By By Football Whispers
Last Updated: 16/09/18 12:29pm
Football Whispers brings you the latest transfer rumours from around the continent, including reports Hatem Ben Arfa turned down West Ham before joining Rennes.
The return of standing in football stadiums, VAR controversy, and sporting director transfer rumours; our friends at Football Whispers have looked at the best stories on Europe’s sports pages this Sunday.
West Ham were turned down by Hatem Ben Arfa in the summer, as the French midfielder chose to join Rennes instead. The former Newcastle and PSG man also turned down moves to Portugal and China. (Telefoot)
Marseille player Morgan Sanson fired a subtle shot at Monaco and Lyon in explaining why he joined the south coast side last summer. “I need to be faced with that pressure, that passion,” he said of the Marseille fans. “I prefer that rather than being too calm and playing in front of an empty stadium.” (L’Equipe)
France saw standing sections in some stadiums return for the first time since 1992, with Lens in Ligue 2 and Amiens in Ligue 1. At the same time, though, a couple at Caen vs Lyon watched the match from a pitch-side jacuzzi! (French media)
Manchester United could be gazumped by Barcelona in their attempts to bring Monchi in as director of football. The transfer guru is currently at Roma, but according to Italian media his family are eager to return to Spain. (Corriere dello Sport)
There was VAR controversy in Italy as Inter lost 1-0 to Parma. An Ivan Perisic shot appeared to hit Federico Dimarco on the elbow as he cleared it off the line, but the referee chose not to view the replay himself, trusting that the VAR was correct in saying that it was not a handball.
Dimarco later went on to score the winner, but Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic complained that a player was blocking his view in an offside position in front of him, another incident that VAR could have checked. (Football Italia)
None of Spain’s big teams had a great Saturday. Both Real and Atletico Madrid drew and, while Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 2-1, manager Ernesto Valverde wasn’t won over. “I’m not very worried, just a little bit, and there are things we have to improve on,” he said. (AS)
Isco may have come off the bench to get Real Madrid’s equaliser, but he doesn’t mind being a substitute. “There are other players who may be better than me and that’s why the coach names his XI. All that stuff about Lopetegui choosing Isco and 10 others was what you [journalists] said,” he said after the game. (Football Espana)
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness was not impressed with Karim Bellarabi’s tackle on Rafinha which left the Bayern player injured and saw the Bayer Leverkusen player sent off. “Bellarabi’s foul was sick and stupid,” he said. “That was an assault. He should be suspended for three months.” (Sport Bild)