Sports Burst - Barcelona's Helping Hand

REUTERS

By Tim Stannard/beIN SPORTS

Crazy scheme of emergency signing comes good for Barcelona after permission given by Spanish FA and La Liga

 

A time when everything that was up is now down and when everything that down had now turned into a chicken continues on Monday. 

Manchester City's record over the past few years is now being questioned, as well as the long-term future of the club. And Barcelona has proved that the concept of planning and the transfer window are for mere mortals.

Barca has received confirmation from La Liga and the Spanish federation that the clubs are able to make an 'emergency' signing to cover for the long term injuries to Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez. 

Medical documentation was handed over, sad faces were made to support the sob story that Barca had to struggle on for the rest of the season with potentially the greatest player who ever lived upfront, Antoine Griezmann who cost $130 million, and Ansu Fati, after the club deliberately chose to give another striker away on loan to Roma

The scheme worked to leave Real Madrid pondering whether Gareth Bale, Luka Jovic, and Mariano Diaz as the team's alternative options to Karim Benzema also qualify as an emergency situation. 

However, Barcelona's hands are tied a little. The signing must be registered with a club in Spain (or be currently without a team) and as direct rivals are not going to offload their finest forwards, Barca have been looking at targets such as Real Sociedad's Willian Jose and Getafe's Angel Rodriguez, 

The latter scored against Barcelona in the Camp Nou on Monday in a very timely manner and is the front runner with a release clause of just over $10 million. 

All in all, a good end to the weekend for Barcelona who also managed to close the gap on Real Madrid at the top of the table to just the single point, with El Clasico just two weeks away.

The Sports Burst live show presented by Bosch ICON will be looking at all of Barca's signing options as well as announcing the weekend's high-performance player in LaLiga.

Head to the beIN SPORTS XTRA channel, Facebook Live or YouTube live to join in the fun.

Pep reportedly declares loyalty to Manchester 

 

Schadenfreude is the name of the game in the Premier League on Monday with Chelsea and Manchester United going head to head in a battle for a Champions League spot that has now gotten a heck of a lot easier thanks to Manchester City's misfortune. 

City's two-year ban from European competitions - to be appealed - has opened up the Northwest Passage of football with fifth place in the EPL potentially being up for grabs as a ticket for the Champions League. That gives some hope to previously forlorn clubs like United and even Arsenal.

That may not be enough to persuade Paul Pogba to return to work though, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealing that the midfielder is still far from being able to actually play for Manchester United this season due to injury.

Meanwhile, the BBC is reporting on Monday morning that Pep Guardiola has told friends that he will not be leaving Manchester City even if the club loses its appeal against the European exile, to end the sudden rumors of the Spaniard jumping ship to Juventus which is the current trending top of soccer's chattering classes.

Magisterial: The Ray Hudson Show will pondering all things Manchester City and everything else at 7:30PM ET on beIN SPORTS.

Neymar returns for PSG in Champions League clash

 

Hats in the air on Monday as the Champions League return is almost a day away with two absolute humdingers on offer on Tuesday. 

The two fiercest young forwards in the game will be going head to head as Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland face-off as PSG takes on Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of a last-16 clash over in Germany. 

It's a game so thrilling that even Neymar is coming along for the ride having sat out the past two weeks or so with bruised ribs and a post-birthday-party comedown. 

Tuesday's other game sees Liverpool traveling to Spain to take on Atletico Madrid. Today should see Diego Simeone talk about a cunning plan to defeat the undefeatable that doesn't involve playing two goalless draws and hoping to get lucky on penalties. Which is, let's face it, what Atletico will be going for. 

 

Hope Solo will be giving her Champions League hot picks on Weekend Winners at 7PM ET on beIN SPORTS.