Setien ready to call on Arthur despite Juve speculation

By Sports Desk June 29, 2020

Arthur is part of Barcelona's squad to face Atletico Madrid on Tuesday despite the Brazil midfielder's €70million move to Juventus reportedly being close to completion.

Juve's Miralem Pjanic is set to move in the other direction, although both players will conclude the 2019-20 campaign at their current clubs.

Arthur was seen giving a speech to his team-mates at Barcelona's training session on Monday – an act that has been widely interpreted as the 23-year-old saying his goodbyes to a dressing room he joined in July 2018 from Gremio.

"I have no doubt about his greatest commitment until the last day he is here," Barca head coach Quique Setien told a pre-match news conference.

"He is a player until the last game of the season He has committed himself to being one more [member of the squad].

"He will dedicate himself fully to achieving the objectives. I have no doubts about him.

"He has said that he will be in the best conditions. I'll decide if he plays more or less."

Sergi Roberto is back in the Barca squad to face Atletico having sat out three matches with a fractured rib.

Two draws in their past three games have left the reigning champions two points behind Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga with six matches remaining, heightening speculation that Setien will be dismissed at the end of the season despite only being in post since January.

Related items

  • Zidane hails 'phenomenal' Courtois after another clean sheet Zidane hails 'phenomenal' Courtois after another clean sheet

    Zinedine Zidane praised the "phenomenal" Thibaut Courtois after Real Madrid took another step towards the LaLiga title with a win over Deportivo Alaves.

    Madrid kept a clean sheet for the fifth straight game, recording a 2-0 win on Friday to move four points clear of rivals Barcelona with three games remaining.

    Zidane lauded Courtois, who made four saves in Madrid's win as Karim Benzema netted a penalty before Marco Asensio's second-half goal.

    "He has a very big influence. He is our goalkeeper, what he is doing every game is phenomenal," Madrid coach Zidane told a news conference, via AS.

    "It is a matter for everyone when it comes to defending … today, he [Courtois] has been good for us with two or three stops, and then the strength of the entire team.

    "We have to continue like this."

    Madrid scored a penalty for the third straight game, while the VAR was needed to award Asensio's goal after it was initially ruled out due to an offside decision against Benzema.

    As another clean sheet helped Madrid, Zidane said he was happy with his team, who are away to Granada on Monday.

    "I'm not worried because the important thing is to win matches," he said.

    "We didn't score four or five goals, but because there is an opponent who defends. We scored two goals, one very beautiful in play.

    "I am happy and calm with what we are doing."

  • Varane dismisses VAR talk as Real Madrid close in on LaLiga title Varane dismisses VAR talk as Real Madrid close in on LaLiga title

    Raphael Varane dismissed talk the VAR favoured Real Madrid after the LaLiga giants moved closer to the league title with a win over Deportivo Alaves.

    A Karim Benzema penalty and Marco Asensio goal saw Madrid record a 2-0 win on Friday, moving four points clear of rivals Barcelona with three games left.

    Madrid were awarded a spot-kick for the third straight game, while the VAR was needed after Asensio's goal was initially incorrectly ruled out for an offside decision against Benzema.

    Varane, who helped Madrid keep a clean sheet for the fifth straight game, was unfazed by any talk decisions were going his team's way.

    "Outside noise doesn't matter to us. We are focused on winning and giving everything on the pitch," the defender told Movistar.

    "We don't control the VAR, we control the effort and attitude we show on the pitch."

    Madrid are closing in on their first league title since 2016-17, with Barcelona having clinched the past two crowns.

    Varane said Madrid still had finals to play ahead of matches against Granada, Villarreal and Leganes to finish the league season.

    "We are focused on our objective and we have three finals left," he said.

    "It was important to win, of course, but it is very important to keep a clean sheet. That gives us a lot of confidence.

    "We will continue with the positive dynamics we have."

  • Real Madrid 2-0 Deportivo Alaves: Zidane's men on brink of title glory Real Madrid 2-0 Deportivo Alaves: Zidane's men on brink of title glory

    Real Madrid moved a significant step nearer to a 34th LaLiga title as Karim Benzema set them on the way to a 2-0 win over Deportivo Alaves.

    The gap to Barcelona in second place is back to four points, and it would take a mighty collapse from this position for the teams to swap positions.

    Marco Asensio grabbed Madrid's second goal after Benzema's early penalty, and Zinedine Zidane's side could have stretched their lead as a string of chances came their way.

    But lowly Alaves contributed plenty to an entertaining game, enough to suggest they can survive in the top flight under their new coach Juan Muniz.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.