Inside Spain: Real Madrid’s fairytale, Barcelona’s fury and Liverpool man head to La Liga?

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Inside Spain is a weekly instalment brought to you by Football España, providing an insight into all of the major stories coming out of the rich and intense climes of La Liga and beyond.

If you hadn’t seen it happen a number of times before with Real Madrid before you would have said it was scripted. Former Stoke City forward Joselu Mato, whose surname literally means ‘I kill’ in Spanish, was the killer in the box for Los Blancos against Bayern Munich, and two years after attending the Champions League final as a fan, will be playing in it.

Not many Spain players make their debuts at 33 years of age, and fewer still string back-to-back relegations together only to follow it up with a La Liga title and a Champions League final, but nonetheless, there is Joselu. It was another night of ecstasy for Real Madrid, just four days after securing a 36th La Liga title, with perhaps only one cause for concern – an image of Toni Kroos.

They secured that title due to a 4-2 Girona win over Barcelona, which leaves the latter third and once again in turmoil after Xavi Hernandez’s U-turn to stay at the club. At the time it was reported that not everyone was on board with his continuing, and Sporting Director Deco has history with Xavi, who he was furious with after that defeat.

Brazilian starlet Vitor Roque is unlikely to be thrilled by the news, having played just 310 minutes since arriving in January. His agent Andre Cury set the cat amongst the pigeons on Sunday night, declaring that he would either play more or be transferred, four months after Barcelona spent €30m plus €31m in variables on him.

There had been some suggestion he would leave on loan, which was what triggered the outburst. Cury, who has a good relationship with Manchester United, one of the clubs alongside Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur who have enquired about him, said it would only be a permanent exit.

They did seal a new contract for 17-year-old starlet Pau Cubarsi, the one positive note of another hard week in Catalonia. Deco also met with the agent of Aston Villa target Alex Baena this week – Villarreal are supposedly willing to do business for €30-40m.

Real Sociedad goalkeeper Alex Remiro has been linked to Manchester United too, but there appears to be little basis in that. You may also have seen Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez linked to Barcelona, after erasing the Reds from his Instagram – he would happily join Barcelona this summer, but it remains a hypothetical at this point.


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