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Bernabeu Bites: The El Clasico Cometh

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Welcome to Bernabeu Bites, where every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday we keep you up to date on Real Madrid, La Liga and the world of European football - all in bite size form.

So sit back, grab your favorite beverage and enjoy.

Our sister SBN site Barca Blaugranes continues it's look at the upcoming Supercopa, with Part 2 & Part 3 of their tactical analysis (if you missed Part 1, it's right here). They're doing great work over there, and have no fear supporters we here at Managing Madrid will also be analyzing the upcoming Supercopa as well.

Speaking of Barcelona, just like Real Madrid they've had their share of transfer saga's, though it looks like one of them might come to an end - and I'm talking about Arsenal (can I please stop writing about them now?) skipper Cesc Fabregas. It looks as though a deal could be finished by Friday.

The latest proposal is made up of a £27m fee, plus £5m in add-ons, with the Arsenal captain funding the remaining £4m by waiving a pay-off from his contract.

It is believed that money will come out of Fabregas' Barca contract, so he will effectively be taking a pay-cut from his £90,000-a-week wages at the Emirates to move to the Nou Camp. Barcelona have also agreed to increase the slice of the money being paid up front from 45 per cent to 70 per cent.

There was thought that if it happened he could be cup tied as far as the Champion's League goes - that would only happen if he were to step on the pitch for a Champions League match. So if this deal is done this week, he will be able to participate in Champion's League play with Barca.

Due to injuries picked up in yesterdays friendly versus Italy, both Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets picked up injuries which could leave them on the bench for the El Clasico.

"Busquets was on the receiving end of a tackle and has a painful knee. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to be too serious. Pique has a muscular problem. He could be recovered in time for Sunday if nothing happens in the next few days."

We all know by now that Barcelona didn't have the greatest of pre-seasons, and for the most part their form is way off from that of los blancos, hell Pep has admitted as much. Barca striker Pedro Rodriguez thinks they can set aside their poor form in the pre-season and has what it takes to take down Real Madrid in the El Clasico.

"Games against Real Madrid are always very difficult and very tense. We are going to start the season with a really difficult challenge, but I am certain that the team is going to respond," said Pedro.

Real Madrid has turned down the first offer from Tottenham Hotspur for defender Lassana Diarra. Los blancos value the French international at £15.8million. I'm pretty sure a deal will get done, but I'm sure they want to obviously make a bit more money on him - as he has no future at the Bernabeu.

Teenage defender Raphael Varane has told Sky Sports, he wasn't even close to heading to the Premier League during the summer transfer window . Supposedly there was interest from Manchester United, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. Of course he was a smart kid and signed on the dotted line with los blancos.

"At the start there was a lot of interest from Manchester, but in my mind there was only a choice between Paris and Real.

"The choice was simple in the end because the Paris shareholders wanted me, not the coach. If the coach had come to me and said, 'Here is my project for you', things might have been different.

"The arrival of the Qataris also made things messy and a little unclear.

"Before I signed for Real, I met (Jose) Mourinho in Madrid. He told me, 'If you come, it is to be a part of the group and not to go out on loan'. He was very clear and it is reassuring when Jose Mourinho tells you that.

"I am now looking to improve. I want to play as often as possible, but without rushing myself.

"I can't see myself being a part of the starting XI straight away. That is not possible. First of all I have to adapt."

I've got another Transfer rumor in the pipeline, but didn't want to put it here. I'm working on it currently and hope to have it up as it's own post soon. Our next Bernabeu Bites on Saturday will be all about the Supercopa. Is it Sunday yet? Also I'll be doing a special edition on Monday with all the post match news.

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