Barcelona hold 'secret talks' with £100M star, Real Madrid to sign €50M star within days and more LaLiga news: 19 January 2018
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Barcelona not worried about Copa del Rey
Barcelona fielded Juan Brandáriz (better known as Chumi) in their 3-0 win over Levante in the Copa Del Rey match and it has come to light that he was not eligible to play. He was serving his suspension after he was banned while playing for Barcelona 'B'.
Ernesto Valverde, however, is not concerned. He said, “We knew at the time of Chumi’s suspension. There are no doubts from our side over the player, neither before the game, during the game nor after it – we are totally confident.”
“We should be in the draw for the quarter-finals and we are convinced that we have done nothing wrong because we were in full control of this decision. We knew that he could not feature in the league clash with Eibar due to his suspension but in the Copa, this did not apply.”
Continuing to talk about to the press, he was asked about the links with Carlos Vela. He said, “Links to Carlos Vela? He does not play for us, he is at another club. The market is open and I understand these question, but we must respect this.”
Real Madrid need Benzema, claims Solari
Karim Benzema might not be a fan favourite anymore and most Real Madrid fans want him sold. But he has something in him that gets all managers to play him and Santiago Solari is no different.
The manager claims that Madrid need the striker back and said, “We suffered tonight because we did not have a reference point in attack. We missed that and our squad does not have an alternative, so we are relying on Benzema to be back for our game with Sevilla and give us that with his presence, it is very important.”
“This was not a good match for us at all, but we are through to the quarter-finals and all the players who needed first-team football got that. I never believed the tie was in any danger for us,” added the manager.