Villarreal loan Cheryshev to Valencia

Valencia have made more headway in the transfer market after bringing in Denis Cheryshev on a season-long loan from La Liga rivals Villarreal.

The 27-year-old winger returns to the Mestalla for a second spell, having spent the second half of the 2015/16 campaign on loan there from Real Madrid.

Cheryshev eventually parted ways with Los Blancos in 2016 when he joined the Yellow Submarine on a permanent basis following an earlier loan stint at La Ceramica two years prior.

The Russia international, who scored four goals at the 2018 World Cup to help the host nation reach the quarter-finals, accepted an offer from Los Che in the hope of getting more game time, after making just nine league starts for Javier Calleja's side last term.

Cheryshev is the third new addition to Marcelino's squad in less than a week, with Michy Batshuayi and Kevin Gameiro having also arrived ahead of the new season which kicks off this weekend.

Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid

Local rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will have a chance for some early-season silverware when they clash in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday night.

The Super Cup is contested every year between the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League. Real clinched Europe's biggest club prize last season, while their neighbours won the latter competition.

Los Blancos have a new man at the helm in former Spain head coach Julen Lopetegui, who replaced Zinedine Zidane following his exit shortly after leading his side to a third consecutive Champions League title.

This will be Real's first competitive fixture of the season and Lopetegui will no doubt be hoping to get one over Atleti before La Liga gets underway on Sunday, when Real face Getafe at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Asked about Gareth Bale and his importance to the team, Lopetegui told reporters: "The Bale we have now is committed, content, wanting to have a great season. He is training very well, happy, and we are so happy with him. This has only just begun."

Meanwhile, Atleti manager Diego Simeone will be aiming to lay down a marker by causing an upset. The Argentine has a respectable record against Real, winning eight, drawing eight, and losing 10.

Simeone has bolstered his squad in the transfer market by bringing in the likes of Thomas Lemar, Rodri, Nikola Kalinic and Santiago Arias. He will be hoping they can help Atletico challenge for trophies both domestically and in Europe this term, starting with the Super Cup.

"We have a new group, with many players who have just arrived and need to adapt," he told the press. "That will take time. It is not enough to just have good individuals, you need to form a team, and we still have to see that.

"Lemar is bit by bit picking up what the team needs. You see his dynamism, explosiveness, his talent which the team needs."

Real have won the Super Cup three out of the last four years, while Atletico claimed the silverware in 2010 and 2012.

Real expect to have Luka Modric back in the starting lineup after he came off the bench in their last pre-season friendly against Milan. Keylor Navas should start in goal, ahead of new signing Thibaut Courtois.

Atleti should be able to field a full-strength side, with only Antoine Griezmann missing their final pre-season outing. The Frenchman is also expected to return to the starting XI.

Gameiro finally gets Valencia wish

Kevin Gameiro has been unveiled by Valencia after they acquired his signature on a three-year contract from La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid.

The 31-year-old striker enjoyed a productive first season in the Spanish capital following his switch from Sevilla in 2016, registering 12 goals and five assists in 31 league appearances for Los Colchoneros.

But the return of Diego Costa in January led to fewer opportunities for Gameiro, who managed just 18 starts in all competitions last term, and he has now opted to move on after the Europa League champions brought in Gelson Martins, Nikola Kalinic and Thomas Lemar during the off-season.

Diego Simeone's side get their domestic campaign underway against Los Che on Monday, and the France international is keen to face his former employers.

Asked whether he would be fit to make his debut at the Mestalla next week, Gameiro told the media at his presentation: "Perhaps.

"I have a little time left to get there [in terms of fitness]. I have a week to be here and prepare for the game."

The Strasbourg youth product revealed that his wish has finally come to pass having been denied the chance to join Valencia earlier in his career.

"It was not easy, but as the president has said, it has long been clear in my head [that he wanted to join Valencia]. Now I'm here and I'm very happy," Gameiro added.

"A long time ago I wanted to come here, but because of club problems it couldn't be. Then there was no option and I went somewhere else.

"The coach [Marcelino] told me that he wanted to work with me for a long time. When the coach tells you that, it gives you a lot of confidence to come. I will work hard to try to do many great things here."

Arnaiz leaves Barcelona for Leganes

Winger Jose Arnaiz has left Barcelona for Leganes in a deal worth five million Euros plus an extra 500 000 in variables.

The 23-year-old featured prominently in Barca's run to Copa del Rey glory last season, but could not force himself into Ernesto Valverde's side on a regular basis otherwise.

Nevertheless, the Catalans have retained a buy-back option for the youngster, who joined them from Real Valladolid a year ago.

Arnaiz's frustrating 2017/18 season ended early as he picked up a pelvic injury at the beginning of this year.

He will be hoping to feature more prominently for Leganes and help them improve on last season's 17th-place finish in the league.

Valverde: Nobody can replace Iniesta

Amid reports that Barcelona are looking to bolster their midfield, head coach Ernesto Valverde has admitted he does not believe the club can replace Andres Iniesta.

The Barca youth product departed for Vissel Kobe at the end of last season after 22 years at Camp Nou, with Brazilian midfielder Paulinho also leaving on a one-year loan to Guangzhou Evergrande.

Although Arthur has been brought in from Gremio and Arturo Vidal from Bayern Munich, as well as Clement Lenglet and Malcom elsewhere on the park, the Blaugrana are still reportedly considering more signings - of which Paul Pogba is rumoured to be one.

"We are never going to find another Andres Iniesta, that's impossible because there is only one and he is in Japan," Valverde was quoted as saying by Goal.

"I don't think about signings. I think about my team and preparing for the next match. That's my plan, although everything is up in the air until the window closes."

Meanwhile, Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu remained coy on the possibility of signing Pogba, saying: "I won't speak of any names, we have respect for all clubs and there are 20 days left.

"We'll see which players come out. We're focused on the league, so it's best to ask [Eric] Abidal, [Ramon] Planes or Pep Segura about players. There's still time to do business."

Having beaten Sevilla 2-1 in the Spanish Supercup on Sunday, Valverde's side will face Boca Juniors in a friendly on Wednesday. Afterwards, they will turn their attention to La Liga, which they kick off against Alaves on August 18.

Dembele earns praise after Cup stunner

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde hailed forward Ousmane Dembele after his superb strike helped the Catalan giants lift the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla.

The Spanish champions had to come from an early deficit after Pablo Sarabia scored on nine minutes, but managed to level proceedings just before the break when Gerard Pique fired home after a Lionel Messi free-kick had cannoned off the foot of the post.

Dembele then smashed a right-footed screamer into the net off the underside of the bar with 12 minutes remaining to give Barcelona a 2-1 victory, a performance that left Valverde full of praise.

"We need a bit of shooting practice, but we are happy because in spite of everything, we have beaten a great rival," Valverde told the Barca website.

"We fell behind and that cost us, but we got better as the game went on.

"He (Dembele) is a player with great qualities and today has left us with something to be happy about in a difficult match."

Arthur takes over Iniesta's jersey

Barcelona's new signing, Arthur Melo, has taken over club legend Andres Iniesta's number eight jersey.

Iniesta departed for Vissel Kobe in the off-season after 22 years at Camp Nou. However, Barca didn't hesitate to offer his jersey to their new highly-rated youngster.

Arthur, who has only just joined the Blaugrana from Gremio, turned heads by impressing in the Copa Libertadores. He has big boots to fill as he attempts to plug the gap left by Iniesta, but by handing him the icon's jersey, the club has symbolically signalled its confidence in him.

Barca will play Sevilla in the Supercopa de Espana on Sunday night, with kick-off scheduled for 20h00 GMT.

Having scored a magnificent long-range strike against Tottenham Hotspur in his pre-season debut, Arthur has been called up for the match along with fellow new signings Malcom, Arturo Vidal and Clement Lenglet, as well as loan returnee Rafinha.

Malcom will wear the number 14 jersey, Vidal 22, Lenglet 15 and Rafinha 12. Meanwhile, Thomas Vermaelen will wear number 24, having been in the number 25 jersey last season.

Spalletti not expecting Modric signature

Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti has admitted that he is expecting Luka Modric to stay at Real Madrid despite his club's best efforts.

Nevertheless, the former Roma boss has claimed that Modric's interest in San Siro is a positive sign for Nerazzurri, who are gearing up for their first Champions League campaign since 2011/12.

"The fact that he has interest in us is a great sign for our project," Spalletti told Sky Sport Italia.

"It's not easy to get these type of players. He may not come but our directors still did a great job, so let's see.

"I don't think he will come, because Real Madrid still want to count on him. We're a strong side. If Modric were to join us, we'd be very strong."

Modric was named Player of the Tournament at the recently completed World Cup in Russia, in which he inspired Croatia's run to the final, where they lost 4-2 to France.

Real Madrid, who have won the last three UEFA Champions League titles, have already lost Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus during this transfer window and are apparently unwilling to let another star player move to Serie A.

Messi named new Barcelona captain

Lionel Messi has been named Barcelona’s new captain after taking the armband from the departed Andres Iniesta.

Messi - who is already the Argentina skipper - led Barcelona on several occasions last season after holding the role of vice-captain since 2015.

But the 31-year-old will now lead out the Catalans on a permanent basis, following Iniesta’s move to Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe during the summer.

Sergio Busquets will succeed Messi as the club’s vice-captain, while Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto complete a four-man leadership team. All four players have come through Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy.

Messi will have a chance to lift his first trophy as Barcelona captain on Sunday, when Ernesto Valverde’s side face Sevilla in the Spanish Supercopa.

Allegri: Rejecting Real was the right decision

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri says he rejected the chance to take over at Real Madrid due to the respect he has for the Serie A champions.

Allegri was linked with a move to Los Merengues towards the end of last season, following Zinedine Zidane's departure, but he turned down the opportunity and Julen Lopetegui was appointed instead.

The 50-year-old manager admits he felt honoured to be considered for the job in Madrid, but has also made it clear that he has no regrets about the decision.

Speaking to Stile Mese magazine, Allegri said: "I said 'no' to Real Madrid because I made a commitment with the president.

"Therefore, my maximum respect for Juventus and given word were why I rejected the call of Real Madrid, the biggest club in the world and the dream for every coach.

"I'd be a hypocrite if I said I wasn't honoured by their consideration, but I'm absolutely convinced that I made the right decision.

"Am I a 'bandiera' like Buffon or Del Piero? I absolutely don't want to be equated with them because they're players who wrote Juventus' history, whereas I've only been here for four years."

Allegri has won four consecutive Serie A titles with the Old Lady after taking over from former Juve boss Antonio Conte.

Sevilla v Barcelona

Copa del Rey winners Sevilla and La Liga champions Barcelona have the chance to win the first silverware of the season when they meet in the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday in Morocco.

Sevilla come into the contest in solid form having seen off Hungaria's Ujpest FC 7-1 in the second qualifying round of the Europa League. In addition, they hold a 1-0 advantage in the first leg of the third qualifying round against Lithuania's FK Zalgiris

However, the outfit from the autonomous community of Andalusia were clobbered 5-0 the last time they met Barca, and seemingly will be the underdogs in Morocco.

Nonetheless, manager Pablo Machin is hopeful his side can compete. He said: "The moment is what it is, the supercopa is always played in the preseason and we have to compete in the best way against one of the best teams in the world."

Meanwhile, Blaugrana lost their last two matches coming into the clash in the International Champions Cup to Barcelona and AC Milan. With that said, pre-season form is hardly ever a gauge of the campaign to come especially now that the Spanish champions are at full strength after the return of their World Cup contingent.

As such, Ernesto Valverde says his side have plenty of options and believes new signings such as Arturo Vidal from Bayern Munich can have an impact. Clement Lenglet, Malcom and Arthur are some other new faces in the squad.

He told reporters: "He has a lot of presence on the field and I think that will be very good for us. He's a warrior. Our team has space for many different types of players."

Sevilla's new signings such as Aleix Vidal, Roque Mesa, Ibrahim Amadou and Tomas Vaclik could feature in the encounter, following their arrival in the transfer window.

For Barca, the match marks the first official game since the departure of the legendary Andres Iniesta. Meanwhile, Valverde virtually has a full strength squad available with the return of his World Cup stars. Yet, Ivan Rakitic and Lenglet are doubts.

Brighton sign Montoya from Valencia

Brighton & Hove Albion have announced the capture of Martin Montoya from Valencia.

The 27-year-old right-back joins the Premier League club for undisclosed terms.

A former Barcelona, who has also spent time on loan at Inter Milan and Real Betis, Montoya has agreed a four-year contract with the Seagulls.

Following the completion of the deal, manager Chris Hughton said: "Martin’s pedigree is excellent, and I’m delighted we have been able to add a player of his standing to our squad. There is no doubt he will improve our options in the right-back position.

"He’s won several domestic and European honours in Spain, and played the majority of his career in the top level of La Liga. He has a wealth of experience, at 27 years old he is a very good age, and I’m now looking forward to working with him."

In two seasons with Valencia, Montoya made 54 appearances.

He is the club's third deadline day signing after midfielder Peter Gwargis joined from Jonkopings Sodra IF while Dan Burn moved from Wigan.

Everton sign Mina and Gomes

Everton have reached an agreement with Barcelona for the signing of Yerry Mina as well as Andre Gomes on loan.

The Spanish club revealed the news on their official website while the Toffees also unveiled the signing of Brazilian Bernard.

A Barca statement read: "FC Barcelona and Everton FC have reached an agreement over the transfer of the player Yerry Mina.

"The English club will pay FC Barcelona 30.25 million euros plus 1.5 million euros in variables. The Club reserves the right to buy back the player.

"FC Barcelona would like to publicly express their thanks to Yerry Mina for his commitment and dedication and wishes him all the best for the future."

A second statement said: "The English club will pay FC Barcelona 2.25 million euros for the season long loan and will also pay the player’s wages.
FC Barcelona and Everton FC have reached an agreement over the loan of the player Andre Gomes for the 2018/19 season

"The English club will pay FC Barcelona 2.25 million euros for the season long loan and will also pay the player’s wages."

Mina is a 23-year-old Colombian international who has also played for Deportivo Pasto, Santa Fe and Palmeiras.

Gomes, 25, who has 29 caps for Portugal, is a former Benfica and Valencia midfielder.

Atletico snap up Kalinic

Atletico Madrid have delighted in announcing the capture of Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic.

The 30-year-old former Hajduk Split frontman joins the Primera Division club after a season on loan with AC Milan from Fiorentina, who he signed for in 2015.

The 41-capped international was notoriously sent home from the Russia World Cup after refusing to come on as a substitute for his country.

But Atletico are excited to welcome the ex Blackburn Rovers and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk goalscorer for a reported €15million.

A club statement read: "Atletico de Madrid and AC Milan have reached an agreement over the transfer of 30-year-old striker Nikola Kalinic. The Croat will join our club on a three-year deal.

"With a great aerial presence (1,87 metres tall), Kalinic is a force to be reckoned with in set pieces and aerial plays. He's also good at holding up the ball and is great at shooting from a distance.

"Welcome to Atletico, Nikola!"

Kalinic scored six goals in 31 appearances for the Rossoneri last season and joins fellow new recruit Thomas Lemar at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Courtois seals 'dream' move to Los Blancos

Former Atletico Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois says he has 'realised a dream' by joining Real Madrid on a six-year contract from Chelsea.

The Belgium international spent three years on loan with Los Blancos' city rivals at the start of his Blues career, winning La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Europa League.

Courtois was brought into the first team at Stamford Bridge in 2014 and helped the west Londoners to the Premier League and EFL Cup double in his first season.

However, the 26-year-old had long expressed a desire to move back to the Spanish capital, where his family continue to live, and was heavily linked with a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu since the start of this year.

The way was paved for him to sign for Real after the FA Cup champions brought in Kepa from Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.

"Today I am realising a dream. This is the best club in the world," Courtois told the media at his unveiling after completing a medical on Thursday.

"Since childhood I dreamed that this moment could happen. Today I'm one of you. I'm a more Madrid. Hala Madrid."

The Genk youth product made 154 appearances in all competitions for the Blues during a four-year spell, winning four major trophies.

Kovacic moves to Chelsea on loan

New Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has bolstered his midfield options with the capture of Mateo Kovacic on a season-long loan from Real Madrid.

The Croatia international, who helped his country reach the 2018 World Cup final, moves to Stamford Bridge after failing to establish himself at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Kovacic made just 21 starts in all competitions under former Real manager Zinedine Zidane last term, although Julen Lopetegui had hoped to make use of him in the new campaign.

However, the 24-year-old midfielder has decided to take up a fresh challenge in yet another country, after spells in the Croatian, Italian and Spanish top flights.

His arrival in west London comes one day after the FA Cup champions signed Kepa from Athletic Bilbao in a world-record transfer for a goalkeeper, which saw Thibaut Courtois join Kovacic's parent club.

"I am really happy and excited to be here at Chelsea," he told the Premier League club's official website. "It is an amazing feeling. I will try to do my best for this club.

"It is a new league for me, the beginning is always tough but I am sure the coach and my new team-mates will help me and I am looking forward to a great season."

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia added: "We are very happy to welcome Mateo to the Chelsea family. He is a perfect fit for us this season, his style is well suited to how Maurizio wants to play and we are sure he will prove to be a valuable asset for the club."

Navas will fight for his place at Real

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas insists he is not considering a move away from the Spanish giants despite the arrival of Chelsea star Thibaut Courtois.

Los Merengues have reached an agreement with Chelsea regarding the permanent transfer of Courtois, who is expected to become Real's number one goalkeeper after signing a six-year contract.

However, Navas remains adamant that he will continue fighting for his place at the Santiago Bernabeu no matter what happens.

"Of course, and I say this with force, I have the same desire to leave than I have to die," Navas told the Onda Cero programme.

The 31-year-old has been at Real since 2014 and has since helped the club win three UEFA Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cups, a La Liga and Supercopa de Espana title.

Chelsea sign Kepa, Courtois off to Madrid

Chelsea have signed goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao for a world record £71.6m on a seven-year deal.

The 23-year-old Spain international was brought in to replace Thibaut Courtois, who will complete his move to Real Madrid on Thursday after completing a medical.

Kepa's release clause was activated earlier on Wednesday, the huge sum topping the £67 million Liverpool paid for Alisson Becker just last month.

He will join up with his new team-mates on Thursday, and is available to play against Huddersfield in the Premier League on Saturday.

"It's a very important decision for me, for my career, and also for my personal life," Kepa told the club website.

"So many things attracted me to the club, all the titles the club has won, the other players, the city, the English Premier League. It's an accumulation of things, and I am very glad Chelsea has decided to trust me and to take me in as well."

Kepa made 30 league appearances for Bilbao last season, keeping seven clean sheets in the process. He was also a member of Spain's World Cup squad.

Meanwhile, the Stamford Bridge club confirmed that a deal had been reached with Madrid over Courtois.

The Belgian international will put pen to paper on a six-year contract at the Bernabeu once he has passed a medical.

Croatia international midfielder Mateo Kovacic will join Chelsea on a one-year loan deal as part of the transfer.

"Chelsea and Real Madrid have tonight agreed terms for the permanent transfer of Thibaut Courtois subject to the agreement of personal terms and passing a medical,” Chelsea said in a statement.

"Subject to the completion of the deal Mateo Kovacic will join the Blues on a season-long loan," it added.

 

Report: Kalinic leaves Milan to sign for Atletico

La Liga giants Atletico Madrid have snapped up Milan striker Nikola Kalinic in a deal reportedly worth around 15 million euros.

The Croatia international passed his medical on Tuesday and, according to Sky Italy, has now signed a contract with Los Colchoneros.

The 30-year-old striker will join fellow Atleti newboys Thomas Lemar and Rodri at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Kalinic is a product of Hajduk Split's youth system and has had spells at Blackburn, Dnipro and Fiorentina during his career.

Kalinic joined Milan on loan from La Viola in August last year, in a deal that included an obligation to buy, and signed a four-year contract with the Rossoneri but has already parted ways again.

Bilbao: Kepa release clause has been met

Kepa Arrizabalaga is closing in on a big-money move to Chelsea after Athletic Bilbao announced that the goalkeeper's release clause has been triggered.

The 23-year-old had penned a contract extension through to 2025 as recently as January at San Mames, but emerged as a target for the Blues amid the uncertainty over Thibaut Courtois' future.

Courtois has been heavily linked with Real Madrid and failed to report for training on Monday and Tuesday, fuelling speculation over a return to the Spanish capital for the former Atletico Madrid shot-stopper.

Meanwhile, reports in Spain claimed that Kepa's agent and lawyers arrived at LaLiga's offices to pay his €80 million release clause, which was subsequently confirmed by Bilbao in a statement.

"The Professional Football League has certified to our entity that the player Kepa Arrizabalaga has met the requirements for the valid unilateral termination of the work contract that linked him to Athletic Club," read the statement from the Basque outfit.

"The aforementioned certification indicates that the player has expressed his desire to terminate and unilaterally resolve the relationship that joined him since the 2004/05 season and that the amount of the compensation established in the contract has been deposited.

"Athletic thanks the player for his contribution during the time he has remained in our club."

Los Leones made no mention of the west London giants, but Kepa is expected to become the world's most expensive keeper when he joins Maurizio Sarri's side.