Chelsea are privately insistent that they will not sell David Luiz, despite the current interest in the defender from Barcelona and a potential £40m bid in the next few days. There is an acceptance at the club that their players will attract attention from the leading sides in Europe and that Barça must be getting encouragement from some quarter in this current pursuit. Yet there are no fears at Chelsea that Luiz, while no doubt enjoying being a target for the La Liga side, will try to engineer a departure.
Martino was pleased to see his marquee players showing fine form in pre-season, irrespective of the opposition's quality, and claims the clash further encouraged him as La Liga creeps nearer to kicking off. "Messi and Neymar combined well and played in different areas of the pitch," he told reporters after the match. "The connection between Neymar and Leo was the most interesting thing about the game and they played as well as we expected. They combined well and scored goals, but they also combined with other players, which is what you expect at this level."
The Portuguese duo became embroiled in a war of words before this final of the inaugural Guinness International Champions Cup yet, after scoring two expertly-taken strikes, it was the Real Madrid winger who was walking tall and shouting loudest. A brilliant free-kick and a superb run and header either side of half-time ensured Madrid, ahead through Marcelo before Ramires instantly leveled, emerged victorious to dent Mourinho's 100 per cent start to his second coming at Chelsea.
Tottenham and Real Madrid have held a fresh round of talks over a proposed world record transfer deal for Gareth Bale, although the two clubs remain £18 million apart in their respective valuations. Perez slightly upped his initial offer to £86 million (€100 million) but Levy reiterated his valuation of £104 million. Either fee would shatter the existing world record transfer fee of £80 million that was paid by Real Madrid to Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
Atletico Madrid have reaffirmed their commitment to keeping hold of Diego Costa despite interest from Liverpool. Atletico's sporting director Jose Luis Caminero has reiterated the club's stance on the 24-year-old, who scored 20 goals in all competitions last season. Speaking to AS, Caminero said: "Diego Costa is a very important player for Atletico, we value him very highly and we are convinced that this year he is going to score a lot of goals with Atletico. He is an idol for the fans."
Arsenal are reportedly lining up a €46m (£39m) bid for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema as Arsene Wenger desperately looks to bring in a prolific forward to spearhead his Gunners attack according to French source Le10Sport.
According to Onda Cero and confirmed by EFE sources close to the player, Albelda has decided not to accept any of the offers he received this summer following his release by Valencia and has opted to hang up his boots.