Quique Setien would welcome any new arrival at Barcelona in January but is happy to work with what he has for the remainder of the season.

A deal to sign forward Rodrigo Moreno appeared to be on the cards after Valencia boss Albert Celades confirmed on Tuesday the two clubs were in negotiations over the Spain international.

However, reports in the Catalan media suggest that move will not be happening, leaving Barca light up front in the absence of Luis Suarez, who is set to miss the rest of the campaign with a knee injury.

Setien confirmed the reigning LaLiga champions are interested in adding to their options before the transfer window closes, though he is prepared to push for glory on three fronts with the squad at his disposal.

"First of all, I'm delighted with what I have in my squad," Setien told the media ahead of Thursday's Copa del Rey tie against Leganes.

"We are not going to deny that it would have been interesting to bring in a player, but I always focus on what I have. 

"If anyone comes in, they will be welcome. If it doesn't happen, though, I will be delighted to work with the squad I have available.

"I've come here from working at other sides, I'm used to working with what I have. I'm sure that this side is prepared to compete in every competition."

While there may be no further arrivals this month, Carles Perez seems set to depart Camp Nou. 

The 21-year-old has been a peripheral figure this season under Ernesto Valverde and new head coach Setien, with Roma rumoured to be his next destination.

Asked to clarify why Perez has not featured more in the early weeks of his reign, Setien said: "It's a shared decision [with the club]. What I've spoken about with the player is very clear – the reality is I'm not going to speak about private decisions.

"It's a decision by the club and I've given my opinion – it is what it is."

Setien also refused to rule out further departures, adding: "I can't guarantee anything – we will see. These are decisions that the club takes. They are the ones who make the best decisions."

Joao Felix appears set to miss Atletico Madrid's derby against Real Madrid after sustaining an unspecified muscle injury to his right leg.

The Portugal forward suffered the setback during Sunday's goalless draw against Leganes and was unable to train on Tuesday or Wednesday.

"Joao Felix suffered a muscle injury to his right leg during Sunday's match against Club Deportivo Leganes," read a club statement.

"Given the ongoing pain after the day of rest, the club's medical services have performed tests to diagnose the injury. He is pending response to treatment."

While no timescale has been put on a recovery, reports in Spain suggest the injury is not serious but he will miss Saturday's trip to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Joao Felix arrived at the Wanda Metropolitano in a €126million deal from Benfica in July.

The 20-year-old has endured mixed fortunes in Spain thus far, scoring twice and providing just one assist in 17 LaLiga appearances.

Atletico are fifth in the table, 10 points adrift of leaders and city rivals Madrid.

Barcelona have seemingly given up on their pursuit of Rodrigo, while Manchester United are finally getting their man.

LaLiga giants Barca are eyeing a forward with Luis Suarez set to miss most of the rest of the season due to a knee injury.

But while they reportedly targeted Rodrigo, their bid to land the Valencia forward appears over.

Meanwhile, a long-running saga is set to come to an end in Manchester.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA GIVE UP ON RODRIGO

'Rodrigo no' reads the cover of Sport, which reports Barcelona have stopped negotiations with Valencia for the forward.

The report says Barca cannot reach an economic agreement with Valencia, but are considering other options in their bid to sign a forward.

Rodrigo has scored just two goals in 18 LaLiga games for Valencia this season.

ROUND-UP

- It is finally set to be over. Bruno Fernandes' move from Sporting CP to Manchester United is practically done, according to Record. The Premier League club will pay £46.5million (€55m) for the midfielder, plus £8.5m (€10m) in add-ons with the potential for a further £12.7m (€15m).

- There could be some movement at Stamford Bridge in the coming days. AS reports Roma have made contact with Chelsea regarding Pedro, who has made just five Premier League appearances this season.

- Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are ready to launch bids for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Lemar, according to The Sun. The LaLiga club want £51m (€60.3m) for the Frenchman.

- Also at Spurs, the Mirror reports Tottenham are set to sign PSV attacker Steven Bergwijn for £25.4m (€30m).

- Pablo Mari's move to Arsenal appears set to become official. Globo Esporte reports the Flamengo defender will join the Premier League club on loan until June, with his club receiving £4.2m (€5m) and Arsenal holding an option to make the move permanent.

Valencia coach Albert Celades has conceded negotiations for the transfer of Rodrigo Moreno to Barcelona are "open".

Rodrigo returned from injury on Saturday as Valencia beat Barca 2-0 at the Mestalla, handing Quique Setien his first defeat since replacing Ernesto Valverde.

While the Spain international missed training on Monday to have a check-up on his knee in Barcelona, a move to the reigning LaLiga champions appears to be on the cards for the Brazilian-born forward.

"Rodrigo is a player who can make the difference, that's why Barcelona want him," Celades told a media conference ahead of Valencia's Copa del Rey clash with Cultural Leonesa.

"The negotiation is open and we will not hide.

"Rodrigo and I have talked. I can't make a private conversation public."

The arrival of Rodrigo would give Barca cover for Luis Suarez, who is expected to be out of action for four months with a knee injury.

Barca are three points adrift of leaders Real Madrid following their loss to Valencia; Setien's men host Leganes in the Copa del Rey on Thursday before welcoming Levante to Camp Nou in the league on Sunday.

Zinedine Zidane has defended Real Madrid's style of play and insisted he will not change his coaching methods amid recent criticism.

Nacho Fernandez was the unlikely match-winner in Sunday's 1-0 victory over Real Valladolid as Madrid won a third LaLiga game in a row to open a three-point lead over Barcelona at the summit.

None of Madrid's six league goals in 2020 have been scored by attackers and they struggled to create chances at Estadio Jose Zorrilla.

But Zidane, who recently acknowledged he may have enjoyed a fair share of luck as a coach, is happy for his side to continue grinding out victories.

"I don't think the Bernabeu would accept a thousand passes without a shot," he said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"Everyone has their own style of play. I played at the Bernabeu and what the fans want to see is their team give their all on the field. It has always been that way.

"When fans see the team sweat for the shirt, that's the most important thing in the end because you can't always win.

"I always say the same - I will not change. The important thing is the club have given me the chance to train these players. It is a great team and I am lucky to be here.

"Two months ago things were not going well and there was a lot of criticism - that is not going to change. What we want is to continue what we are doing."

Madrid are unbeaten in 19 matches in all competitions and travel to Real Zaragoza in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

Los Blancos have won the competition on just two occasions since 1993 and Zidane is desperate to improve on that underwhelming return.

"I don't think it's a lack of motivation," he said. "I think the motivation is very high. 

"We must accept that Madrid have won 13 Champions Leagues and we want to change our history in the Copa del Rey.

"Zaragoza are going to make it difficult for us. We want to give our all on the field. We will not be surprised by them because we know it will be difficult - it is always that way."

Gareth Bale returned to full training on Tuesday after missing the weekend win over Valladolid with an ankle issue, while Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio continued to train away from the team.

Asked if Bale could return to the side in midweek, Zidane said: "I have a list of players and later you will see. Everyone wants to be available for the coach.

"Hazard has started working on the pitch again, but not yet with the team. We will see this week how he is managing his recovery.

"Before attacking, we must defend and be intense, we are doing quite well but you always have to be ready to prove it."

Tottenham have completed the permanent signing of Giovani Lo Celso, who has signed a contract until 2025.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho revealed on Saturday the club were poised to convert the 23-year-old's initial loan move from Real Betis into a full switch, saying the player's form had made it "an easy decision".

The move was completed on Tuesday, just as the sale of Christian Eriksen to Inter was officially confirmed.

"We are delighted to announce that we have exercised the option to convert the loan of Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis to a permanent transfer," read Tottenham's statement.

"Gio has signed a contract with the club until 2025.

"The midfielder has produced impressive performances after establishing himself in the team following a hip injury which restricted his playing time in the early part of his loan."

A superb individual run from Lo Celso helped to set up Spurs' goal as Son Heung-min struck in the 1-1 FA Cup fourth-round draw against Southampton, a game in which he also had a goal disallowed.

After the impressive performance, Mourinho had said: "It's not an obligation [to sign him], it's an option, but I think the boy is earning the decision. 

"He's making an easy decision for the club to execute the option. Incredible evolution since I arrived.

"Barely played a game [before I arrived], I think he played against Red Star Belgrade and with me it was a little bit difficult to come in the first few weeks.

"But he understood what we wanted. Good learner, good kid and I think by himself he made the decision that the club is going to execute the option. That's normal, he earned it."

Hatem Ben Arfa finally has a new club after agreeing a short-term deal with LaLiga side Real Valladolid.

Ben Arfa, 32, had been a free agent since leaving Rennes at the end of last season and has moved to Estadio Jose Zorrilla for the remainder of 2019-20.

A gifted attacking midfielder, Ben Arfa enjoyed good spells with Nice and Rennes either side of a frustrating period at Paris Saint-Germain from 2016 to 2018.

In 26 Ligue 1 appearances with Rennes last term, the France international – capped 15 times by his country – scored seven goals and set up another two.

A fine dribbler and creative force, Ben Arfa will be tasked with helping Valladolid avoid relegation, with Sergio's men 16th in LaLiga, five points clear of the bottom three.

Providing he proves his fitness, he could make his debut at Real Mallorca on Saturday.

Real Madrid have long been touted as favourites to tempt Kylian Mbappe from Paris.

Mbappe idolises Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, who has made no secret of his desire to sign the Paris Saint-Germain forward.

But should Liverpool splash the cash, Mbappe could reportedly find himself at Anfield.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE OPEN TO REDS

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe would be open to joining Premier League leaders and Champions League holders Liverpool, according to journalist Julien Laurens.

Mbappe has long been tipped to eventually swap PSG for LaLiga giants Real Madrid, where he is coveted by fellow Frenchman and head coach Zinedine Zidane.

However, Laurens claims Liverpool could be an option, should the English side meet PSG's demands.

 

ROUND-UP 

Manchester United want Alexis Sanchez to return to the club at the end of the season, says the Daily Star. On loan at Serie A outfit Inter following a horror spell in Manchester, the Red Devils have decided to give the Chilean forward another chance to prove himself.

- West Ham have offered €40million (£33.7m) to Cagliari for Uruguay international Nahitan Nandez, reports Tuttomercatoweb.

- With Carles Perez edging closer to Roma, Barcelona could also sell Ivan Rakitic. According to Marca, Juventus are keeping tabs on the experienced midfielder.

- Sky Sport Italia claims Roma have contacted Chelsea over veteran forward Pedro, who is out of contract at season's end.

Flamengo have agreed terms with Inter to sign Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa on a permanent basis, reports ESPN Brazil, Globoesporte and Sportitalia.

Juventus are still pondering a swap deal that would see full-back Mattia De Sciglio move to PSG in exchange for Layvin Kurzawa, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed the LaLiga champions are considering a move for Valencia forward Rodrigo Moreno.

Rodrigo has emerged as a target for Barca, who are in the market for attacking reinforcements after Luis Suarez's season-ending injury.

Spain international Rodrigo, who netted 15 times across all competitions last term, has scored four goals for Valencia this season.

Asked about the mounting speculation, Bartomeu said: "We don't talk about players from other teams. But [Rodrigo's] name is on the table of the coaches.

"And a replacement will arrive. I do not know whether it will be from Barcelona B or from outside [the club].

"I like many players."

Barca captain and six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi was also a topic of conversation.

In 2017, Messi signed a new contract with Barca until 2021 and the Spanish giants want to extend the 32-year-old's deal.

"He will be done with Barcelona when he wants. His relationship with Barcelona is forever," Bartomeu said.

"He has plenty more football to play here. Leo Messi will be around for a while."

Tottenham appear set to soften Christian Eriksen's exit by making their second January signing.

Almost two weeks after landing Gedson Fernandes on loan, the Premier League side are reportedly on the cusp of capturing Steven Bergwijn from PSV.

The impending transfer has caused unrest in Eindhoven, where there is said to be animosity towards Spurs.

 

TOP STORY - SPURS TO SIGN BERGWIJN

Tottenham are closing in on the €30million (£25.3m) acquisition of Dutch winger Bergwijn, according to the Guardian.

The 22-year-old, capped nine times at international level, has reportedly travelled to London to finalise the deal.

PSV's interim head coach Ernest Faber claimed Bergwijn asked to be left out of Sunday's 1-1 Eredivisie draw against Twente, telling reporters: "It's his choice. We only need players who are 100 per cent focused on PSV."

The former Ajax youth player later clarified his version of events in a video uploaded to his Instagram account, where he insisted he was not a "rat" and that Faber had given his blessing to the switch.

Bergwijn was linked to Bayern Munich in 2019.

 

ROUND-UP 

- It could be Bergwijn in, Eriksen out to begin the week for Spurs. Sky Sport Italia says the Denmark international will ink his Inter contract after undergoing a medical on Monday. 

- LaLiga side Sevilla are working to sign Milan winger Suso on an initial 18-month loan deal, claims CalcioMercato. 

- Could former Newcastle United and Paris Saint-Germain enigma Hatem Ben Arfa finally be about to find a new home? The 32-year-old, a free agent since leaving Rennes, is on the verge of joining Real Valladolid, reports Mundo Deportivo. 

- Crystal Palace have rejected a bid from PSV bid for £9m-rated left-back Patrick van Aanholt, says the Daily Mail.

- West Ham and Burnley are monitoring Sampdoria's ex-Leeds United midfielder Ronaldo Vieira, according to the Athletic.

Diego Simeone insists he will only try to win back support "through actions, not words" after another disappointing day for Atletico Madrid.

Beaten by third-tier Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey this week, Atleti were held to a 0-0 draw on Sunday at home to Leganes, a team that started the day bottom of LaLiga.

With no wins and just one goal from their past four games in all competitions, questions have been raised about whether Simeone's undoubtedly successful time in charge at the club could be coming to an end.

Defeat in the derby to Real Madrid next Saturday will only intensify calls for the head coach to leave, but Simeone is determined to show he can salvage Atleti's season.

"I can't say anything to the people [who do not have faith]," he told reporters. "All I can do is show them through actions, not words. Words mean nothing.

"I'm respectful with everybody. I was whistled because I wasn't doing well in my second spell at the club [as a player]. The fans are critical when the team doesn't win. And it's for me to find solutions to that.

"The first thing we need to do is to get back working. After that, I'll make my decisions based on what I feel is best for the team. We have a week to return to peace and calm, which is something you need in football.

"I have a great squad and a few lads are expected back from injury this week. On Saturday, we will be going out with the hope of winning the match."

Simeone refused to criticise the Wanda Metropolitano fans for their support on Sunday and stressed Atleti could have won the game had they shown a more clinical edge in the second half.

"The public get you going, they get involved and do their part in encouraging the team," he said. "We've just played two games away from home that didn't turn out well and the fans were good today.

"On other days, you can easily end up losing games like this. We could have won the game in the second half."

Atletico Madrid failed to bounce back from their Copa del Rey humiliation to Cultural Leonesa as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home by a Leganes side that began the day bottom of LaLiga.

The embarrassing Copa defeat to third-tier Cultural put Diego Simeone's future in question, with some suggesting Atletico have become stale under his guidance, and Sunday's insipid display did little to disprove such concerns.

Atletico did control the first half and created the better chances, with Leganes generally offering little going forward, but the hosts' frontline struggled to link up effectively.

They arguably struggled even more in the second period without the necessary cutting edge, as Leganes clung on to a point despite left-back Jonathan Silva playing the final minutes in goal after goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar was shown a second yellow for timewasting, which involved an altercation with a ball boy.

Although they were by no means impressive, Atletico did at least manage to have the better of the first half.

Angel Correa, enjoying something of a renaissance in recent weeks, should have done better just before the half-hour mark – slamming a volley over the crossbar after Renan Lodi's cross fell to him.

Alvaro Morata and Correa then went close a few minutes apart towards the end of the half, Cuellar producing smart saves from both to ease the pressure.

Leganes coped better after the interval and, although they sat deeper than before, they almost took the lead in the 66th minute as Recio's 25-yard strike crucially took a deflection to go just over.

The visitors escaped a penalty shout soon after when Vitolo went to ground after a mistimed challenge from Unai Bustinza, but the Atletico winger was adjudged to have manufactured the contact.

Felipe also felt he should have won a spot-kick in the final 10 minutes after a seemingly accidental trip by Roberto Rosales, but again Leganes escaped.

Cuellar put Leganes in a testing position late on when his gamesmanship, which saw him shoved by a ball boy, earned him a second booking and he then sparked several on-pitch altercations by taking his time leaving the field.

But his behaviour ultimately did not come back to cost Leganes.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continues to be linked with a move from Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are the latest European heavyweight reportedly interested in the forward.

Aubameyang, 30, is reportedly a target for Barcelona after scoring 16 goals in 26 games for struggling Arsenal this season.

However, with Edinson Cavani potentially leaving, PSG are also eyeing the Gabon international.

 

TOP STORY – PSG INTERESTED IN AUBAMEYANG AMID BARCELONA LINKS

PSG are considering a move for Aubameyang, according to Foot Mercato.

Cavani may leave the Ligue 1 giants for Atletico Madrid during this transfer window and Aubameyang could be his replacement, the report says.

PSG are reportedly discussing a loan with an option to buy Aubameyang.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Emirates Stadium, Arsenal are close to a deal for Flamengo defender Pablo Mari, according to ESPN and other reports. The Premier League club will reportedly pay £8.4million (€10m) for the Spaniard.

- Marcos Rojo could be on his way out of Manchester United. After just three Premier League appearances this season, the defender is heading back to Estudiantes – where he started his career – on loan, according to the Mirror.

- Carles Perez is set to join Roma. Sky Sport Italia reports the Barcelona forward will join the Serie A club on loan until the end of the season, with a mandatory purchase option for €13m to be part of the deal.

- Inter are already preparing for a period of dominance, including next season. Sport Italia reports Napoli star Lorenzo Insigne has been offered to Inter, who may land the forward ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

- Inter and Napoli seem to have a decent relationship. CalcioMercato reports Matteo Politano will swap Milan for Naples, where he will sign a deal until 2024 with a medical set for Monday.

- Mauricio Pochettino remains without a job after being sacked by Tottenham in November. The Mirror reports Spurs will be entitled to £10m in compensation if the Argentinian finds another job before the end of the season.

Ever Banega will leave Sevilla to join Al Shabab at the end of the season, the Saudi Arabian side have confirmed.

Banega, 31, is currently in his second spell at Sevilla, who he initially joined from Valencia in 2014 before leaving for Inter in 2016.

However, the midfielder spent just one season at San Siro before returning to the Andalusian club, where he remains a regular having started 19 LaLiga matches so far this season

The Argentine is out of contract in June, though, and Al Shabab have now confirmed Banega has agreed to a three-year deal.

Six-time Saudi champions Al Shabab finished fifth in the Pro League in 2018-19.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas condemned an awful day for Spanish football after Inaki Williams reported racist abuse while Barcelona and Valencia fans clashed at Mestalla.

Athletic Bilbao striker Williams said he was racially abused by Espanyol supporters during their top-flight match on Saturday.

The forward passed on a complaint to Athletic captain Iker Muniain, who in turn spoke with referee Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez, while Williams appeared to clash with fans as he was substituted.

Elsewhere, supporters of Barca and Valencia were involved in violent confrontations ahead of a match the home side won 2-0, handing Blaugrana head coach Quique Setien his first defeat.

Tebas vowed LaLiga would investigate both incidents, posting on Twitter: "Today we have taken a step back in the work started years ago.

"The violent incidents of Barcelona and Valencia, the racist insults to Inaki Williams, they do a lot of damage to all of Spanish football.

"LaLiga takes responsibility. We will look with the clubs where the error is."

Williams posted a message on his official Twitter account, writing: "It is very sad that today we continue to see racism in football. We have to end it among EVERYONE. Thanks for your support."

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