Barcelona have reached an agreement with
Rogé claimed on Twitter that he has been informed of a private agreement between the two clubs and that Griezmann will “100%” become a Barca player next season.
Está cerrado, sí aunque obviamente ninguna de las dos partes lo confirmará. En @sport ya informamos del acuerdo privado que existe entre ambos y Griezmann será del Barça en verano 100% https://t.co/P0sxiZNDfS
— Albert Rogé (@albert_roge) February 25, 2018
Griezmann has been tipped to complete a transfer to Manchester United over the last few years but a move for the 26-year-old, following the Red Devils’ Europa League success, was halted due to a transfer ban in the Spanish capital.
Griezmann still remains a transfer target for the Manchester United hierarchy but the arrival of
José Mourinho is understood to have shortlisted three midfielders ahead of the summer transfer window, with a combination of poor form and players’ contracts expiring proving to be a cause for concern.
Long-term Premier League target Jorginho is believed to be on Mourinho’s radar, with the athletic
Five time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi has broken yet another record in his never ending catalogue of incomprehensible brilliance, after putting two goals past Girona on Saturday in Barcelona’s crushing 6-1 win.
It’s a bit of a routine for the Flea at this point. Having won everything he can in club football, Messi’s only way to better his CV anymore is by shattering records, which he seems to do every other week.
His latest of which comes as ?his goals against Girona this weekend have ensured that he has now scored league goals against more Spanish sides than any other player in history – 36 different victims in total – via Sport. This breaks the previously joint record of Messi, Aritz Aduriz and Raul; all three had previously scored against 35 different teams.
Now the fun part, breaking it all down.
The team that hate playing against Messi the most are undoubtedly Sevilla. The Argentinian has scored against them 23 times in 22 games; it’s almost expected that he finds the net in those matches at this point.
Following Sevilla are Athletic Club, who are almost just as bad. In 23 games Messi has netted 22 goals. This is jointly followed by Osasuna and Valencia, with Messi putting 21 past both sides. However, it’s important to note that the Barcelona wizard has only played Osasuna 17 times, compared to Valencia’s 23.
A little further down the list comes Real Madrid. In the decade that Messi has dominated La Liga, Los Blancos have been his most competitive rivals, but that hasn’t stopped him slotting 17 through the hands of greats such as Iker Casillas and Keylor Navas in a total 23 matches.
Pretty impressive stuff from the number 10. As the Blaugrana look set to capture La Liga, and Messi to claim this season’s golden boot, these accolades simply add to on hell of a list of achievements throughout the course of his career.
?Arsenal have received a massive boost in their pursuit of Lyon superstar Nabil Fekir, after Barcelona have reportedly withdrawn from the race to sign the French international.
As reported by the Mirror, Barcelona’s recent recruitment of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool and Arthur from Grêmio has seen their manager Erneste Valverde become content with his midfield options, and won’t pursue a move for the Lyon number ten in the summer. Arsenal are now thought to be in the deriving seat to sign Fekir, who has been in sensational form for his side this season.
The tenacious 24-year old has racked up an impressive 21 goals and seven assists from midfield across all competitions for Les Gones during the 2017/18 campaign – a run of form that his been pivotal in seeing his side maintain comfortable fourth-place standing in the table. Fekir has been hotly tipped to leave Lyon in the summer, as he looks to develop his career.
Wenger already has attacking playmakers Mesut Özil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan at his disposal, but could look to bring in Fekir to form a formidable front-three behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang next season. However, the Gunners could well miss out on Champions League qualification again this season, which could put the former Saint-Priest man off the move.
Meanwhile, ?Arsenal look set to see their pursuit of Bordeaux winger Malcom end in disappointment, as Bayern Munich are strongly rumoured to have moved ahead of both the Gunners and Spurs in their quest to sign the talented Brazilian. With both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery out of contract this summer, Bayern have earmarked Malcom as the ideal successor.
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?Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde admitted he still gets surprised by Lionel Messi’s extraordinary talents, after the Argentinian produced yet another ?blistering performance at the Nou Camp against Girona on Saturday night.
Despite his fellow forward Luis Suarez collecting a hat-trick, it was Messi who stole the show with a breathtaking display of poise, skill and guile.
And, as reported by ?Marca, Valverde conceded in his post-match press conference that he could still be awestruck by the magician. He explained: “Leo [Messi] makes things appear easy, but they aren’t easy.
“It’s hard to judge a performance like this. Just when you think you’ve seen everything from a player, he goes and surprises you once more.
“We are always waiting to see just how he will raise the bar next.”
Aside from Messi’s performance, there were also promising signs from the still acclimatising duo of Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, and both made significant contributions to the victory with a goal and assist respectively, although the Frenchman showed his rust at times.
Speaking on the pair, the 54 year old declared: “Both are players who we have extremely high hopes for. Coutinho plays well in the midfield and scored a fantastic shot.
“Dembele has more depth, he’s raw and is still very young. His injuries meant he skipped an adaptation period so he still needs to work.”
Despite the resounding scoreline, the former Athletic Bilbao boss was also quick to stress the part Girona played in the affair, especially in the opening exchanges when they pressed the home side impressively.
He admitted: “In the first match we looked at their style, when they push up they leave a lot of players forward. It’s a risk and when they go past that line and it’s inevitable that we’d get more chances.
“Obviously we assessed their qualities, as every team has weapons and an ability to hurt you.”
The La Liga leaders next action will be against Las Palmas on Thursday night, before the crunch clash with Atletico Madrid on the following Sunday.
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?Barcelona could be without Gerard Pique and Nelson Semedo for the upcoming clash with Chelsea after both were forced off with injuries during ?Sunday’s 6-1 La Liga win over Girona.
The former was replaced just after the hour mark by Thomas Vermaelen having been treated on the pitch.
Semedo, meanwhile, was forced off late in the game, by which point coach Ernesto Valverde had made all three of his substitutions.
The full-back appeared to be clutching his hamstring, although the extent of the injury remains to be seen.
No verdict has yet been given on Pique, who played the game wearing knee strapping which suggested at fitness problems.
Barcelona host Chelsea in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash next month, with the tie currently level at 1-1.
The Blaugrana are next in action on Thursday with a trip to lowly Las Palmas in La Liga.
They comfortably overcame Girona at the Nou Camp on Sunday thanks to a hat-trick from Luis Suarez and a brace from Lionel Messi. Philippe Coutinho was also on the scoresheet with an impressive long-range strike.
“It’s been an important week,” coach Ernesto Valverde said. “Girona came in from a great run of form. We started badly, but luckily we replied quickly. They pressed up high, and as soon as we surpassed that early pressure, we had chances to score.
“Messi? It’s hard to get used to the things he does. Just when you think you’ve seen everything from Messi, he surprises you, like his free kick, which looked easy but was very difficult to execute.
“He’s a player who has and feels responsibility towards the team, and he assumed it when we were faced with their early pressure.”
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