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.

Lionel Messi admitted he wanted to leave Barcelona in order to get out of Spain after authorities investigated him for tax fraud.

The Argentina star and his father were found guilty of evading tax on income from image rights by a Catalonian court in 2016 and were sentenced to 21 months in prison, although this was changed to a fine a year later.

Messi has now revealed he felt so "mistreated" during the investigation that he considered quitting Barcelona so he could get out of the country, but he thinks other clubs were put off making official offers as they knew he was at heart a one-club man.

"In the years 2012, 2013 and 2014, I had a tough time," Messi told RAC1. "Yes, for the issue with the Hacienda [Spain's state tax agency]. It was really difficult for me and my family because people didn't really know what was happening. They heard things and they opined. A part of the press did the same, too.

"I think I was the first [footballer to be investigated by the Hacienda] and for that reason it was all so hard. My kids were little.

"At that time, I honestly thought about leaving. Not because I wanted to leave Barca, but to leave Spain because I felt mistreated and I didn't want to be here. I had many doors open but never anything official because everyone knew my desire was to continue but it was something which went beyond my feelings towards Barca."

Question marks over Messi's future appeared again this September when he told Sport that, although he did not want to leave Camp Nou, he was eager to be part of a "winning team".

It was suggested the 32-year-old was referring to recent Champions League frustrations, with Barca's last triumph coming in 2015 and their past two campaigns ending in humiliating defeats to Roma and Liverpool.

However, Messi has made it clear he wants to end his career with Barcelona and may even pass on his dream of playing for boyhood club Newell's Old Boys in Argentina before he retires as he does not want to uproot his family.

"It's true we struggled to get started this season, but we have a good squad with great players to be able to win everything," Messi said.

"We are here to win and to win titles. In recent years we have been close. In the last two years, it was our fault for the way we got knocked out. It wasn't the project or the coach. We have a great squad to be able to win everything.

"And obviously, if they want me, I'm delighted [to stay]. I will repeat: my idea is always to stay here. My idea and my family's idea is to end my career here."

He added that he has "always dreamed" of playing for Newell's.

"But sometimes you have to think more about the family than what you want," Messi said. "The family is the most important thing."

Messi also hopes to see former team-mate Xavi return to Barca as a coach, even if that happens after he has retired. Xavi is currently coaching Qatari side Al Sadd.

"He's in training and at some point he'll come back here," Messi added. "I have a feeling he'll be similar to [Pep] Guardiola. I don't know if I'll experience it as a player, of course."

Ousmane Dembele will miss the first Clasico of the season after being handed a two-match ban by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

The Barcelona winger was sent off in the closing minutes of the 4-0 LaLiga win over Sevilla last Sunday after confronting referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz, who had just given debutant Ronald Araujo a red card for a foul on Javier Hernandez.

According to the referee's match report, Dembele said to him, "Very bad, you are very bad", as Barca players surrounded him to argue against Araujo's dismissal.

Barca appealed against Dembele's red card but the RFEF has dismissed their case and given the France international a two-game ban.

He will therefore sit out the trip to Eibar on October 19 and then the visit of Real Madrid to Camp Nou on October 26.

Araujo has been banned for one game, as has Gerard Pique, who has collected five bookings this season. Both will be available to face Madrid.

Dembele has made three LaLiga appearances this season and scored his first goal of 2019-20 in the defeat of Sevilla.

Barca are two points behind league leaders Real Madrid after eight matches.

Ivan Rakitic has suggested he could look to leave Barcelona if he does not regain his first-team place, insisting he is not prepared to "just enjoy walks around the city and the beach".

The midfielder was heavily linked with a move away from Camp Nou in the previous transfer window as the Catalans sought to build up funds for a possible bid for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

Rakitic was reportedly offered to PSG as part of a proposed Neymar deal, while Juventus are also said to have been interested, with Cristiano Ronaldo rumoured to have tried to convince the Croatia international to move to Turin.

Rakitic maintained he had no desire to leave Barca, but he has become a peripheral figure under Ernesto Valverde this season, playing just 186 minutes in all competitions.

"I don't know what will come now," Rakitic said, according to 24sata. "It's tough because I want to play and not just be part of the team.

"I will do everything possible to change my situation. I have two years left on my deal and there's no better place to play than Barcelona, the best club in the world, but I need to play and not just enjoy walks around the city and the beach."

Rakitic says he has spoken with decision-makers at Barca over his future, with the club aware he had received offers from elsewhere and decided to turn them down.

He was given a rousing reception by fans when he came on in the 4-0 LaLiga win over former club Sevilla on Sunday, but he says even the backing of the supporters does not make up for being out of the starting line-up.

"I spoke with people at the club. Everyone knew I had other options. I want to fight so that the team see me ready to deliver on the pitch," he said.

"I want to thank the fans for the affection they showed me this weekend, but if nothing changed, we will have to sit down and talk about my situation again."

Lionel Messi has dismissed suggestions he did not want Barcelona to sign Antoine Griezmann as a "lie".

Griezmann joined the LaLiga champions in a long-anticipated €120million transfer ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Barca were also heavily linked with trying to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou but Messi insists a desire to be reunited with his former team-mate did not mean he was cold on the Griezmann deal.

"Obviously it is a lie that I did not want Griezmann," he told RAC 1.

"Last year I said he was one of the best and the best are always welcome. I also wanted Neymar to come for the same reason, because he is different - one of the best, and to have him here would have been important for our goals.

"But with Ney we had to look beyond sports, many parties did not want him to come [due to] everything that had happened."

Griezmann has scored three times in seven LaLiga appearances but struggled to hit the heights that made him one of the most sought-after players in the world while at Atletico Madrid.

He completed 90 minutes and failed to score in the three games in which Barca have dropped points in LaLiga this season, while he is without a Champions League goal and was an unused substitute for last weekend's 4-0 win over Sevilla.

The France international said Messi's early season calf injury and the fact neither player talks too much had made it "difficult" for them to establish a relationship.

Messi maintains there are no issues and knows adapting to Barcelona and the current interpretation of their famed style takes time.

"For any player who does not know the Barca method, coming from outside is very difficult," he added.

"Griezmann is an intelligent player, of great quality, and he will end up adapting."

Neymar signing for Real Madrid was a prospect Lionel Messi feared was about to become a reality.

The Brazil superstar featured in a lethal front three alongside Messi and Luis Suarez at Camp Nou before joining Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222m move two years ago.

Reports of Neymar wishing to return to LaLiga have been frequent since then and an 'MSN' reunion was mooted during the close season.

But with Barcelona unable to put together a package to make the deal happen, Messi worried his old team-mate would end up pulling on the famous white shirt of their sworn rivals.

"I honestly thought that in this market, if he did not come here, he would go to Madrid, because I really thought he wanted to leave," five-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi told RAC1.

"He said it, he wanted to change, to leave Paris. I thought that Florentino [Perez, Real Madrid president] and Madrid would do something to take him away."

Barcelona still boast a plethora of elite forward options.

Messi is back to fitness after a calf problem delayed his start to the 2019-20 season, while Suarez came through a period of criticism to score four times in the space of eight days before the international break.

Big-money arrival Antoine Griezmann is still bedding in, although his fellow France international Ousmane Dembele must serve a suspension having been sent off for dissent during the 4-0 victory against Sevilla last time out.

In his report, referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz said Dembele told him he was "very bad, you're very bad" in response to Barca youngster Ronald Araujo being red-carded.

Like coach Ernesto Valverde, Messi was perplexed by the incident – mainly due to Dembele's lack of aptitude with the Spanish language – that means the winger is set to miss El Clasico at Camp Nou later this month.

"It is very difficult for him to be able to say that because it is difficult for him to put together sentences and speak well enough to speak clearly," Messi said.

"The coach supported him at a press conference. The truth is we were surprised that [the referee] understood it so clearly because Ousmane has a hard time speaking Spanish – although he makes himself understood and understands everything.

"It's difficult [to accept the referee] understood it so clearly. That's just the way it is."

Antoine Griezmann is having to adapt to a different style of play at Barcelona but is certainly not unhappy at the club, according to team-mate Clement Lenglet.

Griezmann, a €120million signing from Atletico Madrid in the transfer window, has struggled to find top form since moving to Camp Nou.

The 28-year-old has scored three goals in seven LaLiga appearances but has generally found it difficult to influence games from the left of Ernesto Valverde's attack.

He was dropped to the bench for compatriot Ousmane Dembele for Barca's latest game, a 4-0 league win over Sevilla on Sunday, in which Dembele scored.

There have also been concerns Griezmann is not suited to playing alongside club captain Lionel Messi, largely after the France forward admitted in a news conference that the pair do not often speak.

However, Lenglet insists there is no cause for concern around Griezmann's place at the club.

When asked if Griezmann is happier in the France squad than with Barca, Lenglet replied: "No. I am with him every day and I can tell you that he is very happy in Barcelona.

"He's a positive person who always has a smile on his face. When he arrives in the French team that fact doesn't change. He loves to make jokes, you know him. He hasn't changed, whether it's in Barcelona or in the France squad.

"He's someone who has just arrived and Barcelona is a different club from the other clubs, which plays a different game - a different game from Atletico.

"He has scored three goals, I think he's the club's second-best scorer, even though it's only the beginning of the season. It's still something quite positive.

"He works a lot for the team. He used to play as second striker at Atletico and now he plays on one side. He helps us a lot with his talent and his defensive efforts in every game. He's sacrificing himself for the team. I don't think there is an 'Antoine Griezmann case' as you can try to make me say."

Messi scored his first goal of the season from a free-kick against Sevilla, having been sidelined for much of the early part of the season with a calf problem.

Lenglet says the Argentina star has still been teaching him a few lessons in training, however, where he gives his defensive team-mates a torrid time.

"He is an extraordinary player. We are very happy to have him in Barcelona. He makes a lot of difference," said Lenglet.

"When we are in training, we set the pace. Leo often plays as a joker. He is very clever in his placement, in his way of protecting the ball. It's hard to steal it. You have to anticipate well in advance. We suffer daily but we are happy to have him with us every weekend. That's the main thing."

One of the big positives of Barca's season has been the breakthrough of Ansu Fati, the 16-year-old who has scored twice in five league appearances and captured the attention of Spain with his performances.

"Ansu is very talented," said Lenglet. "He's in a dressing room with a lot of international players and very good players in his position. He took advantage of some absences to have playing time. He was very good when he played.

"He has some minor problems given his age to follow the rhythm of matches and training, but he is very well cared for. He is very professional. It's a very pleasant surprise. I think he's a good player for the future but also for the present because he has many qualities."

Uruguay head coach Oscar Tabarez said it is premature to think Luis Suarez's time with the national team is over.

Suarez – who has earned 111 Uruguay caps – will miss international friendlies against South American rivals Peru on October 11 and 15 to undergo medical treatment in Barcelona.

The 32-year-old forward was named in the preliminary squad but withdrew ahead of the games in Montevideo and Lima, instead remaining in Barcelona with the LaLiga champions.

Asked about Suarez, who has scored four goals in his past three games for Barca, and his future, Tabarez told reporters: "Every player wears out during his career. In the 60's I read an article about Pele, I don't need to introduce him, written by doctors saying that Pele had the body of someone 20 years older than him.

"So, how long has Suarez been on the national team? He's here from 2007. How many games he played? How many goals he scored? How many times did he play injured? How many times he had surprising recoveries? For how quick they were or how they scaped normal things like the necessary recovery time and he overcame that, so I think it's rushed and it's not knowing the player [Suarez] saying he's over. Not at all. Time will tell who's right. We have a lot of confidence on him being fit.

"It's very hard to guess the future of a player. I didn't guess what Luis Suarez has achieved in football. In 2006, when he first came here to train I saw things on him that weren't normal, but there was no way I could imagine, from there, all the career he had. I don't take credit on that either. The credit is his. He did all that. He had ups and downs, he made mistakes, but every time he came, he brought something new.

"He was the top scorer in Groningen, he went to Ajax, he became Ajax's captain with just 21 years old, then moving to Liverpool, all the goals he scored, he keeps breaking records... With a huge wear out that has given him some problems but he always keeps his head up. That's the kind of player that sets an era in a national team, and in a given time those players were youngsters. So you have to pay attention to them sometime and if you see something, you help them out.

"What Luis Suarez has given to Uruguayan football is huge. Never mind the chance that he can give something little from now on. I hope he can still give us something. I'm not 100 per cent sure, he can have some problem. But we can't worry just for one injury or missing one game."

Suarez – Uruguay's all-time leading scorer with 58 goals since debuting in 2007 – has netted six goals for Barca across all competitions this term.

Barcelona have confirmed the sacking of the club's under-19 coach Victor Valdes.

Former goalkeeper Valdes was appointed to the role in July but lasted only three months in charge of the Juvenil A team.

Valdes reportedly clashed with former Barcelona striker Patrick Kluivert, who is now in charge of La Masia, prior to his departure.

Although Barca's U-19s are sitting in second place behind Real Zaragoza in the league, they lost their opening two UEFA Youth League fixtures to Borussia Dortmund and Inter under Valdes' leadership.

"Barcelona have informed Víctor Valdes on Monday that he is no longer U19A coach and no longer employed by the club," said a brief club statement. 

The 37-year-old won the 2010 World Cup with Spain and a raft of honours at Barca, including six LaLiga titles and a trio of Champions Leagues.

Franc Artiga, who has been part of the youth set up at La Masia since 2010, will take over the post.

 

 

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde was left pondering Ousmane Dembele's red card at the end of his side's rout of Sevilla, claiming the Frenchman's grasp of Spanish would have restricted the words that led to his dismissal.

Dembele was sent off two minutes from time for protesting the red card shown to Barcelona debutant Ronald Araujo in Sunday's 4-0 LaLiga victory, and Valverde said the late disciplinary flurry did not reflect the manner of the game.

Barca cruised to their fourth consecutive win in all competitions, scoring three goals in eight first-half minutes before captain Lionel Messi added a fourth with a second-half free-kick.

Valverde praised his side's incisive forward play after the champions moved within two points of top spot thanks to goals from Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal, Dembele and Messi.

"We have had more punch than them, there is the key," Valverde told reporters afterwards.

"The result is substantial, but we don't have to be forgiving to our rivals.

"The red cards? It's the referee's decision. Everyone has their opinion. I've seen a pretty clean game.

"It didn't seem like Araujo's fault, but I always see everything in favour of my team.

"I don't know what Dembele may have said to the referee but I don't think it's a long sentence because it's hard to hear him speak Spanish."

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui hailed his side's bright start, in which Luuk de Jong squandered three good opportunities to put the visitors ahead.

But Barcelona's dominance thereafter leaves Sevilla with three defeats from their last four LaLiga matches and Lopetegui felt the result at Camp Nou was harsh on his players.

"The first 30 to 35 minutes were ours," said Lopetegui. "We had very clear chances and we didn't score. And in such a scenario when you don't take advantage, the laws of football take effect."

Lionel Messi scored his 100th goal from outside the box for Barcelona as he helped the LaLiga champions past Sevilla.

Messi netted a trademark free-kick in the second half as Barca routed Sevilla 4-0 at Camp Nou on Sunday.

The Barca captain curled a set-piece past Sevilla goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik with 12 minutes remaining to complete the scoring.

Messi's first goal of the season was his 43rd successful free-kick as the five-time Ballon d'Or winner and recipient of The Best FIFA Men's Player award celebrated a century milestone.

The 32-year-old superstar also became the first player to score in 16 consecutive LaLiga seasons in the 21st century.

Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele scored memorable goals for Barcelona as Ernesto Valverde's decision to drop Antoine Griezmann was vindicated in a 4-0 victory over Sevilla.

While their €120million signing among the substitutes, Suarez's acrobatic overhead kick got the LaLiga champions off the mark, Arturo Vidal polished off a sublime passing move with the second and Dembele scored a solo effort to all but end the contest.

Lionel Messi wrapped up the win with a curling second-half free-kick and the synergy between Barcelona's front three, which has not always clicked with Griezmann involved, will not have been lost on Valverde.

The match ended in unsavoury fashion for the Catalans, though, who saw debutant Ronald Araujo and Dembele sent off shortly before injury time.

Luuk de Jong received good service from Lucas Ocampos in the early stages but he fluffed three chances put Sevilla ahead before Suarez broke the deadlock with a moment of magic 27 minutes in.

The Uruguay marksman watched Nelson Semedo's cross loop through the air and met it with an overhead kick into the bottom corner of the net before goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik could react.

The goal settled the hosts and five minutes later a move that incorporated 25 passes and all 11 Barcelona players culminated in Arthur's weighted ball, which allowed Vidal to slide in and glance a shot past Vaclik.

Dembele made it 3-0 inside eight first-half minutes when his slaloming run tore through Sevilla's defence, the 22-year-old opening his body and side-footing in at the far post.

The second half started just like the first, with De Jong squandering a great chance to score when he drilled a shot against the post from just inside the Barca box.

The hosts were soon back on top and Messi twice surged through Sevilla's midfield before putting the finishing touches on a fine win with a dipping, curling free-kick 12 minutes from time.

Valverde sent on Araujo for his debut, which turned sour when he was judged to have fouled Javier Hernandez as the Sevilla forward went through on goal and was shown a red card along with Dembele, who was sent off for his protests.

 

What does it mean? Barca go second

After Atletico Madrid were held to a goalless draw at Real Valladolid, Barcelona took full advantage and claimed a result that moved them up to second place in the table, two points behind leaders Real Madrid.

Frenkie says 'Relax!'

A run of mixed results in August and September left Valverde under pressure but his players looked calm and assured here, none more so than Frenkie de Jong, who looks every inch the composed midfield lynchpin to succeed Sergio Busquets – a second-half substitute here.

No luck for Luuk

While Barca's De Jong barely put a foot wrong his Sevilla namesake had a torrid evening, the centre-forward missing four clear chances to give the visitors a foothold in the game.

What's next?

Barcelona will hope to extend their winning run to five matches in all competitions by beating Eibar away from home on October 19, while Sevilla aim to get back on course as they entertain Levante a day later.

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu highlighted Barcelona's economic strength and vowed to use the money to continue renovating the squad.

LaLiga champions Barca announced in September they are aiming to become the first sports club to generate revenue exceeding €1billion (£810.8bn) after making a profit for an eighth season in a row in 2018-19.

Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong, Neto and Junior Firpo came in during the close season, while Malcom, Jasper Cillessen, Andre Gomes, Paco Alcacer and Denis Suarez were offloaded on permanent transfers.

A deal for Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar notably did not go through, though, with Barcelona reportedly lacking money to fund a blockbuster return.

Addressing the club's members at Sunday's General Assembly, Bartomeu emphasised the importance of bringing in new talent while continuing to spend within their means.

"We have to continue renovating the squad to continue with this natural evolution with talent from both home and abroad," he said. "We are sure this will be a winning generation.

"I want to say that things are going well. It's a fact - we are the club that has the most revenue generated in the world of sport. 

"It should be remembered that on September 19, the club presented budgets that contemplated more than one billion euros in revenue."

On the field, Barcelona retained their LaLiga crown last season but exited the Champions League at the semi-final stage and lost in the Copa del Rey final.

However, Bartomeu pointed out the Catalan giants have overtaken their closest rivals in terms of major honours won over the past 15 years.

"Since 2004, Barcelona have never stopped to go for glory," he said. "We have changed coaches, players, managers, and bosses, but Barca never stopped winning.

"We have won 34 titles in the last 15 years. We are on top of the rankings compared to all European teams."

Bartomeu, whose presidency runs through until 2021, also confirmed renovation work on Camp Nou will not be complete until 2024, three years later than initially planned.

"We are waiting for the necessary licenses to start the renovation of the Camp Nou stadium," he said. "Summer 2020 will be the first summer out of the four which we will need to finish our new stadium."

Real Madrid lead the race to sign Donny van de Beek with Manchester United seemingly out of the running for the Ajax player.

Van de Beek, 22, has developed into one of the most wanted midfielders in Europe after impressing with Ajax.

Madrid and United have been among the clubs linked with a move for the Netherlands international, but the Spanish giants are said to be favourites.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID LEAD VAN DE BEEK RACE WITH MAN UNITED UNWILLING TO MEET AJAX DEMANDS

Real Madrid are in pole position to sign Van de Beek as Manchester United have been unwilling to pay big money for the Ajax man, according to the Mirror.

The report says Ajax asked the Premier League club for £35million (€39.3m) three months ago, but they are now seeking £100million (€112.3m) which has not put off Madrid.

Madrid have been linked to numerous midfielders, including United's Paul Pogba.

ROUND-UP

- Still linked with Real Madrid, Pogba is also reportedly considering signing a new contract at Manchester United. The Mirror says United have denied they are being held to ransom by Pogba amid reports he is demanding £600,000 per week to sign his new deal.

- Lautaro Martinez scored at Camp Nou on Wednesday and the Inter forward's performance has left Barcelona wanting more. The LaLiga giants' attention has returned to Martinez after the display, according to Sport, with the Argentina international having previously been linked with Barca.

- With Real Madrid eyeing midfielders, Wolves' Ruben Neves is being linked with a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu, claims Don Balon, which says €50million (£44.5m) could be enough to get a deal done.

- Arsenal are willing to pay £49.9million (€56m) for PSV striker Donyell Malen, according to Tuttosport. The 20-year-old was previously in the Premier League club's academy and has attracted interest after netting eight goals in as many Eredivisie games this season.

- Victor Valdes' return to Barcelona appears set to be short-lived. Mundo Deportivo reports the club's under-19s coach, appointed in July, is set to lose his job after a string of disagreements.

Ansu Fati is back in the Barcelona squad for Sunday's visit of Sevilla, while Jordi Alba also returns after almost three weeks out.

Fati, 16, missed Barca's wins over Getafe and Inter in the past week with a knee injury, having made a fine impact at the start of the campaign despite his tender age.

However, he has been given the all-clear to return to action and is named in the squad to face Sevilla – whose academy he represented as a child – at Camp Nou this weekend.

Left-back Alba is back in contention as well having been out since mid-September, when he suffered a hamstring strain against Borussia Dortmund.

Barca are almost at full strength, with only injured duo Samuel Umtiti and Junior Firpo and the suspended Clement Lenglet unable to feature.

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