?Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi has revealed he will miss tonight’s clash with Malaga due to the birth of his third child.
Messi took to Instagram to express his delight following the news of the birth of his son, Ciro.
News broke today that ?Messi would miss Barcelona’s game against Celta Vigo this evening due to ‘personal reasons’, although the Argentine has now revealed his reason for his absence.
As a result of his absence, Colombian centre-back Yerry Mina has replaced Messi in the Catalan side’s squad for this evening.
[LAST MINUTE] Change to the squad. Messi is out for personal reasons and Yerry Mina takes his place
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 10, 2018
The absence of Messi will be missed, who currently the top goalscorer and assist provider in La Liga this season.
Despite not having Messi, Ernesto Valverde’s side have a great chance to open up an 11 point lead over Atletico Madrid should they win the game against Malaga this evening.
Both Liverpool and Arsenal are preparing to swoop for Barcelona starlet Joel Lopez, according to Spanish publication Sport.
The report claims that the Premier League duo are taking a keen interest in the 14-year-old full-back and will look to prise him away from La Masia in the summer.
Although there is currently no clear favourite in the race to sign the youngster, Arsenal have a history of poaching playing from Barcelona’s La Masia academy having previously snapped up Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin.
Lopez joined the Benjamin B (U8s) side from Vila Olimpica and has progressed through the ranks to a Cadeta A full-back (U16s). He is yet to sign a renewal with the Catalan club, however, and it appears unlikely that he will remain on the South Coast.
Nevertheless, Barcelona will try and convince the youngster to remain but are not desperate, with the left-back position considered to be well covered by Marc Cucurella and Juan Miranda in the age groups above.
Barcelona lost another of their prodigies in January when Sergio Gomez surprisingly opted to join Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund. Gomez, who was highly regarded of at La Masia, was thought to be unhappy with the lack of defined pathway into the senior team and left after contract renewal negotiations broke down.
Since Gomez left, Barcelona have been working on preventing a similar scenario from reoccurring with various representatives phoning parents of the players whose contracts are close to expiring to inform them of their offers.
?Barcelona have reportedly been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of Antoine Griezmann after Atletico Madrid assured the striker that they were willing to match any offer the La Liga leaders tabled.
The France international has long been tipped to leave Atletico with Barcelona said to be the front runners after
Barcelona were reportedly prepared to make a move for the striker – who has scored 20 goals this season – in January but as speculation reached fever pitch the club was forced to ?release a statement insisting that they would not table a bid for Griezmann after Atletico reported the club to UEFA.
With the summer transfer window nearing, Spanish journalist Pipi Estrada told ?El Chiringuito TV that Atletico’s chief executive,
Estrada said: “Gil Marin has told Griezmann that they can offer him the same as Barca and has given him a rush.
“Griezmann has had a meeting with Gil Martin in which the conditions were laid out.”
The 26-year-old is said to be settled at Atletico with his family and the club will be hoping their tactic pays off and forces Barcelona to look elsewhere for a new attacking option in the summer.
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?Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez has been ruled out of action for up to 20 days with a groin injury, as reported by ?Sport.
The 24-year-old sustained the injury whilst playing against Espanyol on Thursday in the Catalan Super Cup at Lleida.
The star left the field of play after 43 minutes along with Espanyol’s Didac Vila, who was also injured in the tangle.
It will be a frustrating period for Suarez, who hasn’t appeared for the first team since January’s game with Espanyol in the Copa del Rey.
At the moment, Andres Iniesta is touch and go to face Chelsea in the Champions League having only just returned from injury, and new signing Philippe Coutinho cannot feature in the competition due to having played for Liverpool before his move to the Nou Camp.
Suarez is finding opportunities hard to come by for the runaway La Liga leaders, and did not need his latest injury with an opening looking like fit may have finally appeared.
Since re-joining Barca in 2016 Suarez has made 37 league appearances, 26 of which came last season.
Now he is out for at least a fortnight he may harbour concerns about his future at the Nou Camp, especially with ?speculation increasing that the club are set to sign Gremio youngster Arthur this summer.
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Watford are mulling over the permanent signing of Spanish utility man Gerard Deulofeu, according to reports in Spain.
The 23-year-old, who previously spent time in the Premier League playing with Everton – both on loan and on a permanent deal – joined the Hornets last month on loan from Barcelona. He has been quite impressive since his move from Spain and, according to Mundo Deportivo, is being considered for permanent placement at Vicarage Road.
Unfortunately I will be out from the pitch for some time but I will work very hard everyday in order to be back and ready to play. Thank you for all the support.
Desafortunadamente estaré fuera un tiempo pero trabajaré muy duro para volver pronto a jugar. Gracias por el apoyo. ? pic.twitter.com/G7Em9tfjev
— Gerard Deulofeu (@gerardeulofeu) February 27, 2018
The Spanish publication claim that the Premier League outfit have outlined plans to discuss a move for the player, who can operate both as a striker and on the flanks, in the summer. But they are expecting a bit of difficulty as there is still a year and some months left on his contract and they may have to pay his £20m release clause in full.
At the moment, though, Deulofeu, understood to be a huge favourite of manager Javi Garcia, is out with an injury, having hurt his ankle in a 1-0 win against Everton late last month.