Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 14th 2015 Contents A55
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Barcelona coach Luis Enrique
refused to reveal whether UEFA
Super Cup match-winner Pedro
would be involved in the Spanish
Supercopa against Athletic Bil-
bao as speculation continues
over the Spain international s
Pedro climbed off the bench
on Tuesday night to net a dra-
matic extra-time winner as Barca
beat Sevilla 5-4 in Tbilisi to clinch
the Super Cup and lift their fourth
trophy of what could be a record-
However, it remains to be seen
if that might be the last time the
28-year-old will be seen in Blau-
grana colours as speculation con-
tinues to link him with a move
to Manchester United.
Pedro was forced to deny com-
ments from Barca technical sec-
retary Robert Fernandez on Tues-
day claiming the winger wanted
to leave the treble-winners, but
he also admitted his situation at
the Nou Camp was complicated
as he wants more playing time.
The Canary Islander was again
a hot topic for Enrique ahead of
Friday s Supercopa first leg against
Athletic at San Mames, but the
Barca boss was again giving little
away about the player s possible
He told a press conference
regarding Pedro s availability:
"Pedro is like the rest of his team-
mates. I do not make decisions
based on the transfer market.
"He did not play as a starter in
Tbilisi because he withdrew from
training a few days before. His
position is an unusual and difficult
one. His situation is a contradic-
tion because he wants to stay but
he always wants more minutes.
I ll continue to use the players I
deem best to face each particular
"I m looking forward to the end
of the transfer window for every-
thing to be decided."
He added: "We have expressed
our desire that he stay. It s a tricky
one but I see him in good form,
just as he has been all pre-season."
Barca s win over Sevilla saw
them add to the Champions
League, Primera Division and
Copa del Rey titles they won last
season and they will be looking
for trophy number five over the
coming days against Athletic.
Should Enrique s men see off
their Basque opponents in the
Supercopa then they would be
one piece of silverware---the Fifa
Club World Cup---away from
equalling the record set by Pep
Guardiola s side in 2009, when
they won all six trophies available
to them in a calendar year.
Barca have beaten Athletic in
each of their last four meetings,
including a 3-1 win in the Copa
del Rey final in May, but Enrique
is expecting it to be another tough
He said: "We didn t win the
cup comfortably, it was a difficult
final. Every time we have beat
them we have had to play well.
Over two legs I think we have the
edge but Athletic are always able
to trouble us."
Enrique says Andres Iniesta is
fit to feature for Barca, but Ath-
letic will be without Ander Itur-
raspe, Mikel Rico, Iker Muniain
and Inaki Williams.
The Basque side, who travel to
the Nou Camp for the second leg
on Monday, will be hoping to cap-
italise on any fatigue Barca might
be suffering after their midweek
exertions, but forward Markel
Susaeta knows they cannot bank
on any such advantage.
He said: "We cannot make the
mistake of thinking Barcelona will
be tired after the Super Cup.
"They are the best team in the
world and if we want to get a
good result we will have to be
play an almost perfect game."
Tottenham striker Roberto Sol-
dado appears to be imminent leav-
ing the club following a goodbye
message from team-mate Erik
Soldado, 30, has endured a torrid
time since moving to White Hart
Lane in 2013 and Sky sources
reported earlier this summer that
he was one of several players the
club had put up for sale.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino
recently insisted that the Spain
international was still in his plans,
but Soldado has also been pictured
on social media at Gatwick Airport
on Thursday and reports in Spain
believe he is set to join Villarreal.
Pochettino confirmed in his press
conference that the striker is in
Spain but refused to reveal any more
He said: "It is true the club have
given permission for him to go to
Spain, but the club will announce
if something happens."
Earlier, Lamela tweeted, before
deleting: "I enjoyed these two years
that we shared, I wish you well in
your new club. Good luck my
friend!" Soldado, who was prolific
in Spain for former club Valencia
for many years, was part of the
recruitment drive of 2013 that saw
Spurs spend over £110m on seven
players, before Gareth Bale moved
to Real Madrid.
But he has struggled, scoring just
seven Premier League goals in two
years and 16 in all competitions
Tottenham are also close to bring-
ing in a new striker in Lyon s 21-
year-old Clinton N Jie.
The French club s president con-
firmed on Wednesday that a deal
had been verbally agreed between
the two clubs.
Everton manager Roberto Mar-
tinez is adamant John Stones will
not be sold and insists Barnsley
defender Mason Holgate has not
been signed as a replacement.
England centre-back Stones has
been the subject of two failed bids
from Chelsea, the last worth £26 mil-
lion, but Jose Mourinho shows no
signs of giving up his pursuit while
Manchester United and Manchester
City have also been linked with the
But Martinez is determined to hang
on to one of his key players.
"I have said before the player is not
for sale and that is the end of it," he
said. "Our situation has been very
clear from the beginning. We are not
a selling club who will lose our best
"His performance at the weekend
was very strong and for a young man
to come up with that leadership is a
real sign of what he is as a footballer.
"He is very important player for us
and we are looking forward to seeing
the best of John over the next few
seasons, not just he next few weeks."
Holgate s arrival from Barnsley,
Stones former club, for a reported
initial £1 million fee has already seen
comparisons made with the England
international but Martinez was keen
to play those down.
"Mason, at 18, has already played
20 games in League 1 and that shows
the potential he has," he said.
"We seem to have agreed terms
with Barnsley and he will be a phe-
nomenal young prospect coming into
that golden generation we feel we have
at the club and he will be a good one
for the future.
"Mason is a completely different
type of player to John but in terms of
personality and character they are very
out Stones sale
Lamela tweets Soldado goodbye
Pedro..linked to Manchester United.
All eyes on Pedro
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