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Barcelona hamstrung by terrible transfer window planning

Sid Lowe delivers the latest on Barca's transfer targets, Messi's unsigned contract extension and players siding with Neymar.

Barcelona were in need of a pick-me-up after being beaten by Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup and Pep Segura supplied it. Or he tried to.

The newly-promoted general manager said, immediately after the final whistle at the Santiago Bernabeu, that the club were "close" to completing deals for Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele and Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho. So close, in fact, that one week has passed and there's been no progression on the signing front.

If anything, things have regressed....

 By Rob Train

Underappreciated Karim Benzema a model of consistency for Real Madrid

The FC boys talk what the potential signing of Kylian Mbappe would mean for Karim Benzema.
The FC crew discuss how Mbappe's potential move to Real would affect reported Man United target Gareth Bale's future.
Zinedine Zidane avoided journalists questions about a move for Monaco's Kylian Mbappe.

In a summer of transfer activity fueled by the billions in television revenue flowing through the European market, Leicester City signed 20-year-old Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho for £25 million.

The Nigeria international had 64 career senior appearances under his belt and had scored 21 goals, at a phenomenal per-minute rate, which was seen by the Foxes as sufficient promise to part with a fee that fell just shy of the club record £27m forked out a year earlier for Islam...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Neymar reunites with old Barcelona friends Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez

MSN are reunited and troll Barca's Pique and a unique FIFA setup headline this edition of The Sweeper.

Barcelona fans worried they would never see their famous MSN attack again were given a treat on Tuesday as Lionel Messi posted a picture on Instagram alongside Luis Suarez and Neymar.

The post, which came on the afternoon that Barca announced they were suing Neymar for breach of contract, was soon followed by three from the Paris Saint-Germain man himself.

The image was captioned "Volvio," which translates as "He's back."

Volvió @3gerardpique 😂😂😂

A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi) on

The Brazilian was pictured alongside former teammates Ivan Rakitic, Douglas,...

From Ronaldo to Ramos and beyond, red card frenzy has gripped La Liga

The ESPN FC crew evaluate Sergio Ramos' behaviour after he tied La Liga's all-time record with his 18th red card.
The ESPN FC crew flip the script and examine the possible benefits of Cristiano Ronaldo's five-game ban for Real Madrid.

You may have noticed a tremendous outbreak of indefensible stupidity in Spanish football over the last few days, which centres upon two intertwining trends: Refereeing mistakes and wholly unnecessary red cards.

There have been stories aplenty about clubs appealing officials' decisions and an outright lack of condemnation from the coaches toward the players who let them down and the hard fact is that it is time to put the microscope on the footballers in question, not the fallible referees.

It all...

Zinedine Zidane has Real Madrid's formula working to perfection

Real Madrid cruised to three points in their opening La Liga fixture of the season, as a Ronaldo-less Madrid still netted three.
Real Madrid cruised to three points in their opening La Liga fixture of the season, as a Ronaldo-less Madrid still netted three.
The guys respond to your tweets about Manchester City, possible Liverpool purchases and Real Madrid's dominance.
Real Madrid opened their La Liga campaign in comfortable fashion, winning 3-0 away to Deportivo, despite Sergio Ramos' late red card.

In Sunday's away 3-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna, Real Madrid's defensive midfielder Casemiro scored. This type of event stopped being news at some point last season, as the industrious Brazilian progressively has added a remarkable offensive effectiveness to his well-regarded defensive skills.

The most outstanding aspect of Casemiro's goal is that it happened after his team put together a string of 44 consecutive passes. The whole squad participated, moving the ball for almost two full minutes...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar hits out at Barcelona board

The FC panel discuss Neymar's criticism of the Barcelona board and Barca's win over Real Betis in their La Liga opener.

Monday's latest stories from the world of football in ESPN FC's What's Trending...

BARCELONA: Neymar has slammed Barcelona's directors, telling reporters the club "deserve much better."

- Barcelona maintain that Lionel Messi will sign his contract extension despite Joan Laporta's suggestion he could leave if president Josep Maria Bartomeu is not removed from his position.

- The Mirror reports that Messi's representatives have met with Manchester City and he is seriously considering an exit....