By Tim Stannard/beIN SPORTS USA
Rakitic and Umtiti set for final matches for Barcelona with players reportedly destined for Camp Nou exit door
With Barcelona 100%, bang-on, put-your-mortgage-on-it signing Neymar, Lautaro Martinez, Miralem Pjanic, Mattia De Sciglio, Sergino Dest and Kai Havertz this summer, some wiggle room is needed in the club's locker room. Especially if social distancing norms are required for the forseeable future.
To this end, Barcelona-based 'Sport' has issued a list of players that the club will be looking to put onto on the club's driveway and let go this summer to make room.
At the front of the seven-man group is Ivan Rakitic who complained openly on Monday about not feeling loved at the club and wanting a call from Barcelona president, Josep Bartomeu, to clarify his future at the Camp Nou.
Next up, we have Nelson Semedo who appears to have already agreed to part ways with Barca. Then there's Junior Firpo who probably won't be missed too much. Arturo Vidal will be a sad loss, with his rumbustious ways adding a nice bit of fire and brimstone to Barcelona's squad. Samuel Umtiti is also a part of the club's exit strategy.
Two players currently on loan are also set to be surplus to requirements - Rafinha who is currently on loan with Celta Vigo and the once highly-touted Carles Alena.
The Sports Burst live show is set to pour through this list and look at everything else going on in the world today. Head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page or beIN XTRA channel at 12PM ET / 9AM PT.
The Sports Burst PM show returns at 7PM ET / 4PM PT for a wrap up of the day's news on beIN SPORTS.
Day set for Serie A go-no go decision
Wednesday sees a little bit more clarity in Serie A's attempts to return. Or not, as the case may be.
After the Italian government and the Serie A teams finally came to an agreement over health protocols during the group training phase - only the individual player would be isolated in the event of a positive COVID-19 test - another couple of hurdles were carefully placed in the path of Italian soccer's return.
The first was the fact that a medical protocol had not yet been agreed upon with the clubs when the matches resume. Indeed that resumption was put into doubt on Tuesday with omnipresent sports minister, Vincenzo Spadafora, declaring that a go no-go decision for Serie A won't be made until next week when he says enough data will be available to review.
"May 28 is the date on which it will be known if the championship will restart", teased Spadafora announcing that a meeting will be held between all parties involved.
June 15 is the earliest possible start date of Serie A according to current government guidelines, which could potentially have changed even before this sentence has been completed.
Liverpool return to training as EPL takes training baby steps
Jurgen Klopp striding purposefully to work on Wednesday is a sight to gladden the hearts of any soul. Liverpool have returned to group training ahead of a hoped for restart of the Premier League mid to the end of June. "It is baby steps in the process of returning to full training," said Sheffield United manager, Chris Wilder, to Sky Sports.
Morning, Reds 👋— Liverpool FC (at 🏠) (@LFC) May 20, 2020
The boss and Pep are back at Melwood 😃 pic.twitter.com/xHvl8LeF9L
Wednesday also sees more news concerning the testing information released by the Premier League. Out of 748 COVID-19 tests done on players and staff from 19 clubs in the EPL - Norwich City did theirs on Tuesday - there were six positive results.
One came from Burnley's assistant coach and another three are confirmed to be at Watford (one player and two members of staff).
Klopp targets Timo Werner as PSG probe Pjanic
Spinning back to Liverpool and another reason for the determined stride of Jurgen Klopp is the report that the German coach is determined to bring RB Leipzig striker, Timo Werner, to the club. The German striker is also said to be keen on the move. The question is whether any one of Sadio Mane, Mo Salah or Roberto Firmino would have to make way.
The Miralem Pjanic to Barcelona in a convoluted swap deal story got a little more complicated with a report that the Juventus midfielder is now being targeted by PSG, a club looking to beef up the side's midfield.
And that links nicely to Edinson Cavani who is being lined up by Inter to replace the departing Lautaro Martinez, on the grounds that the Uruguayan scores lots of goals and will be free.