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Barcelona are closing in on their first signing of the summer after reaching an agreement to bring highly-rated centre back Clement Lenglet to the club.

Reports from Spain have claimed the 22-year-old is Barcelona’s No 1 target this summer and now the deal has moved a step further, with Lenglet agreeing to the transfer.

The need for reinforcements in defence became apparent when the La Liga champions’ unbeaten run came to a shuddering halt.

Back-up centre backs Thomas Vermaelen and Yerry Mina showed they are not at the level required as Barcelona slumped to a 5-4 defeat against Levante in their penultimate game of the season.

After painful defeats in recent continental finals, Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid are determined to justify their status as favourites in Wednesday’s Europa League showpiece against Marseille in Lyon.

Atletico lost in extra time to Real Madrid in the Champions League final of 2014, having been seconds away from victory in 90 minutes, and then lost on penalties to their city rivals in the final of the same competition two years later.

An exit from this season’s Champions League in the group stage came as a big surprise for a formidable side spearheaded by Antoine Griezmann in attack, but they have put that behind them to close in on glory in Europe’s less prestigious competition.

Barcelona are willing to pay a premium of €15million (£13m) in order to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid before the World Cup begins, according to Spanish newspaper Sport.

The French striker’s release clause will automatically lower from €200m to €100m on July 1, but Barcelona are hoping to seal the deal before he leaves for the international tournament in Russia.

To do that, they will offer Atletico Madrid a deal worth €115m, which will be paid across several installments rather than one lump sum, as would be the case if they activated his release clause.

How about that for a boomerang? In the binary world of Spanish football, this was the sort of gaffe that does double damage. Right now, Barcelona should be sitting back and enjoying the fruits of a Double-winning campaign that saw them go undefeated in La Liga. Maybe send their old rival from the Bernabeu a few postcards ahead of Kiev, too, just to ratchet up the pressure.

Instead, they’re dealing with a PR disaster after the dramatic 5-4 defeat away to Levante (a team with nothing to play for) and, above all, the decision to “rest” Lionel Messi ahead of a friendly match in South Africa on Wednesday.

Zinedine Zidane acknowledged he has a Champions League final selection headache after his Real Madrid side routed Celta Vigo 6-0 at the Bernabeu.

Gareth Bale and Isco both pressed their cases for starting places against Liverpool in Kiev on May 26.

Bale scored twice – making it seven goals in nine games – while Isco matched the Welshman’s stunning second with a wonderful individual effort from the other side of the penalty area.

‘It’s better to have everyone plugged in,’ Zidane said at his post-match press conference.

‘Then of course it will be a headache to select the team for the final.

Barcelona blew their chance to finish the season unbeaten, losing a crazy game in Levante that had two hat-tricks, nine goals, and a defensive horror show from the Spanish champions.

Phillipe Coutinho will never forget his first Barcelona hat-trick. He did more than most to prevent an historic defeat – scoring three goals but ending up on the losing side.

Lionel Messi had been left at home resting and it would be easy to conclude his absence cost Barcelona their unbeaten record but Barcelona had no problems scoring. It was stopping Levante from doing likewise that they could not manage.

The common perception in England is that the Premier League is the world’s greatest – but Spanish fans certainly now have a strong case to dispute that.

After Atletico Madrid dumped Arsenal out of the Europa League at the semi-final stage on Thursday night, Spanish sides have beaten their English counterparts in 23 of their last 27 meetings in European competition knockout ties.

Diego Costa’s goal at the Wanda Metropolitano proved enough to carry Atletico into the Europa League final and was just the latest tale of woe for the Premier League against La Liga opposition.

It would appear that this thrilling, unpredictable edition of the Champions League will have the final it deserves.

Over the course of four semi-final games, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Roma and Liverpool have served up 20 goals.

The fact that the two finalists scored eleven of them but were assured only of progress once the final whistles blew in Madrid and Rome tells us everything.

So on to Kiev go Real and now Liverpool. The last time they contested the final of this competition was in 1981 when it was known rather fittingly and simply as the European Cup.

Referee Hernandez Hernandez should be grateful that the LaLiga title was already decided because if not then the fallout from his decisions would have been greater still, as he got it wrong with virtually all the big calls of the Clasico with Real Madrid suffering badly as a result.

Barcelona scored their second after a clear foul by Luis Suarez on Varane and no penalty was whistled for an obvious foul by Jordi Alba on Marcelo with the score at 2-2.

It was a typically tense game between Barcelona and Real Madrid and their was a tangle between Sergio Ramos and Suarez in the first half with the Uruguayan claiming he was elbowed and he threw himself to the floor.

Even when there is nothing concrete for either team to play for, Clasicos will still be feisty affairs and Sunday’s encounter has proven to be no different with Real Madrid left seething by the refereeing display at the Camp Nou.

Prior to kick-off, the match was dubbed as a dead rubber with Barcelona focused on maintaining their unbeaten run and Los Blancos wanting to avoid injuries ahead of the Champions League final.

It was even rumoured that Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos would be rested for the match, such rumour and innuendo never came to fruition and once the match began it felt like a true Clasico.