Former Premier League star Darren Bent believes Paul Pogba will be eager to prove himself when he returns to action later this month. The France international has missed most of the current campaign for Manchester United with a nagging ankle injury and he underwent an operation for the same at the beginning of the year.
The World Cup-winning midfielder was initially fancied to return to the playing field for the final couple of weeks of the season but he will now player a bigger role with the coronavirus pandemic delaying the conclusion of the campaign by three months. Speaking on TalkSPORT, Bent believes Pogba has received unfair criticism despite his reduced gametime this term and he should be keen to prove a point when the season recommences.
Former Leeds United star Noel Whelan has said that Philippe Coutinho remains a fantastic player and he has the chance to redeem himself by returning to the Premier League next term. The Brazil international has struggled for consistent form since leaving Liverpool for Barcelona two years ago and he is currently out on loan at Bayern Munich.
The playmaker has bagged an impressive tally of nine goals and eight assists from 32 outings for the German champions but his contributions have come in clusters rather than spread out over the course of the season. Coutinho is expected to return to the Camp Nou this summer with Bayern having already decided against his permanent signature and he has been touted to return to the Premier League next season.
Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta is interested in bringing back Pep Guardiola to the club. Laporta has said that he is most likely to run in the presidential election of next year. He is excited about running for elections and is aware that things will dramatic in 2021 but he has people whom he trusts. He was the president of Barca from 2003–2010 when Guardiola led the club to many victories and to win many silverwares.
Under Guardiola, they became one of the dominant teams of Europe. In the period 2008–2012, they have claimed nearly 14 titles which includes La Liga titles and two Champions League title. The team also won the Club World Cup and Copa del Rey twice. Guardiola departed Barca on 2012 but he remains as an icon for the club.
Barcelona legend Rivaldo believes his former club should sanction the sale of Ousmane Dembele, who has struggled with regular injury concerns. The France international joined the Blaugrana from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2017 and he has since been restricted to only 74 appearances across all competitions.
That has been due to the various hamstring injuries which have kept him out of action and Rivaldo feels the Catalan giants should either sell or offer him as a makeweight for one of their summer targets, he told: “Ousmane Dembele signed for Barcelona almost three years ago and he has already had enough time to establish himself in the club and prove his value. It’s possible that he will never show his quality at the club.”
Everton star Richarlison has indicated that there has been no concrete interest from Barcelona despite the speculation in the media. The Brazil international has been a regular in the Toffees attack since his move from Watford in 2018 and he has already contributed 26 goals in all competitions for the club.
Amidst this, the Blaugrana have been credited with an interest in signing him but Richarlison has stressed that he does not prefer to ponder over the speculation. He added that he is ‘very happy’ at Goodison Park but would one day prefer to join a great club such as Barcelona, he told: “I heard from the press, I don’t know if there was anything concrete.
Inter Milan chief Beppe Marotta has dismissed the ongoing speculation linking Lautaro Martinez with a possible move to Barcelona. The Argentine has made a vast improvement from his debut season at the Nerazzurri and he has already amassed 16 goals from 28 appearances across all competitions this term.
His form has caught the attention of some of Europe’s elite and of late, he has been linked with a summer move to Barcelona, who are eyeing a competitor for Luis Suarez, who has recently suffered multiple knee injuries. In response to the rumours, Marotta has clarified that the Argentina international is only interested in playing for the Nerazzurri and won’t part ways with the club unless he puts a transfer request on the table, he told Sky Italia: “Rumours regarding Lautaro? He is very young and improving. He is only interested in wearing the glorious shirt of Inter. This club has nothing to envy others. Players can leave only if they ask to leave.”
Chelsea attacker Pedro has said that he would welcome the prospect of returning to Barcelona in the future. The 31-year-old has been with the Blues for the past four-and-a-half-seasons but his role has diminished during the current campaign where Frank Lampard has preferred the likes of Willian, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi ahead of him in the pecking order.
Moreover, he has been afforded with just one start over the past two months and it is quite clear that he has fallen out-of-favour at the west London side. Pedro’s current deal is due to expire at the end of the season when asked about a probable comeback to the Camp Nou, the Spaniard was more than open to the possibility.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde claimed that he has run out of words when it comes to describing Lionel Messi’s brilliance. The Argentine superstar was influential for Barcelona in the recent 5-1 victory over Real Valladolid. Messi was able to score twice in the game – including a free kick that provided has 50th goal from such a scenario. There were also assists for Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal. This victory helped Barcelona to return to the top of the standings. After a difficult start of the campaign, the Catalan outfit have picked up seven consecutive wins.
Messi’s form was questioned in the first few weeks of the season, as he faced issues about injuries. There were also uncertainties surrounding the arrival of Neymar. All these contributed to a difficult start for Barcelona we have been able to open a solitary point advantage over archrivals Real Madrid. The recent postponement of the El Clasico means that Barcelona will have to wait several weeks before they go up against Madrid. Until then, they will be happy to sit at the top standings with such big wins. The big victory also allowed Valverde to give a debut to a 16-year-old. Ansu Fati, who is highly regarded in European football, was given an opportunity to enjoy his second league start.
Lautaro Martinez claims that Inter Milan deserved to come out on top against Barcelona in the recent Champions League encounter between the two teams. Martinez came up with an early goal for the visitors and this happens to be the first goalscorer by Inter Milan at the Camp Nou in almost 4 decades. This increased hopes of gaining a remarkable victory but they were quashed when Luis Suarez came up with a brace – including a late winner – in order to send Antonio Conte’s men to the first defeat of the season.
Antonio Conte’s arrival at Inter Milan
coupled with the club splashing out on players like Romelu Lukaku and Alexis
Sanchez has been able to reinvigorate the Italian outfit, who have been struggling
for the last few years. Conte has been able to witness a remarkable change from
Inter in the domestic leagues as they have been able to top the table ahead of
Juventus. However, the story in the Champions League is very different since
the defeat against Barcelona has left the club at the bottom of the group F
with only one point. Martinez says that the performance from Inter Milan
deserved more than just a loss. The next game for the Italians will be against
Borussia Dortmund at the San Siro.
head coach Ernesto Valverde has said that he does not want to comment on the
Neymar transfer saga any further and it is time to turn
the page. The Brazil international was heavily tipped to rejoin the Blaugrana
from Paris Saint-Germain this summer but a deal did not materialise with Les
Parisiens demanding as much as £270m for the attacker. Neymar has since made
his comeback with Les Parisiens and Valverde believes the media should move on
from the speculation, he told in a press conference: “We’ve spoken about Neymar
before, during and after the market and it’s time to turn the page.”
recently made his comeback for Les Parisiens during the league game against
Strasbourg and he received a frosty reception from the home fans, who booed him
throughout the encounter. Nonetheless, he was able to silence some of them with
a stunning overhead kick to score an injury-time winner and he has since said
that he is committed to the cause of the club.
on the other hand, have experienced a mixed beginning to the current campaign
and they have accumulated just seven points from the opening four matches. That
tally sees them three points behind league leaders Sevilla, who have been
splendid at the back with just one goal conceded to date.