by Tim Stannard
Villarreal try to overtake Barcelona in the standings on Friday with Takefusa Kubo against Celta Vigo with Kubo having exited the club
A wintry weekend in LaLiga gets underway on a freezing Friday in Vigo, in the far north-west of Spain. An all-compassing cold front has blanketed Spain in snow, conditions that will leave many a substitute and exiled squad member shivering out in the cold over the next four days.
One of those footballers in a spiritual sense is Takefusa Kubo. The 19-year-old was expected to have a stand-out season with Villarreal, while on-loan from Real Madrid, to follow up a bright campaign at Mallorca last year.
However, while Villarreal are flourishing, the Japanese midfielder didn't with Kubo left out of the club's squad for the past two games having started just two matches in LaLiga this season and now being swiftly moved out of the club to pastures new at Getafe.
The writing was on the wall on Thursday with Villarreal boss, Unai Emery, responding when asked about the future of Kubo that "with all respect to Take, I have to concentrate on Villarreal and the players who want to be here, compete, play, win and wear yellow."
Just 24-hours later, Kubo found himself returned to Real Madrid, his home club and then immediately loaned out to Getafe for the rest of the season.
This sees Getafe continuing a long-standing role of taking unwanted young talent from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid and polishing them into diamonds. Currently, Getafe has two recent Barcelona products in the team - Marco Cucurella and Carles Alena.
Villarreal themselves have been doing just fine without Kubo. A win against Celta Vigo on Friday would put the side into third in the standings above Barcelona. However, the challenge is a tough one against a Celta side that is revitalized under Eduardo Coudet.
Celta Vigo vs. Villarreal is live on beIN SPORTS from 2:50PM ET while Kubo's potential debut for Getafe is on Sunday at 12:30PM ET on our beIN SPORTS Spanish channel.
Zidane cleared to coach Real Madrid after COVID-19 scare
Friday sees good news for Zidane with confirmation that the Real Madrid coach has been cleared to travel with the team to Pamplona in the north of Spain for Saturday's LaLiga match against Osasuna.
The Real Madrid coach had been quarantining having been in contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. However, tests on Zidane himself and LaLiga protocols will allow the Frenchman to oversee the game.
Currently, the match is scheduled to be live on beIN SPORTS on Saturday at 3PM ET, although the severity of a winter storm passing through the country will have to be assessed with freezing temperatures and snow forecast for Saturday.
Poor conditions have even forced the hardened Atletico Madrid troops of Diego Simeone indoors on Friday for the final training session ahead of Saturday's LaLiga clash at Athletic Club that is live on beIN SPORTS from 10:05AM ET.
Memphis Depay set to stay for Lyon title challenge
Barcelona could well have at least one freshly-crowned league champion in their midst next season - even if that player doesn't come from the current squad.
First off, a cash-strapped Barcelona does not look ready to make a move in January winter window - especially with no new president set to be elected at the club until the end of the month.
Secondly, the second half of the season in Ligue 1 could end up with Depay as a league champion. Lyon are currently top of the standings in France, three points ahead of PSG, with just the single defeat from 18 games.
However, being reigning champions of Spain for the first time since 2008 won't tempt Depay into signing a new deal at the club. That much is clear from coach, Rudi Garcia - "I think that we will lose him."
You can watch Lyon at Eduardo Camavinga's Rennes for free on Saturday on our beIN XTRA channel from 3PM ET.