Barcelona sign Kevin-Prince Boateng from Sassuolo on loan deal

Barcelona have confirmed the signing of former Portsmouth and Tottenham midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng on a loan deal until the end of the season. The 31-year-old former Ghana international has joined from Serie A club Sassuolo in a £1.8m deal which includes an option to buy for £7.1m in the summer. Boateng, who joined Portsmouth from Spurs in 2009 before going on to sign for AC Milan a year later was presented to the media on Tuesday morning. 🗣 @KPBofficial 💪 pic.twitter.com/vZ8PIE8uxJ — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 22, 2019 Boateng’s arrival…

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Diego Simeone agrees contract extension with Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has agreed to a one-year contract renewal at the club that will see him stay until the end of 2020-21 season, according to reports in Spain. The Argentine’s current deal at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium was due to expire at the end of next season but the 48-year-old has now put pen to paper on a new deal to end speculation about his immediate future, according to Diario AS. The Spanish sports daily also report Simeone’s extension is part of a restructuring of the playing squad…

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Why Alvaro Morata is not the answer to Chelsea’s lack of goals

Back when at Real Madrid, he was the future of the Santiago Bernabeu, and indeed of Spanish football.  In 2012/13 he had made his breakthrough under Jose Mourinho, making regular appearances and even starting in el clasico, playing a key role in a 2-1 victory, and made 12 league appearances that year, netting twice. 2013/14 saw further progress, 23 league matches, scoring 8 goals as Carlo Ancelotti joined the club and Morata found his place in rotation with Karem Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Angel Di Maria and an emerging…

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Barcelona forward Munir El Haddadi joins Sevilla in cut-price deal

Sevilla have signed Barcelona forward Munir El Haddadi for a fee of €1.05m (£937,000). The 23-year-old’s Barca contract was due to expire at the end of the season, allowing their La Liga rivals Sevilla to sign him on a cut-price deal. After confirming his departure, Barcelona said: “The club would like to thank Munir El Haddadi for his dedication and commitment and wishes him all the best for the future.” Munir made 56 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 12 goals for the club. During his time at the Nou Camp, Munir…

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Toni Kroos ruled out for up to a month with muscle problem

Real Madrid fear midfielder Toni Kroos will miss a month of action after suffering a torn adductor muscle against Real Sociedad. The German international limped out of the closing moments of Sunday’s defeat against La Real and joins a growing injury list at the European champions. “Following tests carried out on our player Toni Kroos today by the Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with a grade 2 tear of the adductor muscle in his left leg,” read a Madrid statement. “His recovery will be monitored.” Next up…

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Barcelona secure Jean-Clair Todibo signing for summer

Barcelona have beat off stiff competition to secure the signature of Jean-Clair Todibo, the club announced. The in-demand Toulouse defender will join the club on a free transfer this summer. Todibo is into the final six months of his contract at the Ligue 1 club and the deal will see him remain in France this campaign before moving to the Camp Nou in July. Last week, El Mundo Deportivo claimed the Blaugrana were in ‘pole position’ to sign the player who has not featured for the Ligue 1 club since November,…

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Pepe makes return to Portuguese football with Porto

FC Porto have confirmed the signing of former Real Madrid defender Pepe on a two-and-a-half year deal following his exit from Besiktas. The central defender has agreed a contract until the summer of 2021 with the Portuguese champions, who are currently in the last 16 of the Champions League. The 35-year-old won two league titles with Porto in a stint between 2004 and 2007, before subsequently joining Madrid, where he won two La Liga crowns and three Champions League titles. Pepe 🔵⚪ Bem-vindo a casa / Welcome home / Bienvenido…

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Leicester midfielder Iborra moves to Villarreal for undisclosed fee

Leicester midfielder Vicente Iborra has joined Spanish side Villarreal for an undisclosed fee. The 30-year-old Spaniard joined the Foxes from Sevilla in July 2017 after winning the Europa League three times. Iborra made 37 appearances, scoring four goals, but started only three league games this season. He was given permission to return to Spain for family reasons and now moves to Villarreal, who are 17th in La Liga and are managed by Luis Garcia. 🚨¡¡NUEVO FICHAJE!!🚨 ¡¡El Villarreal 💛 llega a un acuerdo con el centrocampista @Iborra_Vicente hasta 2023!! https://t.co/SMDnqhq7gG pic.twitter.com/zqcp6VfYkS —…

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Adrien Rabiot agrees Barcelona deal to leave Paris Saint-Germain at end of season

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot has reached an agreement to join Barcelona at the end of the season, according to several media reports. Rabiot, a product of PSG’s academy, is said to be receiving in the region of £9m-a-year at the Camp Nou, plus an additional £9m signing bonus. With his deal at PSG due to expire at the end of the season, Rabiot is free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with another club. Barcelona released a statement last week to confirm their interest in the France international, but denied…

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Real Madrid sign Brahim Diaz from Manchester City

Spanish teenager Brahim Diaz has signed for Real Madrid from Manchester City on a six-and-a-half-year contract. The 19-year-old midfielder joined City from Malaga aged 14 in 2013 and made 15 first-team appearances, but has played only four times this season. The Spain Under-21 international’s most recent outing came in the Carabao Cup quarter-final at Leicester last month. 👋 Welcome to @realmadrid, @Brahim Díaz!#WelcomeBrahim | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/Eh2VLy6xYN — Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) January 6, 2019 Real, who lost 2-0 at home to Real Sociedad on Sunday and are fifth in La Liga,…

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Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale ruled out with yet another injury

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale has been ruled out of action for an unknown period of time with a calf problem, the club confirmed. Bale was forced off at half-time against Villarreal on Wednesday as Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw. But the club have confirmed the problem is minor. Grade-one tears are the least severe of the three classifications. A statement read: “After tests carried out today on our player Gareth Bale by the medial services of Real Madrid, he has been diagnosed with a grade-one injury in…

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Keylor Navas commits future to Real Madrid amid transfer speculation

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas has renewed his contract with the club for an extra year, taking his new deal to June 2021. The Costa Rican has fallen out of favour since the arrival of Thibaut Courtois and, since the appointment of Santiago Solari as head coach, his minutes have dwindled further. Navas had been expected to seek a move away from the Bernabeu in search of playing time, and there were reports of a £14m bid from Arsenal last week. Arsenal manager Unai Emery dismissed such speculation this week saying Navas had not been discussed…

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Mateo Kovacic eyes permanent stay at Chelsea

Mateo Kovacic has admitted he “can imagine” staying on at Chelsea, but acknowledges that Real Madrid will have the final say on his future. The midfielder joined the London club on a season-long loan from the European champions after becoming frustrated at a lack of regular playing time in Spain. Kovacic has taken to life in the English capital, playing 23 times in all competitions for Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea, and with the possibility of a permanent switch now being mooted, the 24-year-old is open to staying if all parties reach an agreement. “I…

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Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio ruled out with thigh injury

Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio will be out of action for sometime after suffering a thigh injury in his side’s 3-1 win over Kashima Antlers in the semifinal of the Fifa Club World Cup. The club revealed on Friday morning that the player has a grade II muscle strain in the right quadricep and that they are evaluating the situation. Asensio medical report.#RealMadrid https://t.co/Jx1Lnazh6Q — Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) December 21, 2018 It is unclear how long Asensio will be out for but the 22-year-old will definitely miss the…

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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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Atletico’s Filipe Luis sidelined with hamstring injury

Atlético Madrid defender Filipe Luis looks set to be out of action for around three weeks after the club confirmed he has suffered a hamstring strain. The Brazilian left-back was forced off an hour into Atlético’s dramatic 3-2 win at Real Valladolid on Saturday. Atlético announced on Monday that, following an MRI scan, the 33-year-old sustained a grade one strain. Although the club have not set a specific return date, a rest period of three weeks is recommended after such injuries. As such, Filipe Luis will most likely miss Saturday’s visit of Espanyol and…

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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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Villarreal sack coach Javi Calleja after poor run of results

Villarreal have sacked coach Javi Calleja with the club just three points above the relegation zone in La Liga. A former Villarreal midfielder, Calleja took over as coach in September 2017, leading the Yellow Submarine to a fifth-placed finish and Europa League football last season. However, this campaign the club has struggled, winning just once in La Liga since September and progress through to the knockout stages in Europe is still in the balance. “Villareal has decided to rescind Javi Callejas contract as first-team coach. The club would like to…

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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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Uefa announces introduction of ‘Europa League 2’ from 2021

A third European club competition with the working title ‘Europa League 2’ will be introduced from 2021. One English team will enter the play-offs of the new tournament, while Scottish sides may miss out on Europa League places in a reshuffle. As part of Uefa’s 2021-2024 cycle, the Europa League will be halved in size to 32 teams with an extra play-off round between the group stage and last 16. The new tournament will be played on Thursdays alongside the Europa League. Every country’s champions will still enter the Champions…

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Postponed Copa Libertadores final to be played at Santiago Bernabeu

Conmebol has confirmed that the postponed second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors will be played at the Bernabéu stadium, more than 6,000 miles away from the original venue, on 9 December. Fans of both sides will be given an equal allocation of tickets. Argentina’s two biggest teams drew the first leg 2-2 at Boca’s ground and were due to play the second match in South America’s equivalent of the Champions League final at River’s El Monumental stadium on Saturday. However, three Boca players, including the former Manchester…

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