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FC Barcelona News: 28 August 2016: Alcacer Transfer Moves Closer, Enrique Comments On San Mames

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Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

It's no secret that FC Barcelona's Week 2 La Liga match at Athletic Club Bilbao on Sunday night presents a sizeable, early-season challenge. But despite the overtly ominous warnings, the Barça coach said he loved Athletic Club. "It won't be easy," he said. "Not now. Not ever. And my players know that," he continued. But, he said, "professional footballers love playing in places like that."

The Spain international was left out of the squad as Valencia suffered a 1-0 loss at Eibar to continue their slow start to the season. "It means he was not now in the best position to compete," Ayestaran told a news conference. "We will see what will happen in the next few days." Valencia are bottom of LaLiga after two losses to start their campaign and further departures are expected at the club.

FC Barcelona have signed Jasper Cillessen as a replacement goalkeeper for Claudio Bravo, who has left for Manchester City. Signed from Ajax, the 27-year-old international from Nijmegen is the second Dutch keeper to play for the first team, following on from Ruud Hesp, who was at the club from 1997 to 2000.

Newcastle United striker Ayoze Perez feels flattered by reported Barcelona interest, but insists he has not thought about leaving the Magpies. Following Newcastle’s relegation, several important players left his current club, but Perez pledged his loyalty to the Magpies, believing it’s the right decision for his career. "I have always been happy ever since I came here," Perez told The Telegraph.

Gabigol has returned to Brazil, as Santos haven’t yet decided if he’ll join Inter now or in January, while Joao Mario undergoes a medical. The Nerazzurri welcomed two new stars yesterday for a total expenditure of over €70m, though the transfers have not yet been completed. According to Sky Sport Italia, Gabriel Barbosa – commonly known as Gabigol – has flown back to Brazil after passing his medical and discussing personal terms.