit.