Barcelona are planning for life after Uruguay striker Luis Suarez.

The 32-year-old is highly regarded at Camp Nou, however, he has struggled for form and consistency.

Now, LaLiga champions Barca appear to be lining up a possible replacement.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA READY TO SPEND €50M ON PIATEK

Barcelona are interested in signing AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez, says Calciomercato.it.

Suarez celebrates his 33rd birthday in January and the Barca veteran is showing signs of decline at the LaLiga champions, where he has struggled for form and consistency.

Barca will look to bring in a new face in January, with the Spanish giants ready to spend €50million on Piatek, while RB Leipzig's Timo Werner, Getafe forward Jaime Mata and Juventus veteran Mario Mandzukic have also been linked.

 

ROUND-UP

Juventus have set their sights on three Premier League players – Chelsea's Willian, and Tottenham pair Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld, according to Tuttosport. The trio will be available on free transfers at the end of the season and Eriksen tops Juve's wish list.

- The Daily Mail says Tottenham have opened contract talks with defender Jan Vertonghen. The Belgium international is out of contract at season's end and Spurs are reluctant to lose him on a free transfer.

- AC Milan are interested in signing Nice star Arnaud Lusamba, according to Calciomercato. The 22-year-old midfielder is contracted to the Ligue 1 club until 2021.

Arsenal will send scouts to watch Salzburg and Hungary star Dominik Szoboszlai in Wednesday's Champions League showdown against Liverpool, reports the Daily Mail. The 18-year-old sensation has also attracted interested from Serie A trio Juventus, Inter and Lazio.

- Eredivisie side PSV are interested in signing Manchester United's Tahith Chong on loan in January, according to the Daily Mail. The 19-year-old Dutch winger, who arrived from Feyenoord in 2016, has been involved with the first team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Ernesto Valverde hailed the perseverance of Luis Suarez, who silenced his critics with a goal in Barcelona's 2-0 LaLiga victory at Getafe.

Suarez was on target in the opening half as 10-man Barca recorded their first away victory of the league season on Saturday.

Whistled during Barca's win at home to Villarreal midweek, Suarez responded by scoring his third LaLiga goal of the campaign – a lobbed effort in the 41st minute.

Barca head coach Valverde lauded 32-year-old forward Suarez, who has come in for criticism due to his form.

"Goalscorers sometimes score and sometimes they don't, but Luis always perseveres," Valverde said. "He fought for a long ball and was rewarded."

Barca had lost two and drawn one of their opening three away fixtures in LaLiga prior to Saturday's triumph against Getafe.

The result left Barca fourth in the standings, two points adrift of leaders and bitter rivals Real Madrid.

"It was important not to make mistakes early on like we have done in other games," Valverde said. "That was fundamental. The goal calmed us down and, from there, we imposed ourselves well. We didn't give much away and had chances to score more.

"If you want to win LaLiga you have to win a lot of games away from home, not just your home games. Getafe were a tough rival, it's a hard place to come and we've played well. Now we have three days to prepare for Inter."  

Barca were without Ousmane Dembele for the Getafe trip due to a thigh injury and it remains to be seen whether the France international will be fit for Wednesday's Champions League showdown against Inter.

"It's true that I left him out of the [matchday] squad," Valverde added. "It was more as a precaution. He's told me that he is calm. We think it's a little nuisance, but it's nothing serious."

When asked if Dembele would feature against Inter, Valverde replied: "I don't know. I wish that wasn't the case, but I can't say for sure."

Marc-Andre ter Stegen admitted everything was perfectly aligned to allow him to become the first Barcelona goalkeeper to claim an assist in LaLiga this century.

The club's tiki-taka playing style, established in Johan Cruyff's time as manager, has meant goalkeepers have not been typically encouraged to kick the ball long to the strikers.

Instead, the policy has been to play out from the back, and Barcelona have built great success by doing just that.

However, German shot-stopper Ter Stegen was in a hurry to clear as he raced off his line and outside the penalty area to intercept the ball against Getafe on Saturday, with the game goalless.

He looked up, noticed Luis Suarez was beginning a sprint into the Getafe half, and launched the ball long. Suarez did the rest, shaking off the attentions of a defender before lobbing David Soria, grabbing the first goal in a 2-0 victory.

"It was a bit strange because it doesn't happen to you much in your career," Ter Stegen said.

"And it's something I hadn't done, but I'm happy. It was a perfect moment, for Luis to take off and then the pass... and the pass was good. I saw him there but the pass had to be perfect. Luis was perfectly positioned and we took advantage of it."

Barcelona were able to celebrate a first away win in the league this season, even if not all aspects of the performance were encouraging. Getafe were well in the game and would have been encouraged by some haphazard Barcelona defending before Suarez's goal changed the contest.

In quotes published on Barcelona's website, Ter Stegen added: "I think it was a step we needed this season. To win games away from home is tricky, so it was a good day for us and for the fans, I think. To keep a clean sheet is always important so I'm happy with that."

Head coach Ernesto Valverde offered his approval, saying of his goalkeeper: "Obviously we want him to be very aware of long passes because the goalkeeper can do that with defences which are pushed up, and [it was] a great assist."

Valverde, whose position will be under less scrutiny than it has following the three points, said the decision to leave Ousmane Dembele out of his team was "mainly a precaution" because of a minor thigh problem. Barcelona play Inter in the Champions League on Wednesday.

"Tomorrow we'll do more tests," Valverde said in quotes published by Marca.

The head coach was pleased to see Barcelona show some form away from Camp Nou, saying: "After the recent results away from home we needed to win and it was a good away trip because Getafe asked a lot of questions of us."

Goalkeepers at Barcelona are frequently consigned to a watching brief, afforded an unobstructed view of one of the world's all-time great sides.

As the goals fly in at the other end, the keeper is often left to celebrate on his own, unable to claim any direct credit.

But Marc-Andre ter Stegen decided on Saturday that it would be nice to get involved at the sharp end, providing the long-range pass for Luis Suarez's opener against Getafe.

In doing so, the German became the first Barca keeper to provide an assist in LaLiga in the 21st century. 

Ernesto Valverde's men went on to win 2-0, moving up to second in the table. 

Ter Stegen is involved in a battle with Manuel Neuer for the Germany number-one spot and Saturday's exploits at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez will have done his cause no harm. 

Luis Suarez set Barcelona on their way to a first away victory of the LaLiga season as they won 2-0 at Getafe on Saturday.

Forget the often hare-brained defending from the Catalan giants, Barcelona got what they came for: three points safely accrued ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash with Inter.

For coach Ernesto Valverde, the pressure eases just a little, and the fact they notched this victory without Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele, both sidelined with thigh injuries, is another source of encouragement.

Suarez lobbed in the 41st-minute opener, and Junior Firpo tucked in Barcelona's second from close range early in the second half for his first goal for the club. Getafe spurned first-half chances they might have gobbled up on another day and Clement Lenglet's 84th-minute dismissal for two yellow cards came too late to give them any real advantage.

Valverde fielded a front three of Carles Perez, Suarez and Antoine Griezmann. The game largely passed Griezmann by, not for the first time since his summer switch from Atletico Madrid.

Getafe were unbeaten in their last eight home LaLiga matches; however, Barcelona had won on 10 of their 14 previous visits to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez in LaLiga, more than any other visiting side.

Perez tested David Soria in the Getafe goal early on, before Suarez stabbed a shot wide following a smart throughball from Frenkie de Jong.

Barcelona's defence was then picked apart too easily, with Angel allowed space to shoot from six yards, his strike blocked by the legs of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Jaime Mata had a close-range effort deflect wide off Junior at the other, with Barcelona increasingly shambolic at the back. Inter will have taken encouragement.

But Suarez pounced to give Barcelona a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute when a clearance from Ter Stegen turned into a great long ball for the Uruguayan striker to chase, and he lobbed Soria in style.

Soria was culpable for Barcelona's second four minutes into the second half, as he could only push a 25-yard shot from Perez back into play, and Junior had an easy finish.

Suarez and Perez almost added to the lead, while Arthur nearly fired past Soria into an empty net after the goalkeeper went walkabout, but two was enough.

 

What does it mean? Barca punish wasteful hosts

It means what we already knew: that Barcelona will typically have too much firepower, if the opposition fail to take their own chances. There was little liquid football on show from the defending LaLiga champions, but a big boot downfield from their goalkeeper and a composed finish from their arch predator defined this game. Sometimes such rudimentary football will do. At other times, they will need to find a greater finesse.

Ter Stegen makes history

Incredibly, Ter Stegen's long kick that set up Suarez resulted in a first LaLiga assist by a Barcelona goalkeeper in the 21st century. It was an altogether un-Barcelona-like piece of playing out from the back.

No Messi, yet too messy

Messi typically has little direct involvement in Barcelona's defending, but whenever he is on the pitch the Argentinian hoists up the standards of those around him. Without him on Saturday, Barcelona lacked guile. It was nowhere more obvious than in their rocky rearguard where some laughable interplay played into Getafe's hands. Inter are unlikely to be as sparing with their finishing as Getafe.

What's next?

A major test awaits Barcelona as they tackle Serie A high-flyers Inter in the Champions League on Wednesday. Getafe face FC Krasnodar in the Europa League on Thursday.

Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele has picked up a thigh injury, ruling him out of Saturday's LaLiga clash at Getafe.

The France international, 22, will undergo further tests by Barcelona's medical staff to determine the extent of the injury.

Dembele's absence depleted Ernesto Valverde's attacking options, the head coach having already been shorn of Argentina forward Lionel Messi, who has a thigh problem.

Valverde started with a front three of Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Carles Perez against Getafe as he made two changes from the 2-1 midweek win over Villarreal.

Perez took Messi's place up front while Nelsinho was replaced in midfield by Frenkie de Jong.

Barcelona are without Ansu Fati and Lionel Messi for their LaLiga trip to Getafe.

Messi was already expected to miss out after sustaining a thigh injury against Villarreal in midweek, when he made his first start of the season.

Teenager Fati will be joining the club captain in the treatment room after Barca confirmed he sits out the trip due to a right knee injury.

Messi and Fati being absent means there is a place in Ernesto Valverde's 19-man squad for Carles Perez, who signed a new three-year deal on Friday.

Barcelona have only won six of their last 14 LaLiga away games without Messi, losing six times and drawing twice.

However, their 10 LaLiga wins at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez is more than any other side.

 

Ernesto Valverde does not want Ansu Fati to go to the Under-17 World Cup with Barcelona already without Lionel Messi.

Messi has only started one game this season, the LaLiga defeat of Villarreal on Tuesday in which he was substituted at half-time.

Barca said Messi has an adductor injury but have offered no timescale for his return to action, with the Argentina attacker set to miss Saturday's trip to Getafe and unlikely to return for Inter's visit in the Champions League next week.

With Ousmane Dembele only just back to full fitness and Luis Suarez having also missed games due to injury this season Valverde's forward options have been limited.

That has enabled 16-year-old Fati to burst on to the scene with two LaLiga goals in a series of thrilling displays, but he could be selected for the U17 World Cup by Spain.

The tournament runs from October 26 to November 17 in Brazil, though there are reports Spain could instead fast-track Fati into their U21 squad.

"I'd like him to be with us," Valverde said of the teenager. "If he goes with the Under-21 team it would be for the international break, for the Under-17s it would be longer.

"We'll have to wait and see what decision the confederation makes so there isn't much else to say. We'd like him to be away for as little time as possible."

Of Messi's fitness, Valverde added: "I don't know how long he's going to be out, hopefully he'll be back with the team soon. It's not a serious injury so let's wait and see what he looks like today and going into next week.

"If he plays we have certain strengths, if he's not we're missing a top-quality player who makes a huge difference. We have other resources to take games on and we've done that. It's a setback but we can only keep going."

Barca go to Getafe on the back of a run of seven straight away games in all competitions without a win, while their hosts are unbeaten in six matches. Valverde is expecting a tough challenge at Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

"They're a solid team, it's hard to cope with their pressure," he said. "Very good in attack with players that come through to put you under pressure.

"It was hard to win there [2-1] last year, we played a good game but it was difficult. They always make chances at home and don't give away many.

"Sometimes it's like we have to win as soon as possible to stop a problem. We want to win the points always. We haven't won away or played well away, in general we haven't played well away and we need to focus on that.

"Sometimes the score works out and sometimes it doesn't. You need to play good football and this is what gets results."

Barcelona are set to appeal a €300 fine over their approach for Antoine Griezmann, confirmed coach Ernesto Valverde.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced on Thursday Barca had been found guilty of violating article 126 of its disciplinary code during their pursuit of the Frenchman while he was at Atletico Madrid.

Barca signed Griezmann in July for €120million but Atletico claimed they were owed a further €80m, alleging an agreement between the player and LaLiga's champions being reached before his release clause dropped from €200m

A symbolic monetary penalty was imposed by the RFEF, while Griezmann escaped without sanction. However, Barca are appealing against the fine.

"I don't know the exact ins and outs of this question or how it stands legally," Valverde told a news conference. "I understand the club is appealing."

It has been a busy week off the field for Barca, with Friday seeing the Catalan giants in court with former star Neymar, who alleges he is owed a loyalty bonus from his time at the club.

Neymar was strongly linked with a return to Barca in the close season and reports suggested the Brazil forward was willing to drop the case if the club promised to re-sign him.

"This never stops does it? In August we were waiting for the transfer market to close, but the Neymar matter continues," Valverde added. 

"I've got nothing to say, it's an internal club issue and for the player on a contractual matter, it's not my concern.

"Has there been a press conference without Neymar's name being brought up? Let's try to do it once this season."

Neymar's Brazil team-mate Arthur was seen having dinner with the Paris Saint-Germain forward this week.

Last season the midfielder was criticised for travelling to Paris to attend Neymar's birthday shortly before Barcelona's Copa del Rey clash with Real Madrid.  

"I think Arthur learned a lot last season, one of those things was what you're talking about," Valverde added. "I think he's fine at the moment and hope things stay this way.

"It's not up to me to evaluate further than him going out for dinner with a friend. He's fine and I hope he stays that way for the rest of the season."

Mauro Icardi's Inter saga could be at an end after Paris Saint-Germain made the headline-grabbing move of transfer deadline day.

Frozen out by Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte, Argentina striker Icardi was facing a bleak few months until PSG came in and managed to complete an initial loan move.

PSG reportedly have an option to buy the 26-year-old for €70million, while the Ligue 1 champions also signed three-times Champions League winner Keylor Navas from Real Madrid in a deal that saw another goalkeeper, Alphonse Areola, move in the other direction on loan.

Serie A was a hive of activity on Monday, while plenty of Premier League players took the opportunity to move elsewhere – the window for incomings having closed in England's top flight last month.

Roman holiday for Mkhitaryan as Fiorentina aim for renaissance

Roma completed loan moves for Arsenal playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Atletico Madrid striker Nikola Kalinic, but there was a youthful edge to Fiorentina's late spree.

Wantaway Liverpool teenager Bobby Duncan will now ply his trade at the Stadio Artemio Franchi alongside Algeria winger Rachid Ghezzal – a loan signing from Leicester City.

The Viola also paid Fluminense in the region of €14m for Pedro, another player to replenish Vincenzo Montella's squad after Giovanni Simeone joined Cagliari on loan with an obligation to buy over the weekend.

Simone Verdi has joined Torino in similar fashion, ending an unhappy spell at Napoli – where free transfer Fernando Llorente bolsters Carlo Ancelotti's options at centre forward.

Napoli are joined in the Champions League by Atalanta this season and Simon Kjaer will be on hand to bolster their defence following a loan from Sevilla, although Martin Skrtel's swiftly terminated contract preceded him leaving Bergamo for a one-year deal with Istanbul Basaksehir.

Matteo Darmian was the latest member of Manchester United's defensive surplus to switch to Serie A, the Italy international joining Parma on a four-year deal after Chris Smalling was loaned to Roma. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson made the considerably shorter trip to League One side Tranmere Rovers.

The road from Watford to Udinese is incredibly well travelled and striker Stefano Okaka is back after a loan at the Stadio Friuli last season.

 

Italian flavour to Bundesliga business

AC Milan secured Croatia winger Ante Rebic on a two-year loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, for whom Andre Silva will seek to reignite his career and serve as a suitable replacement for Luka Jovic over the same period.

Bundesliga pacesetters RB Leipzig also have a talented attacker seeking a kickstart after Patrik Schick joined on an initial loan from Roma.

Vincenzo Grifo returned to Freiburg on a four-year deal from Hoffenheim, who also loaned Leonardo Bittencourt to Werder Bremen.

Marius Wolf left Borussia Dortmund for Hertha Berlin on a season-long loan and BVB's rivals Schalke sold Ukraine winger Yevhen Konoplyanka to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Rafinha on the move again as Hernandez and Bono conclude Sevilla's transfer frenzy

Had events panned out differently, this might have been the day Barcelona triumphantly welcomed Neymar back to Camp Nou.

As it was, a Brazilian left – Rafinha moving to Celta Vigo on loan after signing a contract extension with his parent club.

Barca have also agreed to sign 16-year-old midfielder Pedri from Las Palmas, who welcome back club stalwart Jonathan Viera on loan from Beijing Guoan for their Segunda promotion push.

Mexico striker Javier Hernandez and Morocco goalkeeper Bono were arrivals 12 and 13 of the window at Sevilla.

Maxime Gonalons was a loanee at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan last season and has joined Granada on a temporary basis from Roma.

Almeria were another hive of activity, with Nottingham Forest's Arvin Appiah and Joan Munoz concluding their incomings.

Real Sociedad signed Monaco's Spain Under-17 international Robert Navarro and loaned Kevin Rodriguez to Leganes.

Chelsea duo Baba Rahman and Kenedy were loaned to Real Mallorca and Getafe respectively.

Galatasaray's deadline-day delight

Radamel Falcao followed a rapturous reception following his arrival in Istanbul by signing a three-year contract with Galatasaray, who also secured Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina and Brighton and Hove Albion forward Florin Andone on loan.

Gala's rivals Fenerbahce were not to be outdone entirely as they brought in Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo from Marseille on a four-year deal.

Sporting CP were already buoyed by keeping hold of the highly rated Bruno Fernandes, who will look to supply an attack reinforced by the loan arrivals of Jese from PSG and Yannick Bolasie from Everton.

Royal Antwerp snapped up Steven Defour after the playmaker's release by Burnley and also added Wesley Hoedt on a season-long loan from Southampton.

In Scotland, Celtic signed Kilmarnock left-back Greg Taylor, Manchester City teenager Jeremie Frimpong and Manchester United youngster Lee O'Connor – all on four-year deals. Rivals Rangers bought Ryan Kent from Liverpool for a fee that could reportedly rise to £7.5m.

Fellow Europa League contestants Qarabag secured former Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic on loan from Bournemouth.

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone said Joao Felix has to keep improving following his LaLiga bow against Getafe, while fellow debutant Kieran Trippier earned praised after setting up the winning goal.

Joao Felix had his first taste of Spanish top-flight football as Atletico opened their LaLiga campaign with a 1-0 victory thanks to Alvaro Morata's 23rd-minute header at home to Getafe on Sunday.

A club-record €126million signing from Benfica, Joao Felix was largely subdued by Getafe, but the 19-year-old did produce a stunning solo run from inside his own half to earn a second-half penalty, which Morata failed to convert.

Discussing Joao Felix's debut at the Wanda Metropolitano – where the Portuguese sensation was substituted in the 66th minute following a knock – Simeone told reporters: "The first league game is not easy. It's complex.

"A rival who tactically moves well defensively. They have not left him space in the first half so that he can take advantage of his game.

"But in an individual action showed his power and hopefully these situations appear with more continuity. He has to keep improving."

England international full-back Trippier also made his LaLiga debut alongside Joao Felix and Renan Lodi, after arriving from Champions League finalists Tottenham in the off-season.

Trippier provided the inch-perfect cross for Morata to head past David Soria in Madrid, while Lodi was sent off following two yellow cards in quick succession prior to half-time after Getafe's Jorge Molina had been controversially sent off at the conclusion of a VAR review moments earlier.

"He played very well with depth, quality and precision," Simeone said of Trippier. "His cross to Morata was great and he found a specialist like Morata."

On Morata – who led the line in the absence of injured team-mate Diego Costa – Simeone added: "From him I expect what he did in the whole game today. Obviously having more forcefulness on the penalty, but Morata's match was fantastic, he fought all the balls, scored a goal and constantly generated danger."

Simeone was also asked about Valencia forward Rodrigo Moreno, who has been tipped to join Atletico before the transfer windows shuts on September 2.

"We cannot talk about Rodrigo, because he is in Valencia. We have to talk about the players who are here," Simeone said.

Alvaro Morata's first-half goal earned Atletico Madrid a 1-0 win over Getafe as they made a victorious start to the new LaLiga season.

Morata converted a cross from new signing Kieran Trippier, who impressed on his debut, 23 minutes into the first half at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Getafe's Jorge Molina and Atletico's Renan Lodi were both sent off in quick succession as events took a dramatic turn before half-time.

Morata spurned the opportunity to claim a second when he saw a penalty saved in the second half after fine work from Joao Felix, who caught the eye before being substituted after an awkward fall in the 66th minute.

But Atletico held on to a hard-fought victory regardless.

It was a close-season of change at Atletico with the departure of Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona and an influx of new arrivals including €126million Joao Felix and England international Trippier.

The former Tottenham defender claimed his first assist, delivering a pinpoint cross from the right which was powerfully headed home by Morata.

It was no more than the home side deserved after a dominant start and they were dealt a further boost when Molina saw his initial yellow card switched to red following a VAR consultation after he caught Thomas Partey's heel with his studs.

Yet, in a dramatic end to the half, Atletico were also reduced to 10 men after Lodi, making his debut, received two yellow cards in quick succession, his second for appearing to catch Damian Suarez's face in an aerial duel.

After the break, a sensational run from Joao Felix ended with him being poleaxed for a penalty in the 56th minute, only for Morata to see his spot kick saved superbly by David Soria.

Joao Felix was soon replaced by fellow new signing Marcos Llorente after receiving medical attention and Diego Simeone's side managed to cling on to the three points despite Angel Rodriguez hitting the crossbar from long-range late on.

Six players who were due to miss the opening round of LaLiga fixtures this weekend through suspension will be pardoned by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), provided the Higher Sports Council (CSD) approves the move.

The RFEF had proposed a new law whereby players who received a fifth yellow card on the final day of a given season will not then be suspended for the first match of the following campaign.

President Luis Rubiales is hopeful the six individuals set to be sidelined will be free to play for their respective clubs.

A statement from the RFEF read: "We want to inform you that, given the information that appears [in the media] in this regard, we have consulted the Higher Sports Council (CSD) on the feasibility and legality of the RFEF president adopting a pardon measure for those players who at the beginning of this season are required to comply with the sanction of a game without playing for the accumulation of five yellow cards in the previous season.

"We inform that if the CSD ratifies us in writing, the viability and legality of said measure and that with the adoption of the same, no disciplinary infraction would be committed, the president of the RFEF will immediately proceed to adopt the pardon agreement for all those players who are in that situation."

Despite the RFEF confirming their plans on Thursday, there remains a degree of uncertainty about whether the CSD will agree to alteration in time for the start of the 2019-20 season, which begins on Friday.

Should the law not be passed in time, Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Jose Luis Gaya, Dani Parejo (both Valencia), Nemanja Maksimovic (Getafe), Diego Llorente and Aritz Elustondo (both Real Sociedad) will miss their teams' fixtures.

Champions Barcelona play Athletic Bilbao when the 2019-20 LaLiga campaign begins on Friday.

Barcelona have won the title in the last two seasons and head into the new campaign as favourites again, having bolstered their squad with the additions of Antoine Griezmann, Junior Firpo and Frenkie de Jong.

Real Madrid have spent heavily during the close season in an attempt to close the gap on their bitter rivals, with Eden Hazard among those to arrive, and last term's runners-up Atletico Madrid also broke their transfer record by bringing in Joao Felix from Benfica.

There has been smart business right the way down the division, setting up what should be another thrilling year of Spanish top-flight action.

The transfer window does not shut until September 2 but, ahead of the opening round of fixtures, we look at the five best signings made by LaLiga clubs.

#LaLigaSantander is back this week! pic.twitter.com/kW0MWRSne0

— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) August 12, 2019

5. Marc Cucurella (Getafe)

Young Cucurella was one of the best left-sided players in LaLiga last season at Eibar and looked entirely capable of being an asset to Barcelona's first-team squad.

However, after triggering their buy-back option on him, Barcelona have since sent him out on loan to Getafe, who can make the deal permanent for €6million.

Given his impact in 2018-19, it looks immensely shrewd business by Los Azulones.

4. Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad)

Isak has had to live with comparisons to another Swedish scoring sensation in Zlatan Ibrahimovic since breaking through at AIK three years ago.

Borussia Dortmund saw enough potential to snap him up in 2017 and, after a handful of Bundesliga appearances, he was sent on loan to Willem II last term and blossomed when used regularly.

Thirteen goals in 16 Eredivisie appearances, followed up by one for Sweden 11 minutes after being brought on in June's Euro 2020 qualifier against Malta, led to reported interest from the likes of Chelsea and Real Madrid.

Sociedad, somewhat surprisingly, won the race for his signature and the €7m fee will be considered a bargain should Isak provide goals for one of last season's lowest-scoring sides in LaLiga.

 

¡Doblete de @alex_isak !  #RealSociedad #AurreraReala pic.twitter.com/sBhAasI2Yw

— Real Sociedad Fútbol (@RealSociedad) July 27, 2019

3. Hector Herrera (Atletico Madrid)

The loss of Rodri to Manchester City leaves a void to be filled at Atletico this season, but in Herrera they have a player capable of thriving under Diego Simeone, albeit in a slightly different role.

Herrera, signed on a free after his contract at Porto expired, will be expected to offer more of a goal threat, having scored 26 times in his six seasons at Estadio do Dragao.

A Primeira Liga title winner and a player boasting plenty of Champions League experience, Simeone will hope the tenacious 29-year-old's best years are still to come.

2. Nabil Fekir (Real Betis)

Fekir was on the brink of joining Liverpool in a £52m deal last year, only for the move to collapse late on, reportedly due to concerns flagged by his medical.

Liverpool's loss is now Betis' gain, with the Andalusian side reaching an agreement with Lyon for an initial €19.75m.

The France international's goal tally may have halved last term - dropping from 18 in 2017-18 to nine in 2018-19 - but he could thrive as the focal point in Rubi's attack.

 

1. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)

Barcelona agreed the €75million signing of De Jong in January, seeing off competition from a number of rivals to ensure one of the hottest properties in world football would join them this summer.

Griezmann may add to Ernesto Valverde's attacking options and Firpo will provide long-term cover for Jordi Alba at left-back, but De Jong - allowed to stay on at Ajax for the second half of last season - looks like the most exciting of the Spanish champions' new recruits so far.

After starring for the Dutch champions in their run to the Champions League semi-finals, knocking out Real Madrid and Juventus along the way, there is no reason the versatile midfielder cannot make a similar impact in his new Camp Nou surroundings.

Barcelona have loaned Marc Cucurella to Getafe only two days after signing him back from Eibar.

Cucurella caught the eye in his loan spell with Eibar last season and scored in a 2-2 LaLiga draw with Barca in May.

Eibar took up the option to sign him for €2million but Barca inserted a €4m buy-back clause in that deal, which they activated on Tuesday.

Cucurella, who can play as a full-back and a winger, had been linked with Sevilla, Real Betis and Bundesliga clubs Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach.

But he will be playing his football for Getafe in 2019-20 after they agreed a temporary deal with the option to make it a permanent one.

Cucurella made 31 LaLiga appearances for Eibar last term, scoring once.

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