Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele are both back in the Barcelona squad to face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. The duo have passed fitness tests and are available to play at San Mames where a win would send Barca eight points clear.
New Barcelona signing Emerson says he’s looking forward to playing with Lionel Messi. The defender is on loan with Real Betis to the end of the season but is already thinking about Barca. He said: “Until now I imagined that it was something not real but now I’m thinking about playing with Messi. For me he’s a fantastic player, one of the best in the world. It’s something incredible and now I will try to enjoy the big opportunity I’m getting.”
Ernesto Valverde was not too bothered about the result of the Madrid derby on Saturday and says he’s focusing on his team instead. He explained: “The influence that we have on the Madrid derby is zero so what I want is for us to win our game, Any match at San Mames is difficult and this one will be even more so because we know how tough Athletic will make it.”
Sergio Ramos reckons Real Madrid can catch Barcelona in the title race after beating Atletico Madrid. He said: “The league is still to be contested. There are many points in play and any team can complicate your life as it was seen in the first round [of games]. We have that hope and we will fight for the league and make it difficult for Barcelona even though they have a very important lead.”
Premier League clubs are wary of trying to sign Matthijs de Ligt due to his agent Mino Raiola. English teams are “reluctant” to do business with the agent who has proven himself difficult to deal with in past transfers.