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Barcelona News Roundup: Barca tipped to sign Manchester United star, Juan Laporta confirms stance on Messi and Pep Guardiola and more: 17 December 2020

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman
Shambhu Ajith
FEATURED WRITER
Modified 17 Dec 2020, 20:05 IST
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Barcelona came from behind to register a 2-1 win over Real Sociedad thanks to two first-half goals from Jordi Alba and Frenkie De Jong. There's a lot happening both on and off the field at the Camp Nou as we take a look at the top stories involving Barcelona from 17 December 2020.


Ronald Koeman hails 'fantastic' Barcelona after win against Real Sociedad

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - La Liga Santander
FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - La Liga Santander

Barcelona produced an aggressive performance to claw their way back into the game and win it last night. They were trailing after 27 minutes after Real Sociedad took the lead through Willian Jose. However, goals from Jordi Alba and Frenkie De Jong helped Barcelona claim three very important points.

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman was a happy man at the end of it and he discussed the attitude and desire of his team after their win that has taken them to fifth on the La Liga table. Speaking after the game, Koeman said,

“This is the team I want to see. Every player played out of their skin. The biggest difference was our play without the ball today, and Messi worked very hard in that respect, pressing a lot, and so did everyone else.
“That was the attitude we have to have when we don’t have the ball. The first half was fantastic, we should have scored more goals. We were intense, we put them under a lot of pressure and we ran ourselves into the ground.
“Real Sociedad are excellent on the ball but we kept robbing it off them, we pressed them so well. It was an open game because our opponents know how to play very well but the game belonged to us and it was a deserved triumph.”

Juan Laporta confirms stance on Messi and Pep

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Leo Messi
Leo Messi

Barcelona presidential hopeful Juan Laporta has said that he does not see Lionel Messi or Pep Guardiola leaving their current clubs. Messi is tipped to depart next summer and has entered the final months of his contract at Barcelona. Speaking about the possibility of Messi staying, Laporta said (via The Guardian),

"I can only imagine him in a Barça shirt. And I will do everything possible to make sure he continues to wear it with the number 10 on his back. I think it suits him very well.
"I know Leo and I think he just wants to keep playing, and focus on winning another Champions League. People say to me: "why don't you talk to him?" But he already knows what I think. He knows that if I'm president the first thing I'll do is to work out how I can convince him to stay until the end of his career."

However, Laporta dismissed the possibility of Pep Guardiola leaving his current job at Manchester City and returning to Barcelona.

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"With Pep I have an open line. He's a friend, I talk to him, and he's the best coach in the world. But I knew what his situation was at City. So, I never took that step.
"The problems we'll face are so big now that I can't be thinking about what could happen in years to come, even with a friend. I'm worried about Barça. I'm not worried about things that are external to the club.

Andy Cole tips Bruno Fernandes to join Barcelona or Real Madrid

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League
Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

It's fair to say that Bruno Fernandes has transformed the Manchester United team. The Portuguese has produced the goods consistently for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the Red Devils have become a team that can give any good side a run for their money on their day.

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Speaking about Bruno's influence on the club, Manchester United legend Andy Cole revealed that it could only be a matter of time before the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona come knocking for the United talisman.

Cole told the Target Man podcast (via Metro),

‘I’m very surprised to see how quickly Bruno Fernandes has taken to the Premier League since he joined Manchester United. ‘Bruno Fernandes joined the club for a big fee and I have to say I didn’t know too much about him.
‘I wondered if he was going to be able to continue scoring goals and producing assists at the same rate this season now that clubs knew more about him, but he’s arguably been even better!

However, he believes that this might not exactly mean good news for the Old Trafford outfit.

‘The concern for Manchester United is that Bruno Fernandes has well and truly put himself on the map now. It’s probably only a matter of time until there are rumours of a Barcelona and Real Madrid being interested in signing him.
‘If Manchester United continue to not perform in the Champions League, no-one knows if his head could be turned in the years ahead.’
Published 17 Dec 2020, 20:05 IST
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