Real Betis President Speaks on Barcelona Interest in Star Man & Possible Return for Real Madrid Flop

?Real Betis have insisted that Barcelona have not made contact with them over star man Fabian Ruiz, according to reports in Spain.

President Angel Haro was quoted in ?Mundo Deportivo as he opened up about the possibility of selling the central midfielder to their La Liga rivals, and revealed that there were no plans in place to let Ruiz leave for Camp Nou.

Ruiz has bagged three goals and six assists from 32 appearances in all competitions for Betis this term, with the 22-year-old enjoying a breakthrough campaign for Balompie during the current campaign.

Real Betis v Barcelona - La Liga

That form is believed to have alerted the newly crowned Spanish top flight champions to his potential availability, but Haro claimed that their best player would be going nowhere.

He said: “There has been nothing from Barcelona with regards to Fabian recently, no. We want the player to be focused and we want him to continue in Betis because he is growing with Betis.”

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde requires a replacement for the legendary Andres Iniesta, ?who is set to leave Catalonia after two decades of first-team service for the only club he has played for.

Real Betis v Barcelona - La Liga

La Blaugrana would certainly have the funds to land Ruiz if they wished, but it is unclear if they think he can make the step up as of yet.

Meanwhile, Haro has also commented on reports linking Betis with a sensational swoop for Real Madrid misfit Dani Ceballos.

The midfielder joined Los Blancos over Barca last summer in a £16.5m deal but has only featured 21 times – scoring twice – for Zinedine Zidane’s team in his first season at Santiago Bernabeu.

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(You may also be interested in: ?Real Madrid Congratulate Fierce Rivals Barcelona on Domestic Double Despite Guard of Honour Stance)

Only eight of those have come from the start and rumours have suggested he could just depart Real after 12 months. Haro, however, revealed that it wasn’t in Betis’ monetary interests to bring Ceballos back to Estadio Benito Villamarin in the close season.

He said: “We haven’t spoken recently. In December there was a theme but first you have to finish the season. Today is not an option. 

“I would not like to bring in pure and hard players. We have to go for players who want to stay at the club and see if they wish to remain here and not join other teams.”


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‘I Want to Play More’: Barça Keeper Plunges Future Into Doubt Over Lack of Regular Game Time

?Jasper Cillessen has thrown his Barcelona future into doubt after the goalkeeper admitted he wanted to play more games.

The Netherlands international has become frustrated at playing second fiddle to first choice shot stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen at Camp Nou, and seemed to hint that he would look to move on if he wasn’t guaranteed more starts.

Speaking to Dutch news outlet Ziggo Sport, Cillessen was asked about his playing situation in Catalonia and he was honest in his answer to the query.

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The 29-year-old said: “I love this club, but I am a professional and want to play more than ten games in a season, it’s that simple. The management already knows that, but I also read that they do not want me to leave, because they are happy with my work.”

Cillessen did go on to placate any headlines about him wanting a transfer away from this season’s La Liga champions, however, as he insisted that he would not ‘go to war’ with Barca over wanting more game time under manager Ernesto Valverde.

He added: “I’m not a type of player who goes to war with clubs. I’ve been here at Barcelona for five years, and for now, I’m going to continue.”

?(You may also be interested in ?Barcelona Near Antoine Griezmann Dead After Meeting to Discuss Details of €100m Transfer)

Cillessen kept goal during La Blaugrana’s triumphant Copa del Rey run this season, keeping seven clean sheets during their nine-match run to lifting the trophy in the final over Sevilla with a 5-0 thrashing.

The ex-Ajax keeper has, however, only featured once more for Barca this season – the 2-0 dead rubber Champions League victory over Sporting back in December – as he waits for an opportunity to impress in Spain’s top flight.

Ter Stegen has managed to stay injury free for Barca all season long and prevent Cillessen from staking his claim for the starting berth in his side’s starting lineup. That has led to rumours of a possible departure to the likes of Liverpool, but nothing concrete on that front has been established.


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Frank Lampard Makes Bold Claim Regarding Philippe Coutinho Sale & Backs Reds to Make the UCL Final

Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard reckons Liverpool were right to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona earlier this year.

The Brazilian made the switch to the Camp Nou during the January transfer window, completing his dream move. And he has already won La Liga, as well as the Copa del Rey, with his new side.

The Reds, though, hardly look worse off and don’t seem to miss him at all. 

New Barcelona Signing Philippe Coutinho Unveiled

“?They obviously paid a lot for Virgil van Dijk but it was the perfect time to do that. They needed him and it came from the funds generated by Philippe Coutinho’s sale to Barcelona in January,” the Blues legend wrote in the ?Evening Standard.

When the whole Coutinho saga was going on, I felt it was the best option to let him go. He is a really good player but the figures were too big to ignore.

“They were a lop-sided squad — you could see they had a number of attacking players and they still have plenty now. But they needed to sort out the defence. They will now feel it was good business.I think that was another example of why Klopp is so good. He is not spontaneous — he really thinks about things and comes up with a plan.”

Ray Wilkins Memorial Service

(You may also be interested in: ?Liverpool Full Back Set to Miss UCL Meeting With Roma After Suffering Ankle Injury)

The ex-England international is also backing the Anfield side to complete their dismantling of Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday night. 

“It is another reason why I can’t see Roma overturning the 5-2 deficit in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tomorrow night,” he continued. “Yes, they did it against Barcelona in the last round, but Liverpool have the attacking talent to score at least once there.

“Roma will have to go forward to get themselves back in the tie. It just sits perfectly for Liverpool.

What Liverpool did in attack last week will be on the Roma players’ minds. It is going to be so hard for them to approach a game like that knowing you can’t afford to concede.”


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Real Madrid Congratulate Fierce Rivals Barcelona on Domestic Double Despite Guard of Honour Stance

?Real Madrid have congratulated fierce rivals Barcelona on their domestic double, after the Blaugrana were crowned as La Liga champions on Sunday following their 2-4 defeat of Deportivo. 

Barcelona headed to the Estadio Riazor in need of just a single point in order to secure a third La Liga title in four years, while Deportivo, on the other hand, knew that a loss would see them relegated to the Segunda division.

Strikes from Philippe Coutinho and Lionel Messi gave the visitors a 2-0 lead, but on loan Arsenal striker Lucas Perez halved the deficit just before half-time and Emre Colak equalised for hosts in the 64th minute. 

Messi then struck twice from close range in the final ten minutes, however, to both condemn Deportivo to the second division and secure a 25th La Liga title for Barcelona – who are still undefeated and could yet become the first ever invincible side in Spanish footballing history with just four games to go. 

The League title marked Barcelona’s second piece of silverware this season after they had previously triumphed in the Copa del Rey with a 5-0 thrashing of Sevilla in the final.

The Catalan giants were congratulated on their domestic double by rivals Real with the following tweet: “Congratulations to Barcelona for winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey this season.” 

Nevertheless, Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has confirmed that his team will n?ot give the newly crowned champions a guard of honour at the Camp Nou on Sunday: “What Zidane says is gospel. We’re making too much fuss out of all this. Barca have the title, which is what they wanted, but there will be no guard of honour full stop,” he was recently quoted as saying by Marca:


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Spanish Stars Disagree on Whether or Not Real Madrid Should Give Barcelona Guard of Honour

Barcelona clinched their 25th domestic league title on Sunday ?with a 4-2 victory away at Deportivo La Coruna, and the hosts even provided a guard of honour before the game for the new Copa del Rey champions.
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Next weekend it’s El Clasico, and there’s been a lot of talk about whether or not Barca’s bitter rivals Real Madrid will line up for them at the Nou Camp.

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If Los Blancos captain Sergio Ramos and his manager Zinedine Zidane have their way, then there will be no such sign of respect.
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Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s return Champions League leg with Bayern Munich, the Spaniard said, as quoted by ?Goal: “What [Zinedine] Zidane says is gospel.

“We’re making too much fuss about all this. Barca have the title, which is what they wanted, but there will be no guard of honour full stop. 

“They want to enjoy their title and the same for us and ours, we need to eliminate the Germans [Bayern Munich] and to reach another final [of the UEFA Champions League].”
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Barca full back ?Jordi Alba on the other hand, believes La Blaugrana should receive a guard of honour, as would usually be expected.

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He said, as quoted by ?AS: “It’s not a decision we take, everyone has respect for those who want to. The Club World Cup was a competition we didn’t play in. At the [Santiago] Bernabeu, in the league, we have previously performed a guard of honour. If they don’t want to give us a guard of honour it will be because it comes from upstairs.”
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The ‘upstairs’ Alba is referring to could mean club supremo Florentino Perez, who would surely hate to see his side honour their most bitter rivals for the sake of tradition.

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