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Neymar fails to convince Coutinho to join Barcelona

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The Brazil forward tried to talk his compatriot into a move to Camp Nou, but those hopes have ended as the attacker is set for a new Liverpool deal

 Barcelona’s hopes of signing Philippe Coutinho this summer have been dashed. The Brazilian midfielder is close to agreeing a new contract to remain at Liverpool, despite the attempts of Neymar to persuade his international team-mate to join the Catalan club.

Barca’s Brazilian forward has spent months trying to convince Coutinho to link up with him at Camp Nou, where he would be able to play on one of football’s biggest stages alongside not only his close friend Neymar, but also another international team-mate in Rafinha and former Liverpool colleague Luis Suarez.

However, the 24-year-old is well aware of the difficulty of breaking into a side featuring Lionel Messi, Suarez and Neymar in attack, while he is also indebted to Liverpool for making him the player he is today.

Coutinho has often spoken of his happiness at Anfield and has been full of praise for manager Jurgen Klopp, under whom he has played his finest football since moving from Inter in 2013.

Neymar Coutinho Brazil 20062015

That tandem is now set to continue together as Coutinho prepares to sign a new contract with wages that will make him Liverpool’s highest-paid player as Neymar’s pleas fall on deaf ears – at least for the foreseeable future.

Barca will now need to look at alternatives for the summer window, having watched the Brazilian for many months and even sending sporting director Robert Fernandez to see the Brazilian play live against Villarreal in the Europa League last April.

Asked about the possibility of signing the Brazilian, Robert has always said: « Coutinho is a great player, but we already have a lot of midfielders. »

Barca are well stocked in the middle of the park following the arrivals of Andre Gomes and Denis Suarez last summer and with Sergo Roberto set to return to his natural position from right-back at some stage.

HD Phil Coutinho

HD Jurgen Klopp Philippe Coutinho

But Gomes has not completely convinced and Andres Iniesta is approaching the twilight of a glittering playing career and will be 33 in May, so Barca know they need to earmark a successor to the Spain star sooner or later.

Although Barca were interested in Coutinho all along, the Catalan club never had complete conviction that they could convince the 24-year-old to leave Liverpool at this point of his career – especially given the financial cost of the operation and the priority in renewing Messi’s contract.

Not even Neymar’s attempts at persuading Phil to join him at Camp Nou have succeeded and as Coutinho prepares to put pen to paper on a new long-term deal at Anfield, Barca will have to look elsewhere

Source: www.goal.com

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Football

Jordan Ayew tops English Premier League sprint chart after 16 matches

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Ghana forward Jordan Ayew has been rated as the player with most sprints in the English Premier League after 16 round of games.

The Swansea City attacker has always been faced with criticisms for his lack of work ethos when playing for the Ghana’s senior national team.

But the former Olympique Marseille man appears to have had the best statistics in arguably the world’s best championship in terms of a player that has made the most sprints in the league after 16 matches

The 25-year-old heads the list of the 10 players ahead of speedsters including Hector Bellerin of Arsenal, Delle Alli of Tottenham and Richarlison of Watford.

According to the Express.co.uk, with their high intensity and counter-attacking football, Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints so far this season with a whopping 6198.

However, relegation-threatened West Ham have managed a measly 4942.

Surprisingly, Manchester United only have the 15th highest amount of sprints with 5210.

Even though Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints as a team, no individual star of Pep Guardiola’s side makes the top 10.

So which Premier League ace has sprinted the most times?

1. Jordan Ayew (Swansea) – 796 sprints

2. Delle Alli (Tottenham) – 742 sprints

3. Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) – 715 sprints

4. Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)- 695 sprints

5. Tom Cleverley (Watford) – 695 sprints

6. Tom Ince (Huddersfield) – 683 sprints

7. Abdoulaye Doucore (Watford) – 682 sprints

8. Richarlison (Watford) – 677 sprints

9. Erik Pieters (Stoke) – 669 sprints

10. Pascal Gross (Brighton) – 662 sprints

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Pots announced for Final Draw

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With Peru completing the line-up of 32 teams for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, we now know the seeding pots for the Final Draw on 1 December.

It was confirmed in September, by the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions, that all teams will be allocated to (eight-team) pots 1 to 4 based on sporting principles. The October 2017 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be used to allocate all qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order, after hosts Russia who take the top seeding spot.

With those factors in mind, here are the final pots for the Final Draw:

POT 1 Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
POT 2 Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
POT 3 Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
POT 4 Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia

It is worth remembering that the principle of drawing the teams into the groups will remain unchanged. This means that no teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, which could have up to two teams in the same group, will be drawn into the same group.

The Final Draw will take place on Friday 1 December at Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace.

fifa.com

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« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »

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Real Madrid are in a bad situation in the league, the club of Casa Blanca is currently third in Liga behind Valencia and Barça, the Catalans have taken a big lead, and this could definitely make them lose the championship in the winter. And a Madrid club player is highlighted in these poor results.

101 million euros for his transfer, 23 injuries since, 73 matches missed or 55% of the matches of his team. Statistics that would drive any coach and / or leaders crazy. You have it ?

These are the figures of Gareth Bale since his arrival at Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 from Tottenham. Whoever has played only nine games in the year 2017/2018 seems to have seriously undermined the patience of its leaders. Just back from a calf injury, he was summoned by the Welsh side to face France in a friendly last Friday, but made the choice to stay in Madrid to prepare for the derby against Atletico Madrid. But, the blow, the Welsh injured during training last Thursday and will be absent about a month.

What continue to fuel the rumors of transfers but especially what cause irritation of the board leader. The latter, tired of not being able to align their triplet « BBC », have made a decision that should be irrevocable, according to the Madrid newspaper AS: It must leave this summer. And the Spanish media also explains that the president of the Madrilenian club, Florentino Perez, added:

« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »
Yet strongly criticized last season, Bale had managed to avoid a departure last summer, claiming to want to win at Real Madrid. This year, his start to the season does not plead in his favor and he seems to have exhausted all his jokers in the Spanish capital. The departure of the Welsh international therefore seems to have been recorded.

The rumor of a return to the Premier League, Manchester United in particular, has been reactivated but the number of contenders could quickly evolve in view of the quality of the player. Be careful though, the Welsh is signed until 2022, and Florentino Perez is determined not to sell his player.

Unless a return to its best level, it is difficult to see how the Welsh international could reverse the situation. Zinedine Zidane even found his replacement for 100 million euros.

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