UCL Review: Spurs send City crashing out of Champions League, Liverpool through

By George Davis,Chris Taylor& Lance Whittaker April 17, 2019

Tottenham and Liverpool advanced to the semi-finals of the Champions League in high-scoring affairs on Thursday.

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  • Rumour Has It: PSG not interested in Barcelona's loan bid for Neymar Rumour Has It: PSG not interested in Barcelona's loan bid for Neymar

    Barcelona are officially making a move for Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain are set to reject their offer.

    The Neymar saga is seemingly no closer to ending as the Brazil star looks to leave the Ligue 1 champions before the transfer window closes on September 2.

    Barca are set to at least make a bid as they aim to get a deal done for their former star, but it will be rejected.

     

    TOP STORY – PSG TO REJECT BARCELONA'S LOAN BID FOR NEYMAR

    PSG have no interest in initially loaning Neymar to Barcelona, according to Le Parisien.

    It was reported the bid from LaLiga's champions would be for a temporary move, but PSG want an outright transfer so they can find a replacement for the forward, amid reported interest in Juventus playmaker Paulo Dybala.

    Barcelona are willing to accept a purchase option if €160million can be paid in instalments, according to Sport.

    Meanwhile, the cover of Marca says Neymar is entering "Zone Florentino", referencing Real Madrid president Perez as Barca's rivals maintain hope of signing the 27-year-old.

    ROUND-UP

    - There could be plenty of movement at Barcelona late in the window. Juventus are discussing a potential swap deal to land Ivan Rakitic and see Emre Can head to Camp Nou, according to Tuttosport, which says the Catalans also put Luis Suarez on the table.

    - One midfielder not leaving Turin is Blaise Matuidi. RMC Sport reports the France international will stay at Juventus amid links to PSG and Bayern Munich, with Can seemingly more likely to depart the Serie A champions.

    - Mariano Diaz's future is uncertain. AS claims Mariano is not in Real Madrid's plans for this season, but no club has come close to meeting a €20m valuation of the forward.

    - Franck Ribery is set to become a Fiorentina player. The former Bayern Munich star has agreed to a deal with the Serie A club, according to Sport Bild and Gianluca Di Marzio, with the Frenchman set to sign on Thursday.

    - Amid reported interest from Manchester City and Manchester United, Jadon Sancho is said to be re-signing with Borussia Dortmund. The 19-year-old England international has sealed a £190,000-per-week long-term deal with Dortmund, according to the Daily Mail.

    - Michy Batshuayi is not ready to give up on his Chelsea career. The Belgium striker wants to stay and fight for a place in Frank Lampard's team, according to the Evening Standard.

  • Rodri: Adapting to overwhelming Man City not easy Rodri: Adapting to overwhelming Man City not easy

    Adapting to life as the holding midfielder in an ultra-attacking Manchester City side is no easy task, according to the club's record signing Rodri.

    A £62.8million (€70m) close-season recruit from Atletico Madrid, Rodri has stepped in for Fernandinho over the opening weeks of the season, the Brazil international having returned late to club duty following his Copa America commitments.

    Rodri turned in assured performances at the base of the midfield in the Community Shield triumph over Liverpool and 5-0 opening-day win against West Ham in the Premier League.

    Ilkay Gundogan provided support in central areas as playmakers Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva set about Tottenham in Saturday's 2-2 draw, where City were forced to settle for a share of the spoils despite having 30 attempts at goal.

    "I feel better every day," Rodri told his club's official website.

    "It's good for me to play minutes [because] it is not easy to get into a team with the dynamic City have ­– overwhelming, always wanting to attack.

    "I'm trying to settle well, I know I still have a lot to learn, but I'm happy because Pep Guardiola is showing me a lot of confidence.

    "I want to help the team with my style, but at this current point I need to identify what the team demands."

    Gabriel Jesus had what he thought was an injury-time winner ruled out at the weekend when a VAR review penalised Aymeric Laporte for handball in the build-up to the goal.

    Rodri was involved in an earlier controversy when the video official decided not to advise referee Michael Oliver to award a penalty after Spurs winger Erik Lamela appeared to pull the Spain international to the ground.

    "It is a little bit difficult to get used to it," the 23-year-old said of VAR. "Sometimes you don't know why some actions are checked and others aren't, but I think that the officials try to do their job the best they can.

    "We can only analyse what we control, we can't control the things that are not in our hands."

  • Oxlade-Chamberlain must stay patient, says Klopp Oxlade-Chamberlain must stay patient, says Klopp

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to stay patient as the midfielder builds after his serious knee injury.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain, 26, made an impressive start after joining Liverpool two years ago, but suffered a knee injury in April 2018.

    The 32-time England international has started the past two games for the European champions, substituted at half-time of a UEFA Super Cup win over Chelsea before helping Liverpool beat Southampton.

    Klopp said Oxlade-Chamberlain – who made just two Premier League appearances last season – needed to remain calm.

    "He needs to be patient in the right way, and also everything will be fine 100 per cent," he said, via the Liverpool Echo.

    "We only talk about Ox because everybody knows how good he is, but we need to make sure that he can show that on the pitch as well.

    "That is my decision, and when I make the decision that he is now ready then it is my responsibility of course as well and the boy only has to try to do his best."

    Oxlade-Chamberlain was substituted after starting on the left against Chelsea, while he returned to midfield against former club Southampton on Saturday.

    Liverpool host another one of Oxlade-Chamberlain's former clubs, Arsenal, on Saturday in a clash between the only two teams with perfect records through two Premier League games this season.

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