LaLiga moved a step closer to a resumption with Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez announcing games can be played from the week commencing June 8.

The decision clears the top flight for a return to action next month, with LaLiga president Javier Tebas previously aiming for Friday, June 12.

"Spain has done what it should and now new horizons are opening for everyone," Sanchez said on Saturday. "The time has come to resume many daily activities. From June 8, LaLiga will return to football."

There are 11 rounds of the 2019-20 season remaining, with much to be decided at the top and bottom end of the table. 

Below is the full list of fixtures:

 

Matchweek 28

Athletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid
Celta Vigo v Villarreal
Espanyol v Deportivo Alaves
Granada v Getafe
Leganes v Real Valladolid
Real Mallorca v Barcelona
Real Madrid v Eibar
Real Sociedad v Osasuna
Sevilla v Real Betis
Valencia v Levante

Matchweek 29

Deportivo Alaves v Real Sociedad
Barcelona v Leganes
Real Betis v Granada 
Eibar v Athletic Bilbao
Getafe v Espanyol
Levante v Sevilla
Osasuna v Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid v Valencia
Villarreal v Real Mallorca
Real Valladolid v Celta Vigo

Matchweek 30

Athletic Bilbao v Real Betis  
Atletico Madrid v Real Valladolid
Celta Vigo v Deportivo Alaves
Espanyol v Levante
Getafe v Eibar
Granada v Villarreal
Real Mallorca v Leganes
Real Sociedad v Real Madrid
Sevilla v Barcelona
Valencia v Osasuna

Matchweek 31 

Deportivo Alaves v Osasuna
Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao
Real Betis v Espanyol
Eibar v Valencia
Leganes v Granada
Levante v Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid v Real Mallorca
Real Sociedad v Celta Vigo
Villarreal v Sevilla
Real Valladolid v Getafe

Matchweek 32

Athletic Bilbao v Real Mallorca
Atletico Madrid v Deportivo Alaves
Celta Vigo v Barcelona
Espanyol v Real Madrid
Getafe v Real Sociedad
Granada v Eibar
Levante v Real Betis 
Osasuna v Leganes
Sevilla v Real Valladolid
Villarreal v Valencia

Matchweek 33

Deportivo Alaves v Granada 
Barcelona v Atletico Madrid
Real Betis v Villarreal
Eibar v Osasuna
Leganes v Sevilla
Real Mallorca v Celta Vigo
Real Madrid v Getafe
Real Sociedad v Espanyol
Valencia v Athletic Bilbao 
Real Valladolid v Levante

Matchweek 34

Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid 
Atletico Madrid v Real Mallorca
Celta Vigo v Real Betis
Espanyol v Leganes
Granada v Valencia  
Levante v Real Sociedad
Osasuna v Getafe
Sevilla v Eibar
Villarreal v Barcelona
Real Valladolid v Deportivo Alaves

Matchweek 35

Athletic Bilbao v Sevilla
Barcelona v Espanyol
Real Betis v Osasuna
Celta Vigo v Atletico Madrid
Eibar v Leganes
Getafe v Villarreal
Real Mallorca v Levante
Real Madrid v Deportivo Alaves
Real Sociedad v Granada
Valencia v Real Valladolid

Matchweek 36

Deportivo Alaves v Getafe
Atletico de Madrid v Real Betis
Espanyol v Eibar
Granada v Real Madrid
Leganes v Valencia
Levante v Athletic Bilbao 
Osasuna v Celta Vigo
Sevilla v Real Mallorca
Villarreal v Real Sociedad
Real Valladolid v Barcelona

Matchweek 37

Athletic Bilbao v Leganes
Barcelona v Osasuna
Real Betis v Deportivo Alaves
Celta Vigo v Levante
Eibar v Real Valladolid
Getafe v Atletico Madrid
Real Mallorca v Granada
Real Madrid v Villarreal
Real Sociedad v Sevilla
Valencia v Espanyol

Matchweek 38

Deportivo Alaves v Barcelona
Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad
Espanyol v Celta Vigo
Granada v Athletic Bilbao 
Leganes v Real Madrid
Levante v Getafe
Osasuna v Real Mallorca
Sevilla v Valencia
Villarreal v Eibar
Real Valladolid v Real Betis

After the Bundesliga's successful return, LaLiga looks to be up next among Europe's top five leagues.

Spain's top flight has been suspended since March 12 after Real Madrid went into quarantine when a player on their basketball team tested positive for coronavirus.

A resumption date of June 8 has been approved, however, and a tense title tussle is back on the cards between the country's two grandest clubs.

Ahead of the big kick-off behind closed doors, we take a look at the story so far in this LaLiga campaign.
 

What is the state of play?

Madrid have won the domestic league title in just one of the past seven seasons, yet they are poised to push Barcelona all the way this time.

It is Barca who again have the advantage for now, though, holding a two-point lead over their bitter rivals, having reclaimed top spot ahead of the suspension when Zinedine Zidane's side lost at Real Betis.

Defeat in Seville represented a bitter blow for Madrid, who seemed to have seized the initiative by beating the Blaugrana at the Santiago Bernabeu the previous week.

The big two still have work to do in the Champions League - Madrid trail Manchester City after a last-16 first leg, as Barca-Napoli stands at 1-1 - but there is no third horse in the race positioned to take advantage.

It is all to play for in the race for Champions League qualification, as just two points separate third-placed Sevilla and Atletico Madrid in sixth.

Shot-shy draw kings Atleti upset holders Liverpool to reach the quarter-finals of Europe's elite club competition, but must battle past Real Sociedad and Getafe to be assured of a return to the big time next season.

At the foot of the table, Espanyol, Leganes and Real Mallorca occupy the relegation places. Celta Vigo are a point clear of Mallorca in 17th.
 

What have been the big controversies?

Even by Barca's colourful standards, this has been a particularly tumultuous season.

Head coach Ernesto Valverde was sacked in January following a Supercopa de Espana semi-final reverse at the hands of Atletico, and sporting director Eric Abidal bravely picked a fight with the squad, including former team-mate Lionel Messi, by suggesting players were not working hard enough for the dismissed boss.

Messi fired back and claimed Abidal was "dirtying" the squad, with reports of discontent behind the scenes persisting ever since.

To make matters worse for Barca, club great Messi has a clause in his contract that could prompt a free transfer - although such a departure still seems incredibly unlikely.

Ivan Rakitic is among the Blaugrana stars who might well depart, reminding the club: "I am not a sack of potatoes. I will decide my future. I want to be where I am valued."

Sales are said to be required to fund potential big-money bids for Lautaro Martinez and ex-Barca forward Neymar.
 

Who had momentum before everything stopped?

New head coach Quique Setien was not immediately able to arrest Barca's January slump and they ceded top spot to Madrid after a run of just two wins in six in the league.

However, the Catalan giants had been a picture of consistency since the January 25 loss at Valencia - until visiting Madrid.

A run of four straight wins was ended by Zidane's men, yet Barca were back on track when they beat Sociedad prior to the pause in play.

Madrid, by contrast, have taken just four points from their past four games, with the Barca game sandwiched between a pair of defeats. Los Blancos had previously lost just once in the league this term.

The suspension came at a frustrating time for Sociedad, meanwhile, after four wins in five - losing only to the leaders - moved the Basque outfit into the top four.

Wins for Leganes and Mallorca in their most recent fixtures ensured both sides retained survival hopes.
 

Which clubs have had it toughest during the COVID-19 months?

The positive test for a Madrid basketball players may have prompted the season's suspension, but Valencia were the LaLiga club most prominent in early discussion of coronavirus.

Ezequiel Garay, Jose Gaya and Eliaquim Mangala each confirmed diagnoses, before Los Che revealed on March 16 that 35 per cent of those at the club tested had returned positive results.

Madrid still made the headlines, though, as forward Luka Jovic was criticised for breaching self-isolation measures on his return to Serbia.

Fifteen cases were soon confirmed at Deportivo Alaves, too, while Spain has become one of the worst-affected countries with more than 28,000 related deaths.

The country's leading players at least helped to limit the financial impact of the crisis with pay cuts, with Barca stars forgoing more than 70 per cent of their wages.

The LaLiga season can resume in the week commencing June 8, Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez has announced.

Sanchez made his declaration as he addressed a range of coronavirus issues on Saturday.

LaLiga officials have been looking to Friday, June 12 as the date on which they want the league to return, and they can now push towards that target.

Sanchez said: "Spain has done what it should and now new horizons are opening for everyone. The time has come to resume many daily activities. From June 8, LaLiga will return to football."

Clubs have returned to training, although social distancing rules have been followed and full group sessions have not yet been able to take place.

Matches will have to be played behind closed doors, but Sanchez's announcement should allow the 2019-20 season to play to a completion.

When the league was suspended in March, Barcelona held a two-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of the table, with every team having 11 games still to play.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas said earlier this week he was "excited" about the prospect of matches returning. He stressed they could only proceed with clearance from health authorities, but the go-ahead from Sanchez means Spanish football will soon be up and running once more.

Until now, players have only been allowed to train in groups of 10 or fewer.

Reports on Thursday said LaLiga would restart on June 12 with a derby clash between Real Betis and Sevilla.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed the Bundesliga champions have not activated their purchase option for Philippe Coutinho and the clause has now expired.

Coutinho joined Bayern on a season-long loan deal from LaLiga holders Barcelona at the start of the 2019-20 campaign but he has struggled to establish himself in Munich.

The Brazil international arrived with the option to buy for €120million but Bayern have opted not to exercise the deal, though Rummenigge did not close the door on Coutinho.

"The option expired and we haven't activated it," Rummenigge told German magazine Der Spiegel.

"We're going to plan our squad for next season and we'll see if he still has a role to play with us or not."

Coutinho has failed to live up to the hype since swapping Liverpool for Barca in a blockbuster transfer in 2018.

The 27-year-old has scored eight goals and set up another six goals in 22 Bundesliga matches for Bayern this season, which has been disrupted by coronavirus.

As Bayern reportedly eye Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz and Manchester City's Leroy Sane, Coutinho does not appear to be at the top of the club's list.

Mauro Icardi seemingly has no future at Inter.

But Icardi is wanted in Paris, where the Argentina international has spent the 2019-20 season on loan.

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly looking to sign Icardi permanently.

 

TOP STORY – PSG LODGE ICARDI BID

Paris Saint-Germain have offered Inter €50million to secure loanee Mauro Icardi on a permanent basis, according to Sky Sports.

Out of favour at Serie A outfit Inter, the forward was loaned to Ligue 1 champions PSG at the start of the season.

Icardi's loan deal included a €70m purchase option but PSG are determined to negotiate, with Juventus reportedly interested.

 

ROUND-UP

- Mundo Deportivo reports Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo is prioritising a move to Manchester City. Semedo has been linked with a switch to City – a transfer which would see Joao Cancelo swap clubs. Juve are also reportedly eyeing Semedo but the Portugal international wants to leave Camp Nou for the Premier League.

Lucas Hernandez to Newcastle United? Bild says the Premier League outfit are considering a move for the Bayern Munich defender ahead of their proposed takeover.

- According to ESPN, Bayern are eyeing Manchester United target and Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho. The England international has also been linked to Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barca.

Juve, Chelsea, City and Bayern are interested in Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, says Sport. However, the German is poised to sign a contract renewal with the LaLiga holders.

- Calciomercato claims Milan are moving closer to signing Marseille's 20-year-old defender Boubacar Kamara.

- Everton and Newcastle are both tracking Napoli forward Hirving Lozano, according to Corriere dello Sport. The Mexico international only arrived from PSV at the start of the season.

Inter remain interested in Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa, says Calciomercato. While Brescia's Sandro Tonali is at the top of the list for Inter, Chiesa has not been forgotten about in Milan.

Vinicius Junior said Real Madrid want to win LaLiga for their fans following the coronavirus pandemic.

LaLiga has been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 crisis, though the league is hoping to resume in June.

Madrid were two points behind defending champions and bitter rivals Barcelona through 27 matches at the time of postponement.

Coronavirus has wreaked havoc in Spain and across the globe, and Madrid star Vinicius wants to give Los Blancos supporters something to smile about.

"I've watched the games again and I think so. I think we were better than them in more aspects," Vinicius told Marca when asked if he thought Madrid were better than Barca in their two LaLiga meetings this season.

"We've had very good games until now and we have to recover our best form. We're really hungry to come back, to win, and we want to win this league title for our fans. People have suffered a lot and we want to give Real Madrid fans something to cheer about in this situation.

"We know that winning the league isn't going to be a solution for big tragedies, but it would be something to smile about, something to be happy about."

There were 11 matches remaining in the 2019-20 season and Vinicius added: "The result against [Real] Betis [2-1 loss was a great shame. Now, we have a mission we can't fail. We can't fail and we're not going to fail."

"We may have only returned [to training] 11 days ago, but everyone's rhythm looks good," he continued. "We've still got lots of group work to do because we can't do it yet, but all my team-mates are very strong and very well. There's still quite a bit of work left to do, but we're feeling good."

Madrid had also lost 2-1 to Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu in the opening leg of their Champions League last-16 tie before the season came to a halt.

The Champions League could return in August and Brazilian forward Vinicius said: "If the Champions League returns, it will be great news not only for football, but for the world. Being able to play games in other countries will be a very positive sign because we'll be closer to normality.

"The result of the first leg [against Manchester City] was bad, but we're Real Madrid. Our obligation is to prepare ourselves well and, if this game comes, when everything is over, every Real Madrid fan can say: they gave everything, we're proud."

Barcelona boss Quique Setien said he would "love" to coach Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar at Camp Nou.

Neymar left Barca for PSG in a world-record €222million transfer in 2017, but the Brazilian forward continues to be linked with a return.

The 28-year-old failed to make his way back to Barca at the start of the 2019-20 season and he is reportedly a transfer target again.

"Without doubt, I would love to be able to coach Neymar one day," Barca head coach Setien told beIN SPORTS.

"Absolutely. He is a player who is at an exceptional level, nobody can place that in doubt.

"I have already fulfilled the dream of coaching the best in the world, which is Leo [Messi]. As for those who could come in, we'll have to see, but I would be delighted."

Since swapping Barca for PSG, Neymar has won three successive Ligue 1 titles, to go with Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and Trophee des Champions honours.

Neymar scored 13 league goals before Ligue 1 was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and PSG were eventually declared champions.

The former Barca forward is not the only player being linked with the Spanish giants.

Inter forward Lautaro Martinez has been tipped to join Barca, while Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic is reportedly wanted at Camp Nou.

"We all know that there are perhaps four of five strikers capable of playing in this role and he is one of these," Setien said when asked about Martinez.

On Pjanic, Setien added: "I've always stated that I like great players and he is a fine talent. This is true of many that are linked to the club via the press."

Marc-Andre ter Stegen's future has dominated headlines.

The Barcelona goalkeeper has been linked with a move away from Camp Nou, where his current contract expires at the end of 2021-22.

But the Germany international appears on the verge of extending his stay at Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY – TER STEGEN POISED FOR BARCA RENEWAL

Marc-Andre ter Stegen will sign a long-term contract with Barcelona, according to Friday's front page of Diario Sport.

Ter Stegen and Barca have been deadlocked over talks regarding a new deal, prompting speculation about the Germany international's future.

The Barca goalkeeper had been linked to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich before Manuel Neuer extended his contract in Bavaria.

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid and Inter have enquired about Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, says Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira. Dismissing talks between Napoli and Aguero, Schira claims City do not want to sell the Argentina international.

- Sport Mediaset reports Edinson Cavani has set his personal terms to Inter. The Paris Saint-Germain veteran is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with Atletico Madrid. However, the Uruguayan has reportedly told Atletico his agreed personal terms with the Spanish club are no longer valid as Inter eye the forward.

Barca are very optimistic regarding deals for Inter forward Lautaro Martinez and Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, says Marca.

- According to Le10Sport, Juve have started negotiations with Mino Raiola to bring Manchester United star Paul Pogba back to Turin.

- As Roma look to make Henrikh Mkhitaryan's deal permanent, Calciomercato says Arsenal are interested in signing Justin Kluivert. Mkhitaryan has spent the 2019-20 season on loan in the Italian capital.

- Madrid forward Luka Jovic is Milan's first choice as a striker for next season, reports Schira. The Rossoneri are working on a two-year loan deal with the option to buy, however, Jovic's salary is proving problematic amid talks.

Milan's pursuit of Jovic comes as the club close in on Ralf Rangnick. According to Calciomercato, Rangnick is set to become head coach, though the German could vacate his position in season two for either RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann or Borussia Monchengladbach's Marco Rose.

- According to Mundo Deportivo, City, Juve and PSG are battling for Barca full-back Nelson Semedo. The Portugal international has also been linked to Bayern and Inter.

Juventus star Miralem Pjanic said "the future depends on what you do today" amid growing links to LaLiga champions Barcelona.

Pjanic has been at the centre of transfer speculation, with the Juve midfielder tipped to swap the Serie A holders for Barca in a deal that could involve Arthur.

Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are also reportedly interested in Bosnia-Herzegovina international Pjanic.

As Juve return to training this week amid the coronavirus pandemic, Pjanic shared a cryptic message via social media on Thursday.

Pjanic wrote: "The Future Depends On What You Do Today. Happy To Be Back On The Pitch."

The 30-year-old joined Juve from Italian rivals Roma in 2016.

Since moving to Turin, Pjanic has won three consecutive Serie A titles to go with Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana honours.

Prior to COVID-19 suspending Serie A in March, Pjanic had scored three goals and supplied two assists in 22 league appearances.

Fabio Capello praised Inter star Lautaro Martinez, but warned the forward it was better to be starting at the Serie A club than being on the bench at Barcelona.

Martinez has been linked with a move to the LaLiga giants, having scored 16 goals in 31 games for Inter this season.

While Capello is impressed by the Argentina international, the former Real Madrid and Juventus head coach said Martinez would face a challenge to break into Barcelona's starting side.

"Lautaro Martinez is a very good player," he told El Larguero.

"He has everything – a lot of quality, very fast moves and also he's very good when he shoots on goal.

"Going to Barcelona and becoming a starter with Luis Suarez there is difficult.

"I think it is better to be a starter at Inter than a substitute at Barcelona."

Martinez has scored 25 goals in 66 games for Inter since arriving at the club from Racing Club in 2018.

Rivaldo believes Erling Haaland is destined for a big transfer and can prosper in LaLiga as Real Madrid eye the Borussia Dortmund sensation.

Haaland only joined Dortmund from Salzburg in January but the 19-year-old has already been linked to LaLiga giants Madrid.

The Norwegian forward has scored 10 Bundesliga goals in just nine appearances, and 13 across all competitions for Dortmund.

Former Barcelona star Rivaldo wrote for Betfair: "He is already a great player, but at 19 he could be even better in the future and become one of the best attackers in the world.

"He has a lot of personality, plays without fear and looks very calm on the pitch, so he is a world-class player that still has a lot to learn and it's normal that so many clubs are chasing him.

"Some people are already comparing Haaland's style to Ronaldo Nazario and there might be some similarities as Haaland, as he's quick, fearless and scores a lot, but it's too early to start thinking he will be Ronaldo's successor.

"Ronaldo won two World Cups and participated in four. He also dazzled the world with his runs and goals, so we need time to see if Haaland can reach Ronaldo's level. But Haaland does seem to have the qualities to at least get close to my brilliant team-mate.

"Real Madrid seems to be Haaland's preferred destination in the summer and he is showing enough quality to prosper in Spanish football. His ruthlessness in front of goal is putting him in a privileged situation and Barcelona could be a good alternative option for him. He will be a great signing for the club that manages to complete his transfer.

"It will also be outstanding business for Dortmund who signed him for €20million in January and now may receive almost four times that at the end of season. Perhaps Barcelona and Real Madrid were distracted in January, but no one would have guessed that Haaland would make such an immediate impact at Dortmund.

"I do not think it was a mistake for Barca not to sign him in January. We never know how a player will adapt by moving from the Austrian league into a top European league. If he had signed for Real Madrid he could be just a substitute, and now he will arrive as a star player who has to be a starter."

Lautaro Martinez will learn a lot at Barcelona amid growing speculation the Inter star is set to join the LaLiga champions, according to Hristo Stoichkov.

Martinez has been tipped to leave Inter for Barca, with the Spanish giants reportedly determined to sign a long-term replacement for veteran forward Luis Suarez.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Argentina international Martinez had scored 16 goals in 31 games for Antonio Conte's Inter across all competitions in 2019-20.

Stoichkov played for Barca across two spells – winning five LaLiga titles and the European Cup/Champions League among other honours – and he told TyC Sports: "Martinez has great ability.

"He's going to learn a lot at Barcelona. He has a great teacher like Luis Suarez. And he will have a good understanding with [Lionel] Messi, [Antoine] Griezmann and [Ousmane] Dembele."

"He likes to compete a lot, not just score goals," Stoichkov added. "He's growing every day. I think he's proving that this year.

"The question is not whether he can play or not, the important thing is to compete.

"He has to train, he has to get into this style of play. I spent eight years at Barcelona playing both left and right [wing].

"Everyone is a substitute and a starter; it depends on how you train during the week."

Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal insisted he was happy at the LaLiga club amid links with a move to Inter.

Vidal, 32, is reportedly a target for Inter, where he could reunite with former Juventus head coach Antonio Conte.

But the Chile international, who is contracted at Camp Nou until 2021, said he was happy to be at Barcelona.

"I am very happy and comfortable in Barcelona, of course I want to continue. Now I am more prepared than ever," Vidal said during an Instagram Live chat on Thursday.

"I am happy, there is a good group and I have great friends in the dressing room."

LaLiga is nearing a resumption amid the coronavirus pandemic, having been suspended in March.

Vidal said he was ready to go with Barcelona chasing the LaLiga title and Champions League crown.

"I feel very well physically, better than ever. In all my career I never had so much time to prepare myself," the midfielder said.

"We made a plan to the maximum to extend my career as much as possible.

"I feel prepared for what is coming, both the Champions League and LaLiga."

Giorgio Chiellini has revealed he was quick to forgive Luis Suarez after the striker bit him because he sees a lot of himself in the Uruguay striker.

The incident occurred in a group game at the 2014 World Cup, with Suarez stunning a worldwide television audience by committing the third biting offence of his career.

But Chiellini, despite calling for action to be taken at the time, was sympathetic towards Suarez when FIFA imposed a four-month ban on the then Liverpool player.

And now the Juventus and Italy captain has disclosed why he feels a kinship with Suarez.

Chiellini wrote in a new autobiography, quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport: "Nothing strange happened that day. I had marked [Edinson] Cavani for most of the game, another attacker who was difficult to handle, then suddenly I noticed that Suarez had bitten my shoulder.

"It happened, and this is his way of dealing with direct confrontations, and, if I can say it, it is also mine: he and I are alike and I like to face challenges in this way. I admire his malice, if he lost it he would become a normal striker."

Chiellini said he and Suarez spoke days after their June 2014 clash, which came in a game Uruguay won to advance beyond the group stage at the expense of Italy.

"After a couple of days we spoke again on the phone and there was no need to apologise," Chiellini said.

"I am a great son of a b**** on the pitch as well and I am proud of it: malice is part of football, I don't even call it impropriety. You have to be smart and I have always admired Suarez."

Suarez has gone on to join Barcelona and become a mainstay with the Camp Nou giants, putting the biting controversies behind him, after previous offences while at Ajax and Liverpool.

Clement Lenglet sees his future at Barcelona amid an uncertain financial climate in world football and understands why his playing time has declined under Quique Setien.

France defender Lenglet has made 19 LaLiga starts this season and has been the first-choice partner for Barca stalwart Gerard Pique for the majority of the campaign, which was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic in March.

Lenglet has not always necessarily been an automatic starter since Setien replaced Ernesto Valverde in January, however, and was on the bench for the Clasico defeat to Real Madrid in March, with Samuel Umtiti favoured to start.

But Lenglet, whose agent in March quashed tentative rumours of a move to Napoli, sees his future at Barca, who like most teams in Europe face a testing transfer window as clubs deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis.

Speaking to RMC, Lenglet said: "You never really know what the future will be like when you are a football  player, but I hope to be at  Barcelona next season, yes.

"It will necessarily depend on the transfer window, this is a special period for the clubs, and we're safe, but I hope to stay."

When asked about why he has sometimes been benched, Lenglet added: "There are several reasons for this.

"The arrival of a new coach, Samuel who was good when he played too. The cards were redistributed.

"I played a lot [too], we are pretty much the same [in terms of playing time with Umtiti].

"However, I did not play the Clasico, it was a little disappointing for me but it is part of the life of a footballer. I prepare myself well, hoping to play very regularly."

Lenglet, who joined from Sevilla ahead of the 2018-19 campaign, also reflected on a couple of hectic years.

"I have been fortunate to experience some pretty crazy things for a very short time, I hope it will last," he said.

"There were bound to be special moments in the season but it remains a good season, I discovered the French team, I played games one after the other, it was a great year for me."

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