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Barcelona set to protect Ansu Fati with massive euro clause



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After Barcelona announce the contract renewal of Pedri, the Blaugrana hierarchy are working on a number of other extensions with Ansu Fati set to be given a one billion euro release clause in his new deal.

The move is a similar to that of Pedri who penned a deal until 2026 with a one billion euro release clause inserted. Meanwhile Ousmane Dembele, Ronald Araujo, Sergi Roberto and Gavi are all expected to received renewed contracts in the coming months.

Barcelona have been negotiating with Ansu Fati for some time, and although the talks are progressing well, no agreement has been reached between the two parties.

The Barcelona directors want to protect Ansu in the same way they have done with Pedri and insert a one billion euro release clause into his new deal. However, there are still other areas of the deal to be concluded such as the duration of the contract itself.

Another important issue is how Ansu will be paid as the club don’t have much room to spend on players due to the salary cap. And Barcelona can’t pay him a lower salary in the first year of the deal, then increase the salary over time as LaLiga don’t accept this method.

Laporta Barcelona

Read Also: PHOTOS: Chukwueze back in Villarreal training after injury layoff

As a result, both parties are looking for an imaginative solution to this issue.

One of Joan Laporta’s biggest aims is to ensue that there is a core group of players with a lot of potential that the club can build on, and will eventually go on to form the basis of the Barcelona first team.

Ansu Fati is one of those players, and is arguably the most important given he has been handed Lionel Messi’s No.10 shirt.

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Premier League open to regulator



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Premier League chief executive Richard Masters says the organisation are open to an independent regulator, but he labelled some parts of a fan-led review of football governance as “too radical”.

The British government commissioned the ground-breaking review, which this week recommended the creation of an Independent Regulator for English Football.

Additional support for English lower league teams via a “solidarity transfer levy” on deals between Premier League clubs or signings from overseas was also suggested.

While the report did not recommend the percentage, a 10 per cent tax was used as an example.

“We are open to an independent regulator and we want to discuss the detail of that with Government going forward,” Masters told BBC Sport.

“Government has backed it. I think to push back on the concept of an independent regulator at this moment in time would be wrong.

“But, as I said, there’s a whole package of things. It’s what the regulator is able to do and the power at its disposal that we need to talk about.”

Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow insisted there was a danger you risked “killing the golden goose if we overregulate a highly successful financial and commercial operation”.

And Masters added: “Well, I think that’s what we need to be careful of, the unintended consequences. I mean look across the 47 recommendations.

“The Premier League is a proud and significant contributor to the rest of football. We give away 15 per cent of our revenue already.

“Over the next three years, we’ve committed to government that we’ll invest over £1.6 billion into the football pyramid, into community and good causes. That’s a huge investment.

Read Also: Ndidi nets as Leicester win to keep Europa League hopes alive

“One of the ideas is a levy on transfer fees. It’s a radical idea. In reality, it is radical because there is a levy already.”

Masters hit back at the Football League’s request to be given 25 per cent of all pooled broadcast revenue.

“That would be a disaster. Value has to be retained where it is generated otherwise that value can’t be generated,” he said.

“Premier League clubs have to be able to attract the best players, talent and managers and create that incredible competitiveness.”

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La Liga: Xavi wants Barcelona to be more daring in attack



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Xavi Hernandez faces his first game on the road as Barcelona manager against Villarreal on Saturday and wants his team to be bolder and more audacious going forward.

Barca had another struggle in the Champions League in midweek when they again failed to score as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Benfica. They have scored two goals in five group stage games in Europe’s elite competition.

“I think we’re on the right path, but we need to win on Saturday,” Xavi told a news conference on Friday.

“I don’t think what is missing are goals. What we’re missing is to be more daring up front.”

In LaLiga, Barca are struggling down in seventh place with 20 points, 10 behind leaders Real Madrid.

“We are living a moment of urgency. We can’t afford to lose anymore, we have to win every game. And Villarreal is a direct rival in the standings, so it would be even more important,” Xavi said.

Europa League champions Villarreal are 12th on 16 points from 13 games and pressure is mounting on manager Unai Emery after they lost another game at home on Tuesday, a 2-0 defeat by Manchester United in the Champions League.

Read Also: Ndidi nets as Leicester win to keep Europa League hopes alive

Villarreal have won only one of their last six LaLiga games and the fans are still upset with how Emery handled Newcastle United’s interest in him earlier this season as he did not immediately dismiss the Premier League side before eventually issuing a statement saying he was staying in Spain.

“I think our team is playing good. We need to create a bond with our fans, create a clear identity and a style that make us feel strong, like winners. In LaLiga we are missing the results and we are working hard to get better.” Emery said.

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Sepp Blatter quizzed over Qatar 2022 World Cup vote



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Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been interviewed by French anti-corruption police investigating the controversial vote to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

Blatter, 85, was summoned to appear as a “witness” on Thursday and Friday, French police said, confirming a report in Le Monde newspaper.

The inquiry is being led by France’s OCLCIFF anti-corruption unit.

Part of its focus surrounds a 23 November 2009 dinner, nine days before the vote, at the Elysees Palace hosted by then French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Sitting around the table that night were Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who became emir of Qatar on his father Sheikh Hamad’s abdication in 2013, Qatar’s then prime minister Hamad bin Jassim al Thani, and Michel Platini, then head of Uefa.

Platini is suspected of having voted for Qatar at the request of Sarkozy, an allegation he denies.

The former French football great’s vote helped determine the result of 14 votes for Qatar against eight for the USA on 2 December in Zurich.

Platini was questioned by French police over the affair in 2019 without being charged.

He told a recent edition of Le Monde that he had made up his mind to vote for Qatar “very early” on and without any pressure from Sarkozy.

Investigators are also looking at a $300 million contract with a $100 million bonus for Fifa giving the television rights for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 one in Qatar to Qatari television station Al-Jazeera, if Qatar was awarded the tournament.

Blatter’s hearing was held at the Swiss Public Prosecutor’s office in Zurich and was part of the legal process into the Qatar vote opened by France’s National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF).

Read Also: Ndidi nets as Leicester win to keep Europa League hopes alive

Blatter was Fifa president between 1998 and 2015 when he was forced to stand down and banned from football for eight years, reduced later to six, over ethics breaches.

Qatar was the surprise choice over the apparent strong favourites, the United States.

As well as the French police probe, investigations into the 2022 bidding process are being conducted in the US and in Switzerland.

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