≡ Menu

Diego Costa is to undergo a medical with Atletico Madrid on Thursday after the agreement of a €60m deal with Chelsea, say reports in Spain.

The reported fee – which is said to include add-ons – would make the 28-year-old would Atletico’s most expensive ever signing and would allow him to begin playing for the club in January 2018.

However, the Spain international will be able to train with his new teammates immediately and can be officially unveiled by the club, as reported by Diario AS on Thursday.

Barcelona have overtaken rivals Real Madrid in having the largest wage budget in La Liga, according to data released this week.

According to the numbers from the Spanish league, the money available for Barca’s bills are up to €507million, or £448m.

Their main title rivals, Real, meanwhile have a cap on overall salaries that comes in at €199m, or £442m – making it the first time since the introduction of centralised TV rights in Spain that Barca can outspend the Bernabeu side.

The data comes from strict La Liga measures to prevent clubs from overspending on wages.

Real Madrid have agreed a deal to keep Karim Benzema at the Bernabeu until the summer of 2021.

Benzema, who has scored more than 170 goals for the Spanish champions since joining from Lyon in 2009, will sign a new contract worth a reported €7.5million a year.

According to reports in Spain, his net salary has been increased to more than €7.5 million a year and that the new arrangement includes a release clause of €1 billion.

His current contract had been due to expire in 2019 but Benzema will follow in the footsteps of Isco and Dani Carvajal in committing to an extended stay.

Cristiano Ronaldo returned from his five-game ban and Real Madrid failed to score for the first time in 74 matches as the Spanish champions were beaten 1-0 by Real Betis.

Antonio Sanabria got the winner in the 94th minute with a free back-post header past Keylor Navas. It was Betis first win at the Bernabeu in 19 years and the end of Madrid’s incredible scoring record.

Ronaldo was guilty of blasting high and wide on several occasions as the run of 73 straight matches scoring came to an end.

A record number of 13 Real Madrid players have been nominated for long list of the FIFPro World XI, while Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez lead the pool of Premier League nominees.

A total of 25,000 professional footballers were asked to select a team of 11 players – one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three attackers – from across the world, and the 55 players with the most votes have now been revealed.

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is finally set to play his first La Liga game of the season against Real Betis on Wednesday, with goalkeeper Antonio Adan concerned that his team will pay for the forward’s frustration about his late start.

Ronaldo has missed Madrid’s opening four La Liga games of the campaign due to a suspension imposed when he pushed the referee after being sent off in the Spanish Super Cup first leg at Barcelona in August.

Barcelona defender Nelson Semedo claims Lionel Messi is ‘from another planet’ after his man-of-the-match display against Eibar on Tuesday night.

The Argentine took his goal tally to nine for the season after hitting four at the Nou Camp in a comfortable 6-1 win which sent Barca five points clear at the top.

The hat-trick was Messi’s 39th for Barcelona, his second hat-trick of the season, and his fourth goal was his 300th home goals for the club he joined as a 13-year-old.

And Semedo, who only joined the club from Benfica during the summer transfer window, has already been blown away by Messi’s qualities.

Ernesto Valverde has said the injury that has sidelined record Barcelona signing Ousmane Dembele for the next four months could have been partially caused by inexperience.

Dembele, 20, flew to Helsinki, Finland, on Monday to be operated on by specialist doctor Sakari Orava after rupturing a tendon in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Getafe.

Footage has since indicated that the France international appeared to have a slight problem in the warm-up.

But Valverde said: “I don’t think we should read too much into things like that.

Gareth Bale silenced his Spanish critics, scoring the goal of the game in Real Madrid’s win over Real Sociedad.

Bale waited an hour for a decent pass into space to run on to and when it finally came from Isco he nudged it forward powering past Real Sociedad left-back Kevin Rodrigues before clipping it over the dive of Geronimo Rulli to score.

No one combines blistering pace with composed finishing quite like Bale and it made it 3-1 and three points to Real Madrid, who go fourth in La Liga.

Philippe Coutinho has claimed he has no agreement to join Barcelona next summer and is committed to the Liverpool cause this season despite being denied a move to the Catalan club.

Coutinho made his first start of the campaign for Jürgen Klopp’s team on Saturday when he played 79 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Burnley.

The Brazil international, given a rousing reception when he returned as a substitute against Sevilla in midweek, was the subject of three failed bids from Barcelona during the summer transfer window and submitted a transfer request in an attempt to force a move from Anfield.