Luis Suarez has been handed his full debut for Atletico Madrid as Diego Simeone's side take on Huesca in their second LaLiga fixture of the campaign.

Suarez came off the bench to run riot in the final 20 minutes of Atleti's 6-1 demolition of Granada on Sunday.

The Uruguay striker – signed last week in a €6million move from Barcelona – scored twice and provided an assist to round off a fine start to the season for Atleti.

He became the first Atleti player in the 21st century to both score and assist in his first match for the club, while also becoming their first debutant ever to net a brace.

In total, Suarez managed four attempts in total, created one chance and completed 10 passes from his 16 touches, with a 70 per cent passing accuracy.

His reward for his efforts is a first start for his new club, with the 33-year-old partnering Joao Felix - another Sunday scorer - up front.

Diego Costa opened the scoring against Granada, but the Spain international has made way for Suarez, despite Simeone suggesting he may use both forwards from the off.

Suarez coming in for Costa was one of five changes made by Simeone, with Marcos Llorente, Mario Hermoso, Vitolo and Arsenal-linked Thomas Partey also starting.

Barcelona have to be successful again if they are to keep Lionel Messi happy, head coach Ronald Koeman has said.

In an interview with SPORT that was published on Tuesday, six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi stated his wish to draw a line under recent events and move on after he publicly aired his grievances about the ongoings at Camp Nou on more than one occasion.

The 33-year-old tried, and failed, to force a move away from the club on a free after last season finished before again taking shots at the Barca hierarchy over their handling of his friend Luis Suarez's departure for Atletico Madrid.

Messi, who is only under contract until the end of the 2020-21 season, has now insisted he wants to move on and Koeman has welcomed that.

"I don't know if after Leo's statements I'm going to have a quiet life, I don't think so," he told reporters ahead of Thursday's away LaLiga game against Celta Vigo. 

"But it is positive that the captain shows himself in that sense, asking for unity. This has always been positive. Hopefully we are going to be calmer than lately."

Messi's criticism has centred around president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who will vacate the position in March at the latest, and he has suggested he was unhappy long before Koeman was appointed.

However, the Dutchman thinks the key to keeping Messi content is with results on the pitch.

"I do not know if I have everything in that sense in my hands," Koeman replied when asked what he could do to keep his superstar happy.

"You have to find the best team for him, where he can shine and where he gets the most out of it. And look for a formula in training.

"I have seen that he lives for football, even in training matches he does everything to win. For Leo to be happy, we have to win games."

One man who could be departing Catalonia is midfielder Rafinha.

The Brazilian has played in just eight LaLiga games for Barca across the previous three seasons, having spent time out on loan with Inter and Celta, and he has not been included in the squad for Thursday's match.

A report in England suggested Manchester City had turned down the chance to take Rafinha as part of a deal that would send Eric Garcia the other way, but Koeman indicated the 27-year-old needs to find a new club.

"For players who do not see many possibilities, it is better to find a way out," he said.

"I know that Rafinha has been on loan and it is a moment when you can no longer be on loan every season. We have many midfielders, we will have to look for the best for the team. They are technical decisions."

Eden Hazard has suffered a fresh injury blow, with Real Madrid confirming he has sustained a muscle injury in his right leg.

The Belgium forward has yet to feature for Los Blancos this season having endured an injury-hit debut 2019-20 campaign.

Hazard's big-money arrival from Chelsea was met with much fanfare but the start of his campaign was held up by a hamstring complaint and he sustained a fractured foot in a Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain in November having started to show flashes of his best form.

A broken ankle he suffered in February not long after returning from that setback further derailed Hazard's progress and there were suggestions this month he returned to pre-season overweight.

Head coach Zinedine Zidane defended Hazard against suggestions he lacked professionalism and included him in the squad for Wednesday's LaLiga clash with Real Valladolid.

But Madrid confirmed the new issue in a statement on the club's website and, although they did not put a timescale on his return, reports suggest he could be absent for another three to four weeks.

"Following tests carried out today on our player, Eden Hazard, by Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with a muscle injury in his right leg. His recovery will continue to be assessed," Madrid's statement read.

The LaLiga champions have taken four points from their opening two matches of the campaign.

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has confirmed Sergino Dest is having a medical with the club ahead of a potential move from Ajax.

The 19-year-old United States international has been strongly linked with a €25million move to either Barca or Bayern Munich, but it appears the Catalan club have won the race.

Dest, an attack-minded right-back, was spotted arriving in Barcelona on Tuesday, giving rise to increased speculation that the deal was practically closed.

And Koeman, who tried to persuade Dest to represent the Netherlands when he coached the Oranje, confirmed the teenager is having a medical as he plans to take the well-trodden path from Ajax to Camp Nou.

"Dest is doing his medical, we still have to sign [the contracts]," Koeman told reporters in his news conference on Wednesday. "Until he signs I will not comment

"We are going to have a young full-back – it is a matter of changing things and having young players for the future of the club is important.

"It is good because he has played in the Champions League and I am sure that, when all the contracts are signed, he will be very useful for Barca."

One player strongly linked with leaving Barca is Ousmane Dembele, who is reportedly being lined up by Manchester United as an alternative to Jadon Sancho.

The French winger has only been able to show glimpses of his ability since joining from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 due to injuries – in 2019-20 he featured just five times in LaLiga.

While Koeman claimed no knowledge of any potential transfer for Dembele, he insisted that he sees a future for him at Barca.

"Those decisions are made by the club and the player. As we have seen, I am going to count on him," Koeman added.

"He did not play from the start [against Villarreal] because there are more players and Ansu [Fati] has proven to be very good for this team.

"He was better physically the first few weeks, but today he trained well and I'm going to count on him."

Dembele's future could be tied to that of Memphis Depay, who is said to be Barca's primary target in attack, and while Koeman would not specifically name his compatriot when asked about signings, he made no secret of his desire to add options in that department.

"We have to analyse the squad, analyse what we lack," he continued. "We know that financially the club has its problems, like everyone else.

"There are one or two positions where we need to improve, and I'm not going to lie to you, we are working.

"There are options but it is very unsafe. The club is going to work hard. If not, we will use our players because I have no complaints with the ones we have.

"We want to have two or three players per position. We have put Leo [Lionel Messi] as a nine, [Antoine] Griezmann can play there, but they are different players. Martin [Braithwaite] is more than a nine and will have his chances but we want one more."

Lionel Messi understands those who felt he should have kept quiet about Luis Suarez's Barcelona departure but said his criticism was a way of expressing things that have "hurt me".

Suarez was allowed to join LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid in a €6million deal last week and started life at the Rojiblancos with a brace and an assist off the bench in a 6-1 battering of Granada on Sunday.

The decision of the club and new coach Ronald Koeman to tell Suarez he was free to leave is thought to have been a motivating factor behind Messi sensationally telling Barca he wanted to depart last month.

Messi later signalled he will stay at Camp Nou after accusing president Josep Maria Bartomeu of making a move "impossible".

But when Suarez – who is third in Barca's all-time list of scorers with 198 and won 13 trophies in six seasons with Los Cules – departed, Messi accused the club of "kicking out" the former Liverpool striker and added "at this point nothing surprises me" in an Instagram post.

Explaining why he opted to vent on social media, Messi told SPORT: "I only said what I felt in some moments that were hard for me.

"I understand that there will be those who think that I should have kept quiet or let it pass, as in so many other things that I let pass.

"But many things hurt me in recent weeks and it was my way of expressing it."

A tumultuous period, which started with Barca's 8-2 demolition at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, saw Messi attempt to force a transfer.

Eventually Messi said he will stay put this season, stating he did not want to drag the saga through the courts when Barca and LaLiga disputed the superstar forward's claim he could utilise a clause in his contract to leave on a free transfer.

Messi began Barca's LaLiga campaign by scoring a penalty in a 4-0 rout of Villarreal and he insisted his commitment to winning and the club is as strong as ever.

"Whoever knows me knows that I am not capable of playing anything other than always to win and to give everything on the pitch," he added.

"It was like that throughout my career and that is not going to change. Today my commitment to this shirt and this badge is total, it is still intact."

Lionel Messi's close-season issues at Barcelona means the 2020-21 campaign could be a difficult one for the superstar forward, says his former Argentina team-mate Emiliano Insua.

It has been a tumultuous period for Messi, starting with Barcelona's humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals last month.

Following that humbling experience, Messi shocked the footballing world by requesting to leave Camp Nou and stating he believed a clause in his contract allowed him to leave on a free transfer.

Both Barca and LaLiga disputed his interpretation of the clause, though, saying any team wishing to sign Messi would have to pay his €700million release fee or negotiate a transfer.

Messi ultimately opted to stay this season as he did not want to drag the issue through the courts but he hit out at president Josep Maria Bartomeu in the aftermath of the saga.

The 33-year-old struck a more conciliatory and uniting tone in an interview with SPORT this week and LA Galaxy defender Insua spoke about Messi's enduring qualities, which he hopes he can continue to display after a tough period.

"I think he has everything, he was born like this, the quality he has is amazing, everything he does and has been doing is natural," Insua told Stats Perform News.

"The time I was training with him you can see that. He doesn't train too much, he doesn't need to train too much…[because] this fitness situation he has, he's really quick, really strong.

"Hopefully he can keep showing this because this summer he had a lot of problems in Barcelona, they didn't finish maybe so well in the Champions League.

"Hopefully this year he can be at the same level because I think it will be difficult for him this year."

For a long time it was rumoured Messi may have a new and familiar Camp Nou team-mate in the form of Argentina striker Lautaro Martinez, who was heavily linked with a move from Inter to Barca.

This week it was suggested Barca will no longer pursue a deal after being put off by a €98.5million fee, meaning Martinez is set to continue his promising development at Inter where he has scored 21 Serie A goals in 63 games since joining from Argentine side Racing Club ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.

Martinez has struck up a particularly good understanding with Romelu Lukaku in San Siro and Insua has high hopes he will become one of the best strikers in the world.

"He showed in Argentina that he's a really good striker and he's showing it at Inter," Insua added.

"Maybe everyone expected that he needs time to set up in the Italian league, but he was really fast in the adaptation in the way he was playing.

"The partnership with Lukaku was really good also up front, so they help each other.

"He showed last year he can be one of the best strikers in the world and everyone also said that maybe he's going to Barcelona, now nobody knows anything [on that], hopefully he can keep showing that [form]."

Ousmane Dembele has been linked with a move to Manchester United before the transfer window closes.

Dembele is seen as an alternative to Jadon Sancho, who remains at Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund.

But Dembele is reportedly against leaving Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – DEMBELE NOT INTERESTED IN UNITED

Ousmane Dembele does not want to leave Barcelona amid interest from Manchester United, claims Sky Deutschland via Inside Futbol.

Dembele has emerged as an option for United, who have failed to prise number one transfer target Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

As Dortmund refuse to lower their demands, United reportedly want Dembele on loan, however the France international is happy at Camp Nou.

 

ROUND-UP

United are also eyeing former Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani and Real Madrid's Luka Jovic, claims Gianluca Di Marzio. Desperate to reinforce their squad, United are set to attempt to sign free agent Cavani or Jovic on loan. Jovic has also been linked to Roma, Milan and Inter.

- Fabrizio Romano says Tottenham remain in talks with Inter for Milan Skriniar. Spurs are determined to sign the centre-back, though Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger – also linked to PSG – is an alternative.

Callum Hudson-Odoi is interested in joining Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, reports Sky Germany. The Chelsea winger has previously been linked with Bayern, and he has struggled to cement his position in London.

Lucas Torreira's agent is set for transfer talks with Atletico Madrid as the Arsenal midfielder looks to leave London, reports Romano. It comes as Gunners full-back Sead Kolasinac nears a switch to Bayer Leverkusen.

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane addressed speculation over Luka Jovic's future amid links to Manchester United and clubs in Serie A.

Jovic has struggled for game time since his €60million arrival from Eintracht Frankfurt in June last year, with form, fitness and Zidane's preference to play Karim Benzema up front hindering the Serbia international.

United have emerged as a loan option for Jovic, while Roma, Milan and Inter have also been linked with temporary moves for the 22-year-old.

Asked about Jovic – who was handed a rare start alongside Benzema in the 3-2 win over Real Betis last week – on the eve of Madrid's LaLiga clash against Real Valladolid, Zidane told reporters: "You have to take everything into account.

"Until the fifth [of October], the market is open. We will see.

"The players are fine and that's what interests me."

Jovic endured a turbulent first season with Madrid in 2019-20 following his big-money arrival from Bundesliga outfit Eintracht, managing just two goals in 25 appearances.

The former Red Star Belgrade and Benfica forward was prised from Germany after scoring 27 goals in 2018-19 as Eintracht reached the Europa League semi-final.

Madrid have four points from two games to sit seventh in LaLiga, three points behind leaders Getafe – who have played three matches.

Lionel Messi wants to bring an end to any disagreements with Barcelona, calling for everyone at the club to show a united front in their bid for success this season. 

The Argentine superstar stunned the footballing world when he announced he sensationally wanted to leave Camp Nou in August, believing he could still activate a clause to terminate his contract and walk away for nothing. 

However, with both Barca and LaLiga insisting that option had expired in June, leaving any potential buyer to either negotiate with the LaLiga side or pay his €700million release clause, Messi opted not to pursue the matter any further. 

Confirming an exit was "impossible" after his father and agent Jorge met with president Josep Maria Bartomeu, the 33-year-old told Goal Spain he would be staying put to see out the remaining year of his contract. 

Messi converted from the spot as the Ronald Koeman era began with a 4-0 thrashing of Villarreal at Camp Nou and, speaking to SPORT, has now made clear his desire to draw a line under what has been a tumultuous period for both himself and the club. 

"After so many disagreements, I would like to bring an end to everything. We all have to be united and assume that the best is yet to come," the six-time Ballon d'Or winner said. 

In excerpts of an exclusive interview that will be released in full on Wednesday, Messi insisted he had only acted with Barcelona's best interests at heart. 

"I take responsibility for my errors and if they existed, it was only to make Barcelona better and stronger," he admitted. 

Sending a message to the fans, Messi added: "If at any moment, any of them were annoyed by something that I said or did, let there be no doubts that anything I did was always with the club's best interests in mind."

Messi was strongly linked with a move to Manchester City, which would have seen him team up again with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola in the Premier League.

Handball – after matchday three of the 2020-21 Premier League season, that seems to be all anyone is talking about.

It proved decisive in three different games over the weekend, with Brighton and Hove Albion, Tottenham and Crystal Palace all on the receiving end of controversial decisions – the latter's manager, Roy Hodgson, went on a tirade regarding the "nonsense" rule change.

But arguably the most vociferous of the hot takes regarding handball – see Jamie Carragher deriding the decision as "an absolute disgrace" – focused on the events at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where in the seventh minute of added time, Eric Dier was penalised via VAR for handball despite having his back to the ball.

Although Mourinho refused to criticise the decision, in his own unique Jose way he left no uncertainty as to his feelings on the matter – "If I want to give money away, I'll give to charities, not the FA," he told Sky Sports.

Steve Bruce, whose Newcastle United profited from the decision to clinch a 1-1 draw, gave the impression of being almost embarrassed at having been a beneficiary, effectively suggesting some form of football managers' mutiny against the sport's rule-makers.

But are they exaggerating the changes? Is handball proving more prevalent? We looked at the Opta data and, as the old adage says, there's no smoke without fire…

Premier League on course for avalanche of penalties

Before delving into the data, we have to understand what specifically has changed with respect to handball in the Premier League. Technically, the idea that it is a "new rule" this season is a red herring – instead, the law has been altered in England to bring it into line with those adopted across Europe last season.

It's a stricter approach that basically means a player will be penalised for handball – in a defensive context – if the struck hand/arm is away from the body or raised, or if the player leans into the path of the ball.

On top of those points, the International Football Association Board (IFAB, the body in charge of the rules) tightened up the boundaries involved, meaning handball should be given – regardless of intent – if the ball strikes the arm below the bottom of the armpit unless it has come off another part of the player's body first or they have fallen on to the ball.

The numbers do IFAB and FIFA no favours.

After 28 matches in the new Premier League season, 20 penalties have been given and six of them awarded for handball.

That means there has been an average of 0.71 penalties per match this term, a huge increase on the averages from the previous four seasons.

Last term it was at 0.24 per game – prior to that it stood at 0.27 (2018-19), 0.21 (2017-18) and 0.28 (2016-17).

"But those figures could be down to an increase in bad tackling!" – don't worry, we thought of that.

While that stat of six handballs may not sound huge, it's actually the same figure for the entirety of the 2017-18 season, while it also equates to 30 per cent of all penalties this term – in 2019-20, 20.7 per cent of penalties were awarded for handball, 13.6 per cent the year before and 7.5 per cent before that.

Put into a 'per game' context, penalties for handball are being given every 0.21 matches – almost one in four. The most it reached in the preceding four seasons was 0.05 in both 2019-20 and 2016-17.

While it is unlikely that penalties will be given at such a frequency throughout the season, it's not impossible.

If it does carry on, we are on course for 271 in 2020-21, just four fewer than the totals for 2019-20 (92), 2018-19 (103) and 2017-18 (80) combined. Similarly, we would expect 81 of those to have been caused by handball.

That's 24 more than were given in total across the previous four years.

How do the figures compare to European leagues?

Clearly, the change that has been effected in the Premier League is significant, but compared to the other top five leagues, the differences are a little less stark… in most cases.

Even though the rules are now supposed to be consistent across the top five leagues, we are still seeing a lot more penalties in general.

Last season, Serie A recorded the highest frequency of penalties at 0.49 per game, with that figure dropping to 0.15 specifically for handball.

LaLiga was next with 0.39 penalties each match and 0.13 for handball. The Bundesliga's respective figures were 0.24 and 0.06, and for Ligue 1 they were 0.32 and 0.08.

But specifically relating to handball, the percentages are much closer. In fact, LaLiga (32.2 per cent) and the Bundesliga (30.5 per cent) saw a greater share of spot-kicks awarded for such offences than the Premier League is in 2020-21.

Ligue 1 (25.8 per cent) and the Bundesliga (24.7 per cent) aren't far behind, either.

So, while the data would seemingly prove the points of Bruce and Hodgson, IFAB might argue the consistency and black-and-white nature of the law make it better - football managers and players, on the other hand, disagree.

Diego Simeone is confident new signing Luis Suarez and Diego Costa can thrive together in the same team.

Atletico made a spectacular start to LaLiga on Sunday, thrashing Granada 6-1 at home with substitute Suarez scoring twice and adding an assist after replacing Costa with 19 minutes remaining.

Club president Enrique Cerezo insisted this week that Costa was a player Atletico needed to keep despite the arrival of Suarez from Barcelona.

And Simeone had no qualms with that as he spoke ahead of Wednesday's away match against Huesca.

"Costa and Suarez can start or they can play during the game, together and separately," Simeone said.

"Of course they can play together, but you have to see when and in what situation. The important thing is that both of them give us all the fire they have.

"Both Diego with his personality and Luis with his status in the game are very important players. We will see who starts on Wednesday.

"When the president speaks, everyone is behind him. I agree with what the president said [about Costa].

"[Suarez has shown] absolute humility, despite the experience he brings. He wants to start showing how important he can be for the team on the pitch and in the day-to-day work for the group."

Asked if Suarez's Uruguay team-mate Edinson Cavani would also be joining his attacking options, Simeone said: "I am not talking about the players we do not have on the squad and who cannot help us against Huesca, which is the important thing. 

"Everyone knows Cavani, but we only care about the players who can lead us to the goals we set ourselves every year."

The emphatic start has seen Ateltico heavily praised and billed as title contenders in the media, with Joao Felix also among their group of star-studded forwards.

"I do not stop for criticism or flattery," added Simeone. "They are part of the opinion that journalism needs to convey about what it sees and their work must be respected. 

"We have to go game by game. Our opponents played very good games against Villarreal and Valencia so it will be a difficult game on a pitch where they need to be strong."

Hansi Flick suggested Michael Cuisance and Javi Martinez could yet stay at Bayern Munich as he made it clear he wants a strong squad for 2020-21.

Cuisance has been linked with Leeds United, having started only three games in the Bundesliga since joining from Borussia Monchengladbach last year.

Martinez, 32, has been tipped to move back to Athletic Bilbao following eight hugely successful years in Germany.

However, head coach Flick appears happy to keep both players in his plans in order to give Bayern the best chance possible of competing on all fronts again this season.

They have brought in Alexander Nubel, teenager Tanguy Nianzou and Germany star Leroy Sane in the transfer window, but the latter will be out until after the next international break with a knee injury.

With David Alaba also struggling and the fixture list piling up – Bayern face Borussia Dortmund in the DFL-Supercup on Wednesday and Hertha Berlin in the league on Sunday – Flick wants as many options as possible.

"We last saw each other yesterday. We have no new information since Thursday. As long as he's in my team, I'll plan with him as well. Javi has done a lot for the club," he told reporters of Martinez on Tuesday.

"Both [Cuisance and Martinez] trained today, so I assume both will be in the squad tomorrow. We all know that, shortly before the transfer window closes, the situation is not easy.

"Hasan [Salihamidzic, sporting director] and I agree: the new season will not only be difficult for Bayern. We have until October 5. For now, the fact is that Mika and Javi are still in the squad. They are part of our team.

"One thing is also clear: we want to win trophies and games. The fact we lost to Hoffenheim is very far from my thoughts. But if we want to achieve objectives, we have to have a squad available.

"On October 15, we play in the DFB-Pokal; on October 17, we play in the Bundesliga. Before that, there are international matches. I didn't create those dates – you have to think about whether that makes sense."

Eden Hazard is "very close" to a return to full fitness as Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane refuted suggestions the forward lacked professionalism. 

The Belgium star has struggled to find his rhythm in Spain following his initial €100million switch from Chelsea in June last year.

He managed a solitary goal in his debut season at the Santiago Bernabeu as he battled to regain top condition after undergoing surgery on a broken right foot.

Zidane hinted that Hazard is primed for action for the first time this season, though stopped short of confirming his spot in the team for Wednesday's clash with Real Valladolid.

"I think he's very close to a return," said Zidane. "He is prepared and training well with the team.

"The issue is that he hasn't been able to train much until now, but now he is back training regularly. So, we'll see what happens.

"What he wants is to play. He had a big problem that caused him issues for a long time, but now it seems like he is fine.

"The season is very long and he is a professional. He does not lack professionalism. What he wants is to be with his team-mates and to play."

Asked if he was looking to add to his squad in what remains of the transfer window, Zidane pointed out the difficulties he already faces in picking the LaLiga champions' strongest XI.

Vinicius Junior is one player who is having to contend with being on the periphery, although Zidane insists he is content with the winger.

"I'm very happy with the squad that I have," he said. "Adding more players would not be ideal.

"I'm already struggling to choose between the players that I have. I have the best squad.

"I'm very happy with Vinicius. He wants to play like every player, I pick my starting line-up every match, and of course I count on Vinicius, he is a great player."

Zidane's side responded to their opening-game draw with Real Sociedad by winning 3-2 at Real Betis last time out. 

Lionel Messi is welcome to join Luis Suarez at Atletico Madrid if he still wants to play alongside the Uruguayan, Los Colchoneros president Enrique Cerezo has cheekily suggested.

Suarez was unceremoniously dumped by Barca last week, selling him to Atletico for just €6million after six years at Camp Nou.

In that time Suarez rose to third on the club's all-time leading scorers list, but the way his exit was handled angered close friend Messi, who wants to leave Barca.

The initial decision in pre-season to get rid of Suarez reportedly contributed to the club's captain and talisman asking to leave and, although he failed to force a transfer, he again showed his disdain for those in charge by publicly lambasting them for the Uruguayan's exit.

Suarez made his Atletico debut in Sunday's 6-1 demolition of Granada, coming off the bench to devastating effect as he scored twice and got an assist.

And Cerezo has audaciously suggested Messi joins Suarez at the Wanda Metropolitano, borrowing a marketing slogan from Spanish nougat company El Almendro.

"In life, if you want something... If Leo Messi wants to play with Luis Suarez, I tell him the same thing that is said with nougat: 'Let him come home for Christmas'. With desire, anything is possible," he said on Cadena Cope.

Despite the turmoil at Barca over the past seven weeks, Cerezo showed support to his under-fire counterpart at Camp Nou, Josep Maria Bartomeu.

"Everything [with the Suarez signing] went perfectly well," he said. "Bartomeu is a good friend and a great president.

"At the moment things are not going well at Barcelona, but he has acted as he had to act and nothing else has happened. The signing was not complicated, the player plays where he wanted to play."

But Suarez's international colleague Edinson Cavani will not be joining him at Atletico, having previously been mooted as a replacement for Diego Costa.

"Diego Costa is a player that Atletico Madrid needs," Cerezo added. "The season is very long. You don't have to complicate things.

"I don't think there will be a change at Atleti. Cavani's circumstances have not been the same as those of Luis Suarez.

"He is a fantastic player, but everything is different. It wasn't because of me or his brother [Walter Guglielmone, also his agent] that he didn't come."

Borussia Dortmund are reportedly maintaining a firm stance over Jadon Sancho, while Barcelona still want Memphis Depay.

The Sancho transfer saga continues to dominate talk as Manchester United chase the Dortmund star.

But the Bundesliga club are seemingly unmoved.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND ADAMANT SANCHO WILL STAY

Dortmund are adamant Sancho will not be sold this transfer window, according to Sky Sports.

United have continued to be linked with the England international, who scored 17 goals and provided 16 assists in 32 Bundesliga games last season.

However, Dortmund's asking price of £108million (€120m) has reportedly proven to be a stumbling block.

 

ROUND-UP

- Late in the transfer window, there may still be movement at Barcelona. Sport reports Ronald Koeman still wants Lyon star Depay. It also says Ajax full-back Sergino Dest is close to signing, while Porto are trying to loan midfielder Riqui Puig. Meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo says Barca will make a new offer for Eric Garcia after Manchester City signed Benfica defender Ruben Dias.

- Amid uncertainty over Luka Jovic's future at Real Madrid, AS reports LaLiga's champions want the forward to make a loan move. Jovic struggled in his first season at Madrid in 2019-20.

- There could be more movement at Chelsea. Fabrizio Romano says the Premier League club are still looking at West Ham midfielder Declan Rice as their main target, but will first try to sell players.

- Antonio Rudiger could be among the exits at Chelsea. Sky Sports reports Tottenham are interested in signing the defender.

- Talk about Rhian Brewster's Liverpool future continues. The Sun says Sheffield United are offering £17m for the forward and are prepared to agree to a buy-back clause of around £40m. The Blades have failed to score in their first three Premier League games and are second bottom.

- Lyon are reportedly chasing Milan midfielder Lucas Paqueta. L'Equipe claims the Ligue 1 club offered to take the 23-year-old on a one-year loan with an €18m purchase option, a deal which was rejected. However, it reports Lyon will return with an improved offer.

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