Nelson Semedo

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Report: Barcelona offer players to Spurs in Ndombele exchange

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Tanguy Ndombele’s time in north London could be short-lived, as it’s been reported that Barcelona have offered Tottenham Hotspur their choice(s) of a few players in exchange for the 23-year-old French midfielder.

[ MORE: PL On this Day: Rooney’s famous volley v. Newcastle (video) ]

According to a report from Sky Sports, Barca seek to bolster their first-team squad in central midfield and have prioritized Ndombele despite the fact he only moved to Tottenham for a club-record fee of $82 million last summer. Barca are facing exceedingly hard financial times due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the suspension of play which ensued, thus they have resorted to swapping players to make a deal happen.

In exchange for Ndombele, Barca have offered the following players to Spurs: defenders Samuel Umtiti and Nelson Semedo, and midfielder Arthur.

[ MORE: Eredivisie cancels 2019-20 season; will not declare champion ]

On first glance, it would seem unlikely Spurs would even entertain the idea of so quickly swapping their club record signing for any of the players offered to them. However, one must consider that Ndombele was signed 1) by a different manager, and most importantly, 2) with a very different short-term future in mind. Once Mauricio Pochettino was fired and replaced by Jose Mourinho in November, every bit of planning and building done in recent seasons and transfer windows went out the window.

When Spurs signed Ndombele, they likely believed that Jan Vertonghen would remain a defensive lynchpin for at least two more seasons. With that unquestionably no longer the case, a left-footed center back with World Cup-winning pedigree (Umtiti) would now be a massive upgrade. The same goes for Semedo at right back, where some combination of Serge Aurier and Juan Foyth combined to give Spurs virtually zero contribution from the position this season. While Arthur is arguably the best player on offer to Spurs, what would they gain from simply swapping midfielders?

If Barca are desperate enough to send two of the three players to Spurs in exchange for Ndombele, Mourinho and Daniel Levy will have to look long and hard at the prospect of improving — and potentially fixing — two broken positions along the backline.

Transfer rumor roundup: Four bids for Gabriel, Barca offer five for Martinez

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The transfer rumor mill has not paused often during the coronavirus suspension, with — nickname alert — French Eddy being linked to Arsenal along with RB Leipzig back Dayot Upamecano.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

It seems like more than links when it comes to Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes, as four clubs including Premier League side Everton are said to have made bids for the 22-year-old.

Gabriel moved from Brazil to France in 2016, and he was loaned by Lille to Dinamo Zagreb and Troyes before establishing himself as a first-teamer.

The center back has two goals in 52 appearances and is averaging 1.7 tackles per game, 3.3 clearances, and .9 interceptions in Ligue 1 play while passing at 82 percent.

Gabriel is set to cost more than $36 million. He’s repped Brazil at the U-20 level.

Elsewhere, a better-known South American is being linked to his usual destination in a wild exchange.

Calcio Mercato reports that Barcelona is willing to offer five players to Inter Milan in order to drive down the price on Lautaro Martinez.

There’s plenty of smoke to infer fire when it comes to the prolific 22-year-old Argentine striker, though a five-player exchange is different than meeting the $124 million release clause.

Those players are midfielders Arturo Vidal, Carles Alena, and Arthur, fullback Nelson Semedo, and Jean-Clair Todibo, who are worth a combined $167 million according to the loose estimates of Transfermarkt.

Griezmann gives Barcelona first leg draw with Napoli (video)

Napoli v. Barcelona recap and video highlights
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Antoine Griezmann scored in the second half to earn Barcelona a 1-1 draw with Napoli in a UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg at the San Paulo Stadium on Tuesday.

Dries Mertens scored a beautiful opener for Napoli, who heads to the Camp Nou for a March 18 second leg.

Arturo Vidal was sent off in the 89th minute for a second yellow card, and Sergio Busquets picked up a yellow which will cost him the second leg.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Gennaro Gattuso’s plan was to limit Barcelona’s shots, and it worked well in the first half.

Mertens got his goal on one of only five shots in the half, the only two on target coming via Napoli.

How a tale can turn on a moment, though, as Nelson Semedo set up Griezmann’s second-half marker to give Barca a useful away goal.

Barca was much better in the second half but could not find a second away goal.

Here’s the goal of the day, and it belongs to Mertens.

Barcelona, Real Madrid roll in La Liga action

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Barcelona extended its lead at the top of the La Liga table to eight points, while Real Madrid climbed into third as both Spanish giants won in convincing fashion on Sunday.

Lionel Messi found the scoresheet as Barcelona topped Girona 2-0 at Estadi Montilivi. Nelson Semedo grabbed his first goal in a Barcelona shirt just nine minutes in as a sloppy goalmouth scramble saw the ball fall right to the 25-year-old’s feet and he ripped it home low inside the right post.

Girona managed to match Barcelona on the shot count and had numerous chances to score, including one by Pedro Alcala soon after Semedo’s goal, and another from Pere Pons just before halftime that required a goal-line clearance from Gerard Pique. In the 51st minute, Girona fell a man down when Bernardo Espinosa picked up a second yellow card for hacking down Luis Suarez, and that made it tough for the hosts to find a way back in.

Barcelona grabbed its second goal when Lionel Messi produced a spectacular chip over Bono in the 68th minute and that was all she wrote for Barcelona. Still, despite the win, under-fire attacker Philippe Coutinho continued his poor form, creating just one chance and not influencing the game as the fans expect him to in Ousmane Dembele’s absence.

Karim Benzema was the star for Real Madrid, scoring a pair as they won 4-2 over Espanyol on the road. Benzema struck first just four minutes in, collecting a rebound from a saved Luka Modric shot and redirecting it back into the net past a sprawled-out Diego Lopez. Sergio Ramos picked up Real Madrid’s second in the 15th minute with a powerful header, and Benzema restored the 2-goal lead in the 67th minute with a right-footed effort across the face of goal and into the bottom-right corner.

Gareth Bale gave Real Madrid a 4-1 lead, and Espanyol wouldn’t find its second consolation goal until late after Madrid had fallen a man down on a straight red card to Raphael Varane for a controversial last-man foul that may be rescinded later, as replays showed Varane never touched substitute Pablo Piatti who spilled to the turf after tripping himself just outside the box on a breakaway.

Madrid had troubles with referee Jesus Gil all day, with Ramos pushing his luck after a 26th minute yellow card, right in the referee’s face to argue his case. Overall, seven yellow cards and the one red were handed out in the match, with Madrid picking up five of those eight.

Neymar storms off after training dustup with teammate

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Neymar just won’t stay out of the headlines.

As his long-rumored “will he, won’t he go” transfer saga between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona continues, Neymar stormed out of training on Thursday after getting into a tussle with teammate Nelson Semedo.

A video from the Daily Mail shows Neymar pushing Semedo before walking off and removing his training bib.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg_nCI7ddZE

Neymar has reportedly agreed to personal terms with PSG over a move to France, but PSG have yet to come up with the nearly $260 million it would cost to trigger Neymar’s release clause. The news of Neymar possibly leaving Barcelona came as a shock, as he’s been content since joining the club to play slightly in the shadow of teammates Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

If this fight is any indication, Neymar’s head could be turned and should PSG trigger the release clause, Neymar could be heading to Paris once Barcelona returns this weekend from its American sojourn.

In spite of all the transfer speculation, Neymar has dazzled for Barcelona on its tour of the U.S., scoring three goals in two games and delighting the thousands in attendance.