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    Dani Alves forced to deny he convinced Neymar to quit Barcelona for PSG and insists Brazil pal lured HIM to Paris

    DANI ALVES has denied he convinced Neymar to join Paris Saint-Germain, instead claiming it was the Brazilian who persuaded him.In the summer of 2017, Alves transferred to the Ligue 1 side after just one season with Juventus.
    Alves and Neymar signed for PSG within one month of each otherCredit: Reuters
    The pair enjoyed some sensational times at the Nou CampCredit: Reuters
    Less than one month later Neymar also signed for PSG as he left Barcelona for a world record fee.
    But Alves insists he played no part in his fellow countryman’s decision to depart the Nou Camp and that it was in fact the other way around.
    Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, he said: “It is the opposite of what people believe, I am grateful to Neymar because it was he who convinced me to sign for PSG.
    “I have had nothing to do with his arrival. My only advice was to tell him to be happy.
    “I swear by my children, that I have nothing to do with the decision.”
    Alves returned to Barcelona earlier this month after five years away from the Spanish giants.

    The 38-year-old has agreed to rejoin despite being paid just ONE EURO per month due to Barca’s financial crisis.
    Following his return to the club, he said: “I am still in shock. I have been trying to return for a long time. It is a privilege to return, we will try to rescue the Barca that we all know.
    “We are in a process, but we have to accelerate it because we are Barca and there is no margin to make mistakes.
    “I am facing an incredible challenge, one of the ones that fascinates me the most.
    “To rebuild, fight, sweat…defend the shirt. There are two shirts that when I put them on I feel like a superhero: the one from Brazil and the one from Barca.”
    Alves played 391 times for Barcelona during his first spell after joining from Sevilla in 2008.
    He left for Juventus eight years later, but not before he’d got his hands on six LaLiga titles and an impressive three Champions League crowns.
    Since leaving the Catalan giants, Alves has played for Juve, PSG and Sao Paulo.
    The right-back also captained his country to Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020. More

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    Man City edging closer to £75m Frenkie de Jong transfer with broke Barcelona ready to cash in on main asset

    MANCHESTER CITY are closing in on signing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong for £75million as the Spanish side are ready to cash in, according to reports.The 24-year-old joined the Catalan giants for £65m in the summer of 2019 but he has not set the world alight.
    De Jong has struggled to make an impact at BarcelonaCredit: Rex
    The Catalan giants could be willing to listen to an offer for the midfielderCredit: Getty
    And after a difficult start to the season he is being linked with a move away from Barcelona as the club continue to try and climb out of their financial crisis.
    According to El Chiringuito, the LaLiga side are ready to sell De Jong in an attempt to raise funds during their economic downturn.
    And Man City have been discussed as a potential destination for the Dutch midfielder.
    A swap deal with De Jong and Raheem Sterling has been rumoured, but it appears Barca’s financial situation means they would be more inclined to accept a cash offer.
    However, there is still a chance Barca could try and keep him following the arrival of Xavi as their new boss.
    A few months ago, before Xavi was in talks to take over from Koeman as manager, the former Spain midfielder spoke glowingly about De Jong.

    He said: “He is an extraordinary player, he is not afraid to receive the ball in difficult areas, to turn around.
    “He needs time to adapt, it is another culture. It is a big club. Frenkie de Jong is Frenkie de Jong. It has nothing to do with it, neither with me, nor with Iniesta nor with Busquets.
    “He is a very capable footballer, he is going to be the organizer of this generation from the Netherlands. He is very capable of doing it.
    “He has a very good generation and he is going to achieve great things.”
    De Jong has made 106 appearances for Barcelona, scoring nine goals in the process.
    But he is currently part of a side going through a torrid run of form after a horribly difficult 12 months.
    Barca currently sit ninth in the LaLiga table with just four wins from 12 games so far this season. More

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    Chelsea flop Timo Werner wanted by Barcelona on loan transfer in January with crisis club desperate for new striker

    BARCELONA are reportedly interested in signing Chelsea flop Timo Werner on loan in the January transfer window.The German forward has struggled to adjust to the Premier League since arriving at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2020.
    Goals have been few and far between for Werner since joining ChelseaCredit: PA
    He has managed just 14 goals in 62 appearances and only two goals so far this season.
    Yet despite his poor form in England, Werner remains a desirable acquisition for many clubs around Europe.
    And, according to The Hard Tackle, Barcelona have now emerged as a potential location for the 25-year-old in January.
    New boss Xavi, who took over from Ronald Koeman last week, has already been hit with a striker crisis at the Nou Camp.
    Martin Braithwaite is continuing to recover from a serious injury, with Sergio Aguero also out indefinitely.
    Young star Ansu Fati is struggling with fitness issues and Luke de Jong is reportedly not favoured by the new Barca manager.

    As a result, they are looking for a new focal point to their attack and Werner is said to fit the mould.
    However, due to the Catalan giants’ crippling financial situation they would only be looking to bring the Chelsea man in on loan.
    As well as Werner, Barca have also been linked with a number of other Premier League forwards.
    These include Manchester City and England international Raheem Sterling and Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette.
    Xavi is looking to turn Barca’s fortunes around after a disastrous start to the campaign under Koeman.
    They currently sit ninth in the LaLiga table having won just four of their opening 12 games.
    And they also face a fight to qualify out of their Champions League group following defeats to Bayern Munich and Benfica. More

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    Dani Alves’ transfer back to Barcelona to be BLOCKED as ‘LaLiga chiefs won’t believe he’s only getting paid ONE EURO’

    DANI ALVES’ return to Barcelona is set to be BLOCKED by LaLiga chiefs as they do not believe the claim his salary will be ONE EURO.The Brazilian full-back enjoyed eight supremely impressive years at the Nou Camp between 2008 and 2016.
    Alves spent eight years at Barca during some of the most successful years in the club’s historyCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    And, despite the Catalan giants’ current financial crisis, they are keen to try and secure his return at the age of 38.
    However, according to Esport 3, LaLiga are expected to refuse Alves’ second spell at Barcelona as they do not accept the club’s proposal that his wage will be just one euro.
    The links with a second stint at Barca come two months after the ex-Juventus and PSG man had his Sao Paulo contract ripped up.
    Alves, who still hopes to go to the 2022 Qatar World Cup, played 95 times for Sao Paulo, scoring ten goals.
    But following a disagreement with the club, he parted ways with the Brazilian outfit one month after winning Olympic gold with the national team at the Tokyo Games.
    During his time at Barca, Alves, who is the most decorated footballer ever, won six LaLiga titles and three Champions Leagues.

    He was a major part of Pep Guardiola’s iconic team which is widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time.
    Another member of that legendary outfit was Xavi, who took over as Barca coach last week.
    And Guardiola, who coached both Alves and Xavi during some of the best years of their careers, sent a classy message to the new Barca boss following his appointment.
    He said: “I wasn’t the heir to anybody and Xavi doesn’t have to be my heir.
    “If [Barcelona president] Joan Laporta and the board have chosen Xavi then it’s because there are millions of pros and few cons.
    “He knows the club and will bring positive energy, given how he enjoys football and because of his dedication. He always sees the positive side of things.
    “With his class, dedication and effort, I’m sure he’ll improve the club’s situation.”
    Xavi will be in charge for Barcelona’s next game against Espanyol on November 20.
    The European giants have slumped to ninth in La Liga having won just four of their 12 games this season. More

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    Pep Guardiola ‘convinced’ Barcelona can lure Raheem Sterling from Man City amid transfer interest

    PEP GUARDIOLA has admitted he could lose top players to Barcelona amid their interest in Raheem Sterling.The Catalan giants have been long-time admirers of Sterling and rumoured to be lining up a transfer offer.
    Raheem Sterling could be lured by Barcelona, his manager Pep Guardiola admittedCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
    Pep Guardiola conceded the lure of Barcelona is still there for playersCredit: AFP
    Barcelona have just appointed Xavi to be their new head coach and want new faces to help rebuild after a miserable start to the campaign.
    Sterling, 26, would be an ideal option to fit into the club’s 4-3-3 system.
    And City boss Guardiola admitted: “If Barcelona are interested in any of our players, I am convinced that they can get them.
    “Barca continues to be an attractive club, more than attractive. The city, the club, the history and this for the trainers, for the players always seduces a lot.
    “If Barcelona interests one of our players, they will set up the machinery into operation, it is a liner.
    “Barca can use their media to influence signings. That’s the thing about Barcelona; they can do what they want, good or bad.”

    Sterling isn’t a first-team regular under Guardiola and has scored twice this season in 15 appearances.
    He recently admitted he would be open to leaving the Etihad in a bid for more playing time.
    Sterling told Financial Times: “If there was the opportunity to go somewhere else for more game time I would be open to it at this moment in time.
    “As I said, football is the most important thing to me — challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams as well.
    “As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I’ve always thought you know maybe one day I’d love to play abroad to see how I would come up against that challenge.”
    Catalan outfit El Nacional yesterday claimed there could be a player swap deal for Sterling and Barcelona star Frankie de Jong.
    Guardiola is said to be an admirer of De Jong, who hasn’t had the influence in Barcelona’s midfield that they hoped for since his move from Ajax.
    De Jong is valued at £60m Euros by the Catalans while Man City have a £43m price tag on Sterling.
    That would mean Sterling plus £17m would be the price Pep has to pay if he wants to bring 24-year-old De Jong to Manchester.
    De Jong joined Barcelona in a £65m deal from Ajax in 2019 and came with high expectations.
    Guardiola reacts to Man City’s huge step towards knockout stages after 4-1 win against Brugge More

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    Xavi draws up five-man Barcelona transfer wishlist including Man Utd star Cavani and Arsenal striker Lacazette

    NEW Barcelona boss Xavi has drawn up a five-man shortlist as he prepares to bolster his squad over the next 12 months.The legendary Spanish midfielder was confirmed as Ronald Koeman’s replacement in the early hours of Saturday morning.
    Cavani has largely had to settle for a place on the Man Utd bench in recent weeksCredit: Getty
    Lacazette’s Arsenal contract comes to an end in the summerCredit: Getty
    And, with Barcelona currently languishing down in ninth place in LaLiga after just four wins from their opening 11 games, the 41-year-old has a huge job on his hands to turn the Catalan giants’ fortunes around.
    According to Sport, Xavi has identified five players he is interested in bringing in to enhance the 4-3-3 formation he will vehemently stick to.
    With Sergio Aguero out for three months, a proven No9 will be right at the top of Barca’s wishlist in the January window.
    Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani and Arsenal man Alexandre Lacazette are both turning the head of Xavi as he looks for a player to lead the line.
    Cavani and Lacazette’s current deals come to an end in the summer, meaning they can sign a pre-contract agreement elsewhere as early as January.
    The Uruguayan has been forced to play second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford so far this season, while Lacazette has started just two of the Gunners’ 10 Premier League games in the 2021-22 campaign.

    Sterling has been left out of Man City’s starting line-up for much of the season so farCredit: Getty
    Adeyemi has been superb for Salzburg at the start of the 2021-22 campaignCredit: Getty
    Coman could be looking for a way out of Bayern Munich in the summerCredit: Getty
    If neither of those come off, Barca may look to acquire RB Salzburg teenager Karim Adeyemi.
    The German sensation has already netted 14 times in 18 games for the Austrian side this season, following in the footsteps of ex-Salzburg man Erling Haaland.
    However, unlike Cavani and Lacazette, Adeyemi’s contract does not expire until 2024.
    Another area Xavi will be looking to improve is on the flanks as he seeks to provide a new No9 with some added creativity.
    And that could come in the form of Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling.
    The 26-year-old has fallen out of favour with Pep Guardiola over the summer and been forced to play a bit-part role for the Prem champions.
    Meanwhile, if Sterling is unwilling to consider Barcelona then Xavi may opt instead to try and sign Bayern Munich man Kingsley Coman.
    The Frenchman, who scored the winner for the German side in the 2020 Champions League final, has only appeared once in Bayern’s starting XI in the Bundesliga so far this season.

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    Man Utd want to poach City wonderkid James McAtee – dubbed the ‘Salford Silva’ – but face transfer battle with Barcelona

    MANCHESTER UNITED are reportedly interested in luring highly-rated teenager James McAtee away from rivals Manchester City.The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has enjoyed a sensational start to the season for City’s youth side.
    The teenager netted three times for Man City against Club Brugge on WednesdayCredit: PA
    McAtee has attracted a great deal of interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubsCredit: Getty
    The Englishman has netted 15 goals in 14 games, a run which includes three hat-tricks.
    The latest of those came on Wednesday night when he netted three times for Man City in their 5-3 UEFA Youth League defeat to Club Brugge.
    His supreme talent has seen him dubbed the ‘Salford Silva’ for his likeness to Man City legend David Silva.
    But it remains to be seen whether or not McAtee will be able to ply his trade in Pep Guardiola’s side.
    The Spanish coach has declared his admiration for the youngster, however The Mail are now reporting that both Man Utd and Barcelona are keen to snap him up.
    The Red Devils have a history with McAtee as he was a part of their set-up as a young boy.

    But he left Old Trafford and was taken in by the Sky Blues where he has blossomed into a superb talent.
    Yet his contract with Man City continues to tick down and he now has just 18 months left on his current deal.
    Along with United and Barca, Ajax, Atletico Madrid and Liverpool are all also interested in the Salford-born attacker.
    McAtee may choose to look at Jadon Sancho for inspiration to leave the Etihad.
    The England winger departed Man City and joined Borussia Dortmund where he developed into a European star.
    Then in the summer he made the £73million transfer back to England as he joined Man Utd.
    McAtee faces stiff competition at defending champions City from the likes of Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and Jack Grealish. More

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    Barcelona ‘ready to accept Newcastle’s Philippe Coutinho transfer offer with mega-rich Toon interested in loan’

    BARCELONA are ready to accept an offer from Newcastle United for Philippe Coutinho, according to reports.The move is said to be a loan deal with a compulsory permanent switch included.
    Coutinho could be heading back to the PremCredit: Rex
    The 29-year-old Brazilian is expected to be one of the first players through the door in January, following the Toon Army’s £300m takeover.
    Coutinho has been on the bench in the two games since the departure of Ronald Koeman.
    The playmaker has struggled to fit in the Barca side since his £121million switch from Liverpool in 2018.
    Irregular appearances and a loan move to Bayern Munich have led to constant rumours about a return to British shores and Newcastle’s takeover is set to spark an offer.
    Spanish newspaper Sport states that Barcelona are ready to transfer him ‘once and for all.
    The view from the Nou Camp is for Coutinho to go out on loan as soon as the January transfer window opens.

    With a total of 54 goals and 45 assists in 201 games for Liverpool, he is well respected, not only in Merseyside, but throughout the English game.
    Coutinho is a two time La Liga champion, Bundesliga champion and Champions League winner.
    The ‘Little Magician’ could vastly improve a Newcastle side who are yet to win a league game and sit in the relegation zone.
    A manager remains the club’s top priority, with Eddie Howe rumoured to be the favourite for the job after Unai Emery stated that he will stay at Villareal. More