Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets warns humbling Roma loss 'cannot be repeated'

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Sergio Busquets (r) in action at Roma.

Defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets has vowed Barcelona’s humiliating collapse at Roma “cannot be repeated” in the Champions League.

Ernesto Valverde’s men were humbled with a 3-0 loss in the Eternal City – nicknamed the ‘Romantada – to exit at the quarter-final stage, even after a 4-1 first-leg victory. This result stained a season that otherwise contained triumphs in La Liga and the Copa del Rey.

“We have to look at our own team,” Busquets told TV3. “We have to value what we have done – and winning the double is a good season.

“Everyone had what happens in Rome in their head, of course. It’s normal. It was a bad situation which cannot be repeated.”

Andres Iniesta has been a constant presence in midfield alongside 29-year-old Busquets for both Barca and Spain.

But the 34-year-old’s summer move to Japan’s Vissel Kobe has left a void at club level that his younger partner has admitted will be difficult to fill.

He said: “It will be tough to fill the space he’s left. But this is football: it happened with [Carles] Puyol, Xavi and keeps on happening.

“We have to work as hard as possible to make sure his absence is noted as little as possible. I have learned a lot playing alongside him.

“His way of seeing things, reading the game… And off the pitch, I have learned how to be a professional.”

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Live Barcelona blog: Arsenal open dialogue with Barcelona over Ousmane Dembele, say reports

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Hello one and all, David Cooper and the rest of the Sport360 team will be with you throughout the day with the latest news, rumours and insights from Barcelona.

Our daily blog will ensure you have all the latest updates throughout the week but we want you to get involved, too.

Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.

10:30pm – Arsenal open dialogue with Barcelona over Ousmane Dembele

According to reports, Arsenal have reportedly opened discussions with Barcelona over the transfer of Ousmane Dembele. Arsenal’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat met with the Spanish representatives. Read more on the story here.

8:30pm – Lionel Messi reveals his best goal and best decision at Barcelona

With the club season over, Lionel Messi spoke to FIFA TV on his favourite goal, best decision at the Nou Camp while also picking his best goalkeeper. Read what he said here. 

4:00pm – Yerry Mina backed to become a Barcelona success story

Centre-back Yerry Mina has made an inauspicious start to life at Barca, but fans needn’t worry according to Colombia team-mate Carlos Bacca.

Bacca, who also plays in La Liga for Villarreal, has talked up his compatriot’s chances of making it at the Nou Camp – read more here.

1:25pm – Nothing to prove for Messi at World Cup, says Maradona

Lionel Messi’s international career has not been anywhere near as successful as his club career, and his failure to win the World Cup – or any major international trophy – has often been held against him by Argentina fans.

But former Barcelona star and Argentina legend Diego Maradona says Messi, who has mostly gotten the fans on his side with some superlative performances for his country, has nothing to prove at the World Cup.

“He doesn’t have to demonstrate anything. He has to enjoy the game on the field,” Maradona said.

Read more here.

10.30am – Milan Skriniar in Barcelona’s sights   

Barcelona have been strongly linked with Sevilla’s Clement Lenglet but Inter Milan’s main man Milan Skriniar is reportedly another defender they are enamoured with.

It may take a big bid to lure him away from Serie A though – read more here.

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Arsenal open dialogue with Barcelona over transfer for Ousmane Dembele

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French star: Ousmane Dembele.

Arsenal have reportedly opened discussions with Barcelona over the transfer of Ousmane Dembele.

According to Sport, Arsenal‘s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat has met with Blaugrana representatives and commenced talks over a remarkable deal that could see the 21-year-old move to the Emirates.

Mislintat has supposedly had ‘continuous contact’ with the player ever since he made his big-money switch from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

The youngster endured a frustrating first season with Ernesto Valverde’s men, effected partly by a long-term hamstring injury he suffered away to Getafe in September 2017.

Still, Dembele bounced back and managed a La Liga goal or assist every 103 minutes during his 17 run-outs for the champions.

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