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Barcelona puts up all senior players for sale after Champions League’s exit

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Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu is planning a massive overhaul of the club’s squad following their humiliating 8-2 Champions League last-8 final defeat to Bayern Munich.

According to Sport, Bartomeu wants to totally refresh Barcelona’s ageing squad and has put every senior player in the team up for sale except four: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Clement Lenglet, Frankie De Jong and Lionel Messi.

Bartomeu also wants to relieve Barcelona coach, Quique Setien, of his duties immediately with former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino the favourite to replace him, though the likes of Max Allegri and Ronald Koeman are also in the frame.

Barcelona has been looking for buyers for the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Samuel Umtiti and Rafinha for some time, though now Bartomeu has added some “untouchables” to the list of players he is prepared to sell.

Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique will also be sold if any reasonable offers are made.

Recall that Barcelona was embarrassed by a ruthless Bayern side in the Champions League on Friday night in Portugal.

Thomas Muller and Philippe Coutinho both scored two goals each for Bayern, with Robert Lewandowski, Ivan Perisic, Serge Gnabry and Joshua Kimmich also on target for the Bundesliga champions.

Barcelona did strike through David Alaba’s own-goal and Luis Suarez’s second-half goal.

Barca’s loss against Bayern was their worst defeat in almost 80 years.

 

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LaLiga: Why David Luiz did not join Real Madrid after leaving Arsenal

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Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti, was keen to bring David Luiz to the club this summer, but the club never tabled an offer for the player, Globo reports.

Ancelotti is believed to have made contact with Luiz, who he worked together with at Chelsea.

The 34-year-old became a free agent this summer, having seen his contract with Arsenal expire at the end of June.

However, he has now returned to his native Brazil to sign with Flamengo, putting pen to paper on a 15-month contract.

It ended Luiz’s 15-year playing career in Europe.

But things would have been different if Madrid presented an offer for the experienced centre back.

The LaLiga giants allowed captain Sergio Ramos leave this summer, while Raphael Varane signed for Manchester United.

David Alaba arrived at the Bernabeu on a free transfer over the summer, but the La Liga giants are said to be determined to bring another centre-back to the club in 2022.

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Serie A: Mourinho’s Roma tipped to win title

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Former Inter Milan president, Massimo Moratti, has said Roma are title contenders under new manager Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho won the Treble at Inter Milan under Moratti during his first spell in Italy.

According to Moratti, his return to Serie A makes Roma one of the teams to watch out for.

“I follow the league with great attention.

“Mourinho has revived the competition, he started very well.

“Serie A has one more team, Roma, who will aim for the title. Someone like Mourinho is not aiming for third place,” Moratti said.

Mourinho only joined Roma this year, after he was sacked as Tottenham Hotspur manager.

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2022 WORLD CUP Salah Among Absentees as African Qualifying Resumes

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Africa’s second round of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup is set to kick off with some notable absentees – Mohamed Salah, among them – after the refusal of British clubs to release players for various matches.

Premier League clubs have led the way in refusing permission for players to head to countries on the British government’s Covid red list, which would require 10 days of quarantine upon their return.

With Egypt one of 17 African countries on the red list, Liverpool superstar Salah will miss this week’s home match against Angola in Cairo but could play in Gabon, which is not on the list, next week.

Quarantine conditions meant he could have been one of several internationals to miss multiple games, said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

“As clubs we cannot do that – not only because we play games in that time, but because without being positive (for coronavirus) they lose 10 days of training,” he said.

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