Antonine Griezmann set to dominate transfer headlines this window

Undoubtedly, France international Antoine Griezmann is one of the biggest talents in football. And when a player of such calibre becomes available in the market, it is surely going to make a lot of noise. Since moving to Atletico Madrid in 2014, Griezmann has been linked with an exit for the club almost every window. However, the 28-year-old is finally set to make his exit from Atletico this summer. Griezmann has publicly announced that he would be leaving Atletico in the summer, and that has already put a lot of…

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Barcelona sign Valencia defender Jeison Murillo on initial loan deal

Barcelona have announced the signing of Valencia defender Jeison Murillo on loan for the rest of the season, with the option to make it permanent for £22.6m. The 26-year-old Colombia international joined Valencia on a permanent deal in the summer following a season-long loan spell from Inter Milan. However he has only played three times all season for Marcelino’s side – with his sole La Liga game in September. He has previously played for Granada, Cadiz and Las Palmas in Spain. Murillo will be officially presented as a Barca player…

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Lionel Messi wins record fifth European Golden Shoe award

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi says he “never imagined having so much success” after being presented with a record fifth European Golden Shoe award. The Argentine scored 34 goals in 36 La Liga appearances in 2017-18, making him the highest goalscorer in Europe ahead of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (32). Messi’s latest Golden Shoe award moves him one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won four in total. “The truth is I had no idea this would happen when I started,” said Messi. “I dreamt of playing professional football and enjoying success,…

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Barcelona’s Rafinha ordered to wear Adidas boots or pay fine

Barcelona midfielder Rafinha has been ordered to wear Adidas boots again – or face a fine of up to 1m euros. The 25-year-old thought his sponsorship deal ended in the summer and switched to wearing blacked-out Mizuno boots, but has been sued by the German sportswear giants. Rafinha said Adidas had not supported him through two earlier serious injuries and buried the five-year extension in his contract. “Although he is no legal expert, he knows how sponsor deals work,” the judge said. The player is actually out for the season after tearing…

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Manchester United draw PSG in Champions League, Liverpool to face Bayern Munich

Manchester United have drawn Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League, while Liverpool will face Bayern Munich and Tottenham will take on Borussia Dortmund. Manchester City were drawn against Bundesliga side Schalke, meaning three of the four English teams will face German opposition. Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the city of Madrid, with Juventus drawn against Atletico. Holders Real Madrid must overcome Dutch side Ajax, while Barcelona will take on Lyon and Roma will face FC Porto. The first legs of the last-16 ties will be split…

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Yaya Toure leaves Olympiakos three months after rejoining Greek club

Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has left Olympiakos, just three months after rejoining the Greek club. The 35-year-old’s contract has been terminated by “mutual agreement”. Toure, who was a free agent in the summer after leaving City, chose to join Olympiakos in September, where he spent the 2005-06 season. The former Ivory Coast international, who also played for Barcelona, made just two starts and two substitute appearances while in Athens. “Olympiakos and Yaya Toure would like to announce to the fans that they have mutually agreed to end their cooperation,”…

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Ronaldo challenges Messi to leave Barcelona and La Liga

Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has suggested that Lionel Messi “maybe needs more” after so long at Barcelona and has invited his eternal rival to join him in Serie A. Two talismanic performers who have cemented standings among the all-time greats spent nine years battling for supremacy in Spain prior to a stunning summer transfer window. Ronaldo’s decision to leave Real Madrid for Turin in a £90m deal has left Messi as the standalone five-time Ballon d’Or winner in LaLiga. Ronaldo has called on his great rival to join him in Serie…

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Luka Modric wins Ballon d’or to end Ronaldo and Messi dominance

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade. Modric, 33, won his third successive Champions League in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final. Former Brazil and AC Milan forward Kaka, in 2007, was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win it. Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, came second. Barcelona forward Messi finished fifth, with…

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Luis Suarez urges Ousmane Dembele to be ‘more responsible’

Luis Suarez has said Barcelona teammate Ousmane Dembele should be “more responsible” after he reportedly missed training following a marathon nocturnal video gaming session. Dembele was dropped by the Spanish champions for last week’s shock 4-3 home defeat to Real Betis following what coach Ernesto Valverde called a “sporting assessment”. But sports daily AS reports that the Catalans are worried not only that he might be addicted to gaming, but also that it might ruin his career at the club. And Suarez, no stranger to disciplinary issues himself, says that…

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Barcelona confirm Ivan Rakitic hamstring injury

Barcelona have confirmed Ivan Rakitic has been diagnosed with a hamstring injury. Rakitic was substituted midway through the second half of Croatia’s 3-2 Nations League win against Spain, in which Tin Jedvaj scored a late winner. Coach Zlatko Dalic subsequently confirmed Rakitic would not travel with Croatia to London for Sunday’s decisive clash with England. And Barcelona announced on Saturday scans have found Rakitic has a hamstring injury in his right leg, with no timescale given for his recovery. ❗ [INJURY NEWS] @ivanrakitic has a hamstring strain in his right leg. His return…

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Griezmann reveals reason behind Barcelona snub

Antoine Griezmann has revealed playing second fiddle to Lionel Messi at Barcelona was a factor in his decision to stay at Atletico Madrid. Griezmann was heavily linked with a switch to Camp Nou before the World Cup as many Barca fans became excited at the prospect of seeing the France international playing alongside Messi. The striker seemed set for the move before doing a U-turn and pledging his future to Atleti in a Twitter video, Griezmann ultimately signing a contract extension until 2023 in June. Speaking about the transfer saga to Canal Plus on Sunday, Griezmann admitted…

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Lionel Messi ruled out of clasico with fractured arm in Barcelona win

Lionel Messi will miss next week’s clasico against Real Madrid with a fracture in his right arm, Barcelona have announced. Messi was injured when he fell awkwardly in the first half of Saturday’s 4-2 win over Sevilla, and the Argentinian now faces three weeks out. Barcelona said on Twitter: “Tests carried out on the first team player Leo Messi have confirmed that he has a fracture of the radial bone in his right arm. He will be out for approximately three weeks. FuerzaLeo.” ❗ [INJURY NEWS] Tests carried out on…

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Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen ruled out for six weeks with hamstring injury

Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen is set to miss six weeks of action with a hamstring injury he suffered while on international duty with Belgium, the club has confirmed. The centre-back was forced off during Belgium’s 2-1 win over Switzerland on Friday and now faces yet another spell on the sidelines. The news comes as a blow to Barcelona with Samuel Umtiti also sidelined curently with a knee problem. There have been different reports over the severity of the French defender’s injury, and it’s still unclear when he will return to…

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Maradona urges Lionel Messi to quit Argentina and ‘send them to hell’

Diego Maradona has advised Lionel Messi to walk away from the Argentina national team and send everyone “to hell.” Messi has been omitted from the last two Argentina squads in the wake of a fraught World Cup campaign and doubt surrounds the Barcelona star’s international future. Argentina icon and former coach Maradona was asked what advice he would give Messi. “What would I tell Messi? To not come back any more. To retire,” Maradona told Clarin. “The Under-15s lose and it is Messi’s fault, the fixture list in Argentina puts…

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Modric breaks Ronaldo-Messi dominance to win top FIFA award

Luka Modric ended Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s decade-long domination of football’s individual awards by being crowned FIFA’s best player of the year on Monday. The Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder starred for both club and country as Madrid won a third straight Champions League, and he inspired Croatia to reach the World Cup final for the first time. He beat Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah to the prize. Modric’s success means Ronaldo remains tied with Messi having won FIFA’s award in different guises five times each. At 33, Croatia’s run to the final was…

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Ernesto Valverde noncommittal over Barcelona future

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has admitted he is not sure if he will still be manager of the club next season. Valverde’s contract expires at the end of the current campaign and he confirmed on Saturday he has an option to extend the deal by another year. “I have a contract and I have a possibility to extend it a year more,” Valerde said. “The contract is there but we know what can happen in a season and the season is long. You have to see how the team does.…

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Antoine Griezman: I am at the top with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe

Antoine Griezmann has said that although he is a different player to Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, he is “at the top” in football. Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann, a World Cup winner with France, is targeting the Ballon d’Or after the disappointment of not being nominated for FIFA’s The Best award. “There are different ways to look at football,” he told Diario AS. “It’s obvious that I’m a different player to Cristiano, Messi, Neymar or [Kylian] Mbappe. “I’m at the top but I can get better. I want to be the most complete…

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Barcelona’s Luis Suarez opens door for possible Pogba move

Paul Pogba

Luis Suarez has said Paul Pogba would be welcome at Barcelona as the Manchester United midfielder continues to be linked with a move away from Old Trafford. Suarez becomes the second Blaugrana player to state that the Frenchman would be greeted with open arms at Camp Nou following Gerard Pique’s similar statement. Pogba’s relationship with manager Jose Mourinho is said to be fractious, with the World Cup winner reportedly open to a move away from a Manchester side which has struggled in the early stages of the season. As such, Suarez feels that…

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Dortmund sign Paco Alcacer on loan from Barcelona

Barcelona striker Paco Alcacer has joined Borussia Dortmund on a season-long loan. The Bundesliga side have an option for a permanent purchase next summer. Dortmund will pay €2 million up front for the loan and can commit him to a four-year deal if they hand over a further €23m (£20.9m/$27m) at the end of the season, though the Catalan side can reject that offer. With a further €5m in variables, the 24-year-old could end up costing €30m. Dortmund turned their attention to Alcacer after Liverpool refused to sanction a move…

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Argentina coach Scaloni unsure if Lionel Messi will play for his country again

Argentina interim manager Lionel Scaloni has stated he doesn’t know if Lionel Messi will play for the national team again. Messi had a difficult summer with Argentina at the World Cup where they crashed out at the hands of eventual winners France at the Round of 16, and indicated he would not be available for the September friendlies against Guatemala and Colombia or indeed for the rest of the year, according to a report in Clarin newspaper. #SelecciónMayor Lionel Scaloni dio a conocer la lista de convocados para enfrentar a…

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Ronaldo, Modric and Salah up for UEFA Player of the Year award

Luka Modrić, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah have been nominated for the 2017/18 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award. Ronaldo, who won the award last season, helped Real Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League title and finished as the competition’s top scorer with 15 goals. The Portuguese, who has since moved on to Juventus has three wins in total and is the only player to have made the shortlist every year since UEFA created the award in 2011. Modric, also part of Madrid’s Champions League winning team, finished…

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Barcelona target Nzonzi demands Sevilla exit as speculation grows

Steven N’Zonzi has made it clear to Sevilla that he wants to be sold, club director of football Joaquin Caparros has confirmed, as he continues to be linked with a move to Barcelona and Serie A outfit AS Roma. N’Zonzi joined Sevilla from Stoke City in 2015 and has gone on to establish himself as a mainstay in the heart of the club’s midfield, and was a member of France’s World Cup winning squad this summer in Russia. N’Zonzi was strongly linked with a return to the Premier League last…

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Barcelona complete signing of Arturo Vidal for £27m from Bayern Munich

Barcelona have completed the signing of Arturo Vidal from Bayern Munich in a £27m deal after agreeing personal terms with the Chile midfielder. The 31-year-old, who moved to Germany in 2015 from Juventus for £32m, met Barça officials last week and passed his medical after being granted permission to leave by the new Bayern manager, Niko Kovac. Italian side Inter Milan were considered frontrunners for Vidal’s signature but Barcelona swooped in to make the midfielder their fourth summer signing following the arrivals of Clement Lenglet from Sevilla and the Brazilian…

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Barcelona sign Sevilla centre-back Clement Lenglet

Barcelona have signed Sevilla centre-back Clement Lenglet for £32m on a five-year contract after the club met his release clause. The 23-year-old had long been linked with a move to a bigger club after impressive performances with Sevilla whom he joined from French side Nancy in January 2017, and scored four goals in 52 games last season. Lenglet, who has been capped at all levels of youth football for France but missed out on Didier Deschamps World Cup squad, now has a £265m release clause in his Barcelona contract.   Barcelona…

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Barcelona sign Arthur on six-year deal from Gremio

Barcelona have completed the £35.5m signing of Brazilian midfielder Arthur from Gremio on a six-year deal. The 21-year-old who has yet to be capped by Brazil at senior level has a buyout clause in his contract set at £355m. “FC Barcelona and Gremio de Porto Alegre have agreed the transfer of the player Arthur Henrique Ramos de Oliveira Melo, following the agreement the two clubs reached in March,” read a statement on Barcelona’s website. “The agreement will see the Brazilian player immediately join the squad.” Arthur started his career at his…

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