Zone Blitz: Are Barcelona doing the right thing by trying to re-sign Neymar?

By George Davis, Mariah Ramharack&Lance Whittaker July 18, 2019

It's said you should never go back to your ex but Barcelona and Neymar could be a re-marriage made in heaven.

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  • Rumour Has It: Real Madrid make Mourinho contact, Koeman could join Barcelona Rumour Has It: Real Madrid make Mourinho contact, Koeman could join Barcelona

    With Zinedine Zidane on thin ice, a familiar face could return to Real Madrid.

    Pressure is mounting on Zidane following Madrid's shock LaLiga loss to Real Mallorca on Saturday, a result that means they sit behind Barcelona in the table.

    Former Madrid head coach Mourinho could be the answer to their problems…

     

    TOP STORY – MADRID REACH OUT TO MOU

    Real Madrid have contacted Jose Mourinho as pressure mounts on head coach Zinedine Zidane, according to El Chiringuito.

    Zidane – in his second spell in charge after winning three successive Champions League titles prior to leaving ahead of the 2018-19 season – has failed to convince upon his return to the LaLiga giants.

    And ex-Manchester United manager Mourinho, who spent three years in the Spanish capital – winning the 2011-12 LaLiga title, is reportedly wanted by Madrid president Florentino Perez.

    ROUND-UP

    - Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman could move to Barcelona in 2020. After Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) sporting director Nico-Jan Hoogma confirmed Koeman has a specific release clause in his contract built around his former club, Marca has linked the ex-Barca defender to Camp Nou.

    Real Madrid are pushing to sign Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Salzburg teenager Erling Haaland, claims El Desmarque. Sancho has been heavily linked to Manchester United.

    - Calciomercato says Arsenal are favourites to sign RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano. The 20-year-old was linked to the Gunners before the transfer window closed.

    Inter are tracking Atalanta's Swedish teenager Dejan Kulusevski, reports Calciomercato. The 19-year-old is attracting interest during his loan spell at Parma, where he has scored two goals and supplied five assists in Serie A.

    - According to SPORT, Barcelona are interested in two Bundesliga players. While Bayer Leverkusen sensation Kai Havertz is coveted, the LaLiga champions are also keeping an eye on Schalke's Amine Harit.

  • Netherlands reveal Koeman's Barcelona exit clause Netherlands reveal Koeman's Barcelona exit clause

    Ronald Koeman has a clause in his Netherlands contract that allows him to leave to coach Barcelona, but Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) director Nico-Jan Hoogma hopes he stays put.

    One point from their final two qualifying matches in Group C will see Netherlands clinch their place at Euro 2020 and they are in good shape after winning their past four games.

    Former Barca defender Koeman is under contract until the conclusion of the 2022 World Cup and Hoogma hopes not to change coach until after the tournament in Qatar.

    "I hope we can work together for a very long time, because I think it is going very well," Hoogma said of Koeman on FOX Sports.

    "But Ronald has long indicated that he wants to be Barcelona coach someday. Let's see what will happen.

    "Success with Oranje will certainly help him. But again, I hope that the process continues up to and including the World Cup in Qatar."

    Barcelona are top of LaLiga after nine matches in 2019-20 but question marks linger over the future of head coach Ernesto Valverde, who came under pressure towards the end of last season.

    The Blaugrana's elimination from the Champions League semi-finals by Liverpool and defeat in the Copa del Rey final to Valencia left Valverde's position in doubt, but Hoogma indicated Koeman would not come cheap if there is an attempt to lure him to Camp Nou.

    "Agreements have been made about it," said Hoogma. "They will have to pay something for him. How much? I'm not talking about that.

    "After one year [of Koeman's time in charge] we still have a year to go to the European Championship, so this is not the time [to talk about it].

    "No matter how I respond, there will always be people who say if they [Barcelona] come for him, he will go anyway."

  • Jesus joins Messi, Lewandowski and Aguero on illustrious list after netting 50th Man City goal Jesus joins Messi, Lewandowski and Aguero on illustrious list after netting 50th Man City goal

    Gabriel Jesus joined an illustrious list of players after scoring his 50th Manchester City goal in the Premier League champions' 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

    Jesus sent a glancing header in off the post to put City ahead 39 minutes into Saturday's encounter at Selhurst Park.

    David Silva doubled City's advantage with a wonderful volley two minutes later as Pep Guardiola's side moved to within five points of league leaders Liverpool.

    With his goal, Jesus brought up the milestone of 50 in all competitions for City, having joined the club in January 2017.

    The 22-year-old also became the seventh player to achieve the feat while playing for Guardiola, joining Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski, along with City team-mates Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling.

    Jesus is only eight behind Pedro, but Messi leads the way with an incredible 211 goals during four seasons under Guardiola at Barca.

    "I'm very happy, you know, because last season I had a difficult start to the season," Jesus, who has now scored in each of his last seven starts for City, told Sky Sports.

    "This season is going to be different for me. I worked hard as well. I focus on the goal all the time and I think that's why I score a lot."

    1. Lionel Messi, Barcelona - 211

    2. Sergio Aguero, Manchester City - 103

    3. Thomas Muller, Bayern Munich - 79

    4. Raheem Sterling, Manchester City; Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich - both 67

    6. Pedro, Barcelona - 58

    7. Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City - 50

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