Ansu Fati Set for New Five Year Barcelona Deal Just Months After Incredulous Newcastle Links

Barcelona prodigy Ansu Fati is poised to pen a new contract at Camp Nou, despite signing an improved three-year-deal as recently as July. 

The news follows an incredible three weeks for the 16-year-old, where he has scored two La Liga goals and made his Champions League debut against Borussia Dortmund.

His new contract – as reported by Radio Catalunya via as.com – will include a signing on bonus of €700,000, although his base wage will depend on whether the wonderkid retains his place in the Barcelona first team when Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembélé return from injury.

If he does continue to start for Ernesto Valverde’s side he stands to gain a €1m salary this season – and a further €250,000 more in the next three seasons – but he will only earn €300,000 if he is demoted to the B team.

Also discussed in the negotiations were provisions to keep the 16-year-old’s brother Brahima – who is currently on loan at third tier side CD Calahorra – at the club for the foreseeable future.

This new contract represents quite a turnaround for Fati who just three months was being linked with a move away from Catalonia. 

In June, the Daily Record claimed the winger was unhappy with not being promoted to senior side at Barca and had attracted the attention of Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle.

FBL-EUR-C1-DORTMUND-BARCELONA

Now, the thought of Fati departing Camp Nou is inconceivable as he has been the club’s most threatening offensive player this season.

As well as scoring twice, the Guinea-Bissau born attacker also provided the assist for Frenkie de Jong’s goal against Valencia last Saturday. 

Let’

Carlo Ancelotti Reveals What He Told Jurgen Klopp Following 2-0 Win Over Liverpool

?Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti has revealed he told Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp his team could still win the Champions League, despite slipping to a 2-0 defeat to the Serie A club on the opening night of the competition.

The Reds’ loss on Tuesday night was the second successive time they have left Naples empty-handed in less than a year, having been beaten 1-0 in the group stages last season. 

However, Liverpool put that behind them to go on and win the competition in June, overcoming Tottenham 2-0 in the final.

Lorenzo Insigne,Simone Verdi

Ancelotti and Klopp were clearly on good terms after the match, and the Italian confirmed that he had joked that losing in Naples was a good omen for the Merseyside club.

Ancelotti said following the game, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo: “I told him: ‘Don’t you worry, if you lose in Naples, then you end up winning the Champions League!”

Napoli were able to claim a late victory thanks to a Dries Mertens penalty and an added time Fernando Llorente strike, who capitalised on an uncharacteristic error from Virgil van Dijk.

The penalty decision was the main talking point of the game, with Jose Callejon appearing to go to ground easily following minimal contact from Andy Robertson. Ancelotti admitted it was a turning point in the contest, with Liverpool on top at that stage, but remained adamant that the referee made the correct call.

He added: “Just when it seemed that all was lost and Liverpool had taken complete control of the game, the two goals came from curious and unusual circumstances.

FBL-EUR-C1-NAPOLI-LIVERPOOL

“[The penalty decision] was fairly clear from where I was in the dugout, but I don’t want to be drawn into an argument over that.”

Let’

Rennes vs Celtic Preview: Where to Watch, Buy Tickets, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

?Celtic begin their UEFA Europa League campaign on Thursday with a trip to France to play Ligue 1 side Rennes, in what will be a difficult opener for the Scottish champions.

Defeat to CFR Cluj over two legs at the beginning of August meant Celtic crashed out of the Champions League at the third qualifying stage.

However, entry into the Europa League playoff round handed the Hoops a European lifeline, which they took, beating Swedish side AIK to book themselves a place in Group E alongside their Champions League slayers Cluj, Italian side Lazio and Rennes.

Neil Lennon

Even though Celtic have started the Scottish Premiership season superbly, recording five wins out of five, manager Neil Lennon knows he will also be judged on how his side perform in Europe, making Thursday’s encounter crucial.

It will be a challenge though, with Rennes currently flying high themselves in their own domestic league, sitting second behind Paris Saint-Germain after five games. Rennes also reached the last 16 of the Europa League last season before they lost to Arsenal, so Celtic are in for a test on Thursday.


Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off? Thursday 19 September
What Time Is Kick Off? 17:55 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Roazhon Park
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport 3
Referee? Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez

Where to Buy Tickets

Tickets for the game are, as ever, available on both teams’ official club websites, though membership is required in order to purchase. In terms of resale, both teams provide the option to make season tickets available for others to use, if a supporter is unable to attend the game themselves.


Team News

Rennes will be without defender Gerzino Nyamsi, who has an injury to his right hand, and striker Metehan Guclu, who’s out until November with a hamstring problem he picked up against Nice at the start of September.

Whilst missing both Nyamsi and Guclu will be frustrating for manager Julien Stephan, he will be most concerned about star striker M’Baye Niang, as the former ?Milan man picked up a knee injury in training last week and is now a major doubt to face the Hoops.

Brazilian striker Raphael Dias Belloli, who recently signed from Sporting CP, is set to start in his place.

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-RENNES-PSG

Celtic have injury worries of their own though with Nir Bitton, who has a thigh strain, and winger Mikey Johnston, who has a groin injury, both expected to be out until the start of October. Commanding centre back Jozo Simunovic also faces a number of months on the sidelines as he struggles with ongoing knee problems.

Marian Shved and Luca Connell are both close to returning to the squad, but Thursday’s game will come too quickly for both of them.


Predicted Lineups

Rennes Mendy; Traore, Da Silva, Gelin, Morel, Maouassa; Bourigeaud, Camavinga, Grenier; Siebatcheu, Belloli.
Celtic Forster; Elhamed, Jullien, Bauer, Mbombo; Brown, McGregor; Forrest, Christie, Elyounoussi; Edouard.

Head to Head Record

Anthony Stokes,Georges Mandjeck

Rennes and Celtic have met four times in the last decade, with Celtic undefeated in all four contests, winning twice and drawing twice against their French opponents.

The last game between the two at Roazhon Park was back in October 2011, in a Europa League group game which ended in a 1-1 draw thanks to a late Joe Ledley equaliser for Celtic.

The most recent encounter between the sides was only back in July in a pre-season friendly at Celtic Park. However, it was a drab contest which ended goalless. This Thursday the game will be played at a greater intensity though, with far more at stake for both teams.


Recent Form

FBL-FRA-CUP-RENNES-PSG

As alluded to earlier, domestically both sides have been in fine early season form, meaning the two sets of players should be full of confidence ahead of this opening Group E game.

Rennes stunned Ligue 1 Champions PSG in August, coming from behind to record a 2-1 home victory which sent shockwaves around France. This impressive result was sandwiched in between two crucial away wins at Montpellier and Strasbourg.

Whilst defeat at home to Nice brought the Brittany outfit back down to earth, they still sit second in the league above the likes of Olympique Lyonnais. Impressive.

As for Celtic, they are going as expected in the league, winning all five of their opening games, which included a? 2-0 win against bitter rivals Rangers, leaving them perched at the top of the table, three points clear of their closest challenges which is Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side.

Jonny Hayes,Olivier Ntcham

Defeat to ?CFR Cluj in August in the Champions League was a major disappointment, but with that now behind them, Lennon will be hoping his side can make a mark on Thursday as they target qualification from a difficult group.

Here’s how both sides have performed in their last five games.

Rennes Celtic
Brest 0-0 Rennes (14/9) Hamilton 0-1 Celtic (14/9)
Rennes 1-2 Nice (1/9) Rangers 0-2 Celtic (1/9)
Strasbourg 0-2 Rennes (25/8) AIK 1-4 Celtic (29/8)
Rennes 2-1 PSG (18/8) Celtic 3-1 Hearts (25/8)
Montpellier 0-1 Rennes (10/8) Celtic 2-0 AIK (22/8)

Prediction

A trip to Rennes makes for a tricky start for Celtic, who have a fairly dismal away record in Europe in recent years.

Ryan Christie

Yes, Celtic did comfortably beat AIK to reach the Europa League group stage, but Rennes are a different beast altogether, possessing quality and European experience all over the park.

Even though Celtic have a decent record against French opponents, Rennes were strong at home in Europe last season, winning three of their five home games which included thumping Arsenal 3-1.

Therefore, whilst Celtic will be hoping for a draw, Rennes look in good shape to start their campaign with a win.

Prediction: Rennes 3-1 Celtic

Let’

Exclusive: Erling Håland Watched by 15 Premier League Clubs in RB Salzburg’s Win Over Genk

Scouts and agents from 15 Premier League clubs were present to watch 19-year-old striker Erling Håland star for Salzburg against Genk in the Champions League on Tuesday.

In what was his debut in the competition, Håland netted a first-half hat-trick to fire his side to a dominant 6-2 victory – taking his tally to a ludicrous 17 goals in just nine appearances this season.


Understandably, that form has piqued the interest of sides across Europe, and 90min understands that representatives for 15 ?Premier League sides were in the stands to see Håland.

Some sent scouts, whilst other sent agents to evaluate the teenager’s performance. Whilst it remains unclear which teams didn’t have representatives present, sending agents usually indicates that a team is seriously interested in a deal – meaning there are plenty of suitors for the Norwegian.

Both ?Chelsea and ?Manchester City are thought to be incredibly keen on signing Håland but, as it stands, it is ?Borussia Dortmund who are leading the race for his signature. The obvious link with Manchester United – given ?Håland has worked with Ole Gunnar Solskjær before – will also persist in the coming weeks.

FBL-AUT-ESP-SALZBURG-REALMADRID

It seems just a matter of time before Håland – who is the son of former ?Leeds United striker Alf-Inge Håland – makes the move away from Austria.

He only made move to Salzburg in January after agreeing a departure from Solskjær’s Molde in the previous summer, but has already established himself as one of the top prospects in world football.

The 19-year-old certainly has the attributes to make him a success. Standing at 6’4, Håland is powerful and also deceptively quick. His finishing has also not gone unnoticed given his recent goalscoring exploits.

Håland bagged a ludicrous nine goals in one game for Norway Under-20s against Honduras at the Under-20 World Cup during the summer, and has gone from strength to strength ever since. 

He has already scored four hat-tricks this season, and he shows no signs of slowing down.

Let’

Napoli Defeat Continues Worrying Trend of Away Day Misery for Liverpool in Champions League

?If you’re a Liverpool fan, you’d best prepare yourself mentally for what could be a tricky set of Champions League away days to come.

A classic case of deja vu occurred in Naples on Tuesday night, as for the second successive season, Jurgen Klopp’s men fell to a deserved defeat in Italy at the hands of SSC Napoli.

Unquestionably a tight encounter with chances falling to both sides, it was the home outfit who stole the points via the penalty spot (stole being the key word depending on your penalty award opinion), with Fernando Llorente snatching a second in stoppage time.


In doing so, it has dampened the spirits of the traveling faithful, who are now growing alarmingly accustomed to failures on the road.

Granted, having just won the ?Champions League last season that may come across as harsh, but the stats don’t lie. And Opta certainly don’t.

?Liverpool’s defeat in Italy means the club have lost six of their last eight matches on the road in the competition – winning the other two – making painful reading for the supporters who still have visits to Austria and Belgium penciled into their calendars.

The only wins they’ve picked up during that run include fine showings against ?Bayern Munich and Porto in last season’s competition, but equally includes disappointing defeats away, even at Red Star Belgrade. 

If history has shown us anything then we know their home form is enough to see them through all the way to the final, yet there is no questioning there are improvements to be made.


Unsurprisingly, however, this trend is a new one for the club. Their opening day defeat of this new Champions League season is only their second ever at the beginning of the competition.

In all their curtain raisers in the tournament, the club have amassed six wins and four draws from their 12 games, with the only other defeat coming in a 2-0 home defeat to Valencia in 2002. While failing to win away is becoming a familiarity to Liverpool fans, doing so on the opening day most certainly isn’t.

But, perhaps it isn’t the players’ fault. Could it be, the manager? Well at least in regards to Tuesday’s defeat, it could be.

Since beating Udinese 2-0 while in charge of ?Borussia Dortmund, Klopp has lost on his last five visits to Italian sides in all competitions (P5 W0 D0 L5). It would appear the German doesn’t have a bogey team, more, a bogey country. Well, away from home, that is.

Jordan Henderson,Fabinho

While the loss at the Stadio San Paolo falls under the category of ‘early days’, a trend is emerging that Klopp and co will be most keen on averting as soon as possible. Smashing records in the ?Premier League is light work for the Anfield outfit, but they’ll need to move quickly to halt a (potential) Champions League slide.

That said, this happened last year and they won the competition. So, best not get ahead of ourselves.

Let’