Lionel Messi's future is often a topic of discussion.

Messi has an early break clause in his Barcelona contract.

As Barca look to re-sign Messi, the 33-year-old superstar is reportedly ready to walk away next year.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI WANTS BARCA EXIT

Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona when his contract expires at the end of 2020-21, according to Cadena SER.

Barca captain Messi – previously linked to Inter and Manchester City – has reportedly been in talks over a new two-year deal at Camp Nou.

However, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner and Barca's all-time leading scorer is reportedly tired of being blamed for issues at the club, with the LaLiga champions set to be dethroned by Real Madrid.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Camp Nou and club legend Xavi has agreed to become Barcelona head coach next season. Mundo Deportivo journalist Francesc Aguilar says the Al-Sadd boss has agreed a €6million salary to replace under-fire coach Quique Setien.

- Mundo Deportivo reports Manchester United and neighbours City have asked Barca about the availability of out-of-favour forward Antoine Griezmann. A big-money signing from Atletico Madrid at the start of the season, Griezmann has struggled and found himself on the bench in recent weeks. However, the report claims Barca are not considering a transfer.

Liverpool are poised to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, says Sport. Thiago is out of contract at the end of 2020-21 and the Spaniard is not willing to re-sign. Now, Liverpool are believed to be in advanced negotiations as Bayern seek £31m (€35m) for Thiago.

- Everton full-back Lucas Digne has emerged as a target for City and Chelsea if they fail to land Leicester City star Ben Chilwell, according to ESPN.

Borussia Dortmund have completed the signing of Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham, reports Bild. United were also chasing the 17-year-old sensation.

- After signing Achraf Hakimi from Real Madrid, Sky journalist Fabrizio Romano claims Inter have opened talks with Chelsea for Italian full-back Emerson Palmieri.

Juventus are hoping to settle Paulo Dybala's new contract between July and August, says Calciomercato.

- The Telegraph reports Chelsea are ready to step up their pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz after Saturday's DFB-Pokal final against Bayern. Havertz has been linked to Bayern, Madrid, United, Liverpool and Barca.

- Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga could be shipped out on loan to Sevilla, claims The Sun. The world's most expensive keeper has been criticised for his performances this season.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's ability only has a positive impact on team-mates, according to former Paris Saint-Germain attacker Jeremy Menez.

Ex-France international Menez spent three years at the Parc des Princes, two of those alongside Ibrahimovic, before joining Milan in 2014.

The 33-year-old built up a good connection with Ibrahimovic on the field in his early days at PSG but a change in system saw him lose his place in the side.

And Menez, now plying his trade in Serie B after joining Reggina last week, is grateful for the advice given to him by the striker during their time in the French capital

"I always got along well with him and his words motivate you to give your all, train at your best," he told Stats Perform News 

"I never had any problem with him. Such a player pushes you to improve all the time. He always wants to win. He goes out every day to train well and win it all. 

"I thank him because playing with players like him makes you grow as a professional and as a man."

Ibrahimovic scored 156 goals in 180 appearances for PSG and referred to himself as "God" in the dressing room.

Menez says the Milan striker has more than justified the hype on the field by scoring goals wherever he has played.

"It is a joke because he is like that. I smile at that because this is Ibra. It represents his career," Menez said. 

"He is like that. Despite all the words he can say, he then proves it on the pitch. What can you say against him? He always made his clubs win, wherever he went. 

"What can you say against him? I leave him be and say all he wants."

Menez has spent time in France, Turkey and Mexico since leaving Milan, but insists he is fully motivated after joining Reggina.

"I am the same Jeremy as six years ago, though this Jeremy has slept for two or three years and felt a bit out of phase. But now I am super motivated and the quality is still here," Menez said. 

"But I know I am not an easy guy to deal with myself, it's not easy to be with me every day, but we grow up, mature and get better day by day."

Everton have completed the signing of France Under-19 left-back Niels Nkounkou on a free transfer from Marseille, fending off reported interest from Juventus.

Nkounkou has agreed a three-year deal with Everton following the expiration of his contract at Marseille.

The 19-year-old played 14 times for Marseille's B team in the National 2 in 2018-19, France's fourth tier, while also being named on the bench for the first team twice.

He was a rumoured target for Serie A champions Juve but will now be working under Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park, though Nkounkou will first bolster David Unsworth's U23 side.

Everton, who are unbeaten since the resumption of the Premier League, have Lucas Digne and Leighton Baines as their options at left-back.

Baines, however, is yet to agree to a contract extension, with the 35-year-old's current deal set to run out at the end of the season.

Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann has no interest in leaving the LaLiga giants.

Speculation over the France international's future has increased amid his, and Barca's, struggles.

But the 29-year-old seemingly wants more than one season at Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY – GRIEZMANN NOT INTERESTED IN BARCELONA EXIT

Griezmann has no interest in leaving Barcelona, according to Le Parisien.

Since arriving from Atletico Madrid for €120million, Griezmann has managed just 14 goals in 43 games this season.

Griezmann was introduced as a 90th-minute substitute in Barca's 2-2 draw with his former club on Tuesday.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Camp Nou and Quique Setien's future as Barcelona head coach remains a talking point after one win in four games. AS reports Setien is not in immediate danger but is far from safe, while Sport says his future is uncertain, although the club are hoping to keep him at the helm until the end of the season.

- Manchester City look set for a rebuild in the close season. The Guardian claims Bayern Munich defender David Alaba, who is out of contract next year, is a target for the Premier League giants.

- After making a stellar start to the season with Lyon before suffering a serious knee injury, Memphis Depay has been linked with a move. Le 10 Sport reports Arsenal want the attacker, who has 14 goals in 18 games this season.

- Carlos Tevez's future remains uncertain. Ole says the former Manchester United and Manchester City forward, 36, could retire as he struggles to agree to a new contract with Boca Juniors.

- With Bruno Lage on his way out as Benfica coach, the Portuguese giants are searching for a new boss. According to A Bola, Benfica have looked at the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Ernesto Valverde and Laurent Blanc, but are now considering former Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal coach Unai Emery.

- Tottenham defender Serge Aurier could be set for a move. Sky Sports reports Monaco are interested in the Ivory Coast right-back.

Arsenal issued a strong response to Saint-Etienne after the French club criticised them over negoations concerning William Saliba ahead of the Coupe de France final. 

Saliba signed for Arsenal in a reported £25million deal last year before being loaned back to Les Verts for the 2019-20 campaign. 

Although Ligue 1 was ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Coupe de France final is to go ahead on July 24. 

Saint-Etienne will face Paris Saint-Germain in that contest and had hoped Saliba, 19, would be available for it, while Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta also expressed a desire for the France Under-20 international to have that opportunity. 

But Saint-Etienne confirmed on Tuesday they were unable to reach an agreement with the Gunners, who they claimed tried to impose "absolutely unacceptable sporting and financial conditions" on any extension. 

Arsenal insist they were willing for Saliba to extend his stay, but they wanted him to be on a specific training schedule and to not lose out financially. 

"Throughout our discussions with Saint-Etienne, our aim has been to protect the welfare of William Saliba as well as the interests of Arsenal Football Club, while honouring the terms of the loan," a statement read. 

"Despite the loan ending on June 30, we were willing to find a way for William to play in the [French] cup final on July 24, despite having no contractual obligation to do so. 

"As William is returning from injury, we asked that Saint-Etienne follow a clear training plan with William in close collaboration with us, to ensure he is fully fit for the start of next season.

"To our surprise we were unable to reach agreement to this plan which was proposed by our medical experts, and we are simply not prepared to risk the welfare of an Arsenal player.

"While it was not our primary concern, and ultimately not relevant as our training plan was not accepted, we also expected not to be financially disadvantaged by extending the loan. This was also not acceptable to Saint-Etienne.

"We know this is a disappointment for William, but he understands we are working to protect his long-term interests and those of Arsenal."

Bayern Munich have completed the signing of defender Tanguy Kouassi from Paris Saint-Germain. 

The 18-year-old has signed a four-year contract with the Bundesliga champions, who confirmed the move on Wednesday. 

Kouassi made his first-team debut for PSG in December 2019 and went on to make 13 appearances across all competitions, scoring three times. 

However, he rejected a new contract with the Ligue 1 side and his deal expired on June 30. 

"I'm very happy to be able to play for FC Bayern," Kouassi said to his new team's website. 

"It's a big club, rich in tradition. I really hope I'll be able to establish myself here and play a lot of matches. For that I'll work hard." 

Ahead of Kouassi's presentation to the media, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic expressed his view that the versatile defender is one of the continent's brightest prospects. 

"We're very happy that we've been able to bring Tanguy Nianzou Kouassi to FC Bayern," he said. 

"In our opinion he's one of the biggest talents in Europe. His best position is central defender, but he can fill several positions.  

"We're sure he'll have a great career in Munich and will strengthen our team." 

Add Tottenham to the list of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic admirers.

The Lazio star and Serbia international has teams queuing up for his services, with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly tipped to secure his signature.

However, Premier League outfit Spurs are now eyeing Milinkovic-Savic.

 

TOP STORY – MILINKOVIC-SAVIC WANTED BY SPURS

Jose Mourinho is interested in bringing Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Tottenham, according to Foot Mercato.

Milinkovic-Savic is a player in demand, having been linked with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus, Manchester City and Chelsea.

While a move for Milinkovic-Savic appears out of reach for Spurs, Jose Mourinho is still dreaming.

 

ROUND-UP

- While Milinkovic-Savic is a dream for Spurs, The Telegraph says Tottenham are confident of signing Southampton's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Mourinho, however, must raise transfer funds through sales from his squad.

Inter are in advanced talks with Brescia to finalise a deal for star Sandro Tonali, according to journalist Nicolo Schira. Inter have agreed a five-year deal with Tonali.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future at Milan beyond the 2019-20 season is complicated, says Calciomercato. Ibrahimovic is out of contract at the end of the campaign and the 38-year-old striker is no closer to signing an extension. While he would like to remain at San Siro, an extension looks set to be postponed until the proposed arrival of Ralf Rangnick as head coach.

- Sport Bild reports Bayern Munich are hopeful of extending David Alaba's contract, despite failing to come to an agreement at a meeting last week. Alaba has been linked to Chelsea recently. Meanwhile, Sky Sport says Bayern are not prepared to exercise their option to sign Ivan Perisic permanently from Inter following his loan spell.

- ABC says Real Betis have been in negotiations with former West Ham, Real Madrid and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini about their coaching vacancy.

Milan and Napoli are both interested in Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, claims Le10 Sport. The Serbian could be a replacement for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, who has been linked to the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

- The Daily Mail reports Arsenal are ready to use out-of-favour midfielder Matteo Guendouzi as a bargaining chip in a potential swap deal. United, PSG, Madrid and Barca have emerged as possible destinations.

Rennes sporting director Florian Maurice said the Ligue 1 side have no intention of selling teenage sensation Eduardo Camavinga amid links to Real Madrid, even for €80million.

Camavinga is reportedly wanted by LaLiga giants Madrid following a breakout Ligue 1 campaign before the 2019-20 season was cut short in April due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 17-year-old midfielder has also previously been linked to French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

"Camavinga's departure has not been spoken about," Maurice told RMC Sport. "There has never been a real interest. Since my arrival, I was clear that Camavinga would be included in the project. 

"If Real Madrid offer €80million for him as is being talked about, the answer is no. We want him to stay so that he keeps developing at Rennes."

"For me it is clear, this player must be part of the project for the coming season. We want to continue with this player," Maurice continued.

"It is important for him that he continues with Stade Rennais. He's a very good boy, a great player.

"These are discussions we will have together. For our part, we have no intention of letting him go."

"It is worth pointing out that the player has the ambition and maybe the desire to go elsewhere," added Maurice.

"I would listen to him, but at the moment he has a Rennes contract and we will then see how the transfer window is working."

Manchester City could be ready to challenge rivals Manchester United for Aston Villa star Jack Grealish.

Grealish, 24, has been linked with a move away from Villa, with Old Trafford seemingly his most likely destination.

But City may be primed to join the race for the attacker.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY CONSIDER MOVE FOR MAN UTD TARGET GREALISH

Manchester City will consider a move for Grealish if they receive their asking price for Leroy Sane from Bayern Munich, according to The Telegraph.

Sane is set to leave the Premier League giants this close season amid continued links to Bayern.

And City could challenge Manchester United for Grealish – who has scored nine goals and provided eight assists in 35 games this season – if their asking price is met.

ROUND-UP

- Quique Setien is under increasing pressure at Barcelona. RAC1 reports Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, chief executive Oscar Grau, sporting director Javier Bordas and technical secretary Eric Abidal met at Setien's house on Monday to discuss the current situation. Trailing Real Madrid by two points in LaLiga, Esport3 says Setien could be fired as early as this week.

- Arsenal have made a decision regarding Dani Ceballos. The Sun says the Premier League club will not make a move to buy the midfielder from Real Madrid when his loan deal expires at the end of the season.

- With Serie A promotion secured, Benevento could be set to strengthen. Gianluca Di Marzio reports the club are set to sign former Chelsea forward Loic Remy, who is coming out of contract at Lille.

- Real Sociedad are leading the chase to sign Real Madrid midfielder Takefusa Kubo on loan next season, according to AS. The 19-year-old has been on loan at Mallorca this season, while Milan are also reportedly interested in the Japan international.

- With Timo Werner joining Chelsea, RB Leipzig have seemingly found a replacement from the forward. According to Sky, Hwang Hee-chan will join Leipzig from Salzburg for about €10million. Hwang has been linked to the likes of Liverpool and Wolves.

- Celtic are reportedly keen to hold onto Fraser Forster. The goalkeeper has been on loan from Southampton this season and The Sun reports Celtic want to buy the former England international.

Thiago Silva, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Sergio Rico will all stay at Paris Saint-Germain until the end of the season.

French football was halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Ligue 1 subsequently concluded early at the end of April. Final table positions were decided on a points-per-game basis and thus secured PSG the title.

But a decision on the two cup competitions, the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue, was delayed in the hope of potentially playing two finals at a later date.

The French Football Federation (FFF) confirmed earlier this month that the two matches will take place on July 24 and 31, respectively, while UEFA also announced the remaining rounds of the Champions League are to take place in Lisbon the following month.

PSG have now ensured Silva, Choupo-Moting and Rico will be available for all three competitions.

The Parisians had already announced club captain Silva, 35, will be leaving at the end of the 2019-20 campaign, but his extension means he could depart having potentially lifted three more trophies.

Choupo-Moting is also set to leave the club on a free transfer, while Rico had been due to return to parent club Sevilla at the end of June.

PSG will face Saint-Etienne in the Coupe de France, before contesting the last ever Coupe de la Ligue final with Lyon.

They are also into the quarter-finals of the Champions League having eliminated Borussia Dortmund prior to the season's hiatus.

Paris Saint-Germain defender Layvin Kurzawa will be remaining at the Ligue 1 club after signing a new contract that runs until 2024.

The 27-year-old's previous deal had been due to expire at the end of June and the full-back had been linked with a free transfer to Premier League sides Chelsea and Arsenal.

However, while Thiago Silva, Edinson Cavani and Thomas Meunier are all departing the Parc des Princes next month, Kurzawa has agreed fresh terms to remain with Thomas Tuchel's side.

The France international has won four Ligue 1 titles in his five seasons with PSG, as well as the Coupe de la Ligue and the Coupe de France on three occasions.

Kurzawa, capped 13 times by Les Bleus, has made 123 appearances in all competitions for PSG, scoring 13 times.

Juan Bernat played more frequently at left-back for Tuchel's side in the 2019-20 Ligue 1 campaign, but the head coach said earlier this year his club "need" to keep Kurzawa too.

While the Ligue 1 season was ended back in April because of the coronavirus pandemic, PSG - awarded the title on a points-per-game basis - have returned to training ahead of other competitions resuming.

French authorities are set to allow the finals of the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue to go ahead on July 24 and 31 respectively. PSG will face Saint-Etienne in the former and Lyon in the latter.

PSG are also in the Champions League quarter-finals and that tournament will resume in August in Lisbon.

Kylian Mbappe would face a tough battle to get into the Liverpool team, according to Reds great Bruce Grobbelaar.

Liverpool fans have been baying for the club to sign the Paris Saint-Germain and France attacker, amid speculation Jurgen Klopp wants him to join the Premier League champions.

Such a signing would be an extraordinary statement of long-term intent by Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG), given Mbappe is just 21 and looks set to be a global superstar for many years to come.

But Grobbelaar insists World Cup winner Mbappe would not walk straight into Liverpool's first XI.

"Well, if he comes to Anfield he's going to have to prove his worth up front for sure. And that's only if and when he comes," Grobbelaar told Stats Perform News.

"We do not know what the circumstances is. It will be up to Klopp and FSG who will reveal something probably in the new season.

"But whoever comes to Anfield, as you see with [Takumi] Minamino, he's going to have to improve a hell of a lot more to get into the side."

Grobbelaar claimed any footballer that does not want to join Liverpool should "go to see the doctor very quickly".

The former goalkeeper played for Liverpool from 1981 to 1994, winning six top-flight titles, three FA Cups and a European Cup, among a host of honours.

He knows the thrill of being part of a successful Anfield outfit but can see some players leaving before long, with the likes of Dejan Lovren and Xherdan Shaqiri perhaps nearing the end of their Liverpool careers.

"The squad is brilliant at this stage, it's up to FSG and the Klopp advisers that are going to determine whether those players go or remain. I, for one, think they will be going because they want first-team football," Grobbelaar said.

"Listen, at this moment in time every player wants to come and play for Liverpool because we're the Premiership title holders and anybody who doesn't must go to see the doctor very quickly, because we are the best team and we will be the best team for so many years."

Mario Lemina admits it would be tempting to return to Marseille - a club that remains close to his heart - no matter whether a potential takeover is completed.

Mourad Boudjellal, the former owner of Toulon rugby club, revealed on Friday he has been asked to head a project involving Middle East investment to purchase Marseille, currently owned by American businessman Frank McCourt.

No matter what happens off the field, Lemina would be interested in a move to the Ligue 1 side he previously joined in 2013, playing 42 games across three seasons before heading to Juventus.

The midfielder is currently at Galatasaray on loan from Southampton, with his contract at the Premier League club due to run until 2022.

"Yes, of course a possible return to Marseille interests me, even without the recovery project. Marseille remains a club in my heart," Lemina said in an interview with Europe 1.

"If there is such a beautiful project, it is even more tempting."

A comeback to the Stade Velodrome would see Lemina link up with Dimitri Payet, who has signed a new deal that runs until the end of the 2023-24 season.

The former West Ham playmaker still had two years remaining on his previous contract but has accepted a pay cut, helping out Marseille as they deal with the financial impact of a curtailed campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I've often said that I love this club and that my family feels good here," Payet said. "The idea came into my head when the president said that the players should make an effort. And who better than me to lead by example?

"Saying you love the club is one thing, but showing it is better. I really want to be part of OM and help it grow."

Under Andre Villas-Boas, Marseille finished second in Ligue 1 and are set to play in the Champions League again in 2020-21.

Kylian Mbappe says the departures of Lassana Diarra and Gianluigi Buffon from Paris Saint-Germain had a big effect on him.

Diarra only spent a year at the Parc des Princes, announcing his retirement when his PSG contract was terminated by mutual consent in February 2019.

The Le Havre academy product played for Chelsea, Arsenal and Portsmouth before heading to Real Madrid in 2009.

After some time in Russia with Anzhi Makhachkala and Lokomotiv Moscow, Diarra went to Marseille for 18 months and joined Al Jazira in the United Arab Emirates upon his release, prior to joining PSG.

Mbappe valued Diarra's advice and also the presence of World Cup winner Buffon, who played for PSG in the 2018-19 season before heading back to Juventus on a free transfer.

"He was Uncle Lass, a big brother you could count on," Mbappe told L'Equipe. "He often told me about his career, his clubs. He made mistakes, so he advised me.

"He helped me during complicated times. The high level – he knows what he is talking about. He went to a lot of clubs all over the place. He left home very early, and alone. I always liked listening to the elders. Buffon was also very important to me.

"But Lass wasn't just talking to me. He also spent a lot of time with Presnel Kimpembe. And he always played this role even when he was not playing. That is very important.

"Lassana was highly respected in the dressing room. It did something to me to see him go. It also did something to me to see Buffon go."

PSG were declared Ligue 1 champions when the season was curtailed in April amid the coronavirus pandemic.

They will return to action in the Champions League quarter-finals in August.

Achraf Hakimi appears to have found a new home.

The Morocco international has impressed during his loan spell at Borussia Dortmund, attracting plenty of interest.

But LaLiga giants Real Madrid are reportedly ready to cash in on Achraf.

 

TOP STORY – INTER AGREE ACHRAF DEAL

Inter have agreed a deal to sign Achraf Hakimi from Real Madrid, according to Sky Sport Italia.

Achraf has spent the past two seasons on loan at Borussia Dortmund, who have been interested in signing the Morocco international permanently.

Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have been among the clubs interested in Achraf, but Madrid are set to sell the 21-year-old to Antonio Conte's Inter for a reported €40million fee.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport1 claims Leroy Sane's proposed move to Bayern Munich is on hold until 2021. The Manchester City star is tipped to leave the Etihad Stadium for Bundesliga champions Bayern, though the two clubs have been unable to strike a deal. Sane now looks likely to depart once his contract expires next year.

Arthur will travel to Turin in the coming days to undergo a medical ahead of his move to Juventus, according to RAC1. Barcelona midfielder Arthur is set to join Juve, with Miralem Pjanic moving in the opposite direction.

Roma are plotting a move for free agent Edinson Cavani, says Calciomercato. Cavani is available on a free transfer after leaving PSG, with Atletico Madrid, Inter and Napoli eyeing the Uruguayan forward.

- Sport reports the Champions League will determine Neymar's future at PSG. Neymar has long been linked with a return to Barca following his world-record departure in 2017.

- Calciomercato says Milan are focused on signing Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai. However, PSG and Arsenal are also among the teams eyeing the 19-year-old Hungarian.

Manchester United are among the possible destinations for Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, who faces an uncertain future with the London club, according to L'Equipe.

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