The Athletic Club striker has already scored 20 goals this season following his hat-trick against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday
Athletic Club manager Ernesto Valverde has admitted he hopes Barcelona don’t think about making a January move for his in-form striker Aritz Aduriz.
The 34-year-old scored a hat-trick in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Rayo Vallecano in Madrid to take his total to 20 for the season already.
Since re-joining Athletic from Valencia in 2012 he has been more prolific than at any other stage in his career.
He scored 18 goals in his first two seasons back at San Mames, before registering 26 last term – his highest tally as a professional.
READ MORE | Luis Enrique wants January signings at Barca
However, with December on the horizon, Aduriz is only six goals away from matching that tally following a flying start to new season.
”We have to hope that Barcelona don’t sign Aduriz because he represents the culmination of the way we play,” Valverde said after the win against Rayo.
“We are very fortunate to have him in the team – for every year that passes, he gets better and better.
“He has great belief in his ability, provides a fantastic outlet and is a treasure for us.”
Barça are reportedly keen to sign a new forward in January to provide back up for Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar following the departure of Pedro Rodriguez to Chelsea in the summer.
Luis Enrique has confirmed he is open to new arrivals when the transfer window opens.
The 41-year-old has decided to call time on his spell in charge of Los Che after less than 18 months in the hot seat at Mestalla
Nuno Espirito Santo has resigned from his position as Valencia coach after Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Sevilla in La Liga.
The story broke online while the game was still in process and the Portuguese coach confirmed his decision in a press conference at the Sanchez Pizjuan after the full time whistle.
He explained that he had decided to leave Los Che prior to the defeat to Unai Emery’s side – although he added that his players had no idea it would be his final game in charge.
“Before the game I spoke with the president, with the owner, Peter Lim, and we spoke after the game, too,” he began.
READ MORE | Report: Nine-man Valencia lose to Sevilla
“We are all in agreement that the situation is not good; we all want to do the best for the club.
“It’s for that reason that I have taken the decision to leave the club.
“It’s been an honour to manage the club and I want to thank all the players I have worked with, Peter Lim and the fans.”
Nuno leaves Valencia ninth in the table with 19 points from their 13 league games to date.
They are also still in with a chance of reaching the knockout rounds of the Champions League with one game to go in the group stages.
The 41-year-old, Jorge Mendes’ first ever client, took over at Mestalla last summer after impressing with Portuguese side Rio Ave.
He led the club to a fourth placed finish in his first season in charge, but things have turned sour in his second term and large sections of the support have turned against him.
Phil Neville joined Nuno as his assistant manager earlier this year following Ian Cathro’s departure for Newcastle, but there’s not yet been any word on what this will mean for the former Manchester United and Everton player.
Valencia play Barakaldo in the Copa del Rey in midweek, before hosting Barcelona next weekend in the league.
Valencia coach Nuno Espirito Santo has announced he has quit following Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Sevilla.
“Before the game I spoke with the president, with the owner, Peter Lim and we have spoke after the game and we are all in agreement that the situation is not good, we all want to do the best for the club,” Nuno told reporters.
“It’s for that reason that I have taken the decision to leave the club. it’s been an honour to coach the club. I want to thank all the players I have worked with, Peter Lim and the fans.”
More to follow…
The veteran striker has been linked with a loan move back to England, though he says a return in January is unlikely
Chelsea legend Didier Drogba says he would be “honoured” to return to the Premier League on loan, but has played down the likelihood of a move this season.
The veteran striker left English champions Chelsea at the end of last term to join MLS outfit Montreal Impact, for whom he has scored 12 times in 14 appearances so far.
The likes of Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan have previously opted for short spells back in England’s top flight during the United States off-season, while David Beckham joined AC Milan on a similar loan deal during his time with LA Galaxy.
READ MORE | Mourinho dismisses Drogba comments: He’s just trying to sell books
This year, both Drogba and former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard have been linked with returns to the Premier League in January, but the Ivorian says his focus has to be on delivering for Montreal next year.
“I would be honoured of course but I think I need to rest, take care of my family and then come back to Montreal and have a good season,” he told Sky Sports.
Montreal were beaten 4-3 on aggregate by Colombus Crew in the MLS play-offs earlier this month.
West Brom defender Jonas Olsson hopes his Sweden team-mate will make the switch to England when his contract in Ligue 1 expires in 2016
Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has once again been urged to make a Premier League move.
The 34-year-old, whose contract with the Ligue 1 champions expires in mid-2016, said earlier in November it was too late to make a switch to the English top-flight.
But Ibrahimovic’s Sweden team-mate and West Brom defender Jonas Olsson said the striker was still good enough to have an impact in the Premier League.
“He’s still at the top of his game,” Olsson said.
“He is the strongest player I have been up against. I really hope he comes. Zlatan on his day is the most talented footballer in the game.
“He has played under Jose Mourinho before [at Inter] and the only place where he’s not 100 per cent appreciated is in the UK.
“I think he can play for any team in this league – he is still that good.”
Ibrahimovic – who has won league titles in Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France – scored in PSG’s 4-1 win over Troyes on Saturday to take his tally in Ligue 1 this season to 10 goals.