Barça players to wear 'Barcelona'

Barça players to wear 'Barcelona'

The Catalan giants will pay tribute to the victims of the terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils on Sunday against Betis. They will also wear #TotsSomBarcelona, #WeAreAllBarcelona.

Every Barça player will wear 'Barcelona' on the back of their shirt instead of their name this Sunday, in their opening LaLiga fixture against Real Betis at the Camp Nou (20:15 CEST), in tribute to the victims of Thursdays terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils.

Barcelona request to pay tribute to the victims

According to a statement from the club, this homage is possible thanks to a request from the club which was exceptionally approved by the Spanish Football Federation.

The players will also wear the phrase #TotsSomBarcelona, #WeAreAllBarcelona, on the front of their shirts, a move that was authorised by LaLiga. The slogan will be placed between the club badge and the logo of the kit manufacturer.  

Minute's silence in LaLiga for the victims of the Barcelona terror attacks

As at all LaLiga games this weekend, a minute's silence will be held for the victims before the game. The Barcelona players will also all wear a black armband


Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho claims that Antonio Conte can have no excuses over summer transfer business

The Italian sold Nemanja Matic to the Red Devils for £40million, and the Portuguese manager has no sympathy for his former side

Chelsea boss Conte mourned the loss of Nemanja Matic to bitter rival Mourinho’s Manchester United.

But Mourinho fumed: “When you sell and you keep buying, then what’s the problem? You are probably stronger.

“The problem is when you sell and you don’t buy. People say Chelsea lost an important midfield player. But if you lose one and then you buy Bakayoko and Drinkwater for example, what’s the problem?”

Costa has spent the £40million from Matic on Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco and is keen on a deal for Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater.

Conte also splashed an initial £58m on Spain ace Alvaro Morata and £31m on Germany defender Antonio Rudiger.

Yet Conte insists he still needs more players to mount a title defence.

And ahead of United’s visit to Swansea today, Mourinho insists Conte must not hide behind problems in the transfer market.

Romelu Lukaku has transformed the way Manchester United play this season after replacing Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The Red Devils haven't had to change the way they play football, but the former Everton striker stretches the defence - creating gaps for the midfielder's

MANCHESTER UNITED have transformed the way they play this season – and all they did was change their No 9.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was an inspired signing this time last year, scoring 17 goals in 28 Premier League games and becoming the focal point of the attack.

When Zlatan played, United’s system was a 4-1-4-1 and Graphic A shows the players’ average positions when United beat Saturday’s opponents Swansea 3-1 back in November.

The Swede is the type of No 9 who favours dropping deep to receive the ball – yet the positions of Wayne Rooney (No 10), Juan Mata (No 8) and Paul Pogba (No 6) are so close to Zlatan that, at times, it was tough for the midfielders to dictate play.

And United’s reliance on Zlatan to score goals was unbelievable – Mata’s six was the next best behind Ibrahimovic while Pogba, Rashford and Rooney got five each.

If Zlatan didn’t score, United usually didn’t win.

With Zlatan gone, the spotlight is now on Romelu Lukaku. The big, bruising Belgian is a different type of No 9 and it is already obvious the dynamics have changed.

Graphic B shows the players’ average positions during last week’s 4-0 rout of West Ham.

Liverpool reject a new offer of 125 million for Coutinho

Barcelona continue to be frustrated in their pursuit of Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho as the Premier League side have rejected another bid of 125 million euros for the Brazilian.

The Reds already turned down 100 million for the playmaker and now the full extent of their resistance is being shown with this new offer according to Goal being also discarded.

Meanwhile, the player is still absent from training with the club citing an alleged injury but rumours are rife that he is refusing as he tries to push through a move to the Camp Nou.

Meanwhile, the player is still absent from training with the club citing an alleged injury but rumours are rife that he is refusing as he tries to push through a move to the Camp Nou.

James Rodriguez earns 6.5 million net a season at Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich winger James Rodriguez earns 6.5 million euros a season following his two-year loan move from Real Madrid according to information from Football Leaks that has been published by Der Spiegel.

It means that he receives 541,670 euros net a month and is one of the best paid players at the Bavarian club.

James will also receive net payments of 250,000 euros if he scores over 12 goals a season and another 250,000 euros if he provides at least 20 assists.

Along with this, Bayern have agreed to pay all social security contributions and taxes for anybody who accompanies James in Germany.

James' transfer saw Bayern agree to pay Real 13 million euros with the option to give the money in two instalments with the first arriving before September 15th.

At the end of the loan spell, if Real want to sign the player then they must pay 42 million euros to Real and another two million euros to agent Jorge Mendes' company Gestifute.

Dembele behaviour criticised by Dortmund teammates

Borussia Dortmund striker Ousmane Dembele has been criticised by his teammates including Gonzalo Castro for not training as he tries to force through a move to Barcelona.

"We will sort this out behinds closed doors," said Castro.

"But we must say clearly that this cannot happen and that his behaviour is bad for the team.

"If a player can say 'as another team wants me I won't train any more', that is terrible for football."

It was a view also expressed by fellow defender Sokratis according to Kicker.

"Ousmane is a young kid but he needs to realise that no one player is bigger than the team. We all need to understand that we need to work for the team," he said.

There appears to be a complete deadlock in the negotiations between Barcelona and the German club while Dembele has not appeared publicly since last Thursday and is suspended for refusing to train.

"I am worried about what is happening at Dortmund," says club legend Matthias Sammer.

"The great strength of this club, the family spirit, the sense of belonging and charisma, is under threat."

Kovacic is the Casemiro alternative Zidane was looking for all along

Continuity was the cry. As far as Zinedine Zidane was concerned, he could have happily approached the new season with the same squad as the last. He was more right than he realised.

One of the few areas that Real Madrid had marked for improvement was the defensive midfield spot. Casemiro had no back-up, was the consensus. A solution was quick and easy, as Marcos Llorente was returned from a strong loan spell at Alaves.

It has already proved to be a solution that was too simplistic to be true.

Because, at Los Blancos, the squad is so packed with talent that there is always one other ready to spark up and provide a selection headache for the coach.

This time, that man is Mateo Kovacic.

Picked alongside the Brazilian in the Supercopa de Espana first leg, Kovacic was then given the anchor man role in the return match and emerged with a clean sheet to his name, albeit due to some scruffy Barcelona finishing.

In one respect, the Croatian has the work rate and style of his compatriot Luka Modric, the man with which comparisons are most often made, however he has the additional physicality needed to battle for the ball in defensive areas.

With a growing repertoire of big match performances under his belt, Kovacic is clearly earning his boss' trust and, of course, the reality is that he'll be required more in LaLiga cruises past Leganes and Levante than the big European nights featuring the likes of Liverpool and Leipzig.

And that would suit the former Inter man just fine, as his forward venturing abilities is less likely to be exposed by the lesser sides.

The man left out in this equation is Llorente. Yet to get a sniff at the first-team, the La Fabrica product must be patient just as Kovacic has been and be prepared for a season or two on the fringes.

Luckily for Llorente, he's Spanish, and that may be a key factor in being fast tracked towards the team.

Although, if that's at the expense of the newfound alternative to Casemiro, one would have to wonder if Real Madrid would be better off not rocking the boat.

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