Rumour Has It: Man City confident in Haaland pursuit, Messi to decide future

By Sports Desk February 05, 2021

Is Erling Haaland's future becoming clearer?

Haaland's exploits for Borussia Dortmund have attracted interest from far and wide.

But Manchester City appear to be the frontrunners for his signature…

 

TOP STORY – CITY LINING UP BIG HAALAND BID

Manchester City are confident of landing Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland in a £100million (€114m) deal, according to the front page of Friday's Mirror.

Haaland is one of the most sought-after players in Europe, having been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Liverpool, Barcelona, Manchester United and Juventus.

But City believe winning this season's Premier League will help them sign Haaland at the end of the campaign.

 

ROUND-UP

- Goal claims Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi will wait until season's end before deciding his future. Messi has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain and City on a free transfer.

Sergio Aguero is tempted by a move to Barca if Messi remains at Camp Nou, reports Cadena Ser. Like Messi, City forward Aguero is out of contract at the end of the 2020-21.

- Defensa Central says Chelsea are interested in re-signing Eden Hazard, but at a huge discount. Hazard has struggled for form and fitness since leaving Chelsea for Madrid in a big-money move in 2019.

Milan will miss out on signing Ajax teenager Brian Brobbey as he is set to join RB Leipzig, according to Calciomercato and widespread reports in Italy. But Milan are close to signing Marseille's soon-to-be free agent Florian Thauvin.

- Calciomercato claims Madrid have put veteran full-back Marcelo up for sale amid links to Juventus.

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  • Ferdinand says Dortmund sensation Bellingham ahead of Lampard, Gerrard and Scholes at his age Ferdinand says Dortmund sensation Bellingham ahead of Lampard, Gerrard and Scholes at his age

    Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand declared "we haven't seen" a player like Jude Bellingham at his age after the Borussia Dortmund teenager helped guide his team to a 4-1 Champions League win at Sevilla.

    Bellingham scored one and assisted one as Dortmund eased to victory in Spain on Wednesday, with other goals coming from Raphael Guerreiro, Karim Adeyemi and Julian Brandt, while Youssef En-Nesyri pulled one back for the hosts.

    Bellingham, 19, who captained the Bundesliga side, became just the second teenager to score in the first three games of a Champions League campaign.

    The only other player to achieve that feat is his former BVB team-mate Erling Haaland, who did so with Salzburg in the 2019-20 season.

    Bellingham's tally of three Champions League goals this season is already a joint-high among English teenagers for a single campaign, along with Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, back in 2004-05.

    "What he's doing in his position at his age, we haven't seen," Ferdinand said, working as a pundit for BT Sport.

    "The best of our generation, [Frank] Lampard, [Steven] Gerrard, [Paul] Scholes, [Patrick] Vieira, Roy Keane, they weren't doing this.

    "He's still got to go on and prove it over a long period of time, but they weren't doing what he is doing right now [at the same age].

    "Influencing games at this level, captaining teams at this level, and mentally this kid's a beast."

    Fellow pundit and former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole added: "Along with Erling Haaland, he's the best young player in the world, that's for sure.

    "I watched him play for England over the two [Nations League] games [against Italy and Germany] and he was our best player.

    "His dad I believe was a semi-pro footballer so he's obviously been guided right... When we grew up with Frank [Lampard] and his dad was a footballer obviously, a top footballer, and Frank had this maturity about him... Bellingham's got that as well, coupled with his undoubted God-given talent and his drive, he's unstoppable."

    Bellingham has long been linked with a move back to England, having joined Dortmund from Birmingham City in 2020, with Liverpool, Manchester City, United and Chelsea all reportedly keeping an eye on developments, along with LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

    "One thing that's for sure – whoever gets him – is [his] temperament," Ferdinand said.

    "When you're making big transfers and big moves like that in the spotlight, temperament is a key element you need to get right. This kid has already proved that it isn't a question mark."

  • Mourinho not motivated by breaking Sir Alex Ferguson's European wins record Mourinho not motivated by breaking Sir Alex Ferguson's European wins record

    Roma head coach Jose Mourinho says he is not thinking about breaking Sir Alex Ferguson's mark for winning the most European competition games during the Champions League era.

    Mourinho matched former Manchester United boss Ferguson with 106 victories in the Champions League and Europa League when he led Roma past HJK 2-1 in the Europa League last month.

    Only Carlo Ancelotti has more victories (120), with the era dating back to the Champions League's introduction in 1992.

    Ferguson and Mourinho had a tense rivalry during the Scot's latter days at Old Trafford, spawning from the Portuguese's breakout stint at Porto before regularly locking horns during his first spell at Chelsea.

    The Portuguese, who led the Italian club to Conference League glory last term, can surpass the former Manchester United manager when Roma take on Real Betis in the Europa League on Thursday.

    "It's not an extra motivation," Mourinho told reporters. "I am proud of the 106, and when the 107th arrives, either tomorrow or next week, I don't know, but when it comes it'll be a proud moment in my career.

    "I've always said that I'll think about this kind of thing when I finish my career. When I finish my career I have so many things to think about and remember, but at this moment, no.

    "Right now, the only thing that I am worried about is winning the next game, I'm always [thinking about] the next one and the next one is tomorrow.

    "As I said before, it will certainly be difficult, it is a high-level game, very high. But there's no such thing as winning one more game than Sir Alex.

    "This is not [why I want to win]. I want to win because we need to."

    Mourinho has won 85 Champions League games and 21 Europa League games, compared to Ferguson's 105 wins in Europe's top club competition along with one UEFA Cup (Europa League) victory.

    The former Inter, Real Madrid and Porto boss has two Champions League titles and two Europa League titles to his name, the latter with United. Ferguson, who retired in 2013, lifted the Champions League three times.

    Ancelotti, who has won the Champions League four times, moved to 103 Champions League wins with Madrid's 2-1 triumph over Shakhtar Donetsk, while he has 13 Europa League wins too.

  • Walker's World Cup in jeopardy after Guardiola confirms Man City defender will be out for 'weeks' Walker's World Cup in jeopardy after Guardiola confirms Man City defender will be out for 'weeks'

    Kyle Walker's availability for the World Cup is up in the air after Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola declared the England right-back suffered an abdominal injury that will keep him out "for a while".

    Walker, 32, was substituted in the first half of City's 6-3 derby win against Manchester United on Sunday after making his seventh start from his side's eight Premier League fixtures this campaign.

    He also started four of England's six UEFA Nations League games since the beginning of June, resulting in three defeats and a draw.

    However, Walker is now set for "weeks" on the sidelines in the shadows of the World Cup, according to Guardiola.

    "[He will be out] for a while," he told reporters following City's 5-0 Champions League thrashing of Copenhagen on Wednesday. "I don't know exactly, but weeks.

    "Something abdominal, so he will be a while. We don't know how long. Maybe the club will make a statement in the next day, but for a while he will be out.

    "I don't know [about availability for the World Cup]. I cannot say anything else, I don't know."

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