Barcelona in "pole position" for sensational Santos forward likened to Neymar

David Cooper 28/04/2018
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Santos sensation Rodrygo Goes

Blessed with intoxicating skill, draped in a Santos shirt and linked to Barcelona despite being just 17 years old, no you have not come back in time to the fledgling career of Neymar but instead to his heir apparent Rodrygo Goes.

The teenager is being linked with a move to the Catalan giants with Lluis Miguelsanz of Sport reporting the club have been in contact with Santos over a proposed move and are now in pole position to sign the “New Neymar”.

Miguelsanz says Barca have been scouting the forward for the last few months and are contemplating activating his release clause, which is reportedly set at €50million.

A Brazil youth international, Rodrygo only made his first-team debut for Santos in November last year but he became the youngest player ever to score in the Copa Libertadores when he plundered in a 3-1 defeat of Uruguayan outfit Club Nacional in March.

As you can see in the clip below, the comparisons with Neymar are natural given his precocious talent and should he continue to shine for Santos, rumours of a move to Camp Nou are only likely to grow.

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Barcelona keen for Samuel Umtiti renewal but not at any cost

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Talks have stalled: Samuel Umtiti.

Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed that the club is keen on extending defender Samuel Umtiti‘s contract but not at any cost.

While the French international is only in the second year of his five-year deal, his low release clause of €60 million has only served to increase speculation about him leaving Camp Nou this year.

The 24-year-old has formed an integral partnership with Gerard Pique at the back but is a hot target for Premier League giants Manchester United who are ready to pay his release clause.

So far, Umtiti has remained tight-lipped over his future but responded to growing rumours by kissing the Barca badge after scoring against Roma.

According to Diario Sportnegotiations have slowed down between Umtiti’s agent – who is also his brother, after demands of a higher wage – which would place him among the second tier of earners with Sergio Busquets and Pique.

Speaking about the situation, Bartomeu told Cadena Ser: “Umtiti is very important, he knows that, the fans know that.”

“He’s only in the second year of his contract but our desire is for him to renew his deal.

“But, as directors, we have to make sure [players’ wages] are within the salary structure to remain a competitive and sustainable club.”

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Barcelona target Antoine Griezmann reveals talks over his future are under way

David Cooper 28/04/2018
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Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann

Atletico Madrid frontman Antoine Griezmann has confirmed he is in talks with the club over his future.

Speculation has long gathered that the France star will leave the Spanish capital for Catalan giants Barcelona in the summer.

However, after scoring in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal in Atleti’s Europa League semi-final clash, the 27-year-old revealed his representatives are discussing his future plans.

Speaking to COPE after the match at the Emirates Stadium, Griezmann said: “If I’m going to continue at Atletico, I don’t know, we’ll see.

“We’re talking to the club to see what can be done.”

While Griezmann did not shed any light on where his future may lie, the statement does indicate a resolution will be reached in the near future.

Griezmann’s goalscoring exploits have seen him thrust into the limelight as one of Europe’s hottest properties and he further enhanced his reputation with the crucial equaliser on Thursday.

“In the goal I arrived in the area tired after the run I had made, but I was able to score. We needed that goal,” he added.

“Am I important? [Jan] Oblak is important, [Diego] Godin is important, Gabi when he entered the pitch was important… all the players are important.”

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