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Manchester United Open Talks For 5-Goal Midfield Maestro

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Ivan Rakitic

Three-time European champions Manchester United have reportedly opened talks to sign Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

This is according to Spanish media outlet Sport which claimed that the Red Devils have set their sights on signing the Barcelona player.

Ivan Rakitic didn’t have the best of seasons during the just concluded campaign.

The 31-year-old might have been affected by the exertions of last summer’s World Cup tournament in Russia.

Ivan Rakitic played a big part as his Croatia side stunned the world by reaching the finals of the tournament in Russia before they were beaten by eventual winners France via a 4-2 defeat.

The Croatian midfielder scored five goals and also provided eight assists in 54 games for Barcelona in all competitions during the just concluded season.

Rakitic scored three league goals and also weighed in with five assists in 34 games.

He also added one goal in 12 Champions League games plus one goal and three assists in seven games in the Spanish Copa Del Rey.

Ivan Rakitic has two years left on his contract at Barcelona amidst recent reports that he’s one of the players that could be sold this summer.

Apart from Manchester United and Inter Milan, Chelsea have also been linked with Ivan Rakitic.

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Man Utd Target Sends Encouraging Message To Coutinho

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Philippe Coutinho

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is certain that Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho will be an instant hit when he completes his transfer to the Allianz Arena at the start of next week.

The Polish international spoke to reporters about Phillipe Coutinho shortly after the German Bundesliga clash with capital club Hertha Berlin on Friday night.

When asked about Coutinho, the Bayern Munich hitman said that the former Liverpool midfielder won’t have any issues with the bedding in process when he finally moves to Bayern Munich.

Robert Lewandowski was on fire against Hertha Berlin as he scored two goals for the Bavarian giants.

His brace was not enough as Bayern Munich could only play out a 2-2 draw with the German capital club.

After the game, it was confirmed by club president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge that Philippe Coutinho will join the Bavarian giants on a season-long loan deal with the option for a permanent transfer when the loan spell ends next summer.

Philippe Coutinho has not enjoyed the best of times at Barcelona since joining the Spanish La Liga champions at the start of last year in a deal worth €160m.

The 27-year-old is the most expensive player in the history of Barcelona but his time at the club has been average, to say the least.

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Ernesto Valverde Warns Griezmann After Underwhelming Barcelona Debut

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Antoine Griezmann

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has called out summer signing Antoine Griezmann after he underperformed in his debut for the Catalan giants.

French World Cup winner Griezmann was largely anonymous during the opening La Liga game of the season.

Barcelona traveled to the new San Mames to take on Atheltic Bilbao and it ended in a disappointing 1-0 defeat made possible by a spectacular 89th-minute bicycle kick from substitute and ageless striker Aritz Aduriz.

After the match, Ernesto Valverde told reporters that long-term Manchester United target Antoine Griezmann has to be more involved in subsequent games.

Antoine Griezmann caught a lone figure upfront for the large part of the game following the absence of star player Lionel Messi who was missing in action as a result of a thigh injury sustained in training.

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez also got injured in the first half of the Athletic Bilbao game thus leaving Antoine Griezmann on his own upfront.

Griezmann is expected to deliver at Barcelona following his big money move from fellow Spanish La Liga club Atletico Madrid this summer.

Barcelona paid €120m (£107m) for his transfer thus making him the second most expensive signing in the history of the club after Philippe Coutinho.

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Bayern Confirm Loan Deal For Coutinho

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Philippe Coutinho

German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich have confirmed that they have reached a loan agreement for Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

Bayern’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge made this known while he was fielding questions from reporters shortly after their league opener on Friday night.

Bayern Munich didn’t have the best start to the defense of their Bundesliga title after they played out a 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin.

After the game, the Bayern Munich supremo told reporters that Philippe Coutinho will undergo his medical at the start of the new week.

Bayern Munich have reached a one-year loan agreement for the Brazilian international with the option to sign him permanently at the end of the loan spell next summer.

Philippe Coutinho came close to returning to the Premier League on the deadline of the English top flight transfer market. Fortunately, the move fell through.

The 27-year-old was linked with the North London duo of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur on the last day of the Premier League transfer window.

Coutinho has had to leave Barcelona on loan after he became surplus to requirements following the arrival of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid this summer in a £107m deal.

Barcelona are also on the trail of Paris Saint Germain (PSG) attacker Neymar.

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Update On Ballon d’Or: Mane Identifies Award Recipient

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Lionel Messi

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has backed Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or award this year.

When asked if he’ll be frustrated if Messi wins the award, his answer was ‘NO’.

According to him, Lionel Messi deserves to win the 2019 Ballon d’Or.

Messi had a very good season after helping Barcelona win a second successive league title at the end of last season.

The Argentine international star emerged as the topscorer in both the Spanish La Liga and the Champions League.

Messi was also part of the Argentina squad that reached the semifinals at this summer’s COPA America tournament in Brazil.

The Argentina players were beaten by Brazil in the semifinals before they won third position at the expense of then COPA America champions Chile.

Lionel Messi recently returned to training after a busy summer with the Argentine national team but he will miss the opening Spanish La Liga on Friday.

Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao face off in the first game of the new Spanish La Liga season.

For Sadio Mane, he scored 26 goals in all competitions last season and the Liverpool star has continued that form this season after he scored twice during the 2019 Super Cup clash between Liverpool and Chelsea.

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La Liga: Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao (Full List)

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Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has named a 19-man squad for the Spanish La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao on Friday night.

Ernesto Valverde and his Barcelona players travel to San Mames to take on Atheltic Bilbao in what’s the first game of the new Spanish La Liga season.

The big news is that Barcelona will be without the services of skipper and talisman Lionel Messi.

The petite Argentine superstar will miss the game after sustaining a thigh injury in training.

The injury ensured that Messi missed the final preseason games against Napoli including the final match which ended in a 4-0 win over the Italian Serie A giants.

Barcelona got their goals through the trio of Antoine Griezmann (first goal for his new club), Luis Suarez (a brace) and long-term Arsenal target Ousmane Dembele.

Lionel Messi returned to Barcelona earlier this month after an extended break on the back of his participation with Argentina at the COPA America tournament in Brazil.

Full Squad: Marc Andre Ter Stegen, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Piqué, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Philippe Coutinho, Denis Suárez, Ousmane Dembélé, Rafinha, Christian Lenglet, Antoine Griezmann, Jordi Alba, Carles Aleñá, Sergi Roberto, Frenkie De Jong, Samuel Umtiti, Junior, Iñaki Peña and Carlos Pérez.

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