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Barcelona on lookout for striker after Munir sale: Coach Ernesto

London: Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said that the club were looking to sign a centre forward in the January transfer window after selling Munir El Haddadi to Sevilla.

The league leaders want back-up for Luis Suarez after Sevilla agreed a one-million-euro ($1.15-million) deal to buy Spain international Munir on Friday, leaving the Uruguayan as the only No. 9 at the club, playing between Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele.

“We have to look at it, it`s clear that after Munir`s departure we have a space,” Valverde told reporters on Saturday.

“We`ll see if we can sign a player, although we have to take into account the club`s economic conditions. We will see if we can, if someone comes.”

Asked about Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata, who has been linked to Barcelona in Spanish media reports, Valverde said: “I can only say the same thing — that he`s a great player, that he`s at another team, that we respect that a lot, etcetera.”

Barcelona are currently leading the La Liga with 40 points, with Atletico Madrid trailing them in second place with 35 points.

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I do not take struggle as a burden, says PV Sindhu
Mumbai: While Mumbai Rockets may have defeated Hyderabad Hunters to enter the semi-finals of the Premier Badminton League Season 4, but the latter’s trump card and captain, PV Sindhu didn’t fail to show her exceptional game. Sindhu was naturally a tall order for her opponent Shreyanshi Pardeshi, and went on to secure a 15-6, 15-5 win. Her team may have lost, but Sindhu reminiscing about her earlier struggling days reminds us, “I take everything in my stride in a positive manner. Always learn and move forward is my mantra. With whatever little I have achieved I feel my responsibility towards this game and sport has increase manifolds.”

Being a World Number 3 at the young age of 23, the Hyderabad homegrown shuttler is one of India’s most successful athletes. Not only was she the first Indian woman to win a medal at the 2013 Badminton World Championships, but also became the first Indian woman to win a silver medal at the Olympics when she cinched the medal at the women’s singles event of the 2016 Summer Olympics. And the joyous scream that she let out after defeating Nozomi Okuhara at the 2018 World Tour Finals to win a gold, is still resonating with her fans and silencing her critics. Talking about how her wins and the people’s support keep her going, Sindhu divulges, “My feelings reach another horizon when I land here in my country. The kind of response I receive is mind blowing. I am happy I could achieve all this with the support of my parents and the people who have always loved me and ignited that thought in me to always give my best. Awards do boost me up as well.”

Even though since 2013, Sindhu has been a consistent shuttler with almost always reaching the semi-final stages of the top-tier tournaments, the same reason was given by her critics to deem her a choke. It was in these times of struggle, Sindhu’s strong support system—her parents backed the young shuttler. “I am happy that I have seen ups and downs. During my not so good times, it was like a learning period for me. I thank my parents specifically, for always being there with me. They have been standing there during my training sessions as well. They always took care of my food. I do not take struggle as a burden. I have learned from my not so good days,” reveals Sindhu. Finally it was her last year’s World Tour Finals win that was seen as the breaking of her jinx.

Although, for the die-hard admirers of her game, the catharsis came when she defeated the Spanish World Champion Carolina Marin at the Premier Badminton League. Having lost to Marin twice at the final stages —the Olympics and the World Championships —it does appear to be a sweet victory. “It was not easy as Caroline also played very well and was strong enough. In fact the match played between us both were good matches. The standard as well the level of the match was tough enough. I am happy that I won the match,” gushes the shuttler. She further adds that the strategy is to be focused and to give your best.