Rodrigo Moreno has been ruled out of Leeds United's clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday and Spain's three forthcoming internationals after he tested positive for COVID-19.

The 29-year-old forward has made three Premier League starts for Leeds in 2020-21, scoring his first goal for the club in a 1-1 draw with Manchester City at Elland Road in October.

After missing Leeds' 4-1 defeat at home to Leicester City on Monday because he was isolating following contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, he confirmed his own diagnosis in a post on Instagram.

"Unfortunately I have tested positive for COVID-19 after being in contact with a family member that had been infected without us knowing," said Rodrigo.

"As per the protocol I will be self isolating and will miss the game with Crystal Palace.

"Both my family and I feel great, we are lucky enough to feel healthy and we are keeping a positive attitude.

"From home I will support Leeds and the Spainish National team as a supporter and I will be back on the pitch soon. Thank you for all those who have shown concern."

Rodrigo started for Spain in their most recent fixture, a 1-0 defeat to Ukraine in the Nations League, but will not now be able to link up with Luis Enrique's squad for a friendly against Netherlands and Nations League matches at Switzerland and at home to Germany.

Kepa Arrizabalaga is feeling confident within the Spain squad after putting aside his struggles at Premier League giants Chelsea for the time being.

Kepa became the world's most expensive goalkeeper when he joined Chelsea from LaLiga outfit Athletic Bilbao for a reported £71.6million (€80m) two years ago.

However, the 26-year-old's unreliable form in the past year saw his place come under threat and he has now seemingly been usurped as Chelsea's number one goalkeeper by new signing Edouard Mendy.

Kepa played in Spain's 0-0 friendly draw with Portugal on Wednesday and produced a confident display, gathering a few set-pieces and making a fine late save from Trincao.

Afterwards, Kepa admitted to a sense of ease with the national team due to the faith shown in him by Spain head coach Luis Enrique.

"I've felt confidence, at ease. I think it was a good game and I'm happy with the confidence of the coach," he told Teledeporte.

"When I'm needed to help on the pitch, I try to do the best possible."

"It was a game of great intensity. [We had] more control in the first half. In the second, we found it more difficult to control Portugal's transitions. It was a good test.

"We have to be happy. We stood up today. We have to improve because we conceded a few clear chances, which you can pay for in a tournament."

Spain controlled the first half but Portugal were by far the more threatening in the second in Lisbon.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Renato Sanches each struck the underside of the crossbar with thunderous efforts and Joao Felix should have won the match late on, the Atletico Madrid star failing to turn in Ruben Semedo's glancing header.

"We started better, but as the game progressed, we lost control," striker Rodrigo Moreno told Teledeporte.

"The draw isn't an unfair result. The pace dropped as the match progressed. We had little time to train, [and] the games are very demanding.

"We have to give a little more to keep on this good path. We have to keep working and be protagonists with the ball."

There is a team from Merseyside leading the way in the Premier League, but it is not the reigning champions.

Everton have started the 2020-21 season in outstanding form, making it four wins from four as they saw off Brighton and Hove Albion to move clear of neighbours Liverpool and Leicester City at the summit.

Manchester City are a little off the pace in the early stages after they were held by Leeds United, while Chelsea and Newcastle United were victorious on home turf in Saturday's action.

Now the dust has settled, relive the action with the help of some notable facts from Opta.

 

Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace: Chilwell impresses before Jorginho hits the spot

Talk about a game of contrasting halves. Chelsea struggled in the first 45 minutes, but everything changed when Ben Chilwell opened the scoring on his 100th Premier League appearance - his first for the Blues since arriving from Leicester.

The left-back also delivered the ball that allowed Kurt Zouma to double the advantage, making Chilwell just the third player to score and assist in a Premier League debut for Chelsea, a feat previously achieved by Deco and Alvaro Morata.

Jorginho converted twice from the spot to give the final score a lopsided look, meaning the midfielder has scored 10 of his 11 penalties in the Premier League (his solitary miss came against Liverpool last month, in case you happen to have forgotten).

Still, perhaps the outcome should have been expected. Chelsea have now won six straight in the league against Palace, who have been beaten in nine of their past 12 top-flight outings.

Everton 4-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: Inspirational James helps Toffees stay perfect

The good times continue at Goodison Park as Everton continue to impress. The previous time they won four in a row at the start of the season was back in 1969, when Carlo Ancelotti was 10 years old.

James Rodriguez is certainly rolling back the years since his arrival in England, scoring twice in this game to help down the Seagulls. He was one of three Colombians to appear in this fixture too, joined by team-mate Yerry Mina and Brighton's Steven Alzate.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his scoring streak with the opener, becoming the first player to find the net in each of Everton's first four Premier League games of a season in the process.

Another error by Jordan Pickford is a concern - the England international has now made 11 that led to goals since his Everton debut in August 2107, more than any other goalkeeper in that time - but should not spoil the feel-good atmosphere on the blue half of Merseyside.

Leeds United 1-1 Manchester City: Pep makes his point as Rodrigo ends wait

The clash between stylists Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola did not disappoint, even with heavy rainfall throughout at Elland Road. Pep remains unbeaten against his fellow coach in four meetings, though he had to settle for a point as his depleted City side were pegged back.

Raheem Sterling broke the deadlock; he has scored more goals than any other Premier League player in all competitions since the start of last season (34), albeit this one was not enough to secure victory.

Rodrigo levelled, in the process becoming the first Spaniard to score for Leeds in the Premier League. It was not his first in the competition, though, as that came for Bolton nine years and 272 days earlier. Only Andy Johnson (nine years and 276 days) has had a longer gap between goals in the Premier League era.

Speaking of gaps, City have four points from three games so sit eight points behind Everton. Plenty of time left yet, of course, but the international break may come at a nice time for Guardiola and his squad, provided no players get injured while representing their countries.

Newcastle United 3-1 Burnley: Maximin effect helps give Bruce home comforts

Allan Saint-Maximin stole the show as Steve Bruce's side collected their first home league win in six attempts, while they are unbeaten in seven against Burnley at St James' Park.

Callum Wilson converted a late penalty to finish with a brace, making the striker the first Newcastle player to have four goals in his opening four Premier League games since Les Ferdinand in the 1995-96 campaign.

While Newcastle head into the break on a high, Burnley remain without a point to their name. The last time they lost three straight to start a top-flight campaign was back in 1927-28.

There was a reason to celebrate for Ashley Westwood, grabbing Burnley's goal as he became the eighth player to hit the 100-game mark in the Premier League for the club.

This, however, is a game that will be remembered for the excellence of Saint-Maximin, who both scored and assisted in a Premier League fixture for the first time.

Leeds United have announced the signing of striker Rodrigo Moreno from Valencia for a club-record fee.

The 29-year-old has signed a four-year contract with Marcelo Bielsa's side, who secured promotion to the Premier League in 2019-20.

The Spain international moves to Elland Road for a reported £26million (€30m).

Rodrigo scored just seven goals in 34 appearances in all competitions last season, although his campaign was disrupted by knee problems.

Previously with Benfica, he was part of a treble-winning side in 2013-14 and twice reached the Europa League final before joining Valencia in 2014.

He scored five goals in seven appearances in the Copa del Rey in 2018-19, including the winner in the final against Barcelona, as Valencia lifted the trophy in their centenary year.

Leeds United are poised to sign star forward Rodrigo Moreno after reaching an agreement with Valencia, the LaLiga side confirmed.

Valencia announced on Tuesday that a preliminary agreement had been struck, though Rodrigo must still undergo a medical and complete all other formalities ahead of a switch to newly promoted Premier League side Leeds.

Rodrigo was previously linked with LaLiga giants Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, but the Spain international is now set for a €30 million (£27m) move to Elland Road.

"Valencia CF have reached a preliminary agreement with Leeds United FC this Tuesday for the transfer of footballer Rodrigo Moreno, at the expense of completing all the documentation and other formalities and passing the mandatory medical examination," Valencia said in a statement.

"Valencia CF want to thank him for his commitment and effort over the last six seasons - in which he has played a total of 220 games, scored 59 goals, and helped to win a Cup title. Valencia CF wish him all the best in this new stage of his sports career."

Rodrigo, who joined Valencia permanently in 2015 following an initial loan spell from Benfica in 2014-15, is the latest big-name player heading for a Mestalla exit.

Ferran Torres (Manchester City), captain Dani Parejo (Villarreal) and Francis Coquelin (Villarreal) have already left Valencia in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Back in the Premier League following a 16-year absence, Marco Bielsa's Leeds have already signed Wigan Athletic youngster Joe Gelhartd and goalkeeper Illan Meslier, while Jack Harrison has returned on loan from City.

Valencia have confirmed striker Rodrigo Moreno suffered a knee ligament injury during Wednesday's LaLiga defeat to Athletic Bilbao.

Voro's first game in charge of the club – in his sixth spell as coach in total – ended in a 2-0 loss at Mestalla, with Raul Garcia's double handing Athletic all three points.

Another blow for 10th-placed Valencia came in the form of an injury to Rodrigo, with the 29-year-old now confirmed to have suffered a partial tear in the lateral collateral ligament of his right knee.

Rodrigo has struggled to find his best form this season, scoring just seven times in all competitions.

Antoine Griezmann is seemingly not ready to accept that his Barcelona career could be over.

The LaLiga giants have been heavily linked with moves for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar and Inter forward Lautaro Martinez.

It had been reported Griezmann could head to San Siro as part of a deal, but the France international will not move so easily.

 

TOP STORY – GRIEZMANN READY TO FIGHT NEYMAR, MARTINEZ FOR BARCELONA PLACE

Griezmann is prepared to battle for his future at Barcelona despite links to Neymar and Martinez, according to Marca.

The former Atletico Madrid star had scored 14 goals in 37 games this season before the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But, the 29-year-old forward is ready to fight for a spot even if Martinez and Neymar arrive in the close season.

ROUND-UP

- A player that seems certain to leave Barcelona is Philippe Coutinho, who is on loan at Bayern Munich this season. Goal reports the LaLiga giants are still aiming to sell the playmaker and are hoping for a suitor in the Premier League.

- Staying at Camp Nou, Arturo Vidal has been linked heavily with a move to Inter. However, Mundo Deportivo reports Manchester United and Newcastle United are also interested in the midfielder. Apparently, Newcastle would be the frontrunners if the Premier League club manage to appoint Massimiliano Allegri, who coached Vidal at Juventus.

- Could Arsenal and Atletico Madrid be prepared for a swap deal? The Sun reports Arsenal are ready to offer Alexandre Lacazette to the LaLiga club to seal a deal for midfielder Thomas Partey. Also with Arsenal, the Mirror says the Premier League side have asked Valencia about Rodrigo Moreno, with Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang potentially leaving.

- Out of contract in 2022, Marc-Andre ter Stegen appeared set to earn a new deal at Barcelona. However, AS reports the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic is set to make a renewal for the goalkeeper – linked with Juventus and Bayern Munich – a lot harder.

- Perhaps Thiago Silva will remain at Paris Saint-Germain. Le 10 Sport reports the Ligue 1 giants are offering the defender – whose deal expires at the end of the season – a one-year contract.

- In the first year of a two-season loan deal at AC Milan, Ante Rebic has netted seven times. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A side are keen to make the Eintracht Frankfurt forward's move permanent soon, before his asking price rises further.

Rodri conceded Manchester City "suffered" in their pursuit of a third successive EFL Cup title, which his controversial goal ultimately secured.

Pep Guardiola's side earned a 2-1 win over Aston Villa at Wembley on Sunday, Rodri having headed in his side's second from a corner that should not have been awarded.

Mbwana Samatta's goal before the interval – following a calamitous error from John Stones – ensured it was no walk in the park for City, who survived a late Villa barrage that included an almighty scare when Claudio Bravo turned Bjorn Engels' late header onto the post.

It would have been harsh for City to concede a leveller given their general dominance of the match, but Rodri confided that it had been a tough battle.

"We know they are a really tough team because they are really tall and strong, so we knew we could never give up," he told Sky Sports.

"I'm happy for the team because it's tough being here. I think they scored because of our mistake.

"At the end, we suffered a little bit but I think we had enough chances to score more goals, but we are happy for the team.

"It's the second title for us [after the Community Shield] so we are very happy."

Phil Foden, who was excellent for City, echoed his team-mate's sentiments regarding the challenge posed by relegation-threatened Villa, and rejoiced in his own input, which included an assist for Sergio Aguero's opener.

"I have to say fair play to Aston Villa, they gave us a really good game," he said.

"When I play, every minute counts, so I try and do my best and I'm very proud of my performance.

"You look at players like Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, who are great, so when I get into the team I have to make the most of it."

The January transfer window closed on Friday, but not every wantaway star got their move.

While a number of Europe's top sides were in the hunt for attacking reinforcements, deals could not be completed for several big names.

We take a look at a selection of forwards who were not on the move and analyse what the future could hold for them.

EDINSON CAVANI

Cavani's on-off transfer from Paris Saint-Germain to Atletico Madrid was only finally ruled out on Thursday, leaving the Ligue 1 club's record goalscorer at the Parc des Princes despite reported interest from the Premier League's big-hitters.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel reminded Cavani "there are worse situations than staying" in the French capital, but with his contract up at the end of the season, he may not be around for too much longer.

Cavani has repeatedly been linked with Inter Miami, David Beckham's MLS franchise who can still make signings.

OLIVIER GIROUD

It appeared for a time as though Giroud's future might be intertwined with Cavani's, as Chelsea boss Frank Lampard openly discussed the merits of the PSG striker. But just as Cavani stayed put, so too did Giroud.

Moves to Inter, Lazio and even rivals Tottenham did not come off, while the former Arsenal man reportedly rejected Newcastle United.

Giroud has started only twice in the Premier League this season and must now hope he secures a place in the France squad for Euro 2020 despite his continued marginal role.

WILLIAN JOSE

There were very few attackers not linked with Manchester United, Chelsea and Spurs during January, and Willian Jose remained a candidate for a transfer until deadline day.

Yet rather than joining Jose Mourinho in London, the Real Sociedad man spent Friday apologising to his current club's supporters for attempting to force the switch.

Willian Jose described a Premier League move as a "dream" but, at 28, he might wonder if such an opportunity has passed him by.

RODRIGO MORENO

It seemed to be a move that would suit everyone. Rodrigo would get a big move to Barcelona, providing the LaLiga champions with cover for Luis Suarez. Valencia were looking at former star Paco Alcacer as a replacement.

But the two clubs failed to agree terms, Rodrigo stayed put, and Alcacer headed to Villarreal.

It appears highly unlikely Barca will return for Rodrigo at the end of the campaign, perhaps instead turning their focus back towards Neymar, and the Spain international has surely missed his big chance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA GIVE UP ON RODRIGO

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

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

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

ROUND-UP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"The negotiation is open and we will not hide.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I like many players."

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

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

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

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

Manchester United, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund are hoping to sign Juventus midfielder Emre Can.

Can, 26, is out of favour in Turin and has made just two Serie A starts this season.

The former Liverpool midfielder will reportedly be allowed to leave during this transfer window and three European giants are eyeing the Germany international.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD, TOTTENHAM AND DORTMUND EYE EMRE CAN

Manchester United, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund are chasing Juventus' Can, according to SPORT1.

With Euro 2020 coming up later this year, Can wants regular playing time to earn a spot in the Germany squad.

Can made 37 appearances in all competitions for Juve last season, but has played just eight times in 2019-20.

Sportmediaset reports Juve are working on a move for Napoli midfielder Allan to replace Can.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter will wrap up a deal for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen early next week, according to Sky Sport Italia. The Serie A club will pay €18million (£15.2m) plus €2m (£1.7m) in bonuses for Eriksen, who is out of contract at season's end.

- Staying at San Siro and Inter are targeting Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud after recognising it would be difficult to sign Napoli's Fernando Llorente, according to Sky Sport Italia.

- Barcelona are making progress in their bid to land Valencia forward Rodrigo, according to Sport. While working on a loan move, Barcelona want an option to buy at season's end, while Valencia want it to be an obligation to purchase for around €60m. The report says Barca are willing to pay Valencia a "penalty fee" if they do not make the loan permanent.

- Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Lemar is close to signing with Premier League club Arsenal, according to El Chiringuito. Lemar has made just nine LaLiga starts this season.

- Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are in talks over a swap deal. Goal reports the clubs are discussing swapping full-backs Mattia De Sciglio and Layvin Kurzawa.

- With Marcus Rashford injured, Manchester United have looked at signing Shanghai Shenhua's Odion Ighalo and Monaco's Islam Slimani, who is on loan from Leicester City, according to Sky Sports.

Barcelona boss Quique Setien says he likes "all good players" amid links of a move for Valencia striker Rodrigo.

The LaLiga leaders are in the market for a new striker after Luis Suarez was ruled out for the majority of the campaign following surgery on his knee.

Barca have been linked with numerous players since Suarez went under the knife on January 11, including Chimy Avila, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Timo Werner.

Rodrigo is another rumoured target and Setien waxed lyrical over the Spain international, who has been nursing a knee injury of his own over the past few weeks.

Asked specifically about Rodrigo at his pre-match news conference ahead of this weekend's league clash with Valencia at Mestalla, Setien said: "I like all good players.

"He's an extraordinary footballer and tomorrow he could give us problems - he is a key player for their team.

"I would have preferred if he wasn't playing, but we know that if he's not there then there is another player. Valencia have a great squad with or without Rodrigo."

Setien was appointed as Ernesto Valverde's successor last week and has won his first two games in charge, including a 2-1 Copa del Rey victory against Ibiza in midweek.

Barca were given a real scare by the minnows, requiring a last-minute goal from Antoine Griezmann to secure a comeback victory and a last-16 tie against Leganes.

And after dominating the possession count in the wins over Granada and Ibiza, Setien admitted it would have counted for little had his side not picked up the victories.

"I had a huge shock in Ibiza," he said. "I am not going to lie, this is clear. We have to stress a lot the things that we give high importance to. In theory, this shouldn't take us long.

"But in general I already know that lots of people only care about results. Those will only care to win, not how we play. This is like this in today's football and its fine to me.

"I believe that the way [you play] should be valued too, how you get to the victory or how you lose. That seems like the right way to look at things, even though I can understand that some people only care about the results."

Barca are level on points with Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga ahead of their meeting with Valencia, who are seventh in the table after losing 4-1 at Real Mallorca last time out in the league.

Setien is wary of a response from Albert Celades' side, however, adding: "When a team like Valencia loses their previous match, the desire to break this streak is a motivation. As I always say and repeat, I always expect the best version of our rivals. 

"Valencia is a great team, without doubt, with very good footballers. They will make things difficult for us and it will be truly a match of great level. 

"Our capacity to harm them might be bigger because they are a team with capacity to attack. Surely they will try so we will take the most of those spaces. We will probably have more spaces than in the previous two matches."

Page 1 of 2
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.