Live Barcelona Blog: Barcelona target Paul Pogba excited by Zidane to Man United rumours

Matt Jones 27/08/2018
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Good morning Barcelona fans. Matt Jones here on Monday. The Sport360 team and myself will be bringing you all the latest and greatest Barca news today, whether it be transfer gossip, news, views or anything else from Catalonia.

As ever, get in touch with us throughout the day on Twitter and Facebook.

12:31pm – Barcelona target Paul Pogba excited by Zidane to Man United rumours

PaulPogba (4)

Barcelona target Paul Pogba and his Manchester United teammate Anthony Martial are said to be excited about the idea of Zinedine Zidane replacing Jose Mourinho as manager of the Red Devils, according to reports.

Read the full story here.

11:17am – Rafinha could leave Barcelona for Real Betis

rafinha-alcantara

Real Betis remain favourites to sign Rafinha from Barcelona before the end of the transfer window, according to Sport.

Read more here.

10:45am – Real Madrid interested in former Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara

Thiago Alcantara

Real Madrid are interested in signing Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara as they look to replace Mateo Kovacic, claims Sky Germany.

Read more here.

10:01am – Zaha good enough for Barcelona, says Souness

Zaha

Wilfried Zaha is good enough to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona, according to three-time European Cup winner Graeme Souness.

Crystal Palace wideman Zaha was courting the interest of Premier League big boys Chelsea in the summer, but is ready for a move to the highest level of football, says Liverpool great Souness.

Read more on this story here.

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Wilfried Zaha is good enough for Barcelona or Real Madrid, says Graeme Souness

David Cooper 27/08/2018
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Wilfried Zaha is good enough to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona, according to three-time European Cup winner Graeme Souness.

Crystal Palace wideman Zaha was courting the interest of Premier League big boys Chelsea in the summer, but is ready for a move to the highest level of football, says Liverpool great Souness.

The Scotsman lavished praise on the ex-Manchester United man ahead of Palace’s 2-1 defeat at Watford on Sunday – a game in which Zaha scored a late consolation for the visitors as Roy Hodgson’s side staged a late revival.

Ivory Coast international Zaha has been plying his trade in the modest surroundings of Selhurst Park since failing to grasp his chance at Old Trafford from 2013-15 and helped prevent the Eagles from dropping into the Championship last term.

But Souness boldly claimed Zaha should be playing for a club accustomed to challenging for Europe’s major honours, rather than one involved in relegation scraps.

“I think now he’s ready. Even for the big two in Spain, I think both of them would welcome him with open arms, he’s a door opener, and there isn’t too many of those players around,” said Souness on Sky Sports prior to the game.

“He’s unique in our football. He’s in that league, he’s got the stuff that gets you on the edge of your seat.”

The 25-year-old Zaha agreed a new deal at Selhurst Park earlier this month that runs until 2023.

He made just two Premier League appearances for United under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, yet ex-Liverpool, Sampdoria and Rangers player Souness is convinced the Palace forward is worthy of consideration from Spain’s top two.

“I think he’s sensational,” Souness added.

“I can see him playing for Real Madrid, that’s how good he is. I think there’s maybe a handful of players who have got the change of direction and balance that he does, and I think he should get more penalties, he isn’t a diver.

“I think he’s got a unique talent and with the utmost respect to Crystal Palace – and maybe he’s been scarred by the experience at Manchester United – he’s ready for a big, big club, the biggest clubs.

“If he stays at Palace he’s going to end up with no trophies and think ‘what if’.”

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Live Barcelona Blog: Stats from the win at Real Valladolid

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Hello and welcome to today’s live Barcelona blog.

As ever, get in touch on Facebook and Twitter.

9.45pm – Valverde not happy

Coach Ernesto Valverde has criticised the pitch at Real Valladolid after Barcelona scraped to a 1-0 victory.

Watch his comments here.

6.35pm – Valladolid deserved a point, says Sergio

Real Valladolid coach Sergio Gonzalez said after the 1-0 defeat to Barcelona that he thought his team had deserved to walk away with a draw.

Watch his post-match comments here.

Sergio Gonzalez.

Sergio Gonzalez.

5.10pm – Barcelona v Real Valladolid post-match statistics

Ousmane Dembele scored the only goal as La Liga champions Barcelona survived a late VAR scare to claim a hard-fought 1-0 win at promoted Real Valladolid.

Here are some stats from the game.

1:50 – Pique hits out at La Liga organisers

Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique hit out at La Liga organisers after his team edged to victory over Valladolid on a “lamentable” pitch.

The weekend action in Spain has been overshadowed by threats of a player strike over plans to stage matches in the United States, and Pique called on organisers to change their priorities.

12:00 – Valverde says pitch conditions played a major part

Coach Ernesto Valverde has criticised the pitch at Real Valladolid after Barcelona scraped to a 1-0 victory.

The players were seen struggling as the newly laid turf began cutting up during the match at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla, with Valverde saying he had not seen anything like it “for a long time”.

The Barca coach blamed the state of the surface for making it difficult for his players to launch a counter attack and find a second goal.

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