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Barca back for Willian? Malcom swap rumored for Chelsea

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Well this is just weird.

A Sky Sports report says that Chelsea and Barcelona could swap Willian and Malcom, mere months after the Blues reportedly rebuffed Barca bids for the elder Brazilian.

[ MORE: Neymar wants Barca return ]

Chelsea turned down a $70 million bid for Willian in the summer, and Barcelona opted for Bordeaux winger Malcom to the tune of $47m.

The 21-year-old right wing has only played 363 minutes for Barca, however, scoring only two goals while suffering a pair of short-term injuries.

Willian, 30, is probably not a big part of Maurizio Sarri‘s plans, although he’s been used plenty by the Italian. Willian has four goals and six assists in 31 matches this season, but has one year left on his contract after this season.

It seems a leap unless Chelsea is bargaining on using the Europa League to reach the Champions League next season. The Blues splashed major cash on Christian Pulisic for a summer arrival, and it is risky to expect Malcom to return to his exceptional Ligue 1 ways via a third league in less than a year.

Color us extremely skeptical. Also, Willian? Extremely good.

VIDEO: Player run over, injured by cart on the pitch

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Well, this cart managed to do the complete opposite of what it was supposed to do…

Instead of helping an injured player in Brazil, it, um, injured a player.

In a preseason game between Brazilian clubs Trindade Go and Flamengo, a player from Trindade, Bernardo, went down injured after 20 minutes and the treatment cart sped onto the pitch to help him out.

The only problem was, as Bernardo already laid on the pitch in some agony the cart then ran over his ankle and gave him a new injury. Some of the medical staff smirked and the commentators laughed, but the player was clearly in discomfort.

Take a look at the video below to see what happened, as the Bernado managed to shake off having his foot run over and carry on playing as his team won 1-0.

Remarkable scenes.

Rafinha to undergo surgery after tearing knee ligament

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says midfielder Rafinha will need knee surgery and is expected to be out for the rest of the season.

The club says tests have confirmed a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Rafinha’s left knee. He will undergo surgery in the coming days.

Rafinha got hurt in the team’s 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid in the Spanish league on Saturday.

The Brazilian had torn a ligament in his right knee in 2015, and had a meniscus injury in the same leg in 2017.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

PSG’s Neymar, Mbappe injured on international duty

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Not a banner day for Paris Saint-Germain.

Both Kylian Mbappe and Neymar were injured on international duty Tuesday, the effects of which remain to be seen for the Ligue 1 club (Perhaps it could be an opening for American attacker Tim Weah, or a huge opening for Liverpool as the Reds prepare to face PSG in the Champions League).

[ USMNT: Player ratings | 3 things ]

A 1v1 challenge with Uruguay goalkeeper Martin Campana felled the 19-year-old Mbappe, and France coach Didier Deschamps did not have a decent prognosis.

From the BBC:

“He has a sore shoulder, he’s fallen badly. He will have to see with the medical staff. I hope it’s not bad.”

As for Neymar, he suffered “an adductor injury while taking a shot in the sixth minute, and left Brazil’s friendly against Cameroon in England.

Let’s throw it to the most quoted national team doctor in ProSoccerTalk history, Dr. Rodrigo Lasmar:

“He felt discomfort. He will need a bit more time to evaluate it and take a scan, but in principle it is not a serious injury.”

Tite praises Klopp, set to experiment playing Liverpool style

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Jurgen Klopp probably never thought his formation and attacking style would influence the famous Brazilian National Team, but it appears he has.

[READ: Calls for new USMNT head coach grow]

Speaking to the media ahead of Brazil’s friendly match with Uruguay in London at the Emirates Stadium on Friday, Brazil manager Tite praised both Klopp and Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino, who seems set to take the No. 9 role permanently from Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus.

“Klopp does an extraordinary job, it’s beautiful to see them play, especially on the counter,” Tite said. “Even losing players like (Philippe) Coutinho, (Klopp) maintains the high level and reorganizes the team.”

After playing a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 at the World Cup with Jesus at the top, Tite is taking these last two friendlies of 2018 to experiment playing a front three in the mold of Klopp, with Firmino dropping back to connect with the midfield, allowing the two wide players to cut inside and make runs forward at the defense. In Brazil’s version of Klopp’s Liverpool, Neymar figures to be in Sadio Mane‘s left wing position while Douglas Costa will start on the right wing.

“If you bring Firmino, he plays inside the area and goes out to make smart combinations,” Tite said in a separate interview. “They call it false 9, but for me it’s true 9.”

One of the drawbacks of this is that while Firmino likes to drop back and combine, so does Neymar, which could leave not enough targets forward, or could be perfect with Marcelo overlapping on the left wing. Between Neymar and Firmino, the pair will have to communicate to decide who is dropping and who is drifting out wide or holding the line up top to create spaces in midfield for one of the two to connect and create.