?Coming off the back of a 2-0 win against Villarreal at the Estadio de la Ceramica, Barcelona will be keen to continue their fine form that has seen them go undefeated in La Liga, dropping points only thrice as the halfway point of the season draws near.
In contrast to the good form of the Blaugrana, Deportivo are currently struggling to sty afloat in the league this season, sitting in 17th, only three points clear of the relegation zone.
However, after beating Leganes last week, the
?Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti has joked about who he wants to see join the Nerazzurri in the January transfer window.
Inter are currently undefeated in Serie A, topping the table ahead of intense competition from the likes of Napoli, Juventus, Roma and Lazio. However, it has been suggested that the Milan outfit will need to sign a couple of new players in January in order to maintain their momentum in the league.
“I think we have to be careful in the transfer market,” Spalletti said, as reported by ?Football Italia.
“Creating the expectations that you [the media] created before the start of the season, and the lack of faith because of the names who did come in isn’t good for the fans, the players or Inter. Above all it’s about results.
“If you ask me who I want then I’ll tell you. Here are three names I’d like: Sergio Ramos, [Andres] Iniesta and [Alexis] Sanchez. Get to work on those, OK? Otherwise start again with the phone calls. We need to give those who have taken Inter to where are now the respect they deserve.”
Inter have dropped only eight points from a possible 48 so far in Serie A seeing them surge unexpectedly to the top of the table and put themselves in contentions for their first Scudetto since 2010, despite finishing seventh last season.
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?After completing his mammoth
Diego Maradona Claims He Would’ve Won More Ballon d’Or Titles Than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo
“Who else deserves it? Maybe [Edinson] Cavani, [Kylian] Mbappe, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, but I don’t know. There were more [contenders] before.
When asked about the ineligibility rules in place during his playing career, Maradona replied: “No, no…I’d have more than Ronaldo and Messi.”
The Argentine also rebuffed Ronaldo’s recent claims that he is the best player the world has ever seen, but did reveal some admiration for the Real Madrid star.
Pele: “I’m the best of all time.”
Diego Maradona: “I’m the best of all time.”
Cristiano Ronaldo: “I’m the best of all time.”
Lionel Messi: “I just want to win titles with my teams.”
Spot the difference.
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) December 8, 2017
“Ronaldo said he is the best ever? Tell him to stop talking nonsense!” added the 1986 World Cup winner.
“The best? For me…From what little I saw of them, Alfredo Di Stéfano, [Johan] Cruyff…and Messi, but it can be Cristiano too.
“Another thing that I like about Cristiano Ronaldo is that when the team need him, he delivers. There haven’t been many players since Cruyff with that quality.”
?Barcelona are monitoring the situation of Villarreal man Alfonso Pedraza, according to reports.
21-year-old winger Pedraza in particular is something of a shock target for Ernesto Valverde’s table-topping side, after having made 14 league appearances for Championship Leeds United on loan in the second half of last season.
He is currently out on loan again, this time at Alaves where he has fifteen appearances in all competitions this season.
According to ?IBTimes, Barcelona are looking at the versatile wide man, whose contract runs until 2022, as potential transfer target.
The report claims that Pedreza has a €20m release clause in his contracts, though that number are unlikely to phase the financial muscle of Barcelona.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have targeted both Spanish Under-21 international Rodrigo Hernandez, known as Rodri and winger Alfonso Pedraza playing for Deportivo Alavés as a loanee
— The Sportz Zone (@SportzGlobal) December 13, 2017
Pedraza has been mooted as a possible long term replacement for Jordi Alba, after being deployed by Alaves at left back for much of this season.
He has drawn comparisons with Gareth Bale and Denis Cheryshev for attacking style and goal threat.
It is also suggested that Barcelona could face competition for Pedraza, with both Newcastle and Southampton having been linked with the Spaniard in the summer, with Rafael Benitez still thought to be interested in the left sided player.