Espanyol have sacked David Gallego and replaced the coach with Pablo Machin.

Gallego's departure was confirmed by Espanyol on Monday and the announcement of Machin's arrival on a two-year deal followed soon after.

The club are 19th in LaLiga after a poor start to the new season, though they have taken four points from two Europa League games.

"The club has taken this decision as a result of the performance of the first team and with the clear idea to redirect the current situation of the team in LaLiga," said an official statement.

Gallego was only appointed as head coach by the club in June, earning promotion from Espanyol's B side when Real Betis lured Rubi away from RCDE Stadium.

Former Girona coach Machin was sacked by Sevilla in March after they suffered a shock Europa League last-16 exit to Slavia Prague.

Machin's first game in charge of Espanyol will be at home to Villarreal on October 20 and they travel to Ludogorets in the Europa League four days later.

Gaizka Mendieta has named four players as the pre-eminent rising stars in LaLiga.

The Valencia great identified Mikel Oyarzabal, Carlos Soler, Sergio Reguilon and Marc Roca as the young Spanish players who could take the top flight by storm in 2019-20.

Oyarzabal, 22, was linked with Barcelona and Manchester City after hitting 13 goals in the highest-scoring LaLiga season of his career last term.

Soler, too, is a reported target for some of Europe's top clubs, while Espanyol's Roca has been tipped for a €40million move to Bayern Munich before the end of this transfer window.

Reguilon, meanwhile, will spend the season with Sevilla on loan after making the breakthrough at Real Madrid in 2018-19.

"I think Oyarzabal was already a star last season for Real Sociedad," said Mendieta, courtesy of LaLiga.

"He's been important for the Under-21 national team, too. He's a player that excites when you watch Real Sociedad, a player who does something different and who can score goals. He's very vertical, very direct. 

"For me, talking about Valencia, you've got Carlos Soler. He was key at the end of last season. Hopefully, this is the year that he gets more regular playing time throughout the season. 

"Maybe Reguilon, who's gone to Sevilla, too. It's a big challenge leaving Real Madrid and getting regular games at a team like that. 

"Then there's Marc Roca at Espanyol. I think we're fortunate to have so much young talent in LaLiga."

Neymar's future with Paris Saint-Germain remains up in the air.

The Brazil star has been linked to LaLiga champions Barcelona and Real Madrid as he eyes an exit from the French capital.

If he does leave, PSG have drawn up contingency plans, with one particular Premier League player attracting interest.

 

TOP STORY – PSG PLOTTING BIG ZAHA MOVE

Paris Saint-Germain are lining up a £100million (€109m) move for Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha as a replacement for Neymar, according to The Mirror.

Neymar wants to return to LaLiga, with former club Barcelona and Real Madrid reportedly vying for his signature before the transfer window shuts on September 2.

If Neymar does get his wish, former Manchester United forward Zaha has emerged as a potential signing, with PSG reportedly sending a team to London to try to strike a deal.

The Ivory Coast international was linked to Arsenal and Everton before the Premier League's transfer window closed.

 

ROUND-UP

Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, 24, has been lined up as a potential replacement for Manchester United's David de Gea, according to The Sun. De Gea, whose last-gasp howler led to United's shock 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday, is out of contract in 2020 and is yet to sign an extension.

- Also at Old Trafford and The Mirror says United are targeting Leicester City playmaker James Maddison. Having already prised Harry Maguire from the Foxes in a world-record deal for a defender, the Red Devils are reportedly ready to return for another Englishman.

- An agreement between Callum Hudson-Odoi and Chelsea over a new contract has been reached, reports Football London. Hudson-Odoi had previously been linked to Bayern Munich.

- According to The Express, Inter and Alexis Sanchez will discover whether a season-long loan deal will go through on Monday. Manchester United are willing to sanction Sanchez's exit.

Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic remains a coveted player for Inter, according to FCInternews, who say a transfer is complex but not impossible. The Serbia star is valued at €100m by Lazio, who could receive the likes of Matteo Politano and Joao Mario in return.

- Sport says Espanyol are keen on signing Real Madrid newcomer Rodrygo Goes on loan as a replacement for Borja Iglesias following his move to Real Betis. The 18-year-old Rodrygo only arrived from Santos in a €45m deal during the off-season.

Barcelona have a plan to land Neymar and the star forward's demands now appear to be known.

The Neymar saga is not yet over and it remains to be seen if the Brazil international will leave Paris Saint-Germain before the transfer window closes on September 2.

But Barcelona have a new plan to bring Neymar – who they sold to PSG for €222million two years ago – back to Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA HAVE NEYMAR PLAN AS STAR DEMANDS €35M PER SEASON

Barcelona have worked out a new formula to convince PSG to sell Neymar to them, according to Spanish newspaper Sport.

The LaLiga champions will offer cash and a player to the Ligue 1 giants this year and PSG can choose between either another player or more money in 2020, the report says.

Meanwhile, Neymar, 27, wants €35m net per season and a five-year deal, according to Spanish television show Jugones.

ROUND-UP

- Alexis Sanchez's possible move from Manchester United to Inter is developing slowly. The Serie A giants are confident of signing the attacker in the next few days amid talks about the division of Sanchez's wage, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.

- With Renato Sanches having left for Lille, Bayern Munich may be looking for a replacement. The Bundesliga champions remain interested in Espanyol midfielder Marc Roca, according to AS. However, Bayern want to pay €18m while the LaLiga side are hoping for Roca's release clause – €40m.

- Valencia are eyeing a move for Radamel Falcao after the Monaco striker ended talks with Galatasaray, reports AS. The Colombia international was heavily linked with a move to the Turkish giants, but Valencia may be looking for cover for Rodrigo, who could leave for Atletico Madrid.

- Also in Turkey, Rafinha is close to leaving Barcelona for Fenerbahce, according to O Jogo. Rafinha had been linked with a move to Valencia, but the 26-year-old could now be heading to Fenerbahce.

- Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has had few chances since joining PSG in 2018, but the forward has no plans to leave, according to L'Equipe. Lecce had been linked with a move for the Cameroon international.

Real Betis have signed Borja Iglesias from Espanyol after paying his €28.14m release clause.

The striker spent a single season in Barcelona after joining from Real Zaragoza last year, scoring 17 LaLiga goals and a further six in cup competitions as they finished seventh in the table.

Espanyol head coach Rubi was subsequently appointed by Betis as the successor to the sacked Quique Setien and he has brought the 26-year-old Iglesias to Seville on a five-year deal.

The arrival of the former Celta Vigo forward was announced by Betis on social media with a video referencing his unusual nickname - Panda.

"From the first day he arrived, Borja Iglesias has had exemplary attitude and behaviour," Espanyol said in a statement.

"Espanyol wishes to thank the player for his application, professionalism and commitment in white-and-blue colours and wishes him luck in his future."

Iglesias struck the opening goal in nine LaLiga matches last season, the joint-most of anyone in the division, level with Girona's Cristhian Stuani.

He is the fifth new signing for Betis ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, joining players including former Lyon captain Nabil Fekir, although Giovani Lo Celso has left for Tottenham.

Spain's football season is almost upon us, with another thrilling campaign in store in LaLiga.

But while many will focus on Lionel Messi, Eden Hazard and the revolution at Atletico Madrid, some younger talents could establish themselves as LaLiga stars in the coming season.

There are several players up and down the league who will be desperate for their big opportunity.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at five prospects who debuted in the competition last term and will hope for breakout seasons.

 

Diego Lainez (Real Betis)

Winger Lainez only turned 19 in June, but he already has four caps for Mexico, having established himself as a top prospect at Club America after debuting at 16.

Although Lainez did not make an immediate impact at Betis after a €14million January move, starting just three LaLiga games, he scored a last-gasp equaliser against Rennes in the Europa League in February and is being tipped for a big season.

Bryan Gil (Sevilla)

Across the city at Sevilla, Bryan is getting fans excited. He became the first player born in the 21st century to score in the competition when he netted against Rayo Vallecano in April.

Bryan failed to start a league match last season, making more appearances (11) off the bench without lining up than any other player in LaLiga, while he also has the unenviable task of usurping Lucas Ocampos this season.

But under Julen Lopetegui – a coach renowned for trust in youth – he is expected to feature fairly regularly, having helped Spain to European Under-19 Championship success in the close season.

 

Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)

The most established name on this list, Chukwueze played a crucial role in Villarreal's survival last season, with his winner at Girona in April kickstarting a run that returned 13 points from the final six matches of the campaign.

Of the youngest 20 players to feature in LaLiga in 2018-19, no player managed more appearances (26) or goals (five) than Chukwueze. He got eight in all competitions and ended the season in the Nigeria team at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Waldo Rubio (Real Valladolid)

Rubio may turn 24 on Saturday, but he only got his first taste of LaLiga football in April after being promoted from the club's B team. As with Chukwueze at Villarreal, he was central to Valladolid staying up.

The attacker played eight games from his debut until the end of the season, starting five, and netted a crucial winner against Athletic Bilbao in his side's penultimate home league match of the campaign.

 

Adria Pedrosa (Espanyol)

In theory, left-back Pedrosa might find it tougher to catch the eye than the attacking talents elsewhere in this list, but that was not the case last term.

Pedrosa started 12 games in all competitions in 2018-19, establishing himself as a starter towards the end of the season and putting his blistering pace to good use with a goal against Deportivo Alaves and an assist for Diego Godin's own goal against Atletico Madrid.

The 21-year-old has already scored a fine goal in Europa League qualifying this season, too.

Marc Roca has a release clause in his contract but Bayern Munich have not made an offer to Espanyol, according to the Bundesliga champions' chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Midfielder Roca was a key part of the Spain side that triumphed at the European Under-21 Championship.

He has been linked with leaving Espanyol following the tournament but Rummenigge denied Bayern having a bid rejected for the 22-year-old.

"There has been no contact or negotiation with the club," Rummenigge told reporters.

"But I understand he has a clause in the contract."

Jerome Boateng was widely expected to leave Bayern ahead of the 2019-20 season, with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly interested.

But Rummenigge indicated the centre-back could stay at Bayern after impressing during pre-season.

"He has behaved very positively within the team and collected bonus points," Rummenigge said of Boateng.

Meanwhile, Bayern target Callum Hudson-Odoi is reported to have signed a new long-term deal with Chelsea.

Atletico Madrid's close-season spending spree has continued with the €29million acquisition of Spain defender Mario Hermoso from Espanyol.

The 24-year-old centre-back has cost Atletico €25m upfront despite having just 12 months left on his Espanyol contract, with Hermoso signing an five-year deal at the Wanda Metropolitano.

A Real Madrid academy product, Hermoso only made his top-flight debut in the 2017-18 campaign but has since enjoyed a rapid rise.

Hermoso particularly impressed last term as Espanyol - who have a 20 per cent sell-on clause - finished seventh in LaLiga, earning his first Spain cap last November.

With Atletico seeing Diego Godin, Lucas Hernandez, Filipe Luis and Juanfran all depart at the end of last season, Hermoso had long been suggested as a likely arrival.

But Espanyol's apparent initial reluctance to reduce their asking price from the reported €40m release clause in his contract meant negotiations dragged on.

An agreement has been found, though, and Hermoso is the latest defender to join Atletico after Felipe, Renan Lodi and Kieran Trippier, who arrived a day earlier.

Hermoso takes Atletico's reported expenditure to €248m with Marcos Llorente, Joao Felix, Hector Herrera, Nicolas Ibanez and Ivan Saponjic also new to the club, although they recouped €120m from Antoine Griezmann's controversial departure to Barcelona.

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