Could latest Gareth Bale episode finally force his exit from Real Madrid?

It was hardly a surprise when Gareth Bale was left out of Real Madrid’s matchday squad to face Manchester City in this week’s Champions League last 16 second leg at the Etihad Stadium. After all, the Welsh winger has been something of a peripheral figure for the Spanish side this season, only making a handful of starts over the 2019/20 campaign.

What was surprising, though, was the reason Zinedine Zidane gave for Bale’s absence in Manchester. “It was a personal conversation I had with him. He preferred not to play,” the Frenchman responded when asked why the 31-year-old hadn’t travelled with the rest of the squad for the crunch match. “The rest remains between me and him but he said he didn’t want to play.”

The true nature of the conversation between Bale and Zidane is not known, but it doesn’t reflect well on the former that he has decided against even travelling to one of his team’s most important games of the season so far. Bale has earned some sympathy of late for the situation he finds himself in in the Spanish capital, but this episode might see him lose some of his defenders.

Until now, the relationship between Bale and Real Madrid had cooled. While the two parties have been tethered together through inconvenience for years, there was an acceptance on both sides that nothing was about to change. The most recent noises out of the Bale camp are that he will see out the rest of his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu while Real Madrid have seemingly run out of ways to get the player out of the club.

The in-fighting had stopped, but this latest episode has the potential to stoke tensions once more. Last summer, Real Madrid came close to moving Bale on to the Chinese Super League only for them to demand a transfer fee at the last moment. It’s a stance they have kept ever since, but if they feel Bale is becoming a toxic influence, rather than just a passive one, in the dressing room it’s possible they could change that stance and forego any fee.

It’s a shame for all concerned that Bale and Real Madrid have ended up in this situation. Until this week, it appeared set to continue until the summer of 2022, when Bale’s contract in the Spanish capital will expire. But what has now happened has the potential to shift the landscape.

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Neymar v Mbappe who is the best player at PSG?

PSG have in theory the deadliest strike force in the world. Neymar is the Brazilian superstar who scores goals, is a proven winner and has some of the most silkiest skills known to any football player. He is a star, he glitters and remains Brazil’s hope for any international trophies.

Then the champions have Kylian Mbappe, a player who won the World Cup at 19, is a goal scoring machine, looks awesome and fearsome and awesome coming forward, did we say awesome? Well because he is, and the fun part is that he is so young and we still have so many years to praise him. The Frenchman certainly is the real deal.

It’s good that the two superstars get along too- the same can’t be said of Neymar and Edinson Cavani who have had plenty of run ins in the past. But for the most part Neymar and Mbappe have been able to put their egos aside and work together.

It is mind boggling when you think that they are the two biggest world transfers in history- and play for the same team. They have cost PSG nearly 400m euros and let’s not even get started on their wages.

So with the tail of the tape over, do the players come out equal? Is one better than the other? Who has had the best season for example? Who scores more goals and creates the most assists? If PSG had to lose one player which do you think they would prefer to lose and sell?

Since joining PSG in 2017 Neymar has played 82 games in all competitions and has scored 70 goals, that is an incredible return. In the league he has played 52 times and scored 47 goals. Neymar’s consistency has been fantastic. True this past season he was dogged with injuries and a controversial want away move to Barcelona which upset the fans. But each time he came back into the team he ended up being the difference and getting the winning goals and has ultimately helped PSG to an historic treble this season.

Mbappe joined Neymar in the same season although his first one was through a loan. In his debut season he scored 13 goals but it was in his 2nd season where he broke through netting an incredible 33 in the league. In league games he has scored 64 goals from 76 games and overall he has netted 90 goals in just 121 appearances. Mbappe is just 21 and has already won 10 major trophies.

This season Mbappe did play more games than Neymar and scored 18 goals and assisted in 5 goals. Neymar assisted in 6. The stats go to prove that PSG have spent their money wisely, these two are genuinely brilliant players. There really is very little separating them.

A draw is probably the best outcome as to who is the best right now, we have had 3 seasons to figure them out and still there s nothing in it, let’s hope Neymar stays and we get a 4th season. Or perhaps one of them will come to the fore in the Champions League and make all the difference for PSG to pick up their first European Cup later this month. For now PSG should be glad that they have both of these incredible talents in their team at the same time. Fans sure are.

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After his first season with Manchester United is Harry Maguire really worth £80m?

There was heaps of pressure put on England international Harry Maguire when he joined Manchester United at the beginning of last season for £80m. For one that figure broke the world transfer record for a defender. For two you could have been forgiven for thinking that the star defenders over Europe were looking at the transfer and thinking Harry who?

Of course Maguire by the transfer had put in some brilliant performances for both Leicester City and England where he had broken into the national team. But Maguire had not been seen in Europe due to not playing in either the Champions League or Europa League, so the transfer seemed like a scratch your head moment.

However those in the Premier League knew of Maguire’s strengths, and sometimes it’s not the overall quality that you have that counts in the league but the experience you have. Imagine for example taking a world class defender from Serie A and pitting them in the Premier League- they may get to grips with the pace of the league after a while, but already having that experience you hit the ground running. This is what United were buying and then of course there is always going to be a premium price when your new signing is an England international.

One of the other negative points about breaking transfer records was that Maguire hadn’t justified his price tag, no matter if he had put in some reliable and solid games with club and country. How does one justify spending £80m on a player who has won zero trophies? The problem lies in the fact that the player has no winning experience, still age is on his side. At 27 and in his position he could well have 10 years at the top of the game where he will be hoping to become a legend at Old Trafford.

How has his debut season fared then with the red devils? Maguire started decent enough but did make a few errors as the winter months kicked in. However at the turn of the year he really started to find his rhythm on the pitch and formed an excellent partnership with Victor Lindelof.

Do you have Maguire in your fantasy team? If so you will be interested to note that he came out on top of all the defenders in the side gaining 52 points. He only scored 1 league goal this season but that isn’t so important, it’s not his job to bang in the goals, though he would have liked to have created some and he didn’t. However he did help the club to 13 clean sheets when he played.

Ultimately then after a shaky start Maguire looks to have had a solid season with the club and that isn’t easy with such a step up to a club like United and what it means. He has helped them into a 3rd place finish and that will mean Champions League football for next season which should further enhance his reputation.

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With the title in the bag can Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid knock Manchester City out of the Champions League?

It’s certainly been an odd season and no one can deny that after the terrible Coronavirus broke up every domestic league in the world. It was the teams who were able to respond quickly after the restart that benefited the most and one of those was Real Madrid.

That the season was Zinedine Zidane’s comeback one after leaving Madrid in 2018 was spectacular that it ended with a La Liga title. Taking away Barcelona’s chance to win a unique hat trick of titles in the process.

No other team in Spain came close to Madrid since the restart with Zidane’s team remaining undefeated and collecting an impressive 28 points from their final 10 games. It was that type of consistency that Barcelona simply could not live with. What is interesting is that despite their flawless consistency Madrid didn’t score many goals in those last 10 games, just 18, where normally you would expect between 25-30 for such a team. At the same time no team in Spain was on fire with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid scoring the most in this period with just 19.

Overall Madrid scored 70 goals, 16 less than Barcelona and less than 2 goals per game, however with 25 goals conceded they had the best defence in the league. Results were not overwhelming but Madrid ground down hard and dug for the wins and it is an important league title given that it is only Zidane’s 2nd title with the team. Incredibly Zidane has won more Champions League’s with Madrid than titles as manager.

And speaking of the Champions League we turn our attentions to the round of 16, where Madrid still have to face off against Manchester City. The 1st leg was a major blow for Zidane’s team who saw City come back from a goal down to win 2-1 at the Bernabeu in what was hailed as a famous victory for Pep Guardiola’s team.

The 2nd leg has been in limbo for 4 months but the two teams will finally meet in Manchester on August 7th and Guardiola’s team will be the favourites to get to the quarter finals.

In short Madrid need to come to the Etihad and score 2 goals, that will be the minimum requirement, they can even concede one and then hope for extra time. Either that or Madrid will have to produce their best game of the season and win big. That seems unrealistic away to this City side and the fact that Madrid have, for them, scored very few goals this season.

It would be a major plus if Madrid were to knock City out and at the same time if they were to be beaten here the icing on the cake as their season draws to an end would be expired and stale.

There is also the shift in power to talk about. A few seasons ago it would have been unthinkable to see Madrid being knocked out in Europe against City, but times can change quick in football. The teams have met before in Europe, clashing in fact in a semi-final where Madrid were simply too strong in the end, but City hold all the ace cards going into this 2nd leg.

Zidane’s job will be safe with the title in the bag even if Madrid are knocked out. And so much time has passed between the 1st and 2nd legs that a lot of perspective can be seen, no rush knee jerk decisions for example. For now Zidane has steered a sinking ship to the title and the thought process must be a clear out in the summer and seeing new fresh faces at the Bernabeu.

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Manchester United: Predicting the results of the final four games of the Premier League season

As we enter the final four games of the Premier League season, Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s Manchester United will be hoping that the likes of Chelsea and Leicester City drop points whilst they take maximum points from their remaining fixtures in order to finish in one of the top four positions.

The Red Devils had a really poor period when looking at the side’s results from the first half of the campaign, given that they were sitting in eight-place and four points behind fourth-place Chelsea, whilst key man Paul Pogba was expected to be on the sidelines for majority of the season leaving everything to be done by the likes of Anthony Martial, Daniel James, Fred and Marcus Rashford.

Even then, United were still not good enough, as they had only won seven league games at the half-mark of the campaign, as well as scoring just 30 goals and conceding 23 goals in 19 games. However, they were in luck, as the teams above and below them were unable to remain consistent and dominant, to allow them to have a gap of a couple of points or more ahead of Manchester United.

On the other hand, the club’s fortune has fully turnaround following the arrival of Bruno Fernandes in the January transfer window, who has managed to be an instant impact and has helped Solskjaer’s men to go on to be unbeaten from his first appearance for United up until now. And because of his contributions, the side are a point away from fourth-place Leicester City, in the FA Cup Semi-finals and are in the Europa League, which can be used as a backup option for Champions League football.

Before looking into United’s remaining fixtures of the season, it’s time to have a quite look at Chelsea and Leicester City and who they have left, as the Blues are yet to face Norwich, Liverpool and Wolves. On the other hand, the Foxes, have the likes of Sheffield United, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United to play, teams that are still looking to finish high up the league table.

With no further ado, it’s time to predict the results of United’s final four league fixtures…

Southampton (H)

Arguably the toughest game of United’s remaining fixtures, Southampton will certainly be no pushovers when they come to Old Trafford on Monday night, as they have the fifth best away form in the league, achieving eight victories and collecting 27 points out of a potential 51. With how they are playing under Ralph Hasenhuttl and his pressing system, the side have been able to reap their rewards, from creating chances due to the opposition’s mistakes to conceding as less as possible.

If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are to successfully accomplish the full three points, they will have to be on top of their game and the opposition, who will not be afraid to play with a narrow high line and attempt to force United’s defence and midfield to lose the ball and push them into making errors. In the end, United’s home form has been more than consistent, and the quality of Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba will be too much for the Saints to handle.

Prediction: 2-1 victory to Manchester United.

Crystal Palace (A)

Although the match against struggling Crystal Palace should be straightforward, it will take place two days ahead of United’s FA Cup semi final fixture against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium, which will leave Solskjaer in a mixture of thoughts on whether to rest the key players and rotate around or not. Roy Hodgson’s side have had a poor run of results since the Premier League season has restated, as they have only won one of their last six fixtures in the league, scoring four goals and conceding 13.

Nevertheless, even if the likes of Daniel James, Fred and Scott McTominay were to start ahead of United’s key players in the starting line-up, the team would still have enough individual quality and key moments within the side to overcome the Eagles. If the Red Devils are able to complete the victory over Crystal Palace, the team would look dead on to finish in the top four positions.

Prediction: 2-0 victory to Manchester United.

West Ham (H)

As David Moyes’ West Ham sit just above the relegation zone by three points, the side will certainly consider the final three games of the season as three monumental finals, given that it would be seen as a huge surprise if they were to get relegated with the amount of quality they have midfield and attack. And when looking at their away form, the Hammers have been growing quietly into picking up the much needed points, following their dominant win over Norwich and draw at Newcastle.

However, they will have to come up with something special in order to walk away from Old Trafford with something, as the Red Devils have the fourth best home record and second best defence in the league as things currently stand. With the work ethic and mentality being at an all-time high for Solskjaer and his men, we should expect a ruthless and complete performance and result from them.

Prediction: 3-0 victory to Manchester United.

Leicester City (A)

With Ricardo Pereira still on the sidelines, Caglar Soyuncu suspended for Leicester City’s final three games of the season as well as Ben Chilwell and James Maddison missing a few of the side’s crucial games in recent weeks, Brendan Rodgers’ men are in deep trouble of losing their spot in next year’s Champions League football after being in the top four positions for majority of the current season.

On the other hand, the results from the fixtures ahead of this game could complete the table on who will finish in the top four and who will not, as United’s remaining games look to be straightforward when comparing it to both Chelsea and Leicester City. In the end, both teams will be at each other and it could be seen as a match that will be end-to-end, depending on the potential circumstances.

Prediction: 2-2 draw between Leicester City and Manchester United.

Tottenham fall 12 points behind a Champions League position and will have to accept defeat this season

This past weekend confirmed that Champions League football will not be present in Tottenham’s new stadium next season.

Tottenham lost 3-1 to Sheffield United whilst Leicester and Chelsea recorded wins and that means that the London club have now fallen 12 points behind. There is no way back considering still the teams between Tottenham and 4th place.

Jose Mourinho was brought in back in November to salvage a season where the club at that time were mixing with 11th place. But presently the club are in 10th and so on the face of it one could conclude not much has changed under Mourinho. Of course they do have a game in hand which they will play on Monday night against Everton at home. Win that and they would go 8th.

Should Tottenham fans be concerned though that Mourinho often touted as one of the best managers in the world has not been able to improve the side this season? Currently his win rate for the club stands at just 41% this is the lowest of his managerial career and it has been steadily declining since his days in charge of Real Madrid.

Mourinho himself would want to be cut some slack given a new set up, such a change of club and also he has been dealt quite a few injuries. Ideally a manager wants to start from the beginning of the season, but clearly there have been performances and results that have seemed underwhelming whilst he has been in charge.

It is interesting to see that in Mauricio Pochettino’s first 12 games of the season before he was sacked he earned 14 points with the club. Mourinho’s first 12 games brought back 17. It isn’t much of a difference.

Look at some of the points that have been dropped too? Did anyone expect losses against Southampton and Sheffield United? Or dropped points against the likes of Watford, Norwich and Burnley? Had those 3 draws been converted into wins Tottenham would have 51 points and be in 7th place hunting down Wolves and Manchester United.

It hasn’t been a disaster for Tottenham and Mourinho but maybe one was expecting a bit more magic in the dug out and with tactics. Mourinho will be more judged on what happens next season. For now confirmation that Tottenham won’t play in the Champions League and at least challenge for a top 4 spot has to be a blow for the fans.

In the end the club were simply not consistent enough either with Pochettino or Mourinho in charge.

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What now for PSG star Neymar after the fall out of Covid-19 has hit football?

Neymar has returned to Paris for training and played on a football pitch for the first time in 3 months. And seeing images of him brings up the story of what exactly will happen to Neymar post Covid-19?

Had the pandemic never happened many people believe that this was going to be Neymar’s last season with PSG. It was inevitable that after he would rejoin Barcelona. There have been many rumours that the Brazilian is craving to go back to his former job and hook up with the likes of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.

Whilst Neymar has been a success at PSG he has also missed some key games due to injury and there is a feeling of unfinished business in Paris. After all PSG didn’t make Neymar the world’s most expensive player at over 200 million euros just to win a series of Ligue 1 titles? they were doing that well before he joined.

For PSG recruiting Neymar, much like what Juventus have done with Cristiano Ronaldo was supposed to be the key, the final puzzle and the missing link in winning the Champions League. In that PSG have been unlucky given Neymar’s usual injury flare ups have come at a time when they have been playing in the quarter finals of the competition only to be missing him and getting dumped out of it.

This year seems very different. Many expected Borussia Dortmund to get the better of PSG, not so and PSG were able to knock the German team out and reach the last 8 of the competition. Now all eyes are on PSG, and yet that is when the Covid-19 really struck.

The good news is that football is back and the Champions League will resume in Lisbon, with all games played there in August. And what about PSG and Neymar, they have had lots of time off, can Neymar provide PSG with what they really want and need? What a send off it would be, if Neymar is to leave the club. But no win and he might find himself playing another season in Paris. Win and it is possible to think that PSG and Barcelona could come to an arrangement.

Forget about Barcelona breaking the bank to get him, that won’t happen. And football will be financially affected for years. True big money purchases are still going to be made between the big clubs, but we can and should expect transfers to drop significantly.

Right now Neymar seems a happy person and in a happy frame of mind, that couldn’t be said at the beginning of the season. What we do know is that the next two months will be dedicated to PSG. He has two cup finals to play and then the return of the Champions League- will the fire still be in his eyes?

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Why Manchester City are a reflection of Bayern Munich- could this be Guardiola’s Champions League destiny?

They say in football that there are many patterns and coincidences, like a symmetry that aligns. It feels odd when it all comes together. Like a player rejoining an old club and his first game being against his former club. A successful manager never winning the Champions League, a manager reaching a multitude of finals and not getting a win, and then there are the records and how they are broken.

For example it is very possible that this season Liverpool will win the league title playing Manchester City and that would seem apt, a passing of the torch (at least for this season), from champion to new champion.

What has felt very similar this season has been Pep Guardiola’s approach to his Manchester City side this season and his approach to last club Bayern Munich. True Bayern won the league in impressive style and that won’t be the case for City. But the manner and tactics in which the two clubs have played has been quite delightful on the eye.

After the German league restarted Bayern were simply devastating to a manner in which some are hailing them the best team in the world. Not only were they playing brilliant football, they were scoring many goals and simply swept aside every team they had to face. The league ended earlier than many expected a Borussia Dortmund challenge never sufficed.

One could say that we are seeing the same of Manchester City. Yes they won’t be able to win the league this season, but they are wanting to go out on a high. First game back they beat Arsenal 3-0 in a one sided game which saw a team as talented as the Gunners having no shots on target. And then there was the clubs 2nd game a fantastic 5-0 thrashing of Burnley. The only disappointment from that game is Sergio Aguero’s injury, but he wasn’t even on the score sheet such is the menacing talent throughout the squad.

So what does this all lead to? And what is motivating Manchester City to finish 2nd? Truth is the club are using these games to get up to peak standard for the Champions League which resumes in August. They should be able to make the quarter finals as they hold a 2-1 lead over Real Madrid from the first leg. Madrid would need to score 2 goals to have any chance, and whilst they can score, can they really keep the goals down from this City side?

As for Bayern they have one foot in the next round because they are 3-0 up from the first leg over Chelsea. These two giant sides look like they will progress. They could meet before the final of course- that is the luck of the draw, but it would feel ‘complete’ somehow if they were to meet each other in this season’s final. Bayern v Manchester City, two clubs bank rolled and yet two clubs who have a lot of the philosophy and DNA of Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola knows the league is over but that doesn’t mean his team won’t be playing at 110%, as has been shown they are doing just that. But the bigger prize for them is around the corner, the Champions League it is what Guardiola desires, can he get his hands back on the famous trophy for the first time since 2011?

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Is winning Serie A enough for Cristiano Ronaldo as he winds down at Juventus?

The Italian football season is set to restart following the well documented Covid-19 pandemic- which greatly affected the Italian peninsula. The date is set for June 20th, and Juventus, the current champions, could be heading for a historic 9th league title in a row.

Their superstar player is of course Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the true modern great players, but is the former Real Madrid player’s career winding down at the Old Lady? Will Ronaldo be satisfied without winning the full range of trophies after moving to Turin? Some may even say, does he regret leaving Real Madrid where he probably had a better chance of winning the Champions League again? In hindsight there could well be an argument for all that.

The question is what does Ronaldo want from the game? There is no simple answer because CR7 is looking to create more history. If we go back to Euro 2016 and asked Ronaldo if winning the European Championship was his crowning achievement, then surely the answer would be yes. This is another great example of Ronaldo creating history. Portugal winning their first ever silverware was and is a major statement.

Portugal had come close before particularly when they hosted the Euros in 2004, their star player that year was Luis Figo but in the final they lost 1-0 to the defend-first approach used by the Greeks. In France in 2016, it all came together for the Portuguese and Ronaldo finally won a major tournament with his country. Prior to that point he was heading for a similar theme as Lionel Messi, namely being a great club player but consistently coming up short with the national side. The sheer joy on his face when Portugal won was all too visible. It meant something much more than a club trophy for him, in a nutshell it was as if he had won something for the first time.

Now imagine Portugal had dominated for many years and this was, for example their 3rd silverware in a decade. True it would be special but for Ronaldo it wouldn’t be unique, not as unique as winning for the first time and being the driving factor in helping his side to win for the first time.

Ronaldo does two things- what motivates him the most is scoring goals and winning the big trophies. So if Juventus can shrug off Lazio, the only realistic team that can deny Juve this season, then the Bianconeri will have won the league 9 times in a row with back to back titles for Ronaldo. But is that really special for him? Is that enough for CR7? True it is for the club as they tear up the record books and for Ronaldo it is yet another trophy to mark down on his CV but let’s face it it is not as special as winning the Champions League with the Old Lady.

Ronaldo in effect was brought in to Juventus to deliver the Champions League after winning the competition 4 times with Real Madrid and once with Manchester United. Winning league titles and domestic cups is great but Ronaldo would certainly feel a big hole in his move to Italy if he couldn’t deliver the Champions League to a club which has been waiting for 24 years.

And that is the key here, winning the Champions League with Juve would be as important in many aspects as winning the European Championship with Portugal and winning the 3 Champions League trophies in a row with Real Madrid. It would feel more like an achievement bringing home a trophy to Turin that the Italian giants have not won since 1996 (rather than a league title).

Trophies are great of course but Ronaldo has set that personal bar of success so high that one wonders if the Champions League is beyond the club Ronaldo joined?

Time is moving on too and Ronaldo is 35. He’s achieved almost everything in his career and is going to be remembered as one of the greats. But if he leaves Italy without ‘Ol Big Ears’ as they affectionately call the Champions League trophy he will be the first to be upset.

Fan Zone: Jason’s back to discuss Suarez, Griezmann, Neymar and more

Jason Pettigrove- a journalist who has covered football for decades and who is the content editor at FC Barcelona- is back for the second segment of the Q&A.

Jason discusses Barca’s possession game as well as some of the big names such as Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and others. In addition, Jason touches upon the frequently mentioned topic of PSG star Neymar who is often linked with a return to the Catalan club. Remember to leave your feedback and feel free to discuss any of the points with both Jason and Rami Soufi by connecting with them on social media.

1) Barca built a reputation playing a heavy possession game. Has the focus on possession at the expense of being more pragmatic hurt Barca’s quest to lift more Champions League trophies? Contrast that with the direct and ruthless approach of Liverpool at Anfield (to overturn 1st leg deficit)

I don’t think there’s any doubt that your suggestion has merit, but what I would say to counter that is Barça’s style is ingrained in the players from the moment they set foot in La Masia academy. Just the thought of leaving behind the possession game or playing any other way, as we saw with Valverde’s 4-4-2, would cause concern and would lead to the rise of discontent among the fans. Simply put, the fans have long bought into that philosophy and would most likely make their displeasure clear.

2) What do you make of Luis Suarez? His stats are decent despite being sidelined due to injury. Would you keep Suarez for one more season, or would you sign Gabriel Jesus or Harry Kane?

I’d keep Suarez for one more season without doubt. Not just because he and Messi are such good pals off of the pitch but because there’s a great understanding on the field- a telepathy which would be near impossible to recreate with any future signing or incoming elite player. He has to leave sometime soon of course, but I think 12 months from now is a better bet.

3) Were you for signing Griezmann, or did you prefer bringing back Neymar setting aside the financial factor involved in Neymar’s return?

I didn’t like the whole ‘Decision’ video fiasco- to me that was entirely unnecessary. I’ll always support whoever wears the shirt, but I did think Griezmann’s purchase was another ‘statement’ signing without looking at whether he’d fit in well with the team. So far, the season has proved difficult for him further highlighting that not every big signing will automatically succeed.

4) Should Barca bring back Neymar for the 2020/21 season? And why?

No, I definitely would not welcome it. There are just too many concerns and negatives when it comes to bringing back Neymar. Too much money. Too much baggage. Too many injuries. Too many absences. It is just a long laundry list.

5) Moving on from Neymar, what do you make of BVB’s Erling Haaland? Should Barca invest in signing him?

Haaland has shown an incredible appetite for scoring goals, and his movement is beyond his years. Barça should be in the queue to sign the best players if and when they become available, but they shouldn’t sign him just for the sake of piling up talent.

If the technical department believe he’s a good fit and that he can improve, then he’s worth spending money on. Otherwise, let someone else take him. Don’t get me wrong, he’d be a great potential signing for almost all big clubs but Barca have had their share of big name signings who haven’t worked out exactly- Coutinho from Liverpool, Griezmann so far as discussed earlier and Ousmane Dembele due to injuries.

6) Are you for resuming La Liga this season or for voiding it, and why?

Not even a question for me. People are losing their lives. Football isn’t that important when considering the bigger picture. Just void this season and reassess in the upcoming few months.

7) If the league is voided, does Barca get the title despite being only 2 points ahead with over 10 Rounds remaining on schedule?

Nope. You can’t realistically argue that Barça would have gone on and won it at this point. Anything could happen over the course of 10 Rounds let alone a single match when you consider the gap between first and second is only two points.