Rumour Has It: Inter Miami meet with Messi's dad

By Sports Desk September 15, 2019

Inter Miami are continuing their stunning bid to sign Lionel Messi.

Messi, 32, can reportedly leave Barcelona at the end of any season for a club outside of Europe despite being contracted at the LaLiga champions until 2021.

Linked with a shock switch to David Beckham's MLS outfit Inter Miami, the club are continuing to make moves for the Argentina superstar.

 

TOP STORY – INTER MIAMI REPRESENTATIVE MEETS MESSI'S DAD

Beckham sent Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough to London for talks with Messi's dad Jorge, according to The Sun.

Inter Miami are set to enter MLS in 2020 and are looking for a big-name signing, with Messi undoubtedly the biggest of the names linked.

It comes just days after Messi said in an interview with Sport that he wanted to remain at Camp Nou for "as long as possible".

ROUND-UP

- Real Madrid could chase Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba again in January. Sport Bild reports Real Madrid are planning to use Toni Kroos in an exchange deal to land the France international, who was heavily linked with a switch during the close season.

- Sadio Mane re-signed with Liverpool until 2023 less than 12 months ago, but the European champions are already looking for the attacker to recommit. Liverpool have opened talks with Mane for an extension, according to Soccer Link.

- Seemingly unwanted at Juventus, Mario Mandzukic's future remains a talking point. Qatari club Al-Gharafa have offered €6million net per year to the striker and can meet Juve's demands, according to CalcioMercato, which reports Los Angeles FC are also interested in the Croatian despite the MLS transfer window not reopening until February.

- Inter are already looking to lock down a couple of stars. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A giants want to extend the contracts of goalkeeper Samir Handanovic – until 2022 – and forward Lautaro Martinez until 2024. The report says Inter would also double Martinez's salary from €1.5m to €3m per season amid interest from Barcelona.

- Sam Allardyce is ready for a return to management. The Sun reports the former England boss, who left Everton in May last year, is eyeing a return to Sunderland if the reported takeover by an American consortium is completed.

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    Messi and Barcelona face Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

    It has led to fresh comparisons between Messi and Diego Maradona, an Argentina great who starred at Napoli.

    Asked if Messi could emulate Maradona and sign for Napoli, Pique told a news conference: "You can never say never in football, but I guess that is complicated.

    "You should ask him as he decides his future. I would like him to retire with us. I can't tell you more."

    Messi has scored 23 goals in 28 games in all competitions for Barcelona this season.

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    Messi and Barcelona make the trip to the Stadio San Paolo, where Maradona starred as a player in the 1980s and '90s, for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

    Like Maradona, Messi is considered among the best players of all-time, but Insigne preferred not to compare the Argentine duo.

    "I had an interview and I said Messi is the best player in the world," he told a news conference.

    "However, I do not want to compare him with Maradona, who is everything for us. I do not want to compare him.

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    Despite some off-field issues, Barca are top of LaLiga and will go into the last-16 tie as favourites.

    But Insigne said Napoli simply needed to focus on themselves heading into the first leg.

    "I do not know what kind of problem Barcelona have got. I read some things as other people did," he said.

    "I think after four goals scored by Messi against Eibar ... they have no problems.

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    But Pique is keen to ensure his team are focused ahead of the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in Naples.

    "We just try to be focused on our task as for this club in the last few years it has been massive what happens on the pitch," he told a news conference.

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