Barcelona have pulled out all the stops to make life as easy as possible for young winger Ousmane Dembélé.
A report from Spanish outlet ?Mundo Deportivo says that they have put measures in place to help the youngster, and they say that everybody at the club is supportive of him.
Dembélé has the backing of his teammates, coaches, sporting executives and the board of directors at the club.
The young Frenchman has suffered from three major setbacks in a short space of time. Firstly, his desire to leave Dortmund for Barcelona caused tension between the two clubs, leaving him stuck in the middle of a conflict between two clubs.
Secondly, he picked up a serious injury after joining Barcelona and had to undergo surgery in Finland. Most recently, the 20-year-old suffered from nervousness and stress following his injury, not helped by his large price tag and ‘Neymar replacement’ la
Last Sunday, ?Dembélé returned to first team action by making a substitute appearance in a 0-0 draw with Getafe. He was unable to affect the game and was only heavily involved in one passage of attacking play.
Friends and colleagues of Dembele have identified that things are weighing him down, and are keen to help him.
Barcelona have put measures in place to make his life as easy as possible, by hiring a chef (to ensure a balanced diet) and security employee for his home, as well as sending doctors and physios out to him on home visits.
We have been saying it all year: Arthur will be the next great Brazilian midfielder. With performances like the one he just had in the Libertadores final, it is no surprise that Barcelona are so heavily linked with him. https://t.co/c4vgvlq7i0
— EiF (@EiFSoccer) December 1, 2017
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Argentina football federation president Claudio Tapia has admitted asking Lionel Messi to play less for Barcelona ahead of this year’s World Cup.
The diminutive star is Barcelona’s most indispensable attacking option and has been for more than a decade, yet Tapia has asked that the player make himself less available in the name of international glory, something that has continued to elude him all of his career.
Messi famously retired from international football after successive final failings in both the World Cup and Copa America but has since made a U-turn after being convinced to return to the fold.
“I hope that all the players will have the same form that they are in at the moment,” Tapia said, via Spanish outlet Marca.
“Sergio Aguero is playing fantastically and Lionel Messi is always strong.
(You may also be interested in: ?Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho Could Be Set to ‘Become Portuguese’ to Aid Club Transfer Business)
“This is important for the coaches and directors, we spoke with Messi for him to look after himself and play less at Barcelona.”
The president also revealed having received an offer to play a friendly against Catalonia, in Barcelona, at the end of the season and suggested that it was being considered.
“Jorge (Sampaoli) said that it would be a good idea on a football level and for us it would also be important economically.”
?Brazilian international, Philippe Coutinho could be returning to Anfield only five months after leaving Liverpool for Barcelona, reports ?Daily Mail.
It is claimed that Coutinho’s native Brazil are close to securing a World Cup warm-up game with Croatia to be played at Anfield.
25-year-old Coutinho moved to Spain in January after pushing for ?Liverpool to let him go since the summer, but could now be back on Merseyside sooner than he would have thought.
The Brazilian football federation are in talks with Croatia over a game to be played between the two sides on June 3rd, claims ?Liverpool Echo.
Brazil have often chosen Europe to host their international friendlies, and England has been a popular destination in recent years. The South American side have played a few times at The Emirates, but this time Anfield looks to be the desired venue.
Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren will be expected to feature in the international friendly for his native Croatia. And it has been claimed Lovren played a part in the selection of setting, wishing for it to take place on familiar territory.
With Coutinho, PSG star Neymar, as well as Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino, all set to take part for Brazil, this attractive World Cup warm-up game could easily be a sell-out.
However, it will be interesting to see how the Anfield faithful would respond to their former midfielder being back so soon. Will the betrayal still be too fresh? Or will the efforts he made while at the club be celebrated?
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?Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho could be set to secure Portuguese citizenship, in order to free up an extra squad place for non-EU players at his new club.
The 25-year-old finally completed his move to the Nou Camp from Liverpool in January for an eventual fee of an £145m, and the midfielder is beginning to settle in to proceedings after shaking off an injury.
He will be hoping to help Barca maintain their high standards from now until the end of the season to deliver the league title and then it’ll be on to the World Cup in Russia, but after that, things could be about to change regarding the player’s citizenship.
The star is about to begin the process of obtaining a Portuguese passport, which he is eligible for through being married to his wife Aine – he revealed to ?Mundo Deportivo.
To secure a Portuguese passport, one has to have been married to their partner for at least three years – Coutinho has been married to Aine since 2012, meaning he could have done this during his time at Liverpool.
The Reds never had any need to instruct the player to seek dual citizenship though, whereas Barca want Coutinho off their list of ‘extra-community positions’ (also currently occupied by Yerry Mina and Paulinho) so they have a free space for a potential incoming player from a country outside the European Union.
The Spanish giants ?have recently been linked with a move for Gremio youngster Arthur, which could be their reason for wanting Coutinho to secure a Portuguese passport, which would not result in a switch in allegiance from the Brazil national team to Portugal.
It is not the first time Barca have used the loophole – the club implored Luis Suarez to obtain an Italian passport in 2014 thanks to his wife Sofia Balbi.
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