Callum Hudson-Odoi set to agree new £100,000-a-week Chelsea contract


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• Teenager commits future with five-year deal
• Chelsea beat Barcelona 2-1 in JapanCallum Hudson-Odoi is set to sign a new five-year contract at Chelsea, curtailing Bayern Munich’s protracted pursuit of his services, and will join Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount in committing his long-term future to the London club.

The teenager, who earned his first international caps in Gareth Southgate’s senior squad earlier this year, had been keen on a move to the Bundesliga club in January having grown frustrated at a perceived lack of opportunities under Maurizio Sarri.

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Carles Puyol: ‘La Masia was like the Scouts, 40 boys sharing four rooms’


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The Spanish defender talks about Barcelona, how football became his cure and clears up rumours of liking Napalm Death

Hi Carles. Hi Small Talk.

We’re talking to you because of yoghurt, why don’t you tell us a bit about that? I am very proud to be an ambassador for the Danone Nations Cup, one of the best tournaments out there for U12s to play football. It takes place at a local level in 27 countries and the final will be played in Barcelona in October.

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Antoine Griezmann’s move to Barcelona was a year in the making


This post is by Sid Lowe from Football | The Guardian


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Atlético Madrid are not happy, even with €120m, and there are doubts that the Frenchman will fit in with Messi and SuárezThe moment of Antoine Griezmann’s departure to Barcelona was broadcast live on television, 393 days after the Frenchman announced his decision to turn down Barcelona and stay at Atlético Madrid in a TV documentary. It had just gone 1pm on Friday when his legal representative arrived at the headquarters of La Liga wheeling a silver suitcase into the building, where he deposited the €120m (£107.6m) buyout clause that releases the striker from his contract, five years after his arrival. Barcelona confirmed the transfer two hours later.

Griezmann’s new deal will run for five years and contains a buyout clause – a legal stipulation in Spain – worth €800m. For all the twists in the plot, the crossed words and accusations, this signing had been set up from Continue reading “Antoine Griezmann’s move to Barcelona was a year in the making”

Barcelona sign Antoine Griezmann and make buyout clause €800m


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  • Spanish champions met France forward’s €120m buyout clause
  • 28-year-old will sign five-year-contract at the Camp Nou

Antoine Griezmann has joined Barcelona from Atlético Madrid after
the Catalan club announced they had paid his €120m (£107.6m) buyout fee.

Related: Barcelona sign England Under-16 striker Louie Barry from West Brom

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Barcelona sign England Under-16 striker Louie Barry from West Brom


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• Barry will be part of Barcelona’s Under-19 squad
• West Brom receive £235,000 in compensationBarcelona have beaten Paris St-Germain to the signing from West Bromwich Albion of one of England’s brightest talents in the 16-year-old striker Louie Barry.

Barry reportedly had a medical with PSG before Barcelona stepped in at the last minute and convinced him to join the ranks at La Masia, the club’s famed academy.

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Football transfer rumours: Diego Costa heading for Everton?


This post is by John Brewin from Football | The Guardian


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Today’s gossip came from the foot of our stairs

Arsenal are not giving up on signing Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace. As well as that derisory/prudent £40m initial bid for the winger, they are prepared to offer three players they value as worth another £40m into the deal. Calum Chambers, Mohamed Elneny and Carl Jenkinson may be running out at the Selhurst Colosseum if a deal now worth £80m in book value goes through. Palace, meanwhile, would prefer £70m straight out if they are to lose their Ivorian jewel.

Diego Costa back in the Premier League just as VAR comes in? Marco Silva wants the striker, who is surplus to requirements at Atlético Madrid, to be part of his Everton revolution, though director of football Marcel Brands is resistant to the arrival of a player as old as 30. Juventus’ Moise Kean, 19, and Lille’s Nicolas Pépé, Continue reading “Football transfer rumours: Diego Costa heading for Everton?”

How Neymar’s PSG dream soured to leave a split looking certain | Darren Tulett


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Move was meant to lead PSG to Champions League glory and Neymar to the Ballon d’Or. Now a messy divorce beckonsThis wasn’t how the scenario was supposed to play out. Neither for Paris Saint-Germain, nor for Neymar. When the French club brought the Brazilian superstar to Ligue 1 for a world record transfer fee two years ago, each of the actors had their own storyline in mind.

For PSG, grabbing Neymar from rivals Barcelona showed intent. Here was a powerful statement. Not only were PSG not a selling club – they had previously resisted overtures from Barcelona for the Italian midfielder Marco Verratti – now here they were signing one of the most exciting talents on the planet and, moreover, tempting him away from one of European football’s powerhouses. Neymar would be the final piece in an expensively assembled jigsaw (the 18 year-old Kylian Mbappé would join PSG shortly Continue reading “How Neymar’s PSG dream soured to leave a split looking certain | Darren Tulett”

Atlético Madrid open disciplinary proceedings against Antoine Griezmann


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• France forward fails to show up for pre-season training
• Atlético are demanding Barcelona pay €120m fee up front

Atlético Madrid have opened disciplinary proceedings against Antoine Griezmann that could result in a fine after he failed to turn up for training.

Griezmann is awaiting a move to Barcelona and the battle between the clubs and the player is growing increasingly bitter. The France forward did not show up at the club’s Majadahonda headquarters on Sunday evening and did not travel with the rest of the squad to San Rafael de los Angeles northwest of the Spanish capital.

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Atlético Madrid accuse Barcelona and Griezmann of agreeing deal in March


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  • Atlético hit out at ‘disrespect’ shown by club and player
  • French forward ordered to report for pre-season training

Atlético Madrid have accused Antoine Griezmann and Barcelona of showing them a lack of respect by agreeing a move in March. The La Liga side have also ordered the French forward to report for pre-season training.

In a strongly-worded statement on their official website, Atlético claimed that Griezmann and Barcelona began discussing a move to the Camp Nou as early as February. The club also claim that the two parties agreed a deal in March.

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After years in the wilderness, can Barcelona save the House of Neymar? | Barney Ronay


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Brazil forward is still racking up the goals but he looks like more of a co-opted corporate machine than a footballer these daysFor English nobles during the reign of Henry VIII the news that the king was coming to visit was a sure sign of impending ruin. In return for the honour of his company you could expect to see your house, farmland and local sewerage system trashed, pillaged and fatally bunged up, the royal party only moving on once all in its sights had been safely devastated.

During one nationwide procession in 1541 Henry stopped briefly at Hatfield and in the course of a “spectacular hunt” murdered 200 deer, a company of swans, two boats-full of assorted river birds and a trawler’s worth of fish. So yeah, cheers for that. Now, on my braves. We ride to Welwyn Garden City! It’s almost lunchtime.

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André Gomes insists lofty European ambitions for Everton are realistic


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• ‘I seriously think we can achieve big goals’ says Gomes
• Portuguese has signed five-year contract at Goodison Park

André Gomes has said he wants to lead Everton’s attempt to challenge the top six having regained the confidence and enjoyment that he lost at Barcelona.

Related: Gianluigi Buffon returns to Juventus in ‘confirmation that life is incredible’

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André Gomes insists lofty European ambitions for Everton are realistic


This post is by Andy Hunter from Football | The Guardian


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• ‘I seriously think we can achieve big goals’ says Gomes
• Portuguese has signed five-year contract at Goodison Park

André Gomes has said he wants to lead Everton’s attempt to challenge the top six having regained the confidence and enjoyment that he lost at Barcelona.

Related: Gianluigi Buffon returns to Juventus in ‘confirmation that life is incredible’

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Everton set to land £22m Gomes but Burnley hit by Heaton contract blow


This post is by Andy Hunter and Dominic Fifield from Football | The Guardian


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• Barcelona midfielder André Gomes close to Everton transfer
• Goalkeeper Tom Heaton rejects new contract at Turf MoorEverton are close to the permanent signing of André Gomes after agreeing a fee of £22m plus add-ons for the Barcelona midfielder.

Gomes enjoyed a successful loan last season at Goodison Park, where regular first-team football and a healthy relationship with the manager, Marco Silva, helped to rejuvenate a career that had stalled.

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How Real Madrid snatched Takefusa Kubo from under the noses of Barcelona


This post is by Sid Lowe from Football | The Guardian


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The Japanese prodigy is one of a new generation of players who have been scooped up by Real MadridTakefusa Kubo joined Barcelona when he was 10, spent four years at the club and was singled out as a future star but that future now belongs to their greatest rivals after Real Madrid announced the signing of the Japan international.

Just 18, Kubo was forced to leave Barça in 2015 after the club was investigated for breaking Fifa regulations on signing young players, returning to Japan and joining FC Tokyo’s youth system. Barcelona had hoped to bring the attacking midfielder back when he came of age but instead it is Madrid who have agreed a €2m deal with Tokyo and handed Kubo a six-year contract believed to be worth €1m a season. He will initially join the club’s B team, Castilla, but the plan is he will be incorporated into Continue reading “How Real Madrid snatched Takefusa Kubo from under the noses of Barcelona”

Denis Suárez on his time at Arsenal: ‘From day 16 I wasn’t even at 50%’


This post is by Sid Lowe in Madrid from Football | The Guardian


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• I trained with medication but didn’t feel right, midfielder says
• Suárez wants to leave Barcelona but return to La LigaDenis Suárez has described 2018-2019 as a year “to forget” and said he was only ever half-fit at Arsenal due to a pelvic injury. The Spanish midfielder also insists that he has no intention of continuing at Barcelona, where he still has two years left on his contract, but does not want to play in the Premier League again and prefers to remain in La Liga. Valencia have shown the greatest interest in signing him.

Related: Mesut Özil and Unai Emery clearly do not have a connection. But will Arsenal act? | Amy Lawrence

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Football transfer rumours: João Cancelo to Manchester City?


This post is by Barry Glendenning from Football | The Guardian


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Today’s tell-all is ruing another international semi-final defeat

One of several England defenders who failed to impress against the Netherlands last night, Kyle Walker may be disheartened to learn Manchester City are hitching their skirts at Juventus right-back, João Cancelo. Bought from Real Madrid for £26m, Danilo is expected to leave the Etihad this summer and City are reported to have rejected a £13m bid from Inter for the Brazilian. With Juve also believed to be interested in the full-back, a player-plus-cash deal could be in the offing.

One man who had a more enjoyable evening in Guimaraes was Matthijs de Ligt, who has been consistently linked with a move to Barcelona but is now being tipped to join Paris Saint-Germain. With Leonardo due to return to his former role as sporting director with the French champions, ESPN say the Brazilian has been in constant contact with Mino Raiola, Continue reading “Football transfer rumours: João Cancelo to Manchester City?”

West Ham bid £20m for Barcelona’s André Gomes but fear Everton interest


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Daniele Massaro: ‘The Marseille defeat filled us with grief. But we came back’


This post is by Daniele Massaro from Football | The Guardian


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Like Liverpool, my Milan side lost a Champions League final but made it back the next year – the problem was we were facing Cruyff’s BarcelonaIn the 1993 Champions League final my Milan team faced Marseille. We were the favourites but lost. The following year we were back in the final to face Barcelona, looking for revenge. So in that respect we were in a similar situation to the one Liverpool are this Saturday, hoping to make amends after the disappointment of the previous year.

Losing against Marseille was a bitter blow and I’ve had my boots ready to replay that final ever since then. If someone said right now: “Would you play a rematch against Marseille now,” I would do it. That defeat wounded me like few other things in my life.

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Football transfer rumours: Roberto Martínez to take over at Barcelona?


This post is by Barry Glendenning from Football | The Guardian


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Today’s tittle-tattle is gonna take a little time

Following Barcelona’s defeat at the hands of Valencia in last weekend’s Copa del Rey final, the future of Ernesto Valverde is in doubt – and Catalan radio station RAC1 have identified the Belgium manager, Roberto Martínez, as the favourite to succeed him. Signed for both Wigan and Everton by Martínez, jokes about James McCarthy replacing Sergio Busquets at the Camp Nou are already doing the rounds. The Everton midfielder might not get his dream move if one of Unai Emery, Ronald Koeman or Max Allegri, who are also believed to be on Barca’s four-man shortlist, get the job.

In other managerial news, the Mail report that Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has already agreed a deal with Juventus that would net him an added £1.2m per year and put an end to the thinly-veiled xenophobia he has to put up Continue reading “Football transfer rumours: Roberto Martínez to take over at Barcelona?”

Valencia shock Barcelona in Copa del Rey final despite Messi’s best efforts


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• Barcelona 1-2 Valencia
• Messi 73; Gameiro 21, Rodrigo 33By the end here in Seville they could take it no more, but the suffering was worth it and they made it. Somewhere in the madness a whistle blew and Valencia became Copa del Rey winners. For the first time in 1,456 days, Barcelona are not the cup winners.

There will be consequences at the Camp Nou, changes. Lionel Messi’s second-half goal was not enough to cancel out strikes from Kevin Gameiro and Rodrigo Moreno and a league title is not enough for a club like this.

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