The 2019/20 domestic campaign in Spain is now finally behind us and the players will have a breather before the return of the Champions League. The papers, however, are still busy relaying the updates and a poll from Sport reveals that as well as getting the Pichichi award, Lionel Messi is also the MVP of LaLiga.
Of course, this was just a poll between Sports readers, meaning that the majority of people voting are probably from Catalonia and could be slightly biased when making a decision.
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that 81% of the people think Messi is the MVP of LaLiga ahead of his closes rival in this race, Karim Benzema. The Frenchman has had a brilliant season but Leo is Leo and despite some crucial goals from the Real Madrid striker, the Argentine reigns supreme.
Mundo Deportivo, on the other hand, have published exclusive images of Barcelona players taking a holiday after a rather exhausting campaign. Quique Setién has given them six days of vacation and the papers call it ‘Oxygen for Champions League‘.
They think this break will do the team good and they will return much stronger and ready to face Napoli in August and then, hopefully, everything else that comes afterwards.
Koeman has ruled out the departure of Junior Firpo
According to a report published by SPORT, Ronald Koeman has ruled out any and all departures from the squad in the winter transfer window – barring Matheus Fernandes -, including that of Junior Firpo to AC Milan.
The report states that Barcelona are in a sketchy position and do not want to sell any players because signing replacements is getting increasingly tough. The signing of Eric Garcia remains scheduled for the summer when he will be signed on a free transfer, while Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum seem extremely unlikely.
Firpo was linked out of Barcelona, with both Italian capital clubs – Inter Milan and AC Milan tracking his progress in Spain. A loan move to Milan with a €20 million option to buy was looking extremely realistic. Still, without reinforcements in that position, Barcelona should not be letting the Spaniard leave in the winter.
The truth is, while Barcelona are in crippling debt, and desperately require players off their wage bill, selling low-earners like Firpo seemed like a bad idea. The plan was to let go of the former-Real Betis defender and hand Alejandro Balde his debut. However, at the age of 16, that is too much pressure to knight to a player.
That said, the club is still willing to listen to offers for Matheus Fernandes, who has been deemed surplus. The Brazilian joined from Palmeiras in what was termed yet another shady deal by the long-gone Josep Bartomeu. He has registered no more than 17 minutes this season, coming on against Dynamo Kyiv in the UEFA Champions League.
Matheus was not even given the chance to play against UE Cornella in the Copa del Rey and has spent 11 games on the bench this season following his lucky 17 minutes in the UCL. Deportivo Alaves are eyeing a loan move for the 22-year-old owing to their budget limitations, and Barcelona will be hoping to make this transfer a reality soon.