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Barcelona lose unbeaten run but no obituaries as Valverde plots return to winning ways

The FC crew rate the latest rumours as the transfer window hots up.

A lot can change in 153 days. In fact, a lot can change in three days, as Ernesto Valverde regularly points out when encouraged to get carried away by Barcelona's brilliant season so far. But despite being nine points clear at the top of the league, 19 ahead of Real Madrid (who are fourth) and safely through to the Champions League knockout stages, Valverde refuses to get giddy. Instead, he prefers to centre in on football's more capricious qualities.

And there's nowhere where those qualities can...

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale rested for Real Madrid's Copa del Rey game

Zinedine Zidane says Cristiano Ronaldo is where he belongs at Real Madrid amid rumours of an exit.
Mark Ogden and Rob Dawson explain why Cristiano Ronaldo is unlikely to swap Real Madrid for Manchester United.
The ESPN FC panel share their thoughts on the reports from Spain stating that Cristiano Ronaldo wants out of Madrid.
The FC crew cast doubt on Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United, despite his recent dip in form and reports of tension at Real Madrid.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo has been rested by coach Zinedine Zidane for Thursday evening's Copa del Rey quarterfinal first leg at Leganes, with Gareth Bale and Marcelo the other first-teamers excused from the short trip.

Ronaldo's future at the Bernabeu remains unclear with the player himself pushing for a move elsewhere as club president Florentino Perez has not yet accepted his demand of a new contract that would reportedly increase his wages to around €50 million a year.

Zidane has...