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Reports: Barcelona to make surprise move for PSG star in summer transfer window

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Spanish La Liga giants FC Barcelona are looking to make a surprising move for French Ligue 1 outfit Paris Saint Germain (PSG)’s star striker Neymar in the upcoming summer transfer window. The Brazil international has been linked with a move away from the Paris-based club since the summer of 2019.

Back then, there were reports of interest in Neymar from his previous club but the current Spanish champions could not meet with PSG’s valuation of the player and therefore, the striker had to stay in Paris for another season.

As per the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial cited by ESPN, the Catalan-based outfit are once again looking to make a move for Neymar in the summer of 2020 as they are looking to bolster their attacking unit for the future campaigns.

However, the report did not mention how much Barcelona are willing to offer to the French club in order to acquire the services of the 28-year-old.

Neymar has been with PSG since the summer of 2017 when he moved from Barca for a reported world-record transfer fee of €222 million.

Since then, the versatile striker has represented his current club in 76 matches in all competitions where he has managed to score 66 goals and provided 39 assists as well.

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It’s Real Madrid v Manchester City, not Zinedine Zidane v Pep Guardiola

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Zinedine Zidane shifted the focus away from the dugout ahead of his first meeting with Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola.

Zinedine Zidane hailed Pep Guardiola as the best coach in the world but insisted Real Madrid’s clash with Manchester City is not a battle between the two men in the dugout.

Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu will mark the first time the managerial pair have faced off in a competitive match.

Zidane has won the competition three times as Madrid boss, while the second and most recent of Guardiola’s successes came at Barcelona nine years ago.

However, the Frenchman has labelled his counterpart as the best in the business ahead of the midweek clash.

“He’s shown it at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Man City,” Zidane said at his pre-match news conference. “There are a lot of good coaches, but I think it’s him [at the top].

 

“But it’s Real Madrid v Manchester City, not Zidane vs Guardiola. What people want to see is a game of football between Madrid and City. It’s an attractive game.”

Madrid enter the match on the back of disappointing run of domestic form that has seen them exit the Copa del Rey and relinquish top spot in LaLiga.

By comparison, City have won back-to-back matches since being rocked by UEFA’s announcement that they face a two-year ban from European competitions for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations – pending an appeal.

But Zidane has won all nine two-legged Champions League ties he has been involved in and has urged his players not to dwell on the recent defeats to Real Sociedad and Levante.

“We know the quality of the opponent that we’re going to face,” he said. “They’re a very good team and they will come to play their way.

“What we have to do is play a very good match. We have to think about what we’ve been doing well and not focus on the two games with negative results we’ve had. We have to play well tomorrow.

“There are lot of teams who like to have the ball. Every side you play against is always going to have certain strengths, and it’s our job to cancel them out.

“City are a side with many strengths, including possession. But it’s also about what we do – that’s what we’re interested in.”

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Real Mallorca secure Ki Sung-yueng to LaLiga survival

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Ki Sung-yueng has joined Real Mallorca until the end of the season, having left Newcastle United in January.

Real Mallorca have signed midfielder Ki Sung-yueng on a free transfer until the end of the season.

The 31-year-old moves to LaLiga after having had his contract terminated at Newcastle United by mutual consent last month.

The South Korea international was confirmed as a new Mallorca player on Tuesday and could make his debut in Sunday’s clash with Getafe.

“It’s a great honour to play for Mallorca. For me, it’s a great honour to play in Spain because when I was younger I dreamt of playing in Spain so hopefully I’m looking forward to playing against the best players. Dreams do come true,” he told the club’s website.

“I think now fans from Korea are going to try and be a bit more interested because I play for the team.

“Take [Takefusa] Kubo is also a very talented player and those from Japan are watching games. Hopefully we will be able to contribute to the team and a lot of fans from the area will support us.”

Mallorca are 18th in the table and two points from safety after 25 matches, although four points from their past two games against Deportivo Alaves and Real Betis have given their survival hopes a boost.

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Liverpool fans group going through coronavirus quarantine after visiting Italy

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A group of Liverpool fans have been going through self-quarantine for visiting Italy on their way back home after watching their team’s defeat in the first-leg of the UEFA Champions League round-of-16 against Atletico Madrid. The Reds suffered a shocking 1-0 defeat against the Madrid-based team last week where hundreds of supporters travelled all the way from Liverpool to support the team.

As per Liverpool Echo, a group of fans travelled through Italy on their way back to the UK and they’ve been asked to ‘self-isolate’ themselves as a preventive measure by the country’s health department.

Italy is the most effected European country from the coronavirus which initiated from China and has already killed more than 2,500 people in the world.

A fan on the base of anonymity told Liverpool Echo about the instruction received from the UK’s health department by saying: “I travelled home from Madrid to Milan Bergamo airport and when we got off the plane we were all tested for our fever and stuff which was the first sign that something was a bit weird. But because we had five hours until our next flight, we decided to go into the centre of Bergamo for something to eat and a few drinks. After we got checked into the airport we were told nothing and then a few days ago it started breaking on the news about the outbreak in northern Italy.”

He added: “Then today I was sent home. But I feel fine. I rang the NHS 111 number and they said to self-isolate for a period of time and if you don’t have any symptoms that you will be fine to return to work. Personally, I feel fine like but I think it is the fear for other people I work with and though I didn’t want to go home it makes sense. We travelled through Bergamo on the 19th. The first date they have suggested for self-isolation.”

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