Malcom has posed Valverde a few questions…

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The big games need big performances, and with Lionel Messi only on the bench for Barcelona against Real Madrid in midweek, Ernesto Valverde was counting on Malcom doing the business.

Perhaps the situation was forced upon him by Ousmane Dembele’s injury, because were the Frenchman fit then we would surely have seen him take his place on the right hand side of a front three.

As it was, his omission gave Malcom the chance to get some much-needed minutes under his belt and, hopefully, show the Catalans what he was capable of. Continue reading

Tottenham interested in Barcelona’s Malcom

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Tottenham are eyeing a move for Barcelona forward Malcom, according to media reports in Spain, with the reigning La Liga champions open to offers for the Brazilian.

The 21 year old signed from Bordeaux in the summer for a fee of €40 million, plus add ons, however injuries and the impressive form of French international Ousmane Dembele has restricted his first team opportunities so far in 2018-19.

Ernesto Valverde is now believed to be willing to listen to bids for the speedy attacker, although the club will be determined to see a financial return on their initial investment.

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Struggling Lazio Turn To Transfer Window To Change Fortunes

Following an inconsistent end to 2018, Lazio are aware reinforcements are needed if they are to achieve top four. After barely missing out on Europe’s elite competition last season on the final match-day against Inter, the biancocelesti will not let Champions League football and its lucrative rewards slip away on the second time of asking. With Roma and Milan both struggling with problems of their own, this year is as good as any for Simone Inzaghi’s side to make fourth place their own. Here are three players that Lazio have been reportedly interested in to bolster their stuttering roster.

As of late, Chelsea wingback Davide Zappacosta has been heavily linked with a move to Lazio, especially since finding himself on the outskirts of the first team under Maurizio Sarri. With Adam Marusic failing to hit last season’s highs, and with Patric and Dusan Basta barely challenging him, reinforcements out wide are necessary. For 13 million euros, Lazio will be getting a player familiar with the Italian game and more importantly, an ideal fit for Inzaghi’s system.

Throughout his time at Torino, Zappacosta thrived as a right wingback and established himself as a regular with the national team prompting Antonio Conte to bring him to London. After Conte’s departure, however, the fullback was deemed surplus to requirements due to Sarri’s different footballing philosophy and is in dire need in a change of scenery. Lazio could not only provide him that, but can also help him reach his former heights in a familiar environment.

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Barcelona keen on PSG star Adrien Rabiot

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La Liga leaders Barcelona have confirmed their interest in signing French international Adrien Rabiot from Ligue 1 side Paris Saint Germain.

The midfielder’s contract expires at the end of the 2018-19 season, and he is free to confirm terms with non French teams during the January transfer window, with a view to sealing a move in the summer.

His situation has become increasingly tense with the French giants, with widespread reports that he has been banned from the club’s dressing room on match days by the club’s hierarchy.

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Three players who could leave Barcelona in January

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There are just another few weeks remaining until the transfer window is open for business once again.

Noises have already been made from various players and clubs, some more subtle than others it must be said.

Most of the spadework on deals will have been done prior to January 1, 2019, with the nuts and bolts of any switch to be ironed out in good time after that date. Continue reading

Early La Liga fixtures favour Barcelona title defence

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Barcelona began their La Liga title defence with a 3-0 home win over Alaves last weekend, and they have a favourable run of games right up until mid-October.

Ernesto Valverde’s side won the domestic double last season, losing just one game in the La Liga season, and they look in strong form to win back-to-back titles for the first time since 2016.

The former Athletic Bilbao manager has focused on youth within his summer transfer policy, bringing in Arthur Melo and Malcom – alongside the experience of Arturo Vidal.

They are set to play a key role for the Catalan side this season, combined with their established superstars, and the early season run of games lends itself to a title push.

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Roma turn their attention to Steven Nzonzi after Malcom fiasco

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Roma were left standing at the alter last week as they lost out to Barcelona for the signature of Malcom. The Giallorossi were poised to welcome the Brazilian as were the fans, who were waiting at the airport for the player after they previously welcomed Robin Olsen, who arrived  just two hours before Malcom’s Continue reading

Serie A Weekly News Recap

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The Serie A roster stands as is after the judicial news of this week: Parma will start from -5, while Chievo avoided going to trial for a defect of form, but will likely face it soon. In the meantime, Crotone have asked to stop the start of the league because they could be re-admitted in lieu of the Flying Donkeys.

The new Milan ownership cleaned house, sacking the CEO Marco Fassone and the sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli. Leonardo returned as the new head of the technical area, while new executives for the business side of the club will be appointed at a later time. Continue reading

Robin Olsen: Monchi’s biggest risk to date

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It was rather expected newly unveiled Liverpool shot-stopper, Alisson, would leave Roma this summer, especially in the eyes of a world-record fee for a goalkeeper. Replacing the Brazilian was always going to be a difficult task after the sensational campaign he had this past season, though, Roma sporting director Continue reading

Round 38 – Ligue 1 player picks

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With an intriguing Ligue 1 season set to  draw to a close, we look at the players we believe could make an impact on the final round of games.

Anthony Lopes, Lyon – 63 points

Lopes has had a strong season over the 2017/18 campaign and he will be disappointed to have conceded three last time out.

The French-born Portuguese keeper will be hoping to add to a haul of 14 clean sheets across the campaign as his side target second place.

Kamil Glik, Monaco – 60 points

Glik has secured an impressive 13 clean sheets this season for a Monaco side that Continue reading