Euro Paper Talk: Burnley striker Ashley Barnes set for Austria call-up
By Tom Bodell, Football Whispers
Last Updated: 02/03/18 11:10am
Our friends at Football Whispers have scoured the continental media to bring you Friday's headline news from across Europe.
Burnley striker Ashley Barnes is in line for a shock recall to the Austria setup, 11 years after winning a cap for their U20s. The 28-year-old forward qualifies through an Austrian grandparent and, according to reports, coach Franco Foda is considering the Bath-born forward for inclusion. (Austria Press Agency)
Barcelona's slump continued with a 1-1 draw with Las Palmas on Thursday night. Leading through a Lionel Messi free-kick, the Catalans were pegged back when a penalty was given against Lucas Digne. Former West Ham forward Jonathan Calleri converted - the first time the Blaugrana have conceded a penalty in La Liga for two years. Barca now have a five-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid who they host on Sunday at the Nou Camp.
Coach Ernesto Valverde was critical of the penalty award afterwards, saying: "We don't know what the referee blew for during that play. We hope his decision will become a little clearer when we see a replay. It was an invisible penalty." (AS)
Ivan Rakitic has asked Barcelona for clarification on his role ahead of next season. The Croatian, 30, could be phased out by the arrival of Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann. If, as expected, the French forward moves to the Camp Nou this summer then January signing Philippe Coutinho will be pushed back into midfield. Rakitic has already been subject of Manchester United transfer rumours. (Diario Gol)
Bayern Munich director Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has confirmed Die Roten will look at signing on-loan Real Madrid star James Rodriguez permanently this summer. The Colombian is on loan for two seasons but Bayern have the opportunity to sign Rodriguez for €42m. "That is not a small amount although we see in the market that there are some exorbitant figures," Rummenigge said. (Marca)
Liverpool look set to raid Southampton once more this summer with Gabonese midfielder Mario Lemina emerging as a Liverpool transfer target. The 24-year-old moved to St Mary's from Juventus last summer and has impressed in a miserable season for the South Coast side. (L'Equipe)
The future of Juventus legend and captain Gianluigi Buffon is still not decided with his agent, Silvano Martina, claiming he could continue playing for another two years. The 40-year-old keeper has long declared this will be his final season. But after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup he may prolong his career. "It's still early, time will tell how he feels. It must be him, and only him to decide," Martina said. "If he continues it's because he wants to be the protagonist. He can still play for another two years but he must have that fire inside that makes you move forward." (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Buffon's heir for Italy, Gianluigi Donnarumma, has been told by agent Mino Raiola that he should have left Milan last summer. The 18-year-old was a Real Madrid transfer target but eventually signed a new deal with his boyhood club. "Gigio has made a choice, to stay at Milan, and I respect him," said Raiola. "If it were for me Gigio should leave Milan." (RAI)
In the same interview, Raiola also revealed he has previously spoken to Juventus, Inter, Napoli and Roma about another client, Mario Balotelli, who he believes is still Italy's best forward. "Mario is still today the best Italian striker and among the top ten in the world," he said of the current Nice forward who has 20 goals in all competitions this season. (RAI)
Barcelona transfer target Milan Skriniar says he is aware of the Catalans' interest but insists he wants to remain with Internazionale. "When I arrived here it was said that my price was exaggerated, now I see figures turn higher, I hear the voices, I read Barcelona and other clubs," Skriniar said. "But I am concentrating only on my next commitments. I love this shirt and I'm very happy in Milan." (Gazzetta dello Sport)
On-loan Borussia Dortmund striker Michy Batshuayi has refused to get drawn into speculation about whether he will join BVB permanently from Chelsea this summer. "At the moment I'm only thinking about football, not about the future," the Belgian said. "I feel like I'm part of a big family. Everyone understands each other well and that is perfect for me." (Funke Mediengruppe)
Former Dortmund boss Ottmar Hitzfeld has revealed he turned down the chance to return to the Westfalenstadion when Peter Bosz was sacked in December. "I decided that I did not want to be active as a coach anymore - not even for eight months and not for three months," the 69-year-old explained. Ex-Cologne coach Peter Stoger got the role instead and has restored Dortmund to second in the Bundesliga. (Sportbuzzer)
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