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FC Barcelona News: 31 October 2013: Zubizarreta Reportedly Approaches Robert Lewandowski

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Reports from Spain suggest that Andoni Zubizarreta has targeted Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski, while Real Madrid reduced the gap to league leaders Barcelona with a 7-3 win over Sevilla

Mike Hewitt

With Dortmund keen to sell Lewandowski for a cut-price fee of £7m to non-German teams this January, Barcelona have now emerged as front-runners for his signature in the January transfer window. Lewandowski would be a more long-term option for the Catalan giants, and his direct play in the box could provide the La Liga champions with something a little different in attack.

Gerardo Martino comes into his first derby with a record of 10 wins and 1 draw from the first 11 rounds of La Liga. "I know we can do better and we have an important margin of improvement, but seeing the results we’ve secured in these three months, we can only be optimistic about the future," said the Argentine manager.

Gerard Piqué returns to the team for the match against Espanyol | FC Barcelona

Gerardo Martino has called up a total of 19 players for the match this Friday (21.00, Canal+ Liga and GolT) against Espanyol. Gerard Piqué, who missed the match against Celta, returns to the team while Adriano Correia will miss the match. With the exception of Adriano, the team is identical to the one named for the match in Vigo. Oier and Cuenca were not named to the team for technical reasons and Jordi Alba, Dos Santos and Afellay are still injured.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi distanced from tax issue - report | Football News | ESPN.co.uk

The court hearing Lionel Messi's tax case has been told the Barcelona player did not have any role in managing his own 'image rights' income. Messi and his father Jorge gave evidence in court in late September, answering charges the pair evaded over €4 million in taxes between 2007 and 2009 by routing such 'image rights' income through offshore tax havens. It now looks likely the four time Ballon d'Or winner will not face further direct punishment, having already paid a total of €5m to cover money due for the period in question - including taxes which were not paid initially, plus 'reparations'.

Primera Liga: Gareth Bale scores twice as Real Madrid beat Sevilla 7-3 at Bernabeu | Football News | Sky Sports

Gareth Bale scored twice as Real Madrid beat Sevilla 7-3 in La Liga, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting a hat-trick. Sevilla also impressed as an attacking force in an incident-packed game as well, and they recovered from 3-0 down to 3-2 at half-time thanks to goals from Ivan Rakitic (penalty) and Carlos Bacca just before the break. Madrid's win keeps them within six points of leaders Barcelona.

Martino and Aguirre set to face off for the first time | FC Barcelona

Gerardo Martino and Javier Aguirre will face off for the first time ever when FC Barcelona host Espanyol at the Camp Nou on Friday evening. It will be the first city derby for the Barça manager, while the experienced Mexican manager has led Espanyol against the Blaugrana on two occasions.

Valencia 1-2 Almería | La Liga match report | Football | theguardian.com

Almería produced the result of the season in the Primera División with a shock come-from-behind victory at Valencia. Without a win from their 10 league matches and coming into the game on a run of five successive defeats, the bottom club were priced as long as 28-1 by bookmakers to triumph. But, despite conceding a penalty to Jonas just after the half-hour, Francisco Javier Rodríguez's side produced a second-half fightback with goals from Marco Torsiglieri and Aleix Vidal.

La Liga: Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti praises Gareth Bale | Football News | Sky Sports

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti was full of praise for Gareth Bale after the Welshman scored twice and provided two assists in a 7-3 win over Sevilla at the Bernabeu. "Tonight everyone saw the real Gareth," the Italian told a press conference.

Luton-born footballer revealed as the only Englishman in La Liga - Luton Today

Luton-born Charlie I’Anson has been confirmed as the only Englishman to be playing in the Spanish top flight. The 20-year-old used to play for Grimsby and made his La Liga debut for Elche against Espanyol earlier this month.