Spain vs Norway: Luis Enrique’s Best Available La Roja Lineup

Spain get their EURO 2020 qualification campaign underway on Saturday night, when they welcome Norway to Valencia. 

La Roja are looking to reach the European Championship for the seventh consecutive occasion, as well as retaining the trophy they won just seven years ago in 2012. 

Here’s a look at Luis Enrique’s best available Spain lineup to face Norway on Saturday.  

1. Goalkeeper and Defenders

Sergio Ramos

David de Gea (GK) – De Gea will start in goal for Enrique on Saturday, as he earns his 39th cap. The Manchester United goalkeeper has been key for his club this season, playing every minute of every Premier League game while keeping seven clean sheets.

Sergi Roberto (RB) – Roberto is likely to make up Spain’s back four on Saturday, as he is set to earn only his sixth cap. The 27-year-old has made 31 appearances for Barcelona this season, as they sit ten points clear at the top of La Liga.

Sergio Ramos (CB) – Captain Ramos will remain at the heart of Spain’s defence, 14 years after making his debut. The Real Madrid defender has scored 17 goals and earned an impressive 161 caps, more goals and caps than anyone else in the squad. 

Iñigo Martinez (CB) – After Ramos’ long term centre-back partner Gerard Pique retired last year, Martinez has replaced him in defence. The Athletic Bilbao has already earned eight caps, originally making his Spain debut back in 2013 in a friendly against Ecuador.

Jordi Alba (LB) – Alba is likely to get the nod at left back, after turning 30 on Thursday. The Barcelona full back has earned 67 caps for La Roja, and is the third highest scorer in the current Spain squad with eight goals.

2. Midfielders

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Saúl Ñíguez (CM) – After Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz had to pull out of the squad through injury, Ñíguez should get his chance for the visit of Norway. The Atletico Madrid midfielder featured in all four of Spain’s Nations League games, with 15 international caps to his name.

Sergio Busquets (CM) – The everpresent Busquets is another name who is almost guaranteed to feature at the Mestalla. Now 30, the Barcelona star remains one of the most experienced players in Enrique’s squad, with a remarkable 111 caps to his name.

Dani Ceballos (CM) – Ceballos should make up Spain’s midfield trio on Saturday, as he looks set to earn his sixth cap. The Real Madrid youngster has done well to find game time at the Santiago Bernabeu, having made 32 appearances across the season.

3. Forwards

Rodrigo

Rodrigo (RW) – Rodrigo will make up Spain’s attacking trio in their opening EURO 2020 qualifier, as he earns his 16th cap. The Valencia forward is also in fine form this season, with 11 goals and seven assists this season.

Álvaro Morata (ST) – Morata should start up front for Spain on Saturday, having regained his form since leaving Chelsea for his boyhood club Atletico. The Atleti striker has an outstanding international scoring record, with 13 goals in 27 appearances for the national team.

Marco Asensio (LW) – Enrique looks set to give Asensio a chance in Valencia, having regularly featured for La Roja last year. The 23-year-old has registered 22 appearances for Real Madrid this season, but hasn’t scored a league goal since September.

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Jadon Sancho or Philippe Coutinho: Who Should Man Utd Sign This Summer & Why

Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho are reportedly high among Manchester United’s list of transfer targets for this summer. With either transfer expected to cost in the region of £100m, it is safe to assume that, despite United’s extreme wealth, they would still only be able to afford one or the other. The question is: who should they choose?

Assuming that Sancho and Coutinho have equal availability, in that the same fee and the same wages would be enough to secure their services, the deciding factors come down to their skillsets, the positions they play, and how likely they are to improve. 

Philippe Coutinho


In his second season in professional football, and at only 18 years of age, Sancho has marked himself as one of the brightest talents in the world. 

Following a measly £8m move from ?Manchester City in the summer of 2017 – where he considered his first team prospects limited – the Englishman has proven his credentials in one of the best leagues in Europe. Sancho has contributed to 20 Bundesliga goals in only 19 starts, equalling none other than ?Lionel Messi as the joint top assist giver in Europe’s top five leagues. 

While such efficiency in the final third at such a young age is impressive in itself, Sancho stands out for more than his end product. His 2.1 key passes per game places him within the top 10 in the Bundesliga, while his 3.2 dribbles per game establishes him as by far the most prolific in the league in regards to taking the ball past an opponent. While not as explosive as ?Kylian Mbappe, for example, Sancho’s deft feints and sharp changes of direction are unique, as is his ability to pick out the right pass in crowded areas, or on the counter-attack. 

Sancho’s impressive start to his career, however, remains a small sample size. His stats in the Champions League drop markedly from his Bundesliga form, perhaps indicative that he has some improvements to make before he can affect games at the highest level; at least regularly. 

On the other hand, Coutinho, barring an underwhelming league campaign this season at ?Barcelona, has proven over multiple seasons that he is of extremely high quality. In the 5,366 minutes he played for ?Liverpool in the league since the start of the 2015/16 season, he directly contributed to 46 goals – a goal or assist every 117 minutes, which is extremely productive for a midfielder – particularly one who does not take penalties.

The Brazilian continued this level of form in his first six months with the Catalan giants, as well as in the Champions League this season. This season he has been less impactful, although potentially disrupted by irregular starts and his deployment in midfield, where he was expected to replace the iconic Andres Iniesta. Dictating the play like the Spaniard is not Coutinho’s strength, and instead he flourishes higher up the pitch, which ?Manchester United will know first-hand from his performances in the Premier League. 

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Specifically to suit Manchester United, however, Sancho may just have the edge. Capable of playing on the right-wing, Sancho signing would allow ?Romelu Lukaku or ?Marcus Rashford to play up front alongside Rashford or ?Anthony Martial on the left side, a balanced forward line which allows United’s best players to play in their best positions. 

Coutinho, meanwhile, would possibly disrupt this level of stability. A partnership of himself and ?Paul Pogba, even with a sitting midfielder behind them, would be too attack-minded, with both preferring to be the furthest forward of the midfield trio. Moreover, Coutinho on the left of the front three shifts Rashford or Martial to an unfavoured right-wing position, and still the playmaker would look to drop deeper, occupying the same zones as Pogba. 

It must also be considered that Sancho is eight years Coutinho’s junior, a longer-term investment with the scope to improve massively. While Coutinho is likely to be in his prime already, and so would only be able to give Man United a few years at his best, Sancho is far from his peak.

Jadon Malik Sancho

Therefore, despite Coutinho being more proven at the top level – and over a long period of time – Sancho’s ability at such a young age, his capability to play on the right wing, and his scope to further improve, make him the best signing possible for a Manchester United seeking to rise to the challenge of their rivals Manchester City and Liverpool. 

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Milan Skriniar’s Agent Talks Up Interest From Barcelona & Real Madrid Ahead of Possible Summer Move

?Milan Skriniar’s agent has told reporters his client has attracted strong interest from Spanish rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona, with the duo set to battle it out over his signature this summer.

Skriniar has showed himself to be one of the game’s most accomplished central defenders since joining Inter from Sampdoria in 2017, making 76 appearances in just over a year and half with the ?Nerazzurri.

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Speaking to ?AS, Halis, who is one of the partners at the agency which represents the Slovakian, revealed: “Real Madrid want to sign him, so do Barcelona; whoever can convince Inter to let him go will sign him this summer.”

Los Blancos are understood to see the 24-year-old as a potential replacement for rumoured wantaway centre back Raphael Varane.

And Halis continued: “Skriniar is a model professional. If Real Madrid want him, they could get him but there are other agents who have a vested interest in taking players where they want.”

He then claimed that the only complications that could arise in the transfer revolve around the possible intrusion of super-agent Mino Raiola, explaining: “Mino Raiola, who represents Ibrahimovic and Pogba, might try to mislead Skriniar, but the player is on the books at our company – we have a contract with him.

“?Inter paid Sampdoria €28m for Skriniar and six months later, Manchester City came in with an offer of €55m. Now he is valued at around €100m. Any deal would certainly be complicated by the interference of intermediaries.”


Halis is a compatriot of Skriniar, but largely specialises in Turkish football, and had some further revelations about another centre back Madrid have been rumoured to be looking at, VfB Stuttgart’s Ozan Kabak, whom he has known since his early academy days at Galatasaray.

However, this time Halis was charged with playing down said links, declaring: “Ozan Kabak is an exceptional talent, but he’s not ready to join a top level club like ?Real Madrid. 

“At the moment he is not on Madrid’s list of candidates. He needs to get a few seasons under his belt and improve his game at Stuttgart before he goes anywhere else. There are a lot of steps he must go for before being in a position to join a side like Madrid”.

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Transfer Rumours: Hudson-Odoi to Liverpool, Spurs Eye Gomes, Barça Want ‘New Pogba’ & More

Did you really think the international break would stop the rumours train? Oh no. Nothing stops the rumours train. It’s like the train in that Denzel Washington film where the train doesn’t stop… except at the end, when it stops.

Anyway, here’s a roundup of the latest transfer rumours from around the web…


Liverpool Still Keeping an Eye on Callum Huson-Odoi

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Callum Hudson-Odoi is still a wanted man in Germany, with not only Bayern Munich but Borussia Dortmund keen on a summer move for the teenage prodigy.

While you may have heard that already, the new claim courtesy of ?SportBild (not to be confused with Bild) is that ?Liverpool too are keen on CHO.

The report focuses on the German clubs’ interest but throws in a teasing mention of the Premier League leaders, claiming they ‘have kept an eye on Hudson-Odoi’.

It’s a tantalising claim. However, links to Liverpool were previously shot down by Liverpool ITKs, while the likelihood of ?Chelsea (who are being obstinate enough with the Germans) selling to a domestic rival, while potentially under a transfer ban, seems next to nil.


Kieran Tierney Plays Down Links to Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester

Brendan Rodgers,Kieran Tierney

Meanwhile Celtic full back Kieran Tierney insists he has not been in touch with former manager Brendan Rodgers over a summer move south of the border to ?Leicester City.

Rodgers took the likes of Joe Allen and (ahem) Fabio Borini with him from Swansea to Liverpool and Kolo Toure from Liverpool to Celtic, and he is already being tipped to bring some familiar faces to the King Power Stadium this summer.

However, 21-year-old Tierney – who has been linked with a whole host of Premier League clubs – told the ?Evening Times that he has had minimal contact with Rodgers since his departure.

“No, I’ve not seen him since. I had a few text messages just after he left but that’s it,” Tierney said. So there.


Atletico Enter Race for Juventus & Man Utd Target Ruben Dias

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?Atletico Madrid are the latest club to be named as interested in Benfica defender Ruben Dias.

The 21-year-old centre back has picked up a host of admirers this season as Benfica sit pretty at the top of the Portuguese league. Those admirers include the likes of Juventus and ?Manchester United (which defender isn’t linked with United currently?), as well as Atletico.

According to Madrid daily ?AS, Atleti officials have been following Dias with ‘great attention’.

The Portugal international reportedly has a release clause of €60m in his contract for any club wishing to bypass the tedious process of negotiation.


Barcelona Eye ‘New Paul Pogba’

Lucien Agoume,Pakia Ware

Ruben Dias isn’t the only target Juventus won’t have a free run at this summer, with ?Barcelona tipped to challenge the Old Lady for 17-year-old Lucien Agoume.

The Cameroon-born France youth international midfielder currently plays for FC Sochaux and has 13 Ligue 2 appearances this season, but you already knew that didn’t you… you hipster.

Most intriguingly, ?Calcio Mercato – who bring word of Barça’s supposed interest – claim that Agoume is considered the ‘new Pogba’. No pressure then.

Meanwhile, the ?old Pogba has waxed lyrical about Barça, calling them ‘a team I always watch’, ahead of Man Utd’s Champions League showdown.

Could we have an Old Pogba-New Pogba midfield double act at the Camp Nou in years to come?


Everton Face Competition for Andre Gomes

Ross Barkley,Andre Gomes

And finally, Everton may not get a clear run at Andre Gomes this summer with Premier League rivals Tottenham apparently ready to dust off the old chequebook and try to tempt the Portuguese midfielder to New White Hart Lane/Tottenham Hotspur Stadium/Insert Sponsor Name Here.

?The Sun reckon that while Barcelona are keen to sell, Gomes’ eye catching displays for the Toffees mean there could be a bidding war, which is probably the best kind of war.

Inter have also been tipped to make a move for the £20m-rated midfielder.


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Spain vs Norway Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

Spain welcome Norway to the Mestalla on Saturday night, as both sides get their EURO 2020 qualifying campaign underway.

La Roja will be aiming to reach their seventh consecutive European Championship, as they hope to continue their excellent record in the tournament. They will be eyeing up glory once again, hoping to win the tournament for the third time in the last four editions.

Meanwhile, Norway are aiming to reach the tournament for only the second time in their history. Their sole appearance came at EURO 2000, where they actually beat Spain in their first ever European Championship game.

Here is 90min’s preview of Saturday’s European qualifier.


Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off? Saturday 23 March
What Time Is Kick Off? 19:45 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? Estadi de Mestalla, Valencia
                TV Channel/Live Stream?                                   Sky Sports Football                      
Referee? Andris Treimanis

Team News

After Spain’s squad was named last Friday, there has only been one change. They are now without Fabian Ruiz, who had to pull out of the squad through illness. The ?Napoli man has been replaced by ?Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez, who could ?soon be leaving for Manchester City.


Norway are not expected to have any fresh injuries, with Kristoffer Ajer recovering from a head injury in time to be available for Saturday’s trip to Valencia.


Predicted Lineups

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Spain De Gea; Alba, Ramos, Martinez, Roberto; Saul, Busquets, Ceballos; Asensio, Morata, Rodrigo.
Norway Jarstein; Elabdellaoui, Nordtveit, Ajer, Rosted; Fossum, Henriksen, Selnaes, Elyounoussi; Kamara, King.

Head to Head Record

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Spain and Norway have met six times before, with La Roja winning four of their meetings and Norway recording just one win. Their only victory came back at EURO 2000, as a Steffen Iversen goal secured a famous 1-0 win in their first ever European Championship game.

The last time these two sides met was in the EURO 2004 playoffs in November 2003, where Spain were victorious. The Spanish won 2-1 in the first leg, before prevailing 3-0 in the second leg to qualify for the upcoming tournament in Portugal.

Spain have managed to keep clean sheets in four of their six encounters with Norway, while Saturday’s visitors will be looking to beat La Roja for the first time in 19 years.


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Norway v Bulgaria - UEFA Nations League C

?Both sides are returning to action for the first time in four months, having not played since their Nations League debuts. Spain finished second in Group A4 behind England, ending 2019 with back to back defeats to the Three Lions and World Cup finalists Croatia.

On the other hand, Norway earned promotion to League B as they topped Group C3. The Lovene are in strong form, as they are unbeaten in their last four matches and only lost one of their ten internationals last year.

Here’s how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:

Spain Norway
  Spain 1-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina (18/11)  Cyprus 0-2 Norway (19/11)
Croatia 3-2 Spain (15/11)                 Slovenia 1-1 Norway (16/11)              
Spain 2-3 England (15/10) Norway 1-0 Bulgaria (16/10)
Wales 1-4 Spain (11/10) Norway 1-0 Slovenia (13/10)
Spain 6-0 Croatia (11/09) Bulgaria 1-0 Norway (09/09)

Prediction

While Spain look to be clear favourites, it won’t be an easy night in Valencia. Though Norway sit 39 places below Luis Enrique’s side in the world rankings, they will be eager to qualify for next year’s tournament and will hope to build on from their successful Nations League campaign.

However it seems that Spain’s experience, depth and overall strength will be too much for their Scandinavian visitors, as La Roja look likely to begin their EURO 2020 qualifying campaign with a win in Valencia.

Prediction: Spain 3-1 Norway

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6 Potential Replacements for Philippe Coutinho if Barcelona Cut Their Losses This Summer

?Even as a youngster, it seemed it was Philippe Coutinho’s destiny to play for Barcelona. He achieved that dream in January 2018, but things have not gone to plan. Not at all.

The Brazilian looks a shell of the man who terrorised Premier League defences with Liverpool, and now there’s talk of the Blaugrana cutting their ties with a man who has hindered the team more often than he has helped.

His departure would likely create a fresh transfer merry-go-round, and here are six players who could replace Coutinho at Barcelona.


Ousmane Dembele

Why replace Coutinho when you already have a £136m man ready to take over? ?Ousmane Dembele has looked like the player ?Barcelona wished Coutinho was, but the Frenchman has been forced to rotate with Coutinho as Ernesto Valverde has given both every chance to impress.

Ousmane Dembele

The decision seems simple. Move on from Coutinho, and give Dembele twice as many starts to compensate. He already has 14 goals and eight assists this year and, at 21, the sky really is the limit for the former ?Borussia Dortmund man.

Malcom is a capable deputy, whilst ?Rafinha should be ready and fit to start the new season. However, if they do want to make another huge signing, there are no shortage of options…


Antoine Griezmann

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No need to check your calendars, it is 2019 and Antoine Griezmann is once again nearing the exit door of the Wanda Metropolitano. The Frenchman put to bed any talk of a move to Barcelona by signing a new contract last summer, but that seems to mean little anymore.

Antoine Griezmann

The World Cup winner is still widely regarded as one of Europe’s top forwards, but it appears he has grown frustrated with life with ?Atletico Madrid and their failure to win regular silverware. A move to Barcelona would certainly give Griezmann what he wants.

Comfortable as both a central striker and in a wide or supporting role, Griezmann would offer Barcelona some much-needed versatility in attack. If he’s available (and it looks like he will be), they should move for him.


Paulo Dybala

The heir to ?Lionel Messi’s throne with the Argentina national team could also be the man to fill his shoes at the Camp Nou. At this stage of 2018, ?Paulo Dybala’s exit from the Allianz Stadium seemed unfathomable but, with the arrival of ?Cristiano Ronaldo, Dybala’s future seems up in the air.

Paulo Dybala

He’s struggled to be at his best alongside the superstar forward, netting just four ?Serie A goals in 25 outings. As a result, he has found himself linked with a move away, with the likes of ?Liverpool and ?Inter said to be keen. However, unless they have an alternative lined up, there is simply no way Barcelona should allow him to pass them by.

The on-field relationship between Dybala and Messi has come into question in the past, but the two are both supremely talented footballers. They can certainly make it work, and the results could be stunning.


Sadio Mane

Perhaps Barcelona signed the wrong ?Liverpool star? ?Sadio Mane has been in breathtaking form for Liverpool this season, helping to draw attention away from ?Mohamed Salah. He already has 20 goals this season, which is the kind of form that could get him a move to the Camp Nou.

Sadio Mane

Mane is a left-sided player, and would feel right at home on that side of Barcelona’s lineup. He is also comfortable both centrally and on the right, which will only make him more appealing to the Blaugrana.

Whilst a potential Mane-Coutinho swap deal is unlikely, it will always be rumoured until the day it is no longer physically possible. The Senegal international is the kind of star Barcelona need, and they should look to lure him away from Anfield.


Son Heung-min

Few players know how to make an impact from the left wing quite like ?Son Heung-min. The ?Tottenham Hotspur man has been in typically excellent form this season, but is again facing the prospect of finishing a season without any silverware.

Son Heung-Min

Nobody at the club seems safe from an exit, from Mauricio Pochettino to ?Harry Kane. There is a growing fear amongst supporters that something simply is not right at the club. They have been trending in the right direction, but have again failed to answer the majority of their critics.

A big-money move to the Camp Nou could be too good to turn down for Son, who could leap at the opportunity to join a side who know what it takes to win trophy after trophy.


Felipe Anderson

Felipe Anderson spent many years starring on the right of Lazio’s attack, but looks to be a completely new animal as ?West Ham United’s left winger. The 25-year-old has been in excellent form all season, racking up nine goals and five assists all season, but the Hammers remain lost in mid-table obscurity.

Felipe Anderson

Despite his obvious talent, Anderson is yet to experience life in the ?Champions League.? He is unlikely to achieve that with West Ham, who look to be struggling to qualify for the Europa League this year, but he certainly looks like a player who should be featuring on Europe’s grandest stage.

His speed and creativity would fit seamlessly into Barcelona’s forward line, and Valverde should recognise that. If they lodged a sizeable offer, West Ham would likely be powerless to prevent Anderson pursuing the move.

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Barcelona Oppose Radical Champions League Remodel to Avoid ‘Killing’ La Liga

Barcelona have joined forces with the top Premier League clubs in opposing UEFA’s new proposed Champions League revamp, fearing that European matches on weekends would ‘kill’ domestic football.

UEFA met with representatives from Europe’s major clubs in Nyon, Switzerland, on Tuesday for a brainstorming session on potential Champions League alterations following the 2024 season.

The new ideas include replacing the current qualification process with a simpler promotion and relegation format as well as playing matches on weekends, at least from the quarter-final stage onwards.

Premier League sides present at the meetings were said to be decidedly unhappy with these proposals, fearing that the format changes would compromise the lucrative television contracts that have funded the league’s growing wealth.

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According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have now aligned themselves with the Premier League clubs as they look to protect their own domestic interests.

Despite the immediate negative reception, talks still appear to be at a very early stage with a Barcelona spokesperson saying: “This is the first of a series of meetings between the parties in the coming months, to allow for a detailed and adequate consultation with the objective of elaborating concrete proposals that can be considered and analysed properly before making any decision.”

Resistance against the proposed Champions League changes has thus far formalised into a document of condemnation submitted to UEFA, and signed by members of the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and Bundesliga.

Lionel Messi

However, UEFA’s new plans are already threatening to spark an extensive and wide-ranging European football conflict as other top clubs including Juventus and PSG support the format changes due to the lack of competition and global interest in their domestic campaigns.

Barcelona, who last won the Champions League in 2015, are still hoping to emerge victorious from this year’s competition as they face Manchester United in the quarter-finals after defeating Lyon 5-1 on aggregate in the round of 16.

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Arturo Vidal in Doubt for Chile vs Mexio After Visa Issues Delay Barcelona Ace’s Entry to USA

?Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal could miss Chile’s friendly match against Mexico on Friday, after being denied entry to the United States due to visa issues.

Chile are set to take on El Tri in San Diego at the end of the week, before travelling to Texas to face the USA next Tuesday. Reinaldo Rueda’s side failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but will be looking to bounce back with a couple of good results, ahead of their Copa América campaign in the summer.

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According to Chilean outlet 24 Horas, via Sport, Vidal recently altered his passport, which saw his visa blocked when attempting to enter the United States. While this issue is not deemed to be too problematic, it isn’t likely to be resolved until Thursday – which gives him no time to train with his teammates ahead of Friday’s match.

Given Vidal’s invaluable experience – he has over 100 caps for his country – he’ll be a massive loss for La Roja, and Rueda might just be tempted to throw the veteran midfielder into the fray on Friday despite a possible lack of training. Alongside the 31-year-old, other stars in the squad include Bayer Leverkusen’s Charles Aránguiz and defensive stalwart Gary Medel, who plays for Be?ikta?.


On the domestic front, Vidal has been in fine form for ?Barcelona this season, and has played an important role in their dominance of ?La Liga this season. Arriving from ?Bayern Munich in the summer, the robust tackler has been a ferocious presence in the Catalan giants’ midfield, and gives them some much needed grit to complement their trademark flair.

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In other news, ?Barcelona are believed to have missed out on Atlético Madrid ace Saul Ñiguez, as ?Manchester City are now the frontrunners to sign the 24-year-old. The player’s representatives have publicly stated that their client intends to leave in the summer, and could cost the Citizens around €80m.

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Real Madrid Linked With Adrien Rabiot as Midfielder’s Agent Insists He Is a ‘Prisoner’ at PSG

?Paris Saint-Germain outcast Adrien Rabiot has been linked with an astounding move to Real Madrid once his contract with the Parisian club expires at the end of the season.

Rabiot, 23, has seen his relationship sour with PSG this season after publicly voicing his intentions to leave the French club once his contract expires in June, with the midfielder seemingly attracting the interest of a number of Europe’s top sides.

And according to L’Equipe (via GFFN), Adrien Rabiot’s mother/agent has stated that her son is a ‘prisoner’ at the club. 

The latest addition to that ever-lengthening list appears to be ?Real Madrid, with Spanish media outlet ?OKDiario reporting that Los Blancos are keen to bring the Frenchman to the Santiago Bernabeu. 

The article claims that the French international is viewed as a short-term replacement for ?Luka Modric, as the club want a player with similar characteristics of the 34-year-old Ballon d’Or winner, although isn’t a move that would displace the Croatian initially, due to Rabiot’s versatility to play in a number of positions across midfield. 

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While Rabiot would be a free agent – meaning Real Madrid wouldn’t have to pay a transfer fee for the midfielder – it’s believed that the player wants a signing-on fee in the region of €15m to join the 13-time Champions League winners.

Rabiot was close to joining Real’s bitter rivals ?Barcelona earlier this season, with personal terms thought to have been agreed, before the Catalan side seemingly pulled the plug on the deal and instead announced the singing of Ajax starlet Frenkie de Jong, who will complete his move to the Nou Camp this summer. 

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It’s been a strange season for Rabiot, who after initially being a key part to Thomas Tuchel’s PSG side earlier in the campaign, has been on the periphery of things at the Parc des Princes since making his intentions to leave the club clear, with his last appearance coming in a 1-1 draw against Strasbourg in early December. 

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Antoine Griezmann: 6 Elite Clubs Who Must Sign the Forward if He Leaves Atletico Madrid This Summer

Antoine Griezmann reportedly wants to leave Atletico Madrid this summer, less than a year after famously deciding to stay put last June.

A player of his quality, who has scored at least 25 goals in each of the last four full seasons, won the World Cup and twice finished third in the Ballon d’Or will have no shortage of suitors if he really is about to become available on the transfer market.

Here’s a look at six top teams who must try and sign him…


?Internazionale

Mauro Icardi

Depending on what happens with Mauro Icardi, who has been stripped of the club captaincy and hasn’t played since early February because of a contentious knee injury, Inter could find themselves needing a new attacking talisman ahead of next season.

Selling Icardi would raise significant funds and with Inter set to improve to third in Serie A and seemingly on an upward trajectory, it may be a project worth considering for Griezmann.


Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski,Arjen Robben,Franck Ribery

Bayern Munich will bid farewell to veteran heroes Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery at the end of the season, with James Rodriguez not tipped to stay beyond his loan deal. It means there will be a serious need for fresh attacking impetus at the Allianz Arena.

Griezmann could be the perfect summer addition for a club that has had a wakeup call, both at home and abroad, this season, potentially ushering in a new era of success.


Paris Saint-Germain

Red Star Belgrade v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Group C

Paris Saint-Germain could well look to Griezmann in the event that they lose Neymar this summer, with the Brazilian superstar a reported €350m world record target for Real Madrid.

Should that actually happen, PSG would need a replacement and would have the money to make it happen. Griezmann, who has never played professionally in his home country, could also be the more reliable Champions League X-factor the club has long been waiting for.


Barcelona

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Barcelona were infamously snubbed by Griezmann last summer when he made ‘The Decision’ to stay with Atletico. Reports suggest that the Catalans, who were made to look foolish by the whole saga, won’t entertain going back in for him, but perhaps they can’t afford not to.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez continue to score the bulk of Barça’s goals and it won’t last forever, with the former due to turn 32 years of age in June and latter already there. The attacking unit at Camp Nou therefore needs an injection of slightly younger blood.


Manchester United

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Manchester United wanted Griezmann in 2017 before he pledged himself to Atletico in light of their transfer ban. That interest has never really picked up again since, but the failure of Alexis Sanchez at Old Trafford is reason to think the club would still have a need.

As a second striker, Griezmann could prove to be the creative link player that United have been lacking, while his personal friendship with Paul Pogba is already a big plus point.


Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid will find it hard to sign number one target Neymar this summer. If that ambitious venture fails, then they too could become one of the clubs interested in Griezmann.

Real are set to make numerous changes at the end of the season after a disastrous 2018/19 campaign and could do a lot worse than focus on a player who is already a proven goalscorer in La Liga and at the highest level in Europe.


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