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Barcelona ‘set Ousmane Dembele price’ as La Liga giants eye deals

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Barcelona have set a price for Ousmane Dembele amid interest from Liverpool, reports in Spain have claimed.
Barcelona star Dembele is on Liverpool’s radar with the Reds already confirming their interest in the France international.

Speaking after their defeat to Chelsea earlier this month, Jurgen Klopp said: “Is he available? Then I’m interested.”

Dembele could swap Barcelona for Liverpool having failed to settle at the Nou Camp following his £134million move from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

And Spanish outlet Don Balon say Barca have set a price tag for the 21-year-old.

The La Liga giants reportedly want a huge £88m to even consider letting the wing wizard go.
That is reportedly because Barcelona are eyeing a summer spending spree for the second year running.

Dembele and former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho have both completed big-money moves to Catalonia.

And Don Balon name the three players they hope to sign with Dembele’s sale.

Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich is reportedly on their radar with Nelson Semedo failing to settle.
Chelsea ace Marcos Alonso is also wanted to provide competition for Jordi Alba.

And Barcelona would also reportedly pay Real Betis ace Fabian Ruiz’s release clause.

Liverpool could, however, still face a fight to sign Dembele.

But, having sold Coutinho, Luis Suarez and Javier Mascherano to Barca in recent years, they could use that relationship to get a deal done.

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Barcelona

I’m really grateful to our fans, Messi speaks after netting hat-trick

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Barcelona talisman, Lionel Messi, was given a standing ovation by Real Betis supporters, after scoring his 33rd La Liga hat trick in their 4-1 win at the Benito Villamarin on Sunday.

Messi opened the scoring with a free kick and added the second before the break after a brilliant Luis Suarez assist.

He completed his treble late on with an exquisite chip, after Suarez and Loren Moron had exchanged goals.

The third Messi strike, which killed off any late hopes of a Betis comeback, drew an ovation from the home supporters which the Argentine international says he has never previously experienced.

“I don’t ever remember a night like this [being applauded by rival supporters].

“I’m really grateful for the way the fans responded. I honestly don’t remember an ovation like that [from rival fans],” Messi told Movistar.

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Griezmann ‘regrets’ snubbing Barcelona, seeks Atletico Madrid exit

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Atletico Madrid forward, Antoine Griezmann, is beginning to regret his decision to turn down Barcelona in the summer, and is hoping he can secure a move to the Nou Camp at the end of the season, L’Equipe reports.

Griezmann was strongly linked with the La Liga champions, but chose to extend his contract with Atletico until 2023.

However, he now believes he made a mistake with Atletico exiting the Champions League and once again struggling to keep pace with Barca in the title race.

Los Rojiblancos failed to defend a 2-0 first-leg lead as Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo, netted a hat-trick in Turin to dump them out of Europe on Tuesday.

“We didn’t play the game we wanted to, it was a bad night and we made it easier for Juventus.

“We are all disappointed, as we just didn’t play. I’m the first to say I didn’t do enough, our tempo was wrong and Juventus were superior on every level.

“Considering we won the first leg 2-0, we can’t say much. I don’t know what happened, it reminded me a little of the Bayern Munich game, but that time we were able to make some adjustments.

“Tonight, Juve were superior on all levels,” Griezmann said after the Juve game.

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Barcelona 5-1 Lyon: Lionel Messi scores double

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Lionel Messi scored two goals and provided two more as Barcelona reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in style.

Barca captain Messi nonchalantly opened the scoring with a ‘Panenka’ penalty chipped down the middle of the goal in the 17th minute after Luis Suarez was fouled in the area, putting his side ahead in the tie after a goalless first leg in France.

Suarez then rounded Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes to lay on a perfect pass for the unmarked Philippe Coutinho to nudge into an open net and double Barca’s lead, although Lyon hauled themselves back into contention with a second-half strike from Lucas Tousart.

Messi soon killed off any hopes of an unlikely comeback from the French side, however, carving his way through the defence to score in the 78th minute before toying with Lyon’s back line twice more and laying off passes for Gerard Pique and then Ousmane Dembele to complete the rout.

BARCELONA 5-1 LYON | MESSI (16, 78), COUTINHO (31), TOUSART (58), PIQUE (81), DEMBELE (86)

Barcelona XI: ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Arthur, Sergio Busquets, Rakitic, Messi, Suarez, Coutinho

Lyon XI: Lopes, Dubois, Denayer, Marcelo, Mendy, Ndombele, Tousart, Marcal, Nabil Fekir, Dembele, Depay

Champions League draw details
The draw for the last eight of the Champions League takes place on Friday, at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon.

The draw will take place at 11am on Friday morning.
The semi-final draw will also be made on Friday, immediately after the ties for the quarters have been confirmed.

Which teams will be in the quarter-finals?
Tottenham, Ajax, Manchester United, Porto, Manchester City, Juventus, Liverpool, Barcelona

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