Sports Burst - Barcelona's Divided Loyalties

Reuters

 

by Tim Stannard

 

Josep Maria Bartomeu set to speak on Friday to explain departure of the club's Sporting VP

 

Sports Burst has been holding a grand theory in regards to Barcelona's transfer plans for Antoine Griezmann and Neymar. 

It likes to think that the club is about to pull the ultimate revenge mission on both by leading them up a footballing creek without a paddle. 

Lure both players to Barcelona with subtle cooing calls and then ghost them completely. 

 

It is true that both footballers, while pricey, would certainly take Barca up yet another level. But at some point doing the right thing needs to come into play in the sport. Two years ago, Neymar made a move that Barca never recovered from by buying himself out of his contract to move to PSG and wear the Parisian big boy pants.

One year ago, Antoine Griezmann lost his mind by producing an half-an-hour long LeBron-style decision video to announce that he was turning down an offer from the Camp Nou club. Quite the humiliation.  

And now both players want in at Barca again. 

 

Apparently this has not got down well at all within the boardroom types at the club. On Wednesday, the team's Sporting VP, Jordi Mestre, resigned. There is reportedly opposition to the leadership of the club's General Manager, Pep Segura. 

An awful lot of this seems to center around the fact that not everyone is happy with rolling out the welcome mat for two players who publicly rejected the club in the past.  

This is set to be the topic of conversation at a press conference being held on Friday by Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, before the club presents a player that everyone seems to be happy about signing at least, Frenkie de Jong. 

The Sports Burst live show will be all over this one. Just head to our beIN SPORTS Facebook live page at 12PM ET / 9AM PT. 

 

 

Real Madrid continue garage sale as Higuain finds new home

 

The Real Madrid exodus looks set to continue. 

Dani Ceballos could be the next footballer to leave with Tottenham Hotspur being the destination. 

Madrid has already sold raised $106 million with the departures of Mateo Kovacic, Raul de Tomas and Marcos Llorente. Another $35 million is expected from Milan's purchase of Theo Hernandez and there is still James Rodriguez to be moved. There is even talk of Marcelo going to Arsenal. 

All in all, Madrid's net spend over the summer might end up being a relatively slight $100 million for the purchase of the club's five new players. 

Gonzalo Higuain could have an out after being told by Maurizio Sarri that his scoring services are not required at Juventus. Friday sees links with Roma for a much-maligned footballer who has a scoring record of a goal every two games. Before the day of Messi and Ronaldo, that would have been considered prolific. 

 

 

AFCON returns with Senegal facing knockout drama

 

While the world builds up to Super Sunday which sees the finals of the Women's World Cup, the Copa America and Gold Cup being played - the US featuring in two of those finals, thank you very much - AFCON 2019 is very much in full pelt, business time mode. 

The tournament returns on Friday with the the Last 16 knockout stage where everything is going to get sticky and sweaty. Except for one man, that is. 

 

That man is Herve Renard, the coolest human being alive and coach of the Morocco side. Renard is looking to win his third AFCON tournament with his third team. 

Morocco is taking on Benin and coverage of that match gets underway live on beIN SPORTS at 11:30AM ET / 8:30AM PT. 

 

The second game on the double bill has one of the tournament favorites of Senegal facing the real chance of an upset in a clash against Uganda that gets underway at 3PM ET / 12PM PT.