Ivan Rakitic pulled out of the Croatia squad over uncertainty about his Barcelona future, Zlatko Dalic has confirmed.

Croatia's head coach revealed rumoured Juventus target Rakitic would not be able to focus on the national team until his club situation is resolved.

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde has only used Rakitic, who was reportedly offered to Paris Saint-Germain in a proposed deal for Neymar, for 44 minutes over the course of the club's three LaLiga matches this season.

Serie A champions Juve are thought to be interested and the Italian giants have until 20:00 local time (19:00 BST) Monday to finalise a deal before the transfer window shuts.

"I talked to Rakitic, who has not yet resolved his status at the club and is not ready for the national team at the moment and would not be able to give his maximum," Dalic told a news conference.

"I do not have time now to deal with what will happen in the future. Hopefully it will work out for the best."

Rakitic is not the only Croatia midfielder unavailable for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Slovakia and Azerbaijan.

Vatreni medical staff assessed Mateo Kovacic following his arrival in camp and diagnosed the Chelsea player with an inflamed Achilles tendon in his right leg.

The 25-year-old played 83 minutes of Saturday's 2-2 Premier League draw against Sheffield United.

Mijo Caktas replaces Kovacic in the squad, while Marko Rog is in for Rakitic.

Croatia, World Cup finalists in 2018, sit third in Group E with six points from three games.

Lionel Messi headlines the final three for the Puskas Award, given to the scorer of the best goal of the season.

A panel of FIFA and external football experts selected 10 goals to put to a public vote and three of those remain in the running after seven were cut on Monday.

Barcelona icon Messi is the big name still in the hunt, while Juan Fernando Quintero of River Plate and Colombia and Hungarian rookie Daniel Zsori join him.

The winner will be announced on September 23 at The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony and we have the lowdown on each of the three still in with a chance…

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) v Real Betis – March 17, 2019

We have become so accustomed to Messi's brilliance that he makes the extraordinary seem normal, but his hat-trick clincher in March's 4-1 win at Betis was pure genius. After receiving a cut-back from Ivan Rakitic, he caressed a first-time chipped effort over Pau Lopez and in off the crossbar from about 18 yards when shooting through a crowded penalty area looked an impossibility.

 

Juan Fernando Quintero (River Plate) v Racing Club – February 10, 2019

A former so-called 'wonderkid' who went off the boil before enjoying a resurgence, Quintero has had a fine couple of years. A playmaker with an eye for the spectacular, his free-kick against Racing in the 2-0 Superliga win in February was quintessential Quintero – from about 35 yards out on the right flank, his left-footed strike bent inside the top-right corner in a remarkable display of accuracy.

 

Daniel Zsori (Debrecen) v Ferencvaros – February 16, 2019

Eighteen-year-old Zsori announced himself to Hungarian football in astonishing fashion in February. On his league debut, the attacker met a cross from deep with an overhead-kick just inside the area, picking out the top-far corner in stoppage time to secure a 2-1 win.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk are the three finalists for The Best FIFA Men's Player award.

FIFA announced a 10-man shortlist for the gong in July and, following the initial voting period, the final three have been revealed.

Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Harry Kane, Eden Hazard, Sadio Mane, Kylian Mbappe and Mohamed Salah were the seven players cut from the initial list.

Liverpool defender Van Dijk is the favourite of many after playing a vital role in the Reds' Champions League triumph and their Premier League title challenge – finishing just a point behind Manchester City.

He was recognised for his exploits just last week, when he was named UEFA's Player of the Year, beating Messi and Ronaldo to the prize.

The Netherlands international also helped his country to the final of the Nations League, only for a Ronaldo-inspired Portugal to lift the inaugural title.

Ronaldo also enjoyed success at club level, helping Juventus cruise to an eighth successive Scudetto, finishing as their top scorer across all competitions with 28 goals.

Messi's numbers dwarfed Ronaldo's, though, as the Barcelona star scored 51 goals in total, including 36 from 29 starts in LaLiga, with Barca retaining their title.

Those goal-scoring exploits won Messi the European Golden Shoe and, on top of being LaLiga's most prolific player, he also set up 13 goals, a haul only matched by Pablo Sarabia.

Messi's Barca team-mate Marc-Andre ter Stegen is among the three finalists for the goalkeeper award, with City's Ederson and Alisson of Liverpool also in the hunt.

And there is a distinct Premier League feel to the final three of the coaches' award, with Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino all in the running.

The winners will be announced on September 23.

Time is running out for clubs across Europe to finalise last-ditch deals but multiple big moves could yet go through.

Paris Saint-Germain are bound to be active players as Monday's transfer deadline forces heavyweights in France, Italy, Spain and Germany to make tough decisions on squad strengths and weaknesses.

Bundesliga teams have until 18:00 local time (17:00 BST) to conduct their business, while the window shuts at 20:00 local time (19:00 BST) for Juventus, AC Milan, Inter and the rest of Serie A.

All close-season movements across Europe's top five leagues will be then finalised when the deadline for LaLiga and Ligue 1 sides is reached at midnight local time (23:00 BST).


Mauro Icardi (Inter)

The Inter outcast, stripped of the captaincy earlier this year, seems set to escape to PSG, but not before another twist in his San Siro soap opera.

Reports in France and Italy suggest the striker will agree a new deal with the Nerazzurri - to prevent him from leaving on a free in 2021 - before linking up with Thomas Tuchel's team on a season-long loan.

That could be become a permanent move if, as is expected, the Ligue 1 champions negotiate an option to buy.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas is preparing to join Icardi at Parc des Princes, with Alphonse Areola headed in the opposite direction.


Bruno Fernandes (Sporting CP)

Frustrated in their attempts to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United and seemingly unconvinced by Tottenham Christian Eriksen, Madrid might finally have settled on a midfield target.

Portugal international Fernandes was linked to Manchester United and Tottenham before Zinedine Zidane zeroed in on the 24-year-old, a highly technical player with goalscoring ability.


Neymar (PSG)

The fallout that would come from the forward finally rejoining Barcelona in the remaining hours makes it a deal too important to ignore, even if it is now highly improbable.

Neymar is said to have resigned himself to another season in France but, with Icardi to be added to what is already a star-studded attack, PSG might just relax one or two of their demands.

Tuchel, certainly, could do without a full campaign of massaging the Brazilian's ego.


Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona)

Barca's late business is more likely to be focused on what to do with Croatia midfielder Rakitic, who has made no starts and a solitary substitute appearance in LaLiga this season.

Juventus are understood be keen on taking him to Turin and could even discuss a swap deal involving Daniele Rugani, though captain Giorgio Chiellini's long-term knee injury has made centre-backs a valued commodity for Maurizio Sarri.

Rakitic, usurped by Frenkie De Jong at Camp Nou, has been replaced in the Croatia squad, so does that mean he's on the move?

Ante Rebic (Eintracht Frankfurt)

AC Milan are very close to the capture of a player also admired by city rivals Inter.

Rebic is due to move to the Rossoneri on an initial loan deal that will see Andre Silva head for Frankfurt.

Eintracht sporting director Fredi Bobic and the attacker himself have already confirmed an agreement is in place, meaning only the formalities are to be completed.

Javier Hernandez has left West Ham for Sevilla in a reported €7.7million (£7m) deal, becoming the Spanish club's 12th signing of the transfer window.

Mexico international Hernandez, 31, leaves London after two seasons and has signed a three-year contract in LaLiga.

The striker made the leap to Europe in 2010 when moving from Chivas to Manchester United, becoming a fan favourite during four years in their first-team squad, before going on loan to Real Madrid and then being sold to Bayer Leverkusen.

Hernandez's form in Germany brought about a return to England with West Ham and, although he has not always been their first-choice striker, he scored 16 goals from 31 Premier League starts.

He becomes Sevilla's 12th new arrival of the transfer window – which closes on Monday – and his signing is expected to lead to Munas Dabbur's exit, despite the Israel international only joining in July after the club acquired him from Salzburg in January.

Real Madrid look set to finally land a midfielder before the transfer window closes.

The LaLiga giants have been linked to numerous midfielders and, after a slow start to the season, they may make a signing ahead of the window shutting on Monday.

Madrid are reportedly close to strengthening their squad by completing a move for Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID CLOSE TO SEALING FERNANDES DEAL

Real Madrid have almost completed a deal for Fernandes, according to ESPN.

The Portugal international, 24, was linked to Manchester United and Tottenham earlier in the window.

Now, the Sporting captain looks set for Madrid, who have reportedly targeted United's Paul Pogba, Spurs' Christian Eriksen and Ajax's Donny van de Beek during the close season.

It comes just days after Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade said Fernandes was heading to Madrid for €70million.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Neymar saga will finally end – for now – with the Paris Saint-Germain star staying with the Ligue 1 champions. L'Equipe reports the Brazil international will remain with PSG, while Sport reports Barcelona will resume their pursuit of Neymar in 2020.

- That could mean a few more eyes on Mauro Icardi on Monday. PSG are in talks with Inter over a potential loan deal for the forward, according to RMC Sport and Gianluca Di Marzio.

- Pogba may still be hoping to eventually get his move to Real Madrid. The Mirror reports the France international will resist signing a new deal with Premier League giants Manchester United, with his current contract running until 2021, although the club have an option to extend that by a year.

- Javier Hernandez should get a deadline-day move from West Ham. The Premier League club have agreed to sell the forward to Sevilla for close to €8.9m (£8m), according to Sky Sports News.

- Henrikh Mkhitaryan came off the bench during Arsenal's draw against Tottenham on Sunday and he could be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium a day later. Roma are pressing hard to sign the midfielder on loan with an option to buy, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

- Phil Foden may have to wait for his chances at Manchester City, but the Premier League champions are keen to keep the teenage midfielder in their squad. The Sun reports City rejected loan bids from Rangers and Roma for the England youth international.

Diego Simeone dismissed talk of winning the LaLiga title after Atletico Madrid preserved their 100 per cent record with a last-gasp comeback against Eibar.

Atletico rallied from 2-0 down to dramatically prevail 3-2 over Eibar thanks to substitute Thomas Partey's 90th-minute winner in Madrid on Sunday.

Eibar threatened a sensational upset at Wanda Metropolitano, where goals from Charles and Anaitz Arbilla put the visitors in control after 19 minutes.

However, Joao Felix and Vitolo helped restore parity by the 52nd minute before Thomas came off the bench to complete the fightback at the death.

Atletico are the only team with three wins from three LaLiga matches heading into the international break but head coach Simeone is not getting carried away.

"No, there's a lot of new people in the team, we are rebuilding the team," Simeone told reporters when asked about the possibility of winning LaLiga.

"A lot of new players are getting used to our system, to the way that we work and we need to win, win, win another time. We have three new defenders this season and there is a lot of responsibility on my shoulders, eight players left, eight new ones have come in.

"Everybody is very excited but we have to stay quiet and work."

Atletico – who defied the odds to claim the league title in 2013-14 – are two points clear atop the table, four ahead of bitter rivals Real Madrid and five better off than defending champions Barcelona.

The last time Atletico had nine points from nine to start the season, they captured the LaLiga trophy in 2014 but Simeone added: "We had Raul [Garcia], Tiago and Gabi on our team, now my players are very, very young.

"Thomas, Joao [Felix], [Renan] Lodi, Saul [Niguez]. Back then when we won the league my players were better and now my team, we need to build it, we need to think that every game is a final."

Atletico will travel to face Real Sociedad on September 14 following the international break.

Zinedine Zidane refused to dwell on Gareth Bale's sending off against Villarreal, instead focusing on the Wales star's two-goal display in the 2-2 draw.

Bale has endured a difficult time at Madrid due to a strained relationship with head coach Zidane, fan criticism and a failed move to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning.

But after staying, Bale has started the season well and scored for the first time since March on Sunday, netting both goals as Madrid battled to a stalemate in LaLiga action at Estadio de la Ceramica.

Bale's second goal came four minutes from time and ensured Los Blancos earned a point, but he was booked twice in stoppage time to be send off, putting a dampener on proceedings.

Zidane, however, was not focusing on the sour end to Bale's outing away from home.

"They were two fouls and two yellow cards," Zidane told reporters. "But now to think about a rest. Well, maybe not a rest as he's going with his national team.

"I am happy for his goals and we keep going with the positive things."

Madrid captain Sergio Ramos made an error for Villarreal's first goal, finding himself robbed of possession by Gerard Moreno in the build-up.

And while Zidane acknowledged Madrid could have been better, he remained upbeat and positive about future improvement.

When asked if there was a lack of defensive intensity, he said: "At the start of the game, yes, and in the game it's always important to start strong.

"But I think that the 30 minutes after that, we were better in everything. We got the equaliser before the break and that was important.

"We controlled the game, these things [conceding goals through errors] happen. We have to work on this, to improve our defensive ways and later offensively we know that we will create things. I will stick with the positive, the reaction. It's important we didn't lose."

Casemiro was unequivocal in his assessment of Real Madrid's 2-2 LaLiga draw at Villarreal, surmising they were "lacking everything" at Estadio de la Ceramica.

Madrid twice had to come from behind on Sunday, with Gareth Bale's efforts cancelling out strikes from Gerard Moreno and then Moi Gomez, before the Wales star was sent off for two bookings in as many stoppage-time minutes.

Despite Bale salvaging Madrid a point away from home, Casemiro was scathing of the team's performance, convinced they underwhelmed all over the pitch.

"We are lacking everything," he said. "We have to score goals and be better defensively. This is a team. If we defend, we all defend. If we attack, we all attack. This is the spirit.

"Real Madrid ore obliged to win always, this jersey makes it an obligation. This is a complicated stadium. We had control for 65 minutes, but they got into it and scored.

"This is the way forward, we keep adding points. The international break is here and we can change our mindset. We have to keep working.

"[Fan frustration] is normal, but they have to see the work we do. We have to keep working to get as far as we can in LaLiga."

Madrid return to LaLiga action after the international break against Levante on September 14.

Thomas Partey scored a last-minute winner as Atletico Madrid recovered from two goals down to maintain their perfect start to the LaLiga season with a 3-2 victory against Eibar.

The home side looked set to drop points in Sunday's match after conceding twice inside the opening 20 minutes of a home league game under Diego Simeone for the first time, with Charles and Anaitz Arbilla defying the form book at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Joao Felix scored his first LaLiga goal to start the comeback before the half-hour and Vitolo, introduced at the interval, dragged his side back onto level terms early in the second half against an Eibar side still without a win this season.

Los Rojiblancos carved out 1-0 victories over Getafe and Leganes in their initial matches and they showed true fighting spirit as Thomas poked home to lift Atletico above Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla to the top of LaLiga.

Charles converted Fabian Orellana's cross on the counter to give Eibar a seventh-minute lead and, after Diego Costa fired over the bar from close range, Arbilla doubled his side's tally with 19 minutes played.

The left-back's powerful shot took a deflection off Jose Gimenez and Jan Oblak was unable to react.

It did not take long for Simeone's men to respond, though, with Costa showing good strength in the box and returning the pass to Joao Felix for a simple finish into an empty net.

Atletico, who had a penalty appeal rejected before half-time when Joao Felix was seemingly clipped inside the box, brought on Vitolo for Marcos Llorente at the interval and that change proved inspired.

The lively Renan Lodi picked out Vitolo's run and the attacker poked the ball past Marko Dmitrovic to level matters seven minutes into the second half.

It looked like being a day of frustration for Atletico when Costa had two goals ruled out for offside, only for another substitute, Thomas, to pop up with a dramatic late winner.

What does it mean? Simeone needs to find right system after third narrow win

Simeone reverted to a four-man backline for this match, having operated with wing-backs in the 1-0 win at Leganes last weekend, but Atletico started slowly and were very nearly made to pay come full-time.

Last season's runners-up have been far from free-flowing in all three matches this term, winning each by a one-goal margin. They were bailed out here, though, and Simeone now has a two-week break to find the right system to get the most out of his stellar squad.

Joao Felix up and running

As well as showing incredible fighting spirit to claim all three points, another big positive for Atletico was the partnership between Costa and Joao Felix, with the latter's goal making him the youngest Portuguese player to score in LaLiga in the 21st century at 19 years and 296 days.

Llorente rightly sacrificed

The decision to bring on the more attack-minded Vitolo for Llorente at half-time gave Atleti some added impetus. Llorente attempted an underwhelming 10 passes in the opposition half during his 45 minutes on the field and lost possession four times. It was not the only inspired change made by Simeone, of course, as Thomas popped up with a late winner after coming on for Joao Felix.

Key Opta facts

- Atletico Madrid won a game they were trailing in by two goals for the first time since May 2009 in LaLiga, when they also prevailed 3-2 against Espanyol.
- Atleti have earned six LaLiga points thanks to Thomas Partey past six goals in the competition: two versus Deportivo La Coruna (November 2017), two against Athletic Bilbao (November 2018) now two at Eibar's expense.
- Vitolo has scored in back-to-back LaLiga games for the first time since November 2016 when playing for Sevilla.
- Charles scored the fastest goal by a visiting player at the Wanda Metropolitano in all competitions after his opener clocked in at six minutes and 41 seconds.

What's next?

Atletico travel to Real Sociedad in their first match back after the international break on September 14, while Eibar host Espanyol the following day.

Gareth Bale spared Real Madrid's blushes as the winger ended a six-month goal drought to score twice and rescue a 2-2 draw at Villarreal on Sunday, only to then be sent off.

The Yellow Submarine had seemingly sealed the three points when Moi Gomez netted 16 minutes from time, but Bale – who looked destined for the exit not long ago – doubled his tally for the day late on to prevent a first LaLiga defeat of the season.

In a dramatic finale, he spoiled an otherwise fine individual outing by picking up two late bookings.

Villarreal's dynamism on the front foot caused their visitors real issues, as evidenced by Gerard Moreno's early goal, but Madrid showed flashes of excellence themselves and levelled just before the break through Bale after a sumptuous move.

Zinedine Zidane's men appeared to be hit by a sucker-punch towards the end when Gomez tapped in, but Bale's undeniable quality told in the 86th minute with his equaliser, before the Wales star received his marching orders in stoppage time for a second bookable offence in two minutes.

Thomas Partey scored a last-minute winner as Atletico Madrid recovered from two goals down to maintain their perfect start to the LaLiga season with a 3-2 victory against Eibar.

The home side looked set to drop points in Sunday's match after conceding twice inside the opening 20 minutes of a home league game under Diego Simeone for the first time, with Charles and Anaitz Arbilla defying the form book at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Joao Felix scored his first LaLiga goal to start the comeback before the half-hour and Vitolo, introduced at the interval, dragged his side back onto level terms early in the second half against an Eibar side still without a win this season.

Los Rojiblancos carved out 1-0 victories over Getafe and Leganes in their initial matches and they showed true fighting spirit as Thomas poked home to lift Atletico above Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla to the top of LaLiga.

Paris Saint-Germain have signed Sergio Rico from Sevilla on an initial season-long loan.

The French champions have been in the market for a new goalkeeper and were strongly tipped to move for Real Madrid stopper Keylor Navas - a deal that could yet still go through.

Back-up keeper Gianluigi Buffon left PSG at the end of last season and the Ligue 1 giants are light on options, with Alphonse Areola being left out of the starting line-up for Friday’s match against Metz.

Boss Thomas Tuchel said before the 2-0 win that Areola was in talks over a possible move to another club, reported to be Madrid, which could free up Navas to head the opposite way.

With the transfer window set to close on Monday, however, PSG have moved to bring in one-cap Spain international Rico until the end of the campaign, with the option to sign him permanently next year.

Rico spent last season on loan with Fulham in the Premier League and appeared 29 times, keeping five clean sheets as the London side suffered relegation.

"I am extremely excited about joining Paris Saint-Germain today," he told his new team's official website.

"Everyone in Europe knows the extraordinary dimension taken by this club in recent years. It will be an honour to be part of this group and in which I will have the pleasure of rubbing shoulders with several compatriots!

"I will invest myself fully every day to help my new club to be the best performer in France and Europe. It is a wonderful adventure that starts today."

Will he, or won't he?

Neymar has dominated headlines throughout the transfer window, with the Paris Saint-Germain star eyeing a Barcelona return.

However, it seems he will not get what he wanted before Monday's deadline…

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR GIVES UP ON BARCA MOVE

Neymar will remain at Paris Saint-Germain after failing to secure a move to Barcelona, according to reports.

The PSG superstar wanted to return to LaLiga champions Barca, just two years after his world-record move to Paris.

Barca had tried to negotiate a deal with PSG, however, L'Equipe says Neymar has already notified the club and family that he will stay at the Ligue 1 holders.

 

ROUND-UP

- Juventus are gearing up for a late move for Tottenham star Christian Eriksen, according to The Express. Juve have reportedly joined PSG in trying to sign Eriksen prior to Monday's deadline.

- The Mirror says Real Madrid have also turned their attention to Eriksen after they were unable to prise Neymar from PSG. Madrid have also been linked to Sporting CP captain Bruno Fernandes.

- Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak and Dinamo Zagreb's Dominik Livakovic are potential targets for Manchester United, who are worried David de Gea will leave for free at the end of the season. That is according to The Sun.

- According to the Daily Mirror, Borussia Dortmund are monitoring the situation regarding Liverpool teenager Bobby Duncan. The 18-year-old reportedly had a move to Fiorentina blocked by Liverpool, prompting his agent to accuse the Reds of "bullying", accusations the club called "inaccurate" and "inflammatory".

- Fiorentina are desperate to lure Matteo Politano from Inter, reports Calciomercato. La Viola have offered €30million but Inter want €35m as they reportedly line up Eintracht Frankfurt star Ante Rebic as a possible replacement.

Keylor Navas is poised to swap Madrid for PSG and he might not be only the goalkeeper to move to Paris. Cadena Ser claims Sevilla's Sergio Rico will swap LaLiga for Ligue 1 on loan with the option to buy.

Sporting CP head coach Marcel Keizer is hoping star captain Bruno Fernandes will remain with the club once the transfer window closes.

Fernandes has been linked with a move away throughout the window and the Portugal international revealed he agreed to join Tottenham only for Sporting to block the transfer.

The 24-year-old was also strongly linked to Manchester United, while he has since emerged as a reported target for Real Madrid prior to Monday's deadline.

Keizer was asked about Fernandes' future following Saturday's shock loss to Rio Ave and he told reporters: "We have to wait until Monday.

"Hopefully he will stay. Many things can happen. We are not in a position to be able to decide."

Fernandes – who netted 20 goals and supplied 13 assists in the Primeira Liga last season – scored in the 3-2 defeat to Rio Ave in Lisbon.

Uruguay international and former Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates conceded three penalties and was sent off as Sporting crashed to their first league defeat of the campaign.

Filipe Augusto converted a sixth-minute penalty following Coates' foul before Sporting hit back through Fernandes and Luiz Phellype, who put the hosts ahead eight minutes into the second half.

However, Coates gave away two penalties during the final four minutes and was subsequently sent off for a second yellow card as Rio Ave emerged triumphant.

"I have no opinion, the referee decided and I can do nothing," Keizer said when asked about the three penalties. "I only have an opinion about my team. We didn't play enough. If we had had more ball after 2-1 it could have been different."

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