La Liga results: Zaza scores in Valencia win; Alaves beaten by Gabriel’s goal for Leganes

Leganes 1-0 Alaves

Valencia 1-0 Las Palmas

    • Valencia 1-0 Las Palmas
  • Simone Zaza was the match-winner as Valencia started their La Liga campaign with a 1-0 home victory over 10-man Las Palmas.

    The former Juventus and West Ham forward struck after 22 minutes when Carlos Soler rolled the ball into his path on the edge of the penalty area.

    Zaza finished with a powerful side-foot which gave Leandro Chichizola no chance in the visitors’ goal.

    Alen Halilovic should have equalised two minutes later but he fired tamely at Valencia goalkeeper Neto and it got a lot more difficult for Las Palmas when Croatian midfielder Halilovic was sent off after 34 minutes, receiving a straight red card for catching Jose Gaya with a high foot.

    Valencia’s impressive football should have put the game beyond Las Palmas in the second half, but Chichizola made excellent saves to deny Joao Cancelo and Zaza before substitute Santi Mina’s header hit a post in the final seconds.

    • Leganes 1-0 Alaves

    Gabriel’s close-range strike settled the first game of the new La Liga season for Leganes as they beat Alaves1-0.

    The Brazilian struck in the 24th minute after Miguel Angel Guerrero’s free-kick took a deflection and Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco could only push the ball into his path.

    In doing so, Gabriel became the first Brazilian since Atletico Madrid midfielder Juninho in 1997 to score the opening goal of a La Liga season.

    Alaves had wasted a great chance to take a 17th-minute lead when home defender Diego Rico flattened Burgui in the penalty area.

    Manu Garcia sent a weak spot-kick straight at Ivan Cuellar, who was able to catch the ball for his third successive penalty save in LaLiga.

    Few chances were created in the second half with Leganes content to defend their 1-0 lead, although Burgui gave them a late scare when his powerful 25-yard drive clipped the top of the crossbar.

    La Liga reject payment of Neymar’s buyout clause

    La Liga has rejected an attempt by lawyers for Barcelona forward Neymar to pay his buyout clause of 222m euros (£198m).

    The Brazilian, 25, is expected to signfor Paris St-Germain for a world record fee, after telling Barcelona he wanted to leave the club on Wednesday.

    Spanish media say La Liga officials believe PSG are violating Uefa’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

    Barcelona previously said they would report PSG to Uefa for a FFP breach.

    In Spain a player must buy himself out of his contract.

    This is done by depositing the amount of the buyout clause with La Liga – Spain’s equivalent of the Premier League – to release the player from his contract.

    The league then passes the money to the selling club.

    “We can confirm that the lawyers of the player have come to La Liga to deposit the clause and that it has been rejected,” La Liga told BBC Sport.

    FFP rules, first implemented during the 2011-12 season, stipulate that European clubs cannot outspend what they earn by more than 30m euros.

    PSG are backed by money from Gulf state Qatar and La Liga president Javier Tebas has accused the French club of “financial doping”.

    He told AS:

    “La Liga is positing that state-backed clubs that compete using ‘financial doping’ could destabilise professional football in Europe”.

    Neymar timeline

    April 2016- Rumours of a move away from the Nou Camp surface when Neymar’s agent Wagner Ribeiro says the Brazilian striker has a £154m release clause in his contract which expires in 2018, and would discuss a move to PSG if the French champions showed an interest.

    October 2016- Neymar signs a new five-year contract until 2021, increasing his release clause.

    May 2017- Rumours resurface again after Barcelona end a disappointing La Liga campaign and Neymar fails to win the Ballon d’Or.

    29 June 2017- Speculation intensifies over Neymar’s future as transfer window opens.

    17 July 2017– Reports emerge in the Spanish media suggesting PSG have met the player’s release clause.

    19 July 2017- Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu tells BBC Sport Neymar will not leave.

    20 July 2017– PSG coach Unai Emery tells French daily newspaper L’Equipe they needed a player of the calibre of Neymar to compete with the big clubs.

    21 July 2017- Neymar posts an Instagram picture of himself in thoughtful contemplation,sparking a fresh wave of speculation.

    23 July 2017– Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde shrugs off PSG reports, and tells reporters in New Jersey: “We want Neymar with us. We know his value on the pitch and what he brings to the locker room.”

    26 July 2017- Defender Gerard Pique posts a picture of himself and Neymar on Twitter with the caption ‘Se queda’ (‘He stays’). Pique later downplays the post, saying it was a “gut feeling” rather than a hard fact, but adds he hopes Neymar stays at Barcelona.

    29 July 2017- Barca striker Luis Suarez tells reporters in Miami: “As soon as he clarifies the situation it’s better for us and him. He will have his say when he is ready and as a team-mate I will support him. Our relationship won’t change. We want him to stay.”

    30 July 2017– Neymar’s Brazilian team-mate Dani Alves says he “hoped Neymar would join him at PSG” but insists he isn’t using his personal friendship to sway the Barcelona forward’s decision.

    31 July 2017- La Liga chairman Javier Tebas says he would file a complaint with Uefa for FFP breaches against PSG if any move is made for the player- “We will make a complaint to Uefa and if they don’t do anything we will take it to the competition tribunals in Switzerland and Brussels. And, from there, we don’t rule out going through the courts in France and Spain.”

    2 August 2017– Neymar is given permission by Barcelona to leave after telling the club he sees his future elsewhere.

    3 August 2017– La Liga rejects an attempt by Neymar’s lawyer’s to buy out his contract.

    Jesus Navas rejoins Sevilla from Manchester City

    Former Manchester City winger Jesus Navas has returned to Sevilla on a four-year deal, the LaLiga club have announced.

    The 31-year-old Spain international has signed contract until the summer of 2021 after being released by City at the end of last season.

    Sevilla announced the move after posting a video on YouTube of a man appearing to be ‘kidnapped’ by masked men, bundled into the boot of a car and then driven to the club’s ground, where Navas removed a hood and smiled at the surroundings.

    A statement on read: “Sevilla FC have reached an agreement with Jesus Navas, with the player signing a deal on Tuesday keeping him at the club for the next four seasons.”

    Navas joined City from Sevilla in 2013 and went on to make 183 appearances and helped the club to one Premier League title and two League Cups.

    He joined Sevilla as a 15-year-old and progressed to the first team, winning two UEFA Cups and two Copa del Reys.

    Navas suffered from homesickness earlier in his career that forced him to skip pre-season tours and turn down international call-ups.

    The winger took counselling to solve the problem and was able to be a part of Spain’s victorious World Cup squad in South Africa in 2010, before leaving Andalusia for Manchester three years later.

    Navas will be presented to Sevilla’s fans on Wednesday evening at Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.

    Middlesbrough midfielder  Christian Stuani joins LaLiga newcomer Girona 

    Middlesbrough midfielder Cristhian Stuani has joined LaLiga club Girona for an undisclosed fee.The 30-year-old, a Uruguay international, scored 16 goals in 66 appearances since arriving at Boro in 2015.

    Stuani, who links up with former team-mate Bernardo at Girona, played a big part in Boro winning promotion to the Premier League in 2016 before suffering relegation last season.

    We exclusively revealed earlier  this week that the player was  due to hold talks over a return to  La Liga.

    Barcelona formalize the re-signing of Gerard Deulofeu from Everton

    Gerard Deulofeu has officially completed his move back to Spanish giants Barcelona from Everton.

    The 23-year-old forward passed a medical on Friday morning before signing a two-year contract tying him to the Spanish giants until June 30, 2019.

    Barca last month activated the buy-back clause in Deulofeu’s contract with Everton to bring him back to the Nou Camp, where he came up through the youth ranks before moving to England in a permanent deal in 2015.

    It has reportedly cost Barca £10.5million to re-sign the Spain Under-21 captain, who spent last season on loan at AC Milan.

    Barca said on their website: “Deulofeu formalises return to Barcelona. The 23-year-old forward was at the club’s offices on Friday morning to sign the deal that brings him back to the team after four seasons with Everton, Sevilla, and AC Milan.

    “Before heading to the club’s offices to sign the deal along with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, Deulofeu underwent a pre-season physical at the team’s training centre with the rest of Barca’s internationals.”

    Deulofeu spent 10 seasons in Barca’s youth academy before joining Everton on loan in 2013. He spent the following season on loan with Sevilla before returning to Everton in a permanent deal for £4.3m in 2015.

    Real Madrid sign EURO U-21 player of the tournament Dani Ceballos on a six-year deal from Real Betis

    Real Madrid have announced the signing of midfielder Dani Ceballos from Real Betis.

    Ceballos, 20, has become one of the most coveted players across Europe, having helped Spain reach the European Under-21 Championship final in Poland and winning the player of the tournament award.

    Ceballos signs on a six-year contract after James Rodriguez joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan deal earlier this week.

    Real reportedly beat off competition from Barcelona to sign the youngster, who has also been linked with Liverpool in the past. Ceballos has already played 105 games for Betis, scoring seven goals and providing nine assists.

    Real say Ceballos will join the team on their pre-season tour of the United States on Friday, July 21, after being unveiled the day before.

    Ceballos becomes Real’s second signing of the summer, after Theo Hernandez joined from city rivals Atletico Madrid earlier this week for £25m.

    Despite a reputation for world-record-breaking transfers on ‘Galacticos’, Real Madrid have changed their image in recent years — securing young, talented Spanish players.
    Marco Asensio, Isco and Nacho are among those already at the club.
    Zinedine Zidane’s side are looking to win consecutive La Liga titles for the first time since 2007/08.

    Adnan Januzaj joins Real Sociedad from Manchester United 

    Real Sociedad have completed the signing of winger Adnan Januzaj from Manchester United.

    It is understood the 22-year-old has joined the La Liga outfit for an initial £8million – although the fee could rise to £9.8million – and that United have a buyback clause for the Belgium international.

    Januzaj sensationally broke into the United team as an 18-year-old, hitting two goals on his full debut against Sunderland in 2013.

    Since then his stock has fallen and, after two forgettable loan stints at Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland, he has now moved on.

    Januzaj’s early United form earned him a call up to the senior Belgium squad, with the Brussels-born forward also eligible to also play for either Albania or Kosovo at the time.

    He has since gone on to pick up six caps but will now be hoping to inject fresh impetus into both his club and country career following the move to San Sebastian.

    “Adnan Januzaj has completed a transfer from Manchester United to Real Sociedad,” a statement on United’s website read.

    “The Academy graduate and Belgium international has signed with the side who finished sixth in La Liga last season, bringing an end to a Reds career that consisted of 66 senior appearances and five goals.

    “Januzaj made his United debut in the FA Community Shield win over Wigan Athletic in August 2013 and established himself as an excellent prospect that season, famously scoring a brace at Sunderland under the management of David Moyes – who is coincidentally a former boss of Real Sociedad.

    “Opportunities proved hard to come by during Louis van Gaal’s first season at Old Trafford and that led to a loan spell at Borussia Dortmund in 2015/16, the Dutchman’s second campaign with United.

    “Jose Mourinho allowed Adnan to spend last season on loan at Sunderland and now the 22-year-old forward has taken the tough decision to leave United and make the move San Sebastian. Everybody at Manchester United wishes Adnan well for the next chapter of his career.”