Sevilla's Clement Lenglet good enough to play for Barcelona, admits Vincenzo Montella

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Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella has admitted his French defender Clement Lenglet has the talent to play for a club like Barcelona.

Lenglet has been one of Sevilla’s stand-out players this season, with Barca reported to be interested in signing the 22-year-old this summer.

Samuel Umtiti is yet to extend his contract at the Camp Nou while Lenglet’s release clause, reported to be set at around €35 million, is relatively modest in today’s transfer market.

Barca will get a closer look at Lenglet when the clubs face each other in Saturday’s Copa del Rey final and on Monday, Montella hardly dampened rumours of a transfer.

“He is a champion mentally even more than he is physically on the field – in the future he can play for a big team like Barcelona,” Montella said.

“I hope that at some point it happens for him but I also hope that Sevilla will enjoy him for some years yet. The rumours don’t bother me, absolutely not.”

Before this weekend’s showpiece at the Wanda Metropolitano, Sevilla travel to struggling Deportivo La Coruna on Tuesday in La Liga and Barcelona are away to Celta Vigo.

While Barca, 11 points clear at the top of the table, can afford to rest players, Sevilla are in a race for Europa League qualification, sitting seventh, a point behind Villarreal in sixth.

But Sevilla’s Champions League exit to Bayern Munich was followed by a pulsating 2-2 draw at home to Villarreal on Saturday, games Montella says have taken their toll.

“Some of the players need to rest because they made a big effort on Saturday, Wednesday and the other week – not because we have the final,” Montella said.

Provided by AFP Sport

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Barcelona's Andres Iniesta says he has decided his future

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Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta has decided about his future but is not ready to reveal it just yet.

The Spanish midfielder had earlier disclosed that he is evaluating offers from China and will be making a decision before the end of April.

“I’ve already decided what I’m going to do,” he said, as quoted by AS.

“I’ve always had affection from the fans, I’m grateful to them, who’ve been there for more than 20 years. Their support has been essential for winning.

”When I have to give my opinion, the club will know it and then everyone else will find out. Right now, I’m happy with the game today, because La Liga means a huge amount.”

The 33-year old had signed a lifetime contract last year at Barca.

After the defeat against Roma, Iniesta had admitted that he might have played his last game in the Champions League, thereby indicatin that his time at the Catalan club might be coming to an end.

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Ernesto Valverde more interested in Roma reaction than Barcelona's new record of 39 La Liga games unbeaten

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Ernesto Valverde wasn't interested in Barcelona's new unbeaten La Liga record.

After a devastating Champions League loss in Rome, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde was pleased with the spirit shown by his players in their 2-1 win over Valencia, and valued that more than the fact they’d beaten the all-team record for unbeaten matches in La Liga.

The win was the Blaugrana’s 39th in a row in the league, breaking Real Sociedad’s 38 game record across 1978/79 and 1979/80.

It means the Catalans now only require seven points to win their seventh title in 10 seasons and are just six results from the first unbeaten 38-game La Liga season.

They face Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final next weekend as they seek a domestic double, but coach Valverde told reporters after the game he was more concerned with his players’ reactions after their Champions League exit.

“I am an optimist,” he said. “After a major defeat there is always a period of mourning, but the important thing is how you react, what do you do in the next game.

“This week was not one to think about records, really. We don’t give importance to those because with these players it’s normal to have records.”

Valverde was criticised for not rotating his team again, but the coach was happy with his decision.

“Any Barcelona player has the capacity to take responsibility for pulling the team along,” he continued. “Everyone is at a great level and it wasn’t a day to rest mentally.”

A few mistakes did creep into Barcelona’s play, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen was again up to the task, the German unlucky not to keep a clean sheet after he initially saved Dani Parejo’s late penalty only to see it squirm under him and trickle over the line.

“He is an extraordinary goalkeeper,” Valverde added. “But if I highlight one before the rest… Everyone has been fine, he is there to stop and others to score goals.”

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