Either through injuries or dips in form, Luis Suarez has started to show signs of regression at Barcelona and they are planning for a future without him.

The Uruguayan striker has been a remarkable player for Barca, but at 32 he is approaching the twilight of his career and the Blaugrana have been considering who they might want to replace him with when the time comes.

Meanwhile, one player recently heavily linked with Barca could be signing a new contract with his current employers.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA DRAW UP STRIKERS SHORTLIST

Barca have significantly strengthened several areas of their team in recent transfer windows, with Antoine Griezmann, Junior Firpo, Frenkie de Jong and Neto bolstering their options.

They are now beginning to turn their attentions to the central striker role, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The publication reports Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is the ideal target, though Barca are said to be hopeful of getting him on a cut-price deal in 2021 after he has entered the final year of his contract, assuming he does not sign an extension in the meantime.

England and Tottenham striker Harry Kane is also said to be high up their list, despite their being acknowledgement that his wages would be more of an issue than the transfer fee.

The other two reportedly being considered are Marcus Rashford of Manchester United and Inter's Lautaro Martinez.

 

ROUND-UP

Barca missed out on securing the return of Neymar in the most recent transfer window and, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, PSG are now planning to offer the Brazilian a new bumper contract.

- The LaLiga champions are also looking at midfield reinforcements with potential. Napoli's Fabian RuizEduardo Camavinga of Rennes and Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz are all being considered, though Mundo Deportivo say Real Madrid are also tracking the trio with intent.

Christian Eriksen's future has been a hot topic for the last few months, with the Tottenham midfielder's contract ending next year. Sport1 in Germany claim Bayern Munich have already been in touch with him.

Liverpool are hoping to sign Brighton and Hove Albion-owned centre-back Ben White, 21, according to the Sun. The defender is impressing on loan at Leeds United and the Reds see him as a replacement for Dejan Lovren, who is said to be eager for a move to get first-team football.

- Despite languishing 12th in the Premier League after a wretched start to the season, the Daily Mail say Manchester United will not be splashing the cash in the January transfer window.

- But the Daily Express report United have reached a "verbal agreement" with Mario Mandzukic of Juventus, who are said to be demanding £10million for the Croatian forward.

Gareth Bale says he wants to finally get one over on Luka Modric when Croatia visit Wales in Euro 2020 qualifying.

The Real Madrid team-mates will be the two biggest stars on show for Sunday's Group E game in Cardiff.

Croatia lead the pool on 13 points with Wales six back in fourth spot, although Ryan Giggs' side have a game in hand.

Wales drew away to Slovakia on Thursday, Bale sustaining a knee injury, but he is expected to be fit to face Croatia.

The forward is looking forward to testing himself against Ballon d'Or winner Modric, Croatia having won the reverse game 2-1 in June.

"Whenever we have played we've always lost by one goal and it’s always been quite a tight game," Bale told reporters.

"We know what a great team they are, they had a great World Cup and they have shown year after year how good they actually are.

"We know it is going to be very tough, but I think being at home gives us a little bit more of an advantage and we know the Welsh crowd will be behind us.

"We've played together for a long time in Tottenham and Real Madrid so we know each other quite well. It would be nice to get one over on him finally because they have beaten us a few times in the past."

Bale is one booking away from missing a qualifier through suspension, which he accepts will be on his mind against Croatia.

"I can't make too many silly tackles or anything, I have to be mindful of that," Bale said. "I don't want to miss any games for Wales and especially at the crunch time of the group.

"I guess I have to be clever with what I'm doing but maybe I have to expect that someone is going to wind me up to get me suspended."

Antoine Griezmann's integration at Barcelona has been "difficult" but the Frenchman will justify his signing if given time, according to team-mate Arturo Vidal.

Griezmann joined Barca from Atletico Madrid in pre-season, costing the Blaugrana €120million after a protracted transfer saga.

Barca had reportedly been chasing the France international for well over a year, and although they eventually got their man after being rebuffed in 2018, the start of their union has been unspectacular.

Griezmann's largely ineffective performances have been widely criticised, with many expecting more from him than the three goals and two assists in seven LaLiga outings.

Vidal accepts Griezmann's adaptation could have gone better, though he remains confident in the forward.

"It's been difficult [for Griezmann] to integrate and adapt," Vidal told Sport. "He arrived at the best team in the world with the best players.

"He comes from a side that plays very differently, but he's got a lot of quality. We all know that Griezmann is one of the best in the world.

"What we need to do is wait a little, give him some time. When he knows the best way to play and understands what the coach needs from him, I'm sure he will help us a lot."

While Barca's injury problems in attack have arguably contributed to Griezmann's struggles, they have also given 16-year-old Ansu Fati the chance to step up.

The winger has caught the eye several times with his direct style and ability on the ball, even forcing himself into contention for a call-up to Spain's senior side, which is seemingly just around the corner.

Vidal is an admirer of the teenager but urged caution and stressed the need for the club to shield him.

"He's got a glorious future ahead of him," Vidal added. "He's a very young player but he's already shown so much quality.

"But we must be calm with him, help him and most importantly protect him. He needs to prepare himself properly to be one of the best around.

"You can see he has the necessary quality to be with us."

Carles Puyol admits he prefers Lionel Messi's softly-softly approach to diplomacy at Barcelona over the blunt style of Gerard Pique.

Long-serving defender Pique recently hit out when he blamed the demands of Barca's pre-season travels for the poor start to their LaLiga title defence.

He also suggested the Barcelona board may have been planting stories in the media that were critical of players.

Messi, by contrast, rarely speaks out, and former Barcelona captain Puyol indicated he would follow the superstar forward's lead when it comes to handling club issues.

"You have to respect Gerard," Puyol told reporters on Saturday. "We all know him, we know he says what he thinks, he goes straight...

"I liked to talk the same as Messi, so would have acted just like him."

Puyol also clarified his decision to turn down the sporting director post at Barcelona, explaining he was too busy to take on the responsibility.

"I think the statement was very clear, you can't interpret much more," he said.

"I am at a time when I develop new projects, the next one will come out in a few days and will be related to the Danone Nations Cup, with football and values, an online programme designed for fathers and mothers who want to share time with their children.

"I have many more. I had been working on them for many months and I don't think it's time to leave them. It was not the time to join Barca."

Puyol's former team-mate Victor Valdes was sacked as coach of the Barcelona Under-19 side this month, the ex-goalkeeper having reportedly clashed with La Masia head Patrick Kluivert.

"Victor still doesn't have much experience as a coach," Puyol said. "Last season he did very well and has a lot of knowledge about soccer to teach children.

"I do not know the reasons for what happened, I am not in the club, but I know that he will have a good career as a coach and that he will train great players.

"Youth football is not easy. Many times you look more at the results and you also have to think about the development and training of the children."

Jose Mourinho says Brazil icon Ronaldo is the best player he has ever seen.

The Portuguese was assistant coach to Bobby Robson during the striker's stunning 1996-97 season with Barcelona when he scored 47 goals in 49 appearances across all competitions.

Ronaldo went on to enjoy goal-laden spells at Inter and Real Madrid and fired Brazil to a fifth World Cup triumph in 2002 before hanging up his boots in 2011. 

Mourinho coached Cristiano Ronaldo for three years at Madrid and has watched Barca forward Lionel Messi throughout his career, with the two players considered to be among the greatest of all time.

But while conceding the pair have sustained their brilliance over longer periods, Mourinho - who has been out of a job since his departure from Manchester United in December - says no-one can touch Ronaldo for pure "talent and skill".

When asked by LiveScore who the best player he had seen was, Mourinho said: "Ronaldo.

"Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have had longer careers; they have remained at the top every day for 15 years. However, if we are talking strictly about talent and skill, nobody surpasses Ronaldo.

"When he was at Barcelona with Bobby Robson, I realised that he was the best player I'd ever seen take to the field. Injuries killed a career that could have been even more incredible, but the talent that that 19-year-old boy had was something incredible.

"In 1997, Barcelona played against PSG in Rotterdam and Ronaldo's goal, 1-0. Awesome."

Luis Suarez and Karim Benzema are the wrong side of 30 and could soon be looking over their shoulders.

LaLiga heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid are planning for the future and have reportedly identified ideal long-term successors to their respective strikers.

Meanwhile, two Premier League rivals could be about to do battle for the signature of a highly rated defender.


TOP STORY – ENEMIES EYE REINFORCEMENTS

AS claim Spanish champions Barca have identified Donyell Malen as the man to replace star striker Suarez, now 32.

The PSV forward scored on his international debut for Netherlands in September and has netted 10 goals in nine Eredivisie games this term.

Inter's Lautaro Martinez and Rafael Leao of AC Milan are also in the Blaugrana's sights.

Madrid, meanwhile, are considering an approach for Salzburg teenager Erling Haaland, AS adds.

Luka Jovic is yet to make much of an impression in the Spanish capital and Haaland, the scorer of four goals in two Champions League games, could prove a more useful option behind Benzema.


ROUND-UP

- Kai Havertz insists the decision on his next move will be his alone. Barca and Madrid have been linked with the in-demand Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, who told a news conference he is ready to take control of his future.

- Manchester City are preparing to hijack Manchester United's move for Ruben Dias. According to The Sun, the Premier League champions see the Benfica centre-back as the solution to their defensive crisis.

- In a second blow to the under-pressure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Daily Mail claims United medical staff fear the injured Paul Pogba will spend the rest of October on the sideline. Pogba is in Dubai for warm-weather training as he battles to overcome a foot problem, but is in doubt for the blockbuster clash with leaders Liverpool in just over a week.

- Chelsea are weighing up whether to recall Ethan Ampadu from his RB Leipzig loan spell when the transfer window reopens in January, the Daily Express reports. Wales international Ampadu has not registered a single appearance for the Bundesliga outfit.

- Steven Gerrard's success in turning Rangers into genuine Scottish Premiership title contenders has garnered unexpected interest in his services. The Sun says Turkish giants Besiktas see the former Liverpool and England midfielder as a good fit to replace Abdullah Avci, should the incumbent boss fail to improve their Super Lig fortunes.

Ansu Fati could be named in Spain's squad for Euro 2020, says coach Robert Moreno.

The 16-year-old forward has burst on to the scene this season, becoming Barcelona's youngest LaLiga goalscorer when he struck against Osasuna.

Born in Guinea-Bissau, Fati also had the option to represent Portugal at international level but he chose to play for La Roja and this week he was granted Spanish citizenship.

Fati was then added to the Spain Under-21 squad to face Montenegro after Barcelona team-mate Carles Perez withdrew through injury.

Moreno indicated Fati is already in his thinking as Spain work towards Euro 2020, with qualification in sight after six wins from six in Group F.

"Of course I would like Ansu to be here," he said ahead of Saturday's trip to Norway. "We had him in the pre-list.

"He has broken the system of the age groups. We believe it is important to have players who have a goal.

"If he starts scoring goals and breaking out we will not give up having such a player with us.

"All good guys are welcome. Ansu has shown many things.

"Of course it would be feasible for him to be at the Euros."

Moreno's contract expires after Euro 2020, the coach having taken charge on an initial temporary basis after Luis Enrique had to step away for personal reasons.

Although he is yet to open talks with the Royal Spanish Football Federation over a renewal, Moreno is not concerned about the situation.

"I had not thought about it. They have neither spoken to me nor do I want them to talk to me," he added.

"We are focused on getting 30 points. It does not give me any value to be told about it.

"This is a lot of fun and every week something new appears to entertain you. I am happy with how things are going. I have not seen them yet in losing.

"Hopefully we can secure qualification, I would like to do it by winning all the matches."

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz insists he will have the final say on his next career move after being linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The 20-year-old enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in 2018-19, scoring 17 Bundesliga goals as he helped Leverkusen qualify for the Champions League.

Havertz scored his first international goal for Germany in Wednesday's 2-2 draw with Argentina and reports in Spain suggest LaLiga heavyweights Madrid and Barcelona are interested in the player.

While open to advice on his future, including from national boss Joachim Low, Havertz - who is under contract at BayArena until 2022 - will make a choice that is right for him.

Speaking at a Germany news conference on Friday, he said: "I listen to many people but in the end it will be my decision. 

"I will embrace any advice Low will give me because he has a lot experience - it wouldn't be smart to not listen to him."

Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller confirmed in August that Bayern Munich have previously showed an interest in Havertz, who is in line to feature for his country in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia on Sunday.

Ansu Fati has been called into the Spain Under-21 squad, just 24 hours after being granted clearance to play for his adopted country.

Fati was added to the party to face Montenegro on Tuesday after Barcelona team-mate Carles Perez was forced to withdraw through injury.

It continues a remarkable rise to prominence for the 16-year-old, who became Barca's youngest LaLiga goalscorer when he found the net against Osasuna in August.

Born in Guinea-Bissau, Fati also had the option to represent Portugal at international level, but was granted Spanish citizenship and chose to play for La Roja.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation confirmed on Thursday that FIFA had granted Fati permission to represent Spain at international level.

Spain's youth team sporting director Francisco Hernandez suggested Fati could be fast-tracked into the senior squad after opting to leave him out of the squad for the Under-17 World Cup in Brazil.

"We have taken the decision not to include him in this [World Cup] squad," Hernandez said.

"This was following a wider sporting review in that we consider him in a better position to play with an older category and for that to be the case, he cannot come to the Under-17 World Cup.

"We want him to star for the senior team as soon as possible."

Spain senior coach Robert Moreno said Fati was on his preliminary list for the current international break.

"We thought he could do well," he said. "He was on the preliminary list, we value him, there were a number of events that have been going on, bureaucratic issues after he was injured and we could not summon him.

"Allow me for this exception when talking about someone who is not on the list, but he was a special case that had to be treated in an honest way."

Ansu Fati has received clearance to play for Spain but has not been included in their squad for the Under-17 World Cup.

Barcelona forward Fati became the club's youngest LaLiga goalscorer when he found the net against Osasuna in August at the age of 16.

Fati was left out of Spain's most recent senior and Under-21 squads, with the latter's coach Luis de la Fuente confirming he was not yet eligible.

Born in Guinea-Bissau, Fati also had the option to represent Portugal at international level, but has been granted Spanish citizenship and chosen to play for La Roja.

And the Royal Spanish Football Federation confirmed on Thursday that FIFA has now granted Fati permission to represent Spain at international level.

Spain's youth team sporting director Francisco Hernandez suggested Fati could be fast-tracked into the senior squad.

"We have taken the decision not to include him in this [World Cup] squad," he said.

"This was following a wider sporting review in that we consider him in a better position to play with an older category and for that to be the case, he cannot come to the Under-17 World Cup.

"We want him to star for the senior team as soon as possible."

Spain senior squad coach Robert Moreno said Fati was on his preliminary list for the current international break.

"We thought he could do well," he said. "He was on the preliminary list, we value him, there were a number of events that have been going on, bureaucratic issues after he was injured and we could not summon him.

"Allow me for this exception when talking about someone who is not on the list, but he was a special case that had to be treated in an honest way."

Sergio Reguilon insists he left Real Madrid "on good terms" despite others making the decision to loan him to Sevilla for the season.

Reguilon, 22, broke into Madrid's first-team squad last season, usurping Marcelo as first-choice left-back for a period in the second half of the season under Santiago Solari, his former Castilla coach.

The left-back soon found himself playing back-up again once Zinedine Zidane returned and restored Marcelo to the starting XI in March, while the pre-season signing of Ferland Mendy from Lyon saw Reguilon's hopes of first-team football diminish even further.

Sevilla are coached by Julen Lopetegui, who initially promoted Reguilon to Madrid's first team during a short-lived spell for the coach at the Santiago Bernabeu last year, and the Andalusian club secured the full-back's arrival on a season-long loan in July.

Reguilon has been a revelation for Sevilla, starting seven of their eight LaLiga matches.

His impressive performances resulted in a first call-up to Spain's senior squad for October's Euro 2020 qualifiers against Norway and Sweden, suggesting Reguilon could have been an asset to Madrid this term, though he feels entirely at ease with his parent club.

"I have a very clear conscience because I left everything out there [on the pitch] for Real Madrid," Reguilon told AS.

"Others made that decision [to loan Reguilon] and I can't do anything but do my job to the very best. It's what I did in Madrid and I try to do it now at Sevilla.

"I left Madrid on good terms, I wasn't mad at anyone. Everything was a mutual agreement. I am an academy player and I owe everything to Madrid. It's impossible for me to leave in a bad way.

"I want to do my best at Sevilla and that's my only concern. The best way to make it difficult for Zidane is to play well for Sevilla.

"My plan is to run, perform and give everything in every game and next year, whatever happens will happen."

Reguilon is expected to return to Madrid at the end of the season as Sevilla do not have a purchase option.

Dani Ceballos insists he has not given up on his Real Madrid "dream" despite being sent out on loan to Arsenal this season.

Spain international Ceballos joined Madrid in 2017 after emerging as one of LaLiga's most promising talents at Real Betis, but he struggled to secure regular football under Zinedine Zidane.

After Zidane's departure, Ceballos began to play more regularly for Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari, but that did not continue when the Frenchman returned in March.

He was allowed to leave for Arsenal on loan and has shown flashes of his ability in London, with Gunners fans quickly taking to the playmaker.

Though it seems they should not get used to his presence, as he still sees his long-term future at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"When I don't play, I don't enjoy myself," he told Radio Marca. "These two years [at Real Madrid] I've learned a lot from the club, but now I'm enjoying it [football].

"I knew it was an important year, the coach has doubts and he who doesn't play doesn't go [to Euro 2020], so it was a good time to go on loan.

"With [Arsenal coach Unai] Emery's confidence I may have many chances to be in the Euros squad.

"I never thought about going permanently. My goal is to succeed at Real Madrid. I will fight to fulfil my dream."

Martin Odegaard is another Madrid-owned player thriving on loan this season, with his performances at Real Sociedad marking him out as one of LaLiga's standout stars in 2019-20.

Ceballos has consequently come to the conclusion it might be a good season to be away from Los Blancos.

"You're seeing that maybe it wasn't the year to play for Real Madrid," he added. "It has been a very successful decision [for Odegaard], he has a lot of room for improvement.

"From now to the next few years, he will be a very important player for Real Madrid."

Euro 2020 is not the only international tournament Ceballos hopes of featuring in over the next year, as he will do everything he can to get Madrid to approve his decision to play at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"It's something that I may not play in my life again," Ceballos said. "I would put my dream on the table to the club.

"I have spoken with people from the [Royal Spanish Football] Federation who know that I would like to go, I would be delighted. I want to go to the Olympics and to the Euros.

"There are two tournaments that demand a lot of responsibility. I don't care if I don't have a holiday. I'm 23 years old and I'll rest when I'm older."

Another day, another rumour about Christian Eriksen.

The soon-to-be free agent Eriksen wants a new challenge after flagging his intent during the previous transfer window.

A move to LaLiga appeals and a Spanish giant from the capital are reportedly ready to pounce.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID EYE ERIKSEN 

AS and Marca claim Real Madrid are ready to make a move for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen in January.

Eriksen is a free agent at the end of the season, and the Spurs star has been linked to the likes of Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Manchester United and Inter.

However, Madrid are reportedly unwilling to wait until season's end as they look to strengthen their midfield.

ROUND-UP

Inter are eyeing Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic, says FC Inter News. Matic has found himself out of favour under United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and a switch to Serie A could be on the cards for the Serbia international, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

- According to Calciomercato, Serie A champions Juventus are looking to sign Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri. The Italy international worked with Maurizio Sarri during the former Chelsea boss' time at Stamford Bridge.

Massimiliano Allegri has handed United a "deadline" for him to be given the job at Old Trafford, says La Gazzetta dello Sport. Solskjaer is under growing pressure, with the Red Devils enduring a difficult season and former Juventus boss Allegri has emerged as a possible replacement.

- Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil fears he has played his last game for the Gunners, according to the Mirror. Ozil has struggled to establish himself since Unai Emery's arrival and the former Germany international has been linked to MLS outfit DC United and Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

- Le10Sport claims former Chile, Sevilla and Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli is on the shortlist to fill the Lyon vacancy following Sylvinho's sacking. Sampaoli is in charge of Brazilian side Santos.

- Gianluca Di Marzio reports Claudio Ranieri is in the mix to take over at Sampdoria, who sacked Eusebio Di Francesco prior to the international break. Ranieri – who sensationally led Leicester City to Premier League glory in 2015-16 – last oversaw Roma on a temporary basis last term. Ex-AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso reportedly turned down the job.

- Manchester United are among the admirers of rising Mexico star Sebastian Cordova, reports Record. The 22-year-old America playmaker made his international debut for El Tri last week. The attacking third and midfield are areas of concern for United, who have also been linked to Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic.

Gareth Bale admitted to playing with "anger" amid uncertainty over his Real Madrid future heading into Wales' Euro 2020 qualifier.

Zinedine Zidane told Bale he was free to leave during the transfer window, however, the Wales star remained in Madrid to force his way into the team.

Bale has scored two goals and supplied two assists in LaLiga this term, though there has been reports claiming the 30-year-old wants to depart the Spanish capital at season's end.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's qualifier against Slovakia, Bale said: "You play with a lot of emotion. Anger comes into it of course, but I haven't got anything to clear my mind about.

"I try and give my best whether here [with Wales] or in Madrid and I will continue to do that."

Wales manager Ryan Giggs added: "I think now, looking from the outside, things have improved. The way that he's playing - which is all that footballers want to do, they want to play, they want to get minutes, they want to do well - I've always said he's at a fantastic club.

"Of course, it would have unsettled him because it was apparently very close for him going.

"But things might have changed. Things do change quite quickly in football and now he's playing, he's loved, he's happy, and I expect him to carry on doing what he's doing for Real Madrid.

"If Gareth Bale is at your club and he's training well and he gets the chance to play, he's always going to keep you interested because he can turn a game on its head, he can score goals and he's such an asset.

"So I'm not surprised in that respect. I was surprised with what happened in the summer - I think everyone from the outside thought it was a bit strange, but it seems like everything has gone a bit quiet now.

"I think that's all you ask for - for players to be in good form for their clubs and then take it into the international arena."

Wales head to Trnava fourth in Group E in Euro 2020 qualifying, four points adrift of leaders Croatia and three behind second-placed Slovakia.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has dismissed concerns about Eden Hazard being overweight at Real Madrid.

A report in Sport in July claimed Hazard was seven kilograms too heavy when he joined up with the Madrid squad for pre-season duty.

The Belgium star has found it difficult to kick-start his career in LaLiga since joining from Chelsea in the transfer window, only scoring his first goal for the club in last weekend's 4-2 defeat of Granada.

Martinez, though, does not believe Hazard's physical condition is a particular concern given the talent he has.

"He is a really calm person, not someone who looks for individual glory," he told Deportes Cuatro."Whether he's carrying weight or not, Hazard can break past and unsettle defences and make a difference.

"His innate talent doesn't depend on whether his weight is this or that."

Martinez also spoke in defence of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

The 27-year-old was taken off at half-time of the 2-2 Champions League draw with Club Brugge with what Madrid described as a stomach problem.

The club was forced to deny Courtois had become ill due to anxiety, having conceded twice to Brugge in the first half to compound a difficult run of form at club level.

Martinez says Courtois is still recovering from illness and insists he is the world's best in his position.

"It wasn't true that he had anxiety," Martinez said."He is still feeling the effects of a stomach bug and needs to regain a kilogram or two. That's what can happen with a stomach bug.

"He is a player who dreamed of playing for Real Madrid from a young age and he is ready to define an era there. I am convinced that he is the best goalkeeper in the world."

Page 1 of 52
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.