Atlético Madrid subtly hit back at the criticism regarding their aggresive playing style
(look at the different use of colours, lol)
Confusion over Suarez’s return date
As El Clasico draws nearer there is some confusion over when Luis Suarez’s four-month ban for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini expires.
The Uruguayan is due to return for Barcelona’s clash with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, yet a debate has persisted since last June over the exact date his punishment ends.
Marca reports that FIFA remains firm in its stance that October 26, this Sunday, is the date he will have served exactly four months, while the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which allowed Suarez to train and play in friendlies following an appeal, says it is October 25.
To avoid any problems it is understood that Barca have asked CAS to clarify the date his ban expired, although FIFA are aware the organisation has no power to set the date it ends.
However, world football’s governing body believe Suarez has been punished enough, meaning that in theory he would be free to play against Madrid.
Nonetheless, complications could arise as Barca may then be accused of fielding an ineligible player if Real Madrid or a third party make an official complaint.
Van Gaal offers Victor Valdes Manchester United opportunity to train with the club
The free agent, who has been sidelined since March, was in talks over a move to Liverpool but will now link up with his former Barcelona boss in a bid to regain fitness
Manchester United have offered Victor Valdes the opportunity to join up with the club and work his way back to fitness.
The goalkeeper has been out of action since March with an anterior cruciate ligament injury and is currently without a club following the expiry of his Barcelona contract in June.
A club statement read: "Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has offered the 32-year-old former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes a chance to complete his rehabilitation from a knee injury and to work his way back to fitness with the club."
"Valdes, a free agent, will have his recovery supervised by the United medical staff before training with the first team, as he bids to regain full fitness."
Goal understands there is little likelihood of Valdes earning a contractual arrangement at United at present, with David de Gea the undisputed No.1 choice and far too few matches forthcoming to justify signing another top-class goalkeeper.
Van Gaal and Valdes remain close after the Dutchman's time at Barcelona in the early part of the last decade, where he handed the Spain international his debut for the Catalans.
Real Madrid have been linked with interest in United's first-choice goalkeeper De Gea, but the player insisted earlier on Thursday that he has no intention of leaving the 13-time Premier League champions.
Monaco were long tipped as Valdes's next club, with injury preventing a summer switch before Liverpool began talks to bring him to Anfield and compete with under-fire Simon Mignolet.
However, Valdes's wage demands have seen a potential move stall and Fiorentina shot-stopper Neto edge up Brendan Rodgers's list of new candidates.
Mourinho comments on Costa's fitness
The Chelsea striker was admitted for treatment after returning from Spain duty with a bug although it remains to be seen if he will be fit in time to face Manchester United
Chelsea striker Diego Costa is out of hospital following a severe stomach illness.
The Spain striker was admitted this week for treatment after returning from international duty with the bug.
He is also still receiving care on a groin injury he sustained while playing for Spain in their 4-0 defeat of Luxembourg last week, during which he scored his first international goal for his adopted country.
The injury ruled him out of Chelsea's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace last weekend, with Costa also absent for the Blues' 6-0 Champions League win over Maribor in midweek.
It is as yet unclear whether he will be fit and available for selection for Chelsea's match against Manchester United on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho sarcastically greeted news of Costa's injured return from international duty, saying: "He will be in great condition in mid-November to be back for the national team. That's for sure."
"He will play for me when he has free time from the national team."
The Portuguese manager had previously expressed his concerns over Costa's selection for Spain, insisting the striker would benefit from treatment rather than more games.
He said: "After we beat Arsenal, Costa went to the national team, he played two big matches against Slovakia and Luxembourg, and he came back in conditions where he's not available to play for his club."
"Our medical department will take great care of him and in mid-November he will be in perfect condition."
Oh, Mou ... can't help but love your sassy self. ;) Regarding El Clasico, do you guys think Suarez will play/start??