By Tim Stannard
Barca prepare for season-defining match with Atletico Madrid with Setien claiming that everything is good at the Camp Nou
Causation or correlation?
Have months of madness at Barcelona - the firing of Ernesto Valverde and hiring of Quique Setien, the blaming of the failing players for the sacking by sporting director Eric Abidal, the club spinning against the footballers on social media, the mass resignation of board members during the shutdown - all lead to Barcelona letting the league title slip away?
Or was it simply a case of Antoine Griezmann not wanting to get hit by an Iago Aspas free kick?
Those are the questions being pondered in the Spanish media on Monday with Real Madrid now enjoying daylight at the top of the table with a two-point gap over Barca, after a less than forceful 1-0 win over Espanyol on Sunday.
'Causation' seems to be the favorite theory with Marca reporting a big bust-up between Quique Setien and the players in the locker room after the Celta Vigo draw, Luis Suarez throwing his coach under the bus a little in the post-match interview and thrilling images being published of Lionel Messi blanking Barcelona's assistant coach, Eder Sarabia during a water break.
Monday is not going to see any respite in the pressure. The day began with Arthur Melo announcing to his teammates during training that he was being moved to Juventus, having completed a medical on Sunday.
Barca will then have to focus on preparations for a match against another team that could inflict further damage on the team's title hopes - Atletico Madrid, who are the vigorous visitors to the Camp Nou on Tuesday.
Speaking ahead of that game, Quique Setien launched an attempt to try and sooth a few furrowed brows and talk down any notion of a disconnect between coach and players. "It's true that in key moments, we don't always agree," said the Barcelona boss in Monday's press conference, "but the the relationship with the squad is good."
The Sports Burst live show will be all over this and everything else from the weekend. Head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page or beIN XTRA channel at 12PM ET.
Achraf Hakimi set for surprise move from Real Madrid to Inter
Real Madrid may be sitting pretty at the top of the table but don't escape the transfer gossip in a Monday move that might surprise supporters.
Full-back Achraf Hakimi had been burning up the Bundesliga this season for Borussia Dortmund with 10 assists and five goals. The 21-year-old right-back was expected to return to the Santiago Bernabeu after a two year-loan period in Germany.
The transfer could be worth up to $40 million to Madrid, with Alvaro Odriozola set to be given another chance at Madrid after being on loan for the past few months with Bayern Munich.
Champions League or bust in LaLiga's Monday match
Monday's match-up in LaLiga sees two more teams not exactly enjoying the best of days. Before the soccer shutdown, Getafe and Real Sociedad both had genuine chances of sneaking into the Champions League places in LaLiga.
However both teams have subsequently demonstrated relegation form with just four points collectively being picked up by the pair out of a possible 24. Nevertheless, there may just be a chance for one of these teams to stay in the hunt with a victory today. A Getafe win in the Coliseum would put the Madrid side into fifth, just two behind a ponderous Sevilla.
Get ready for plenty of ⚽️ from 🇪🇸 today! pic.twitter.com/Ufr1RHTIrB— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) June 29, 2020
"It's a defining match," said Getafe boss, Jose Bordalas whose team have had the luxury of six days rest.
Coverage of Getafe vs. Real Sociedad on beIN SPORTS gets underway at 3:30PM ET.
Patriots make late move for Cam Newton
The NFL is not missing out on the transfer train news.
On Monday, the New England Patriots are expected to announce that they are picking up quarterback, Cam Newton, on a one-year deal to try and replace Tom Brady.
“They gave up on me”— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) June 29, 2020
A motivated Cam Newton in New England. Scary. 👀pic.twitter.com/ZvUz3YVXV1
The deal was pretty much announced by Cam Newton himself with an excitable exultation on social media. "I'm excited as I don't know what right now!" was the post for the player who was a free agent after leaving the Carolina Panthers after nine years.