Samuel Umtiti may have to consider knee surgery after failing to overcome his injury issues. The defender has had physiotherapy, injections and even lost weight to try and manage the problem. However, his recent recurrence means he may have to go under the knife.
Thomas Vermaelen could make his latest return from injury in next week’s Copa del Rey second leg against Cultural Leonesa at the Camp Nou. The defender is expected to be fit after pulling a hamstring on international duty for Belgium.
La Liga have filed a lawsuit against the Spanish FA for “blocking” attempts to play matches in the United States. The Spanish league want to play Girona’s match with Barcelona in Miami, but the FA reckon they have “no authority” to make the application. A decision is expected in the next two weeks.
Vicente del Bosque has been surprised by the omission of Lionel Messi from the final three of the Ballon d’Or. He said: “I am very surprised that Messi isn’t there. I think it loses all value if he is not leading the best players in the world. It is, at the very least, a little strange.”
Eric Abidal has fallen in love with Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele who has emerged as a possible option if the club miss out on Frenkie de Jong. Ndombele has been likened to Paul Pogba and Ramon Planes scouted him in Lyon’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City. Abidal has a good relationship with Lyon and has apparently “reserved” the midfielder.