Barcelona are set for a huge fire sale under new manager, Ronald Koeman – with 12 players reportedly up for grabs.
Big names like Luis Suarez and Samuel Umtiti are facing the chop as the Spanish club looks to rebuild following their 8-2 Champions League humiliation and the prolonged Lionel Messi transfer saga.
The Catalan giants are also believed to be on the hunt for new names in their dramatic squad overhaul.
But with Lionel Messi set to stay, the inflated wage bill must first come down to accommodate expensive signings.
Along with Suarez and French international Umtiti, the likes of ex-Middlesbrough flop Martin Braithwaite and Arturo Vidal could also be shown the door.
Liverpool fan favourite Suarez, 33, is tipped with a move to Juventus costing around £2.8million plus £12 million in variables, which would link him up with superstar Cristiano Ronaldo after he spent the last few years alongside Messi.
The deal appeared close before Atletico Madrid become involved and now the Uruguayan is considering staying in Spain, reports say.
If he were to leave, that would leave Braithwaite as the only recognised out-and-out striker at the club.
But Koeman is reportedly not keen on him either and is open to offers, despite the 29-year-old’s professionalism.
Vidal’s move to Inter Milan has stalled, with reports suggesting this is due to the financial repercussions of the coronavirus lockdown.
And Umtiti also looks set for a move away from the Nou Camp after Koeman told him he can go.
Along with the big names, the clear out could also see centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo on his way – with Leicester and Everton linked to him – and Nelson Semedo’s position is far from secure.
Rafinha’s future appears to lie in the Premier League with Arsenal and Leeds battling it out for his signature.
Left backs Junior Firpo and Miranda, along with youngsters Moussa Wague, Barcelona B central midfielder Monchu and defensive midfielder Oriol Busquets, may also be axed from the club.
Former Everton boss Koeman is believed to be taking no prisoners to fix the crisis-hit club.
Along with their dismantling by Bayern Munich, the club also finished five points off La Liga champions Real Madrid in a disappointing domestic season, with Quique Setiens sacked after only eight months in charge.
On the bright side for Barcelona fans, rumours persist that Lyon hotshot Memphis Depay is on his way to join his former international manager.
FIFA Ranking: Nigeria Drops By 3 Spots, Now World 32nd
Nigeria’s Super Eagles have dropped by three spots in the October ranking to place 32nd in the world after losing one of it’s international friendly match and drawing another within the period under review.
In the ranking table on the website of the world football governing body on Thursday, Nigeria garnered 1488 points in the month of October as against 1493 garnered in September.
The Eagles had on Oct. 9 lost 0-1 to Algeria in an international friendly match and settled for a 1-1 draw in another with Tunisia on Oct. 13.
The drop in the global spot has also dropped the Nigerian National team to the fourth spot on the continent behind Senegal, Tunisia and Algeria respectively as against the third position it occupied in September.
On the global scene, the podium remained unchanged even as 120 international fixtures were played in the month of October.
Qualifying games for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the play-offs for UEFA EURO 2021, and UEFA Nations League fixtures were among the 120 internationals played over the last month which resulted in significant movement.
While the podium remains the same, the gap has narrowed between top-ranked Belgium and their immediate pursuers, France and Brazil, following the Red Devils‘ loss to England (4th) in the UEFA Nations League – their first defeat since November 2018.
However, there are changes to the Top 10: Spain (6th, +1) and Argentina (8th, +1) swapped places with Uruguay (7th, -1) and Croatia (9th, -1) respectively.
Further down the classification, Denmark (13th, +3), Algeria (30th, +5), Paraguay (35th, +5), Morocco (39th, +4), Scotland (45th, +4), and Hungary (47th, +5) all progressed, with the Magyars breaking into the Top 50 at the expense of Bosnia and Herzegovina (51, -1).
The biggest climber this month was Malta (180th, +6), who jumped six places courtesy of victories over Gibraltar (195th, unchanged) and Latvia (142nd, -5) and a draw with Andorra (145th, -8). Also worthy of note is the progress of Ecuador (60th, +4), Panama (77th, +4) and Israel (88th, +5). (NAN)
NFF Names Eguavoen Technical Director
The Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation has approved the appointment of former Super Eagles head coach, Augustine Eguavoen as its new Technical Director with immediate effect.
The appointment was announced after the board’s its emergency virtual meeting held yesterday and press release from the NFF Media department confirming the appointment read thus: “The Executive Committee approved a presentation by the Chairman of the Technical & Development Committee for the appointment of former Super Eagles’ Captain and Coach, Mr. Augustine Eguavoen, as the new Technical Director of the NFF.
“He will work with the following persons, whose appointments were also approved: Mr. Paul Aigbogun (Deputy Director, Technical & Scouting); Terry Babatunde Eguaoje (Consultant on Coaching & Development); Abdulrafiu Yusuf (Assistant Director, Coaching & Development); Siji Lagunju (Assistant Director, Training & Development) and; Garba Lawal (Chief Technical Officer). “
The NFF also rubber stamped the proposal from the League Management Company (LMC) for the new 2020-21 Nigeria Professional Football League season to kick start any moment from November 15th and ends by June 2021 in compliance with the Federal Government’s COVID-19 protocols and other requirements.
Real Madrid Defeat Barcelona 3-1 in El Casico
Spanish champions won the first El Clasico of the season 3-1 away from home.
Fede Velverde opened the scoring after just five minutes before Ansu Fati equalised three minutes later.
Sergio Ramos scored from a questionable penalty call in the 67th minute before Luka Modric took the game beyond the Catalans in the 90th minute.