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Joao Felix is key for Barca in taking revenge from Atletico Madrid

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Barcelona have at times come into the spotlight in the world of football as big spenders. The Catalan giants were once revered for primarily relying on their homegrown talents.

However, in recent years, particularly during Josep Maria Bartomeu’s reign, Barcelona began to spend big on global icons.

Despite the clear intentions, it did not work out quite well for La Blaugrana. A particular thorn that still hurts was the saga of Antoine Griezmann.

The French star was bought by FC Barcelona in 2019 for €120 million from Atletico Madrid. However, just a few years later in 2022, he returned to Atletico Madrid for just €20 million.

Getting back at Atletico
While several variables went into finalizing that agreement, it is still seen as a horrible transfer saga for the Catalan giants. However, it seems that Barcelona may just have a trick up their sleeve to get back at Los Colchoneros.

According to Spanish outlet SPORT, Barcelona intend to pull a similar trick with Portuguese star Joao Felix. The 23-year-old is currently on loan at Barça from Atletico Madrid. However, he intends to stay with the Catalan giants, and Barcelona intend to help him with that.


Atletico’s demands
Moreover, Diego Simeone does not want the player back at Atletico Madrid. On the other hand, the Madrid-based club thinks his performances at Barcelona have increased his valuation and is reportedly going to demand €80 million from Barça for his permanent transfer.

Barcelona to remain stubborn
Barcelona, on the other hand, intend to pay no such amount. To get back at Atletico, they will force the Madrid-based club to take down that asking price. Since they can not take Felix back due to the problems that could arise, they will be forced at a point to give in to the Catalan demands.

The player has already publicly stated and claimed his love for Barcelona. Fans of Atletico Madrid would not be too eager to welcome a former player who has made a claim like that. As per SPORT, there is confidence that Barcelona can reduce their asking price by at least half to retain Felix.

However, this saga is expected to be a long one. The club does not intend to formalize these negotiations for his transfer until June of next year. Until then, Felix and Barça have a whole season to look forward to and make the most out of given the complexity of their standings in the various competitions they compete in.

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European Leagues

Juventus fire Allegri after cup final antics

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Juventus have sacked Massimiliano Allegri two days after he led the side to the Italian Cup. The Turin side beat Atalanta 1-0 in Rome,

Juventus have sacked Massimiliano Allegri two days after he led the side to the Italian Cup.

The Turin side beat Atalanta 1-0 in Rome, but Allegri was sent off late on for ranting at match officials and waving away sporting director during the celebrations.

The Italian Football Federation’s disciplinary tribunal has launched an investigation into Allegri.

And yesterday ,Juventus confirmed he was no longer their boss.

“The dismissal follows certain behaviors during and after the Italian Cup final which the club deemed incompatible with the values of

Juventus and with the behavior that those who represent it must adopt,” a statement read.

Juve’s 1-0 win over Atalanta, thanks to Dusan Vlahovic’s early goal, gave Allegri a record fifth Coppa Italia as a manager.

“If I am no longer the Juventus coach next year, I will leave a strong team. The club will make its evaluations,” he said in the post-match news conference.

Even before his antics at the Stadio Olimpico, the 56-year-old had been expected to lose his job and be replaced by Bologna coach Thiago Motta.

But now he will not be there for the final two Serie A games against Bologna and Monza.

“The company wishes Massimiliano Allegri good luck in his future projects,” ended the statement..

Allegri was in charge of Juventus from 2014 until 2019, winning the title in each of his five seasons, as well as four Italian Cups and reaching the Champions League final twice.

He left by mutual consent at the end of the 2018-19 season – and did not work again for two years, until he was re-appointed as Juventus manager at the start of 2021-22.

However his second spell failed to live up to the first and Wednesday’s Italian Cup was their only silverware in that time.

They finished fourth and seventh in his two full seasons – and currently sit fourth.

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Juventus nearly sacked Allegri after Italian Cup row

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Massimiliano Allegri was close to being sacked by Juventus after exploding with anger during his team’s midweek Italian Cup triumph

Massimiliano Allegri was close to being sacked by Juventus after exploding with anger during his team’s midweek Italian Cup triumph, according to widespread reports in local media.

Juventus won their 15th Italian Cup on Wednesday night but Allegri burst into a rage, first being sent off in the final minutes after ranting at match officials and then waving away sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli during the post-match celebrations.

And Juve are now set to fire Allegri, who was already widely rumoured to be replaced by Bologna coach Thiago Motta in the summer, with two matches of the season remaining.

Juventus sit fourth in Serie A after collecting just 15 points in their last 15 league matches. They are at Bologna on Monday night. The two are teams level on 67 points and both have already qualified for next season’s revamped Champions League.

Italian media reported that Juve are evaluating whether to dismiss Allegri with just cause for his behaviour on Wednesday night, when he is also alleged to have manhandled and threatened the chief editor of newspaper Tuttosport before the post-match press conference.

Such a move would potentially save the club from paying Allegri the remaining year of his contract, which is worth around seven million euros before bonuses.

The Italian Football Federation’s disciplinary tribunal has launched an investigation into Allegri, who on Wednesday almost accidentally confirmed that this season would be his last at the Turin giants.

Allegri was on Thursday given an automatic two-match ban in the cup for his straight red card but could receive further punishment.

 

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Man City move close to history – thanks to unlikely hero Romero

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Manchester City saw an unlikely hero emerge from their galaxy of superstars to make a potentially defining contribution in their pursuit of

Manchester City saw an unlikely hero emerge from their galaxy of superstars to make a potentially defining contribution in their pursuit of an unprecedented fourth successive Premier League title.

Pep Guardiola rightly acted with caution when he removed keeper Ederson, with City leading 1-0, after he suffered a nasty blow to the head in a heavy collision at the foot of his post with Tottenham defender Cristian Romero.

Ederson, who had a problem with his eye, did not look happy with the decision – taken upon advice from the club doctor – but his manager was perfectly justified, not just acting in the best interests of the Brazilian keeper but also because he has complete trust in his replacement Stefan Ortega.

And in a 21-minute cameo of the highest quality, Ortega – who has performed with distinction every time he has deputised for Ederson this season – may well have rubber-stamped City’s sixth title in seven seasons.

When the final whistle sounded and the club stood one win away from being champions again, Guardiola headed straight for Ortega and greeted the German with a kiss on the cheek for his crucial contribution. It was richly deserved.

Guardiola did not hold back with the praise as he said: “Ortega is a world-class goalkeeper. An exceptional, exceptional goalkeeper. Ederson did not have concussion, he had a problem with his eye. He could not see properly so the doctor said I should change.”

Spurs made a complete mockery of the cynics who suggested they may ease off because any sort of positive result could potentially give rivals Arsenal their first Premier League title in 20 years.

Ange Postecoglou’s fifth-placed side were fully committed in chasing a goal of their own as they went after a place in the Champions League and it was not for any lack of effort as they came so close to upsetting City’s traditional title charge. They were left disappointed in the end as defeat confirmed Aston Villa’s fourth-placed finish and they will now join European football’s top table.

Ortega’s impact was instant, denying Spurs substitute Dejan Kulusevski with a good save and then the same player shortly afterwards as City almost paid the price for a performance that was not one of their best.

The biggest moment came in the closing minutes, with City clinging on to a one-goal lead, when Son Heung-min collected the ball and raced clear with only Ortega to beat. It was the sort of opportunity the South Korean has taken with aplomb so many times in his Spurs career.

BBC

 

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