Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi revealed that the Spanish La Liga leaders were nervous at the start of their Champions League game against Premier League giants Manchester United.
The Catalans played host to the Red Devils in what was the second leg of their quarterfinal tie having won the first leg at the Theatre of Dreams.
Barcelona beat Manchester United away from home in the first leg via a 1-0 win with Luke Shaw (own goal) getting the only goal of the game.
Manchester United started the second leg on the front foot in search of the goal that would bring them back into the tie.
Barcelona were nervous at the beginning mainly due to the pressure from the English club but they were able to recover from that nervy start to win comprehensively.
Lionel Messi confirmed the nervy start in his post-match thoughts after netting two goals in a 3-0 win over Manchester United thus giving his team a 4-0 aggregate win.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner told media outlet MoviStar about the nervy star from Barcelona.
Messi scored twice within four first-half minutes before former Liverpool player Philippe Coutinho scored the third goal for Barcelona to condemn Manchester United to elimination from the competition.
Barcelona will face either Liverpool or FC Porto in the semifinals.
EPL: Arsenal Say No To Transfer Proposal
According to Catalan news publication SPORT, Premier League giants Arsenal have said NO to the transfer proposal from Spanish La Liga club Barcelona.
The Spanish champions want to take leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on a short-term loan until this summer without any obligation to sign him at the end of the loan spell and the proposal was swiftly rejected by Arsenal officials who are clear on their stance that the club skipper is not for sale.
Barcelona wanted to sign either Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or RB Leipzig star Timo Werner to cover up for Luis Suarez who will miss the next four months after knee surgery.
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Luis Suarez had to undergo knee surgery that has effectively ended his season after he picked up a knee issue during the Spanish Super Cup tournament in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
Aubameyang has scored 16 goals for Arsenal this season with 14 of those goals coming in the Premier League.
Barcelona have since turned their attention to Valencia striker Rodrigo with the fellow Spanish La Liga club keen to do a deal for their player.
The Catalans want to offer a loan fee of €10m for the Spanish international plus pay his weekly salary with the option to buy him out rightly for €50m this summer.
Liverpool Open To Move For £85m-rated Player
According to Spanish news platform El Desmarque, Premier League pacesetters Liverpool are open to making a move for Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele this month.
Dembele is rated at £85m which is a lower price in comparison with the transfer fee spent to sign him three years ago.
The young Frenchman was signed by Spanish giants Barcelona as a like-for-like replacement for Paris Saint Germain (PSG) Neymar who left the club for France in the summer of 2017.
The Brazilian national team talisman was made the most expensive player ever after PSG signed him for a fee of £200m.
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Part of the Neymar money was spent on his transfer from Barcelona to PSG and a big fraction of the cash was spent on Ousmane Dembele who had failed to repay that money.
Barcelona signed Dembele for £105m from German Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund.
Dembele had spent just one season at the Signa Iduna Park before his transfer to the Nou Camp.
Liverpool have been active in the January transfer window with the signing of Takumi Minamino for a surprising transfer fee.
The 24-year-old Japanese international has swapped Red Bull Salzburg FC of Austria for Liverpool after the Reds activated the £7.25m release clause in his present deal.
Report: Liverpool To Revisit Cut Price Deal For Ousmane Dembele
Six-time European champions Liverpool still retain an interest in Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele as reported by Spanish news outlet El Desmarque via the Liverpool Echo who is a prominent media portal that deals with everything Liverpool.
Ousmane Dembele is currently out injured but that has stopped clubs from weighing up a move for the Frenchman.
It was stated that Liverpool will have to pay £85m for the player if they want to sign him from the Catalans.
The transfer would be a club-record deal for Liverpool ahead of the current recipient Virgil Van Dijk who was signed for £75m in January 2018.
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Liverpool paid that amount to Southampton for Virgil Van Dijk and that has proven to be money well spent as he has played a key role in the major trophies won since the start of last season.
The Reds ended last season with the Champions League title after the win over Tottenham Hotspur in their final clash that took place in Madrid.
Ousmane Dembele signed for Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in a £105m deal and the Catalans want to recoup a lot of that money back.
He has won the league title in each of the last two seasons at Barcelona.
Man United Table Bid To Sign £147,000-a-week Midfielder – Reporter
Manchester United are increasingly confident that they can win the race to sign wantaway Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal who wants more playing minutes, and he’s ready to leave the Nou Camp to make this happen.
According to journalist Herman Chanampa of DirecTV in the South American country of Chile, Manchester United have made a better offer for Arturo Vidal than their sole competitor Inter Milan whose manager Antonio Conte is keen to reunite with the player he managed at Juventus.
Corriere della Serra is an Italian media portal and a publication from the platform had earlier said that both Inter Milan and Manchester United will fight for the signature of Arturo Vidal.
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Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde wants to keep Vidal at the club despite the pressure being exerted by the two above mentioned European clubs.
Arturo Vidal is rated at around €20m and the 32-year-old earns around £147,000 on a weekly basis.
The retired Chilean national team midfielder provides a goal threat from midfield at Barcelona which no other midfielder can boast of.
Despite his uniqueness, Vidal has not always been in the Barcelona starting XI but he’s still the leading goalscorer for the Spanish club apart from the attacking front trio.
Chelsea Fans Want Philippe Coutinho Signed
Several Chelsea fans want the club to sign Barcelona player Philippe Coutinho as they see him as a better option to the three options at the club.
Chelsea fan account on Twitter ‘The Blues’ compiled the various tweets from a lot of Chelsea Faithfuls asking for the club to sign Brazilian international Philippe Coutinho from Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona.
Coutinho was a Premier League player until January 2018 when he left Liverpool to join Spanish La Liga champions Barcelona in a club-record deal of around £142m.
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The Brazilian playmaker didn’t have the best of times at Barcelona during his 18 months at the club before he signed for German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich on loan this summer.
He has been able to resurrect his football career at Bayern Munich who can sign him for €120m to become their player as part of the loan agreement that took him to the Allianz Arena.
According to Catalan media outlet Mundo Deportivo, Chelsea are one of the clubs interested in signing Philippe Coutinho if Bayern Munich fail to activate the option of signing the playmaker permanently.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has a lot of money to spend on new players after the Blues’ transfer ban was lifted.
Philippe Coutinho Hints At Return To Premier League
Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho could make a return to the Premier League at the end of the present season with the Brazilian international player attracting the interest of several English top flight clubs including Manchester United.
The interested Premier League sides will only be able to sign him if German champions Bayern Munich fail to activate the purchase option after the end of his loan spell with the Bavarian giants.
Philippe Coutinho joined Bayern Munich on a season-long loan deal from Spanish La Liga champions Barcelona in the summer and he has had a mixed time at the Allianz Arena since his move to Germany.
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Barcelona would be hoping that Philippe Coutinho will be able to convince Bayern Munich to sign him permanently for the €120m in his loan contract to the club this summer and with performances like the one against Werder Bremen in the league earlier this month, the Brazilian will sign for the Germans permanently.
Philippe Coutinho scored a hattrick and also added two assists as Bayern Munich thrashed their opponents 6-1 at home despite going behind.
If Bayern Munich don’t take up their permanent transfer option, Barcelona would be hoping that the Brazilian finishes this season strongly for them to recoup at least €100m from the €160m spent on his transfer last year.
Apart from Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are also interested in sealing his return to the Premier League after he represented Liverpool for many years before leaving for Barcelona in January 2018.
Transfer Talk: Barcelona, Real Madrid To Fight For €60m-rated Man Utd Target
Donny Van Der Beek was previously linked with a move to Premier League giants Manchester United.
The aforementioned report said that the two Spanish clubs will battle for the right to sign Donny Van Der Beek ahead of the resumption of the transfer market in the New Year.
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is keen to sign a new midfielder but compatriot Paul Pogba is seen as his first choice ahead of Donny Van Der Beek who could cost between €50m and €60m despite the fact that the Frenchman is still nursing an ankle injury.
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Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen is also in the mix as Real Madrid attempt to sign a new midfielder.
Dutch international Donny Van Der Beek came into prominence in the Champions League last season as part of the Ajax Amsterdam team that surprised many by reaching the semifinals before they were eliminated by Tottenham Hotspur in dramatic fashion.
Donny Van Der Beek and Ajax Amsterdam eliminated clubs like Real Madrid and Juventus enroute to the last four of the competition.
Man City Swoop In To Sign Man United, Chelsea Target
Manchester City have suffered defensively this season especially in the Premier League mainly due to the long-term absence of first-choice defender Aymeric Laporte.
According to French publication L’Equipe, Premier League champions Manchester City are in the market for a new centre back ahead of the resumption of the winter transfer market in the next three weeks.
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It was revealed that the Citizens want to sign Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona in January to boost their defence till Aymeric Laporte will be available in the next few months.
Frenchman Laporte sustained a serious knee injury during the home game against Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League in August with the problem ruling him out for six months until February at least according to doctors.
Samuel Umtiti is a French World Cup winner but he has not been able to displace compatriot Christian Lenglet from the Barcelona defence since his return from a long-term injury layoff last season.
Premier League duo of Chelsea and Manchester United are also monitoring the situation of Umtiti at Barcelona.