Ivan Rakitic has rejoined Sevilla from Barcelona after six years at Camp Nou.

The Croatia midfielder has signed a four-year deal with Julen Lopetegui's side.

Barca will receive €1.5million up front for the player, with up to another €9m due in performance-related variables.

New Barca head coach Ronald Koeman is said to have made it clear to Rakitic, who made 42 appearances in all competitions last season, that he would not be in his plans for 2020-21.

Negotiations stepped up on Monday, with Rakitic undergoing a medical after a fee was agreed between the clubs.

Rakitic was a fan favourite at Sevilla and captained them to Europa League glory in 2013-14 before signing for Barcelona.

His first season at the club was a resounding success, the Catalans winning the treble under Luis Enrique, with Rakitic scoring the opening goal in the 3-1 Champions League final win over Juventus.

In total, Rakitic won 13 trophies with Barca, including four LaLiga titles and four Copas del Rey, and he was reportedly the subject of a €90m bid from Paris Saint-Germain in 2018.

However, his position in the first team has come under scrutiny over the past two seasons.

The 32-year-old became the target of criticism from a particular section of the fanbase as results and performances began to dip during the latter part of Ernesto Valverde's time in charge.

Rakitic always maintained he did not want to leave the club despite speculation Barca were keen to offload him, possibly in part-exchange offers for Neymar or Lautaro Martinez, and his frustrations boiled over in April when he told Mundo Deportivo: "I understand the situation but I am not a sack of potatoes to do whatever you want with."

Rakitic's wife Raquel Mauri and her family are from Andalusia and the player has previously admitted he would like to move back to the region and play for Sevilla once his time at Barca came to an end.

In December last year, he told El Desmarque: "If the time was right then we all know that I'd be delighted to pursue this as I've always stated that if I was to return to one of my previous clubs then it would be Sevilla.

"I'm really happy to see the team do so well and they seem to be getting better each year and that's something that greatly pleases me. My dream would be to wear the Sevilla shirt again at some point in the future."

Bayern Munich teenager Alphonso Davies is an exciting talent Marcel Desailly would like to see playing in the Premier League or LaLiga.

Davies, 19, enjoyed a breakout 2019-20 campaign with Bayern, establishing himself as one of the best left-backs in Europe as the club sealed a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble.

It capped a remarkable journey from being born in a refugee camp in Ghana after his parents fled their native Liberia during the country's second civil war.

Davies moved to Canada with his family and attained citizenship in 2017, with two-time Champions League winner Desailly, who was born in Ghana but lifted the World Cup with France in 1998, saying the Bayern star's career shows "miracles can happen".

And although the Canada international has a contract with Bayern until 2025, Desailly would like to see him test himself in England or Spain.

"Yes, it's a long journey, but that is one of the great things about sport. It can change lives and miracles can happen," said Desailly, speaking on behalf of Laureus Sport for Good.

"Few will ever achieve what he did in Lisbon, but it is a wonderful inspiration to all young people wherever they are to give them hope and give them a dream of better things ahead.

"My experience was not exactly the same as Alphonso, but, like him, it started as a young child in Ghana. He went to Canada, I went to France. Football changed our lives.

"Alphonso's performance in the Champions League for Bayern was amazing for someone just 19. The Bundesliga are lucky to have him. He is such an exciting talent, I would love to see him play in the English Premier League or LaLiga."

Desailly has relished being able to work with Laureus Sport for Good to try to help disadvantaged youngsters in Ghana.

He said: "In Ghana, my country of origin, Laureus helped an orphanage where we built some sport infrastructure and you can see that this opened up the mind of the kids.

"Most of the kids have been under shock because of prostitution, violence and problems they have and suddenly sports allow them to be more open and we can understand their need."

Eric Garcia feels it is natural Manchester City would want to sign Lionel Messi after the Barcelona superstar handed in a transfer request.

Messi stunned the football world last week by notifying Barca of his intention to invoke a clause in his contract he believes allows him to walk away for free before the final season of a deal that expires in 2021-22.

This is a version of events Barcelona dispute, along with LaLiga – which issued a statement over the weekend to outline their stance that the €700million release clause in Messi's current terms remains valid.

The 33-year-old did not attend coronavirus testing with the Barca squad on Sunday or Ronald Koeman's first training session as head coach on Monday, with further developments in the saga expected over the course of this week.

Speaking at a news conference to preview Thursday's Nations League showdown with Germany, following his first senior call-up by Spain, ex-Barca youth product Garcia tried his best not to be drawn on the matter.

"At City we have not talked about Messi coming , but everyone would like to have Messi in their team," he said.

"On the Messi issue, it's something between clubs that I can't get into.

"I am going to avoid the question if he would be a good signing for City because he is a Barca player and not I'm going to comment on it. "

Garcia occupies an intriguing place within the ongoing Messi speculation, given he rejected a contact extension at the Etihad Stadium last season, amid reports Barcelona were keen on taking the 19-year-old back to Camp Nou.

As such, he has been touted as a potential makeweight option in the event of the two clubs hammering out a financial package to take Messi to Manchester.

But Garcia insists, despite his refusal to pen a new deal, he sees him immediate future in the Premier League.

"It is true that I told the club that I would not renew the contract next year, but I have one more year of contract and I am focused on being there this season, when I return from the national team," he added.

"I try to avoid everything. My goal is to train and play and show in Manchester and here that the coach can count on me.

"The off-field thing, I can't control it and that's why I don't take notice of it."

Ivan Rakitic has rejoined Sevilla from Barcelona after six years at Camp Nou.

The Croatia midfielder has signed a four-year deal with Julen Lopetegui's side.

According to Sport, Barca will receive a maximum fee of €8m for the player depending, on whether Sevilla qualify for the Europa League or Champions League over the next two seasons.

Lionel Messi is already mentally out of the door at Barcelona and is sure to continue his career elsewhere, believes Jorge Valdano.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi did not take part in Barca's first day of pre-season training under Ronald Koeman on Monday, having informed the club of his desire to leave.

The Argentina international believes a clause in his contract allowing him to leave on a free transfer has been activated, though the club and LaLiga are of the opinion his €700million release clause remains the only valid way to terminate his deal, which runs until next June.

Manchester City are thought to be leading the race to sign Messi, with Paris Saint-Germain and Inter also credited with significant interest.

Former Real Madrid forward, head coach and director general Valdano, who began his playing career at Messi's boyhood club Newell's Old Boys and won the 1986 World Cup with Argentina, is confident the 33-year-old's future lies away from Camp Nou.

"Either he goes to another club or to his home, but he has already left Barcelona. I am totally convinced. I have no doubt," he said on Onda Cero show El Transistor.

"The sooner Barcelona realise they are going to lose the best player in their history, the sooner they can focus on rebuilding."

It has been suggested Messi could perform a U-turn on his decision to leave Barca, as he did after announcing his international retirement in the wake of Argentina losing the Copa America Centenario final to Chile in 2016.

"They are completely different situations because there is no contract or anything similar when Leo left the Albiceleste and returned," Valdano said.

"There are no personal problems. I don't know how far this period is going to go, which is toxic for the club, player and LaLiga.

"[Barca president Josep Maria] Bartomeu must think that when Messi leaves, he should go too… but prolonging this seems to me to be harmful to Barca."

Gareth Bale will bring up the seventh anniversary of his then world-record switch from Tottenham to Real Madrid on Tuesday with his career in the Spanish capital at a low ebb.

Out of favour under head coach Zinedine Zidane, the Wales international lurked on the margins, barely visible as Los Blancos claimed a sweet LaLiga title triumph at Barcelona 's expense last season.

The 31-year-old is effectively a luxury sports car consigned to the garage, save for frequent trips out with the golf clubs on the back seat.

Bale has won four Champions Leagues at Madrid, scoring crucially in two of the finals – deeds befitting of a club great.

That is a distinction now set to pass him by, even if the numbers below show it was once his trajectory.

AMONG LALIGA'S ELITE

Since Bale's debut for Carlo Ancelotti's Madrid, where he netted a first-half equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Villarreal, he has scored 80 goals in Spain's top flight.

Over his period in the division, that places him eighth overall, behind Lionel Messi (275), Cristiano Ronaldo (199), Luis Suarez (147), Antoine Griezmann (129), Karim Benzema (125), Iago Aspas (103) and Aritz Aduriz (96).

Unquestionably, that amounts to being in elite company, while his 40 assists are also not too shabby, putting him joint 13th overall.

Once again, Messi is out in front to a ludicrous degree with 112 assists. His Barcelona team-mate – for now at least – Luis Suarez (69) is next and Atletico Madrid's Koke (67) is third.

Benzema and Ronaldo, his colleagues in the once-fabled BBC forward line are the only Madrid players to lay on more goals than Bale, with 66 and 57 assists respectively.

HITTING THE HEIGHTS

Zidane's arrival for his first stint in charge of Madrid can now be viewed as the beginning of the end for Bale, but when they won the first of three consecutive Champions Leagues in 2015-16, he was in prime form.

In that campaign, which ended with the forward inspiring his country on a surprise run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, Bale scored 19 LaLiga goals and provided 10 assists.

That made 2015-16 his most prolific goalscoring season in the top flight, with 16 in 2017-18 and 15 in his debut season, when he made 12 assists, coming next.

He scored his goals at a shade over one every 91 minutes – the only time in his Madrid career he dipped under 112 minutes per goal.

FALLING WORK RATE AND INURY WOES

Fitness issues have dogged Bale throughout his time in LaLiga, with calf complaints a regrettable recurring theme.

Since his opening two seasons at the club, he has failed to play more than 2,000 minutes in a campaign, having racked up 2,069 and 2,581 in 2013-14 and 2014-15 respectively.

Perhaps as a result of concerns over how well his body might hold up, there is also evidence of a decline in Bale's propensity to do the dirty work,

In his lone season under Ancelotti, he made 85 recoveries in league games and has not topped 50 since 2015-16.

In that prolific 2015-16 season, Bale played 1,738 minutes compared to 1,792 in 2018-19 However, his recoveries from those two years dipped from 52 to 36. Interceptions dropped from 20 to 11 and instances of him winning possession in the final third halved from 10 to five.

On the latter metric, Bale has never topped the 14 times he won the ball deep into opposition territory in 2013-14 – doing so only once in an injury interrupted 2016-17.

CAST ASIDE BY ZIDANE

Injuries are, of course, not the main reason for Bale's dwindling involvement in 2019-20. His 1,091 minutes in LaLiga are comfortably his lowest since arriving at Madrid.

He last started back-to-back games on February 16. To underline what could have been accomplished between that date and now, Messi managed 11 goals and nine assists - both divisional bests - in the timeframe.

Madrid team-mates Benzema and Sergio Ramos scored eight and six times respectively to stand as heroes of a memorable title triumph before masked spectator Bale.

As what remains of his prime is whittled away inside a gilded Santiago Bernabeu cage, it all seems so wasteful and unnecessary for all parties. Particularly for a player who touched greatness for significant parts of the previous decade.

With Donny van de Beek set to arrive, are Manchester United targeting another new signing?

RB Leipzig defender and France international Dayot Upamecano is reportedly high on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's list as the United manager eyes a partner for captain Harry Maguire.

It could be a busy transfer window for United.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT UPAMECANO

Manchester United are targeting RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano, according to ESPN.

United are poised to complete the signing of star Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek and the Red Devils are now eyeing further recruits.

While United continue to pursue Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, the Premier League giants have made French defender Upamecano – who signed a new deal until 2023 – a top transfer target. Upamecano has also been linked to the likes of Bayern Munich and Arsenal.

 

ROUND-UP

Lionel Messi wants to leave Barcelona but his possible move to Manchester City could prove difficult. Tuesday's Mundo Deportivo claims City will abandon their bid to bring Messi to Manchester if they are forced to pay a transfer fee for the six-time Ballon d'Or winner. Messi feels he is a free agent following the 2019-20 season.

- Fabrizio Romano reports United expect to receive a bid from Roma for defender Chris Smalling, who spent the 2019-20 season on loan in the Italian capital. It comes as the Red Devils eye a new centre-back.

- Sky Sport reports Milan are set to complete a one-year loan deal for Real Madrid's Brahim Diaz. The 21-year-old Spaniard has struggled for game time since arriving in 2019. Le10 Sport, meanwhile, says Milan are very interested in Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare, who has been previously linked to the likes of United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Madrid.

James Rodriguez is on the cusp of leaving Madrid for Carlo Ancelotti's Everton, according to Romano.

- Calciomercato claims Juventus forward Gonzalo Higuain is in advanced talks to join former team-mate Blaise Matuidi at David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS.

Arturo Vidal wants to terminate his Barca contract, says Sky Sport Italia. Gianluca Di Marzio also reports Inter are already in talks about signing the former Juve midfielder.

- France Football says Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has agreed personal terms with City amid interest from United and PSG.

LA Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said he would love to see Lionel Messi play in MLS as the Barcelona superstar reportedly eyes a move to Manchester City.

Messi did not feature in Barca's first day of pre-season training under new boss Ronald Koeman on Monday after the six-time Ballon d'Or winner handed in a transfer request.

As with Sunday's coronavirus testing for members of Koeman's first-team squad, Messi did not attend because he believes a clause in his contract allowing him to leave on a free transfer is now active, meaning he is no longer a Barcelona player.

Pep Guardiola's City are believed to be the frontrunners to sign Messi and the Premier League giants have reportedly offered a long-term contract that would end with the 33-year-old playing for sister club New York City in MLS.

Schelotto, whose Galaxy were previously linked with a move for Messi, was asked about the Argentina skipper possibly moving to the United States.

"I was shocked when I heard about Messi's decision about abandoning FC Barcelona because we all thought he was going to retire there," fellow Argentinian Schelotto told reporters.

"But he must have his reasons and as a fellow Argentine I wish him the best always and I hope he comes to the MLS, it would be great."

Messi has called Barca home since 2001, emerging from the club's famed youth system in 2004.

Since making his debut 16 years ago, Messi has won a club-record 33 trophies – including 10 LaLiga titles and four Champions League crowns.

Messi – linked to Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Inter – also holds the records for most goals scored for LaLiga giants Barca.

Atletico Madrid will have to wait until gameweek three to kick off their LaLiga campaign against Granada at the Wanda Metropolitano. 

Atleti's participation in the Champions League quarter-finals in August means their scheduled first two games against Levante and Sevilla will take place later in the season.

Diego Simeone's side, who finished third last season, will first face off against Barcelona on the weekend of November 21/22 before a derby clash against Real Madrid on December 12/13.

Should there be no further coronavirus-related delays to the season they will round off their campaign away to Real Valladolid in late May.

Atletico Madrid's fixtures in full:
September 26/27 - Atletico Madrid v Granada 
September 29/30 - Huesca v Atletico Madrid
October 3/4 - Atletico Madrid v Villarreal
October 17/18 - Celta Vigo v Atletico Madrid
October 25/26 - Atletico Madrid v Real Betis
October 31/November 1 - Osasuna v Atletico Madrid
November 7/8 - Atletico Madrid v Cadiz
November 21/22 - Atletico Madrid v Barcelona
November 28/29 - Valencia v Atletico Madrid
December 5/6 - Atletico Madrid v Real Valladolid
December 12/13 - Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid
December 19/20 - Atletico Madrid v Elche
December 22/23/24 - Real Sociedad v Atletico Madrid
December 29/30 - Atletico Madrid v Getafe
January 2/3 - Alaves v Atletico Madrid
January 9/10 - Atletico Madrid v Athletic Bilbao
January 19/20 - Eibar v Atletico Madrid
January 23/24 - Atletico Madrid v Valencia
January 30/31 - Cadiz v Atletico Madrid
February 6/7 - Atletico Madrid v Celta Vigo
February 13/14 - Granada v Atletico Madrid
February 20/21 - Atletico Madrid v Levante
February 27/28 - Villarreal v Atletico Madrid
March 6/7 - Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid
March 13/14 - Getafe v Atletico Madrid
March 20/21 - Atletico Madrid v Alaves
April 3/4 - Sevilla v Atletico Madrid
April 10/11 - Real Betis v Atletico Madrid
April 20/21 - Atletico Madrid v Huesca
April 24/25 - Athletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid
April 27/28 - Atletico Madrid v Eibar
May 1/2 - Elche v Atletico Madrid
May 8/9 - Barcelona v Atletico Madrid
May 11/12 - Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad
May 15/16 - Atletico Madrid v Osasuna
May 22/23 - Real Valladolid v Atletico Madrid

TBC - Atletico Madrid v Sevilla, Levante v Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid's defence of their LaLiga title will be delayed slightly, but they will not have to wait long to face their Clasico rivals.

Los Blancos dethroned Barcelona to win LaLiga following the resumption of the 2019-20 season after the coronavirus-enforced hiatus.

Because of their involvement in the Champions League in August, Madrid's fixture with Getafe - scheduled for matchday one - will not take place until an appropriate date in February or March.

Zinedine Zidane's men will instead travel to Real Sociedad for a tricky opening clash, with the first Clasico coming just over a month later at Camp Nou as Madrid are provided with an early opportunity to steal a march in the title race.

The return fixture between Madrid and Ronald Koeman's Barca is scheduled for April 11 and could potentially be decisive in the fight for the championship.

Real Madrid's fixtures in full:

September 20 - Real Sociedad v Real Madrid
September 27 - Real Betis v Real Madrid
September 30 - Real Madrid v Real Valladolid
October 4 - Levante v Real Madrid
October 18 - Real Madrid v Cadiz
October 25 - Barcelona v Real Madrid
November 1 - Real Madrid v Huesca
November 8 - Valencia v Real Madrid
November 22 - Villarreal v Real Madrid
November 29 - Real Madrid v Deportivo Alaves
December 6 - Sevilla v Real Madrid
December 13 - Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid
December 20 - Eibar v Real Madrid
December 23 - Real Madrid v Granada
December 30 - Elche v Real Madrid
January 3 - Real Madrid v Celta Vigo
January 10 - Osasuna v Real Madrid
January 20 - Real Madrid v Athletic Bilbao
January 24 - Deportivo Alaves v Real Madrid
January 31 - Real Madrid v Levante
February 7 - Huesca v Real Madrid
February 14 - Real Madrid v Valencia
February 21 - Real Valladolid v Real Madrid
February 28 - Real Madrid v Real Sociedad
March 7 - Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid
March 14 - Real Madrid v Elche
March 21 - Celta Vigo v Real Madrid
April 4 - Real Madrid v Eibar
April 11 - Real Madrid v Barcelona
April 21 - Cadiz v Real Madrid
April 25 - Real Madrid v Real Betis
April 28 - Getafe v Real Madrid
May 2 - Real Madrid v Osasuna
May 9 - Real Madrid v Sevilla
May 12 - Granada v Real Madrid
May 16 - Atletic Bilbao v Real Madrid
May 23 - Real Madrid v Villarreal
TBC - Real Madrid v Getafe 

Lionel Messi did not take part in Barcelona's first day of pre-season training under Ronald Koeman as the six-time Ballon d'Or winner continues to angle for a move away from Camp Nou.

Messi stunned the footballing world by informing Barca of his intention to leave last week via an already infamous burofax.

As with Sunday's coronavirus testing for members of Koeman's first-team squad, Messi did not attend because he believes a clause in his contract allowing him to leave on a free transfer is now active, meaning he is no longer a Barcelona player.

This is a version of events disputed by both the club and LaLiga, which issued a statement on Sunday to underline its stance that Messi's huge €700million release clause remains valid within a contract that expires next June.

Manchester City and Messi's former coach Pep Guardiola have been widely touted as the frontrunners for the wantaway star, with further developments expected over the course of the coming week.

Koeman is reported to have indicated to Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal that their futures lie elsewhere, but they both trained among a 19-man group, with a host of senior players away on international duty.

Ivan Rakitic was given permission to miss training as he closes in on a return to Europa League winners Sevilla.

LaLiga announced its fixture schedule for 2020-21 on Monday, with Barcelona given the first two matchweeks off due to their European commitments earlier this month before starting against Villarreal at Camp Nou on September 27.

Ronald Koeman learned how his first campaign at the helm of Barcelona will run on Monday, when LaLiga announced its schedule for 2020-21.

The first Clasico of the season takes place at Camp Nou on October 25, with the return clash against bitter rivals Real Madrid in April.

What shape Koeman's Barca are in by the time of the initial encounter is anyone's guess as the Dutchman picks through the rubble of an 8-2 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich that saw his predecessor Quique Setien sacked and contributed to Lionel Messi's transfer request bombshell.

If Barcelona regain the title from Madrid from this point, it would be a considerable achievement. Here is how they must go about it.

 #ElClásico in @LaLigaEN!

 Matchday 7
 25/10/2020
 Barça - Madrid. Camp Nou

 Matchday 30
 11/04/2021
 Madrid - Barça. Santiago Bernabéu pic.twitter.com/6tPW2ZgGt7

— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 31, 2020 September 27 – Barcelona v Villarreal
September 30 – Celta Vigo v Barcelona
October 4 – Barcelona v Sevilla
October 18 – Getafe v Barcelona
October 25 – Barcelona v Real Madrid
November 1 – Deportivo Alaves v Barcelona
November 8 – Barcelona v Real Betis
November 22 – Atletico Madrid v Barcelona
November 29 – Barcelona v Osasuna
December 6 – Cadiz v Barcelona
December 13 – Barcelona v Levante
December 20 – Barcelona v Valencia
December 23 – Real Valladolid v Barcelona
December 30 – Barcelona v Eibar
January 3 – Huesca v Barcelona
January 5 – Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona
January 10 – Granada v Barcelona
January 20 – Barcelona v Real Sociedad
January 24 – Elche v Barcelona
January 31 – Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao
February 7 – Real Betis v Barcelona
February 14 – Barcelona v Deportivo Alaves
February 21 – Barcelona v Cadiz
February 28 – Sevilla v Barcelona
March 7 – Osasuna v Barcelona
March 14 – Barcelona v Huesca
March 21 – Real Sociedad v Barcelona
April 4 – Barcelona v Real Valladolid
April 11 – Real Madrid v Barcelona
April 21 – Barcelona v Getafe
April 25 – Villarreal v Barcelona
April 28 – Barcelona v Granada
May 2 – Valencia v Barcelona
May 9 – Barcelona v Atletico Madrid
May 12 – Levante v Barcelona
May 16 – Barcelona v Celta Vigo
May 23 – Eibar v Barcelona
TBC – Barcelona v Elche

Barcelona will host Real Madrid in the first the first Clasico of 2020-21 on October 25 after LaLiga announced its fixture schedule for the forthcoming season.

The return between the two great rivals comes next April 11 on matchday 30, when fans could be back at the Santiago Bernabeu with the title on the line.

Atletico Madrid will welcome Barca – who have endured a tempestuous start to Ronaldo Koeman's reign as head coach due to Lionel Messi's transfer request and subsequent no-show for pre-season preparations – to the Wanda Metropolitano on November 22, a month before the first Madrid derby of the season across town on December 13.

Ateti's home derby comes on March 7, while they face Barca at Camp Nou on May 9 – the 35th matchweek.

Along with Getafe and Europa League winners Sevilla, LaLiga's big three will contribute to a staggered start to the campaign on account of their European involvement.

All five will sit out the opening weekend of September 12-13, with Atletico's scheduled home-match against Sevilla to take place in January 12.

Real Madrid versus Getafe and Barcelona versus promotion play-off winners Elche, also part of the listed matchweek one schedule, will take place on suitable European competition dates in February and March next year.

Madrid then get under way the following weekend at Real Sociedad, who will hope to have new marquee signing David Silva fit and available after the former Manchester City playmaker tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Sevilla, Barca and Atleti, owing to their somewhat contrasting experiences in the final stages of UEFA tournaments this month, will not begin LaLiga action until September 27, with Koeman's side at home to Villarreal, Diego Simeone's men hosting Granada and Sevilla travelling to newly promoted Cadiz.

Segunda Division champions Huesca are away to Villarreal on the opening weekend, with Cadiz welcoming Osasuna.

LALIGA OPENING WEEKEND FIXTURES

Deportivo Alaves v Real Betis
Atletico Madrid v Sevilla (rescheduled for January 12, 2021)
Barcelona v Elche (rescheduled for February/March 2021 on European competition dates)
Eibar v Celta Vigo
Cadiz v Osasuna
Granada v Athletic Bilbao
Real Madrid v Getafe (rescheduled for February/March 2021 on European competition dates)
Valencia v Levante
Real Valladolid v Real Sociedad
Villarreal v Huesca

Real Sociedad's new signing David Silva has tested positive for COVID-19.

The 34-year-old, who joined the LaLiga side this month after leaving Manchester City, is asymptomatic and has already begun a period of self-isolation. 

News the midfielder has contracted coronavirus came just hours after he was presented to the media at Sociedad's Reale Arena on Monday.

The club tweeted: "Sociedad informs that @21LVA has tested positive for COVID-19 in the test carried out at Policlínica Gipuzkoa.

"The player is asymptomatic and is self-isolating."

Sociedad's LaLiga campaign kicks off with a trip to Real Valladolid on September 13.

David Silva says his sights are firmly set on winning silverware with Real Sociedad following his switch from Manchester City. 

The 34-year-old, who won four Premier League titles, the EFL Cup five times and the FA Cup twice during his time with City, agreed terms on a two-year deal with the Basque club earlier this month. 

Sociedad finished sixth in LaLiga in the 2019-20 campaign, though they won just two of their 11 fixtures following the restart.

Silva, though, has seen enough to suggest his new side could challenge Barcelona and Real Madrid for honours in the coming seasons 

"I'm really excited to get started here and meet my new team-mates and the club staff," he told a media conference.

"The team is playing some great football and I hope to add to that here and have some great years at the club.

"I have high expectations in terms of the football we'll be playing and I think we can compete for silverware.

"I'll be an important part of the team and in this case, because of my experience, I'll help the younger players as well.

"I've been lucky enough to win a lot of things in my career, I'm very competitive and I'm going to try and do the same here because that's why I've been brought in."

Silva, who has played for Valencia, Eibar and Celta Vigo in his home country, acknowledged Sociedad's place in next season's Europa League was a motivating factor in his decision to join the club.

"Of course, after so many years playing in Europe, you want to continue doing that," he explained.

"I also came because I like the style of football the team plays. I also came for the relaxed way of life here which I was already familiar with having lived in the Basque Country years ago."

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