Rumour Has It: Messi and Ronaldo to join forces at Inter Miami?

By Sports Desk February 23, 2020

After dominating European football for over a decade, could Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo shelve their rivalry and come together as team-mates?

David Beckham might be the man to make it happen.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder appears to have ambitious plans for his new MLS franchise.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI, RONALDO WANTED AT INTER MIAMI

Barcelona captain Messi, 32, and Juventus talisman Ronaldo, 35, will end their careers on the same side if Inter Miami co-owner Beckham gets his wish, according to the Mirror.

The newspaper claims the new MLS outfit are "already thinking big" and could look to lure football's two biggest superstars to the United States.

LA Galaxy have also been linked with a move for Messi but Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath believes Beckham's pulling power has the potential to create a dream attacking duo.

“For Ronaldo and Messi, the two obvious destinations if they came to the MLS would be Los Angeles and Miami," Heath told the Mirror.

"And, with his links to both players and the plan Beckham and his backers have in place, I can really only see them going to Miami."

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United are set to launch a £50million bid for Wolves forward Diogo Jota, scorer of a Europa League hat-trick on Thursday, reports the Express.

- United have also been linked with Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham but the Red Devils are set to face competition from Liverpool, according to the Daily Star.

- Serie A leaders Juventus are at the front of the queue for Paul Pogba but Paris Saint-Germain also hope to land the French star, reports Le10 Sport.

- PSG, meanwhile, are planning for life after Thomas Tuchel, who is said to be in talks with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. L'Equipe claims the Ligue 1 champions could look to replace him with either Massimiliano Allegri or Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi.

- Premier League clubs Sheffield United, Wolves and Burnley are showing interest in Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, suggests the Sun.

Related items

  • Havertz has no 'COVID discount' - Voller says Chelsea must pay Leverkusen asking price Havertz has no 'COVID discount' - Voller says Chelsea must pay Leverkusen asking price

    Kai Havertz has no "COVID discount" and Chelsea must meet Bayer Leverkusen's valuation or miss out on a deal, Rudi Voller has warned.

    Germany international Havertz is reportedly keen on a switch to the Blues, who have long been linked with a move for the 21-year-old.

    Havertz is said to be in favour of a move to Stamford Bridge but the two clubs still seemingly have work to do to strike a deal.

    Leverkusen are claimed to want £90million for Havertz, with Chelsea thought to be interested in a structured deal that starts at around £70m.

    But sporting director Voller said simply any club wanting to buy Havertz must pay the asking price otherwise he will stay at the BayArena for another year.

    Asked if Leverkusen have agreed to sell Havertz, Voller told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "No, but with his talent, it means he's on the list of all the best clubs.

    "We know of the interest of a couple of clubs, especially Chelsea, but for us, the situation is quite simple: he has a two-year contract, if anyone wants him on our terms, fine, otherwise he stays here another year and we are happy.

    "It won't be easy, but for an artist like him there is no COVID discount."

    In Voller's opinion, Havertz is on course to be better than some illustrious Leverkusen alumni.

    "For me, he's the best I've seen at Leverkusen, and I've been here for a lifetime. We had Emerson, [Michael] Ballack, Ze Roberto, [Toni] Kroos, but he's on top," Voller added.

    Former Germany star Voller said Havertz reminds him of Ballack and Mesut Ozil, adding: "He takes the best bits from both of them."

    Voller also has no doubt Havertz will continue to represent Leverkusen for the completion of their Europa League campaign, with a quarter-final tie against Inter next up.

    Timo Werner opted not to play for RB Leipzig in the remainder of the Champions League after agreeing to join Chelsea, but Havertz did feature for Leverkusen in the second leg of their last-16 tie against Rangers and Voller is sure he will do so as long as the team are in the competition.

    "Of course he will play [in the Europa League quarter-final], also because he wants to," Voller said. "I am a bit old-fashioned: for me a season is over when it all ends.

    "Nobody leaves first. Now, with COVID-19, there have been transfers before the end of the season, but not from us."

  • Rumour Has It: PSG focused on Mbappe, Neymar over Ronaldo Rumour Has It: PSG focused on Mbappe, Neymar over Ronaldo

    Paris Saint-Germain are focused on Kylian Mbappe and Neymar over Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Mbappe and Neymar have both been linked with moves away from the Ligue 1 champions, while Ronaldo has reportedly been a target for PSG previously.

    PSG seemingly know where their priorities are.

     

    TOP STORY – PSG FOCUS ON MBAPPE, NEYMAR OVER RONALDO

    PSG would prefer to extend the contracts of Mbappe and Neymar than chase Juventus star Ronaldo, according to ESPN.

    Mbappe and Neymar are both coming to the end of their contracts in 2022 and have been linked to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Arsenal are reportedly ready to splash the cash. The Sun says the Premier League side are set to spend £100million on Real Madrid's Dani Ceballos, Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey and Lille's Gabriel Magalhaes, but must sell at least three players.

    - With Eric Garcia set to leave Manchester City, Barcelona are preparing a move. The Sun reports Barca will make a €15.5m (£14m) bid for the defender.

    - Will Chelsea find a way to land West Ham star Declan Rice? The Daily Star says Chelsea are looking to raise £65m to land the midfielder.

    - Liverpool continue to be linked with moves. The Liverpool Echo reports Watford attacker Ismaila Sarr is on the Premier League champions' shortlist.

    - Staying at Anfield and Yahoo reports Liverpool are tracking Vasco da Gama's 18-year-old forward Talles Magno.

    - Ryan Sessegnon continues to be linked with a move from Tottenham. The Guardian reports Ajax are interested in Sessegnon on loan.

  • Messi's home comforts and mission impossible for Chelsea – Champions League in Opta numbers Messi's home comforts and mission impossible for Chelsea – Champions League in Opta numbers

    Lionel Messi's sublime home record for Barcelona makes worrying reading for Napoli, whose task is not nearly as tricky as the one Chelsea face against a Bayern Munich side spearheaded by the sensational Robert Lewandowski. 

    The final two rearranged Champions League last-16 games take place on Saturday before the competition, which was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, heads for Lisbon. 

    Barca, who drew 1-1 at the San Paolo in the first leg, host Napoli for the first time in a competitive match, with Gennaro Gattuso's visitors aiming to become the first team to win their first away trip to Camp Nou since Rubin Kazan in October 2009. 

    Bayern's squad and coaching team will surely be having their passports stamped for a trip to Portugal having hammered Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge. Frank Lampard's Blues will have to do something that has never been done if they are to progress.


    Barcelona v Napoli

    6 - Napoli's Dries Mertens has scored six Champions League goals this season, one shy of the record for goals in a single season in UEFA competition for the club; both Edinson Cavani (2012-13 Europa League) and Gonzalo Higuain (2014-15 Europa League) scored seven each. 

    11 - Messi has been directly involved in 11 goals in his last five home Champions League knockout matches at Camp Nou (8 goals, 3 assists), scoring a brace in four of those five games. 

    12 - Barcelona have qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals in each of the last 12 campaigns, last failing in 2006-07 under Frank Rijkaard; no other team has qualified for the last-eight of the competition in more than eight consecutive seasons. They have also progressed from each of their last 19 Champions League knockout ties after avoiding defeat in the first leg away from home, only failing to do so once (vs Juventus in the 2002-03 quarter-final). 

    2 - Napoli's two previous away Champions League knockout matches have ended in defeat, losing 4-1 to Chelsea in March 2012 and 3-1 to Real Madrid in February 2017. They have failed to progress from nine of their last 10 UEFA European knockout ties when failing to win the first leg. 

    1 - This is Quique Setien's first home Champions League match as Barcelona boss – 10 of their previous 11 managers have won their first in charge at Camp Nou, with only Louis van Gaal failing to do so in a 2-2 draw against PSV in October 1997. 


    Bayern Munich v Chelsea

    6 - All six of Serge Gnabry's Champions League goals for Bayern this season have come against English teams (four vs Spurs, two vs Chelsea). Only two players have scored more goals against teams from a single nation in one season – Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013-14 vs German teams (7) and Luiz Adriano in 2014-15 vs Belarusian teams (8). 

    41 - Lewandowski has scored 11 goals and assisted two more in six Champions League appearances this season, averaging a goal or assist every 41 minutes. The German side have failed to win any of their last five knockout stage games in the Champions League in which Lewandowski has not been on the scoresheet (D3 L2). 

    1- Chelsea have only scored three goals in an away Champions League knockout match once previously, winning 3-1 at Liverpool in April 2009; Bayern have only conceded three times in three of their 43 home Champions League knockout games, though did so most recently in a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in March 2019. 

    0 - In the entire history of the European Cup and Champions League, no team has ever won by three or more goals in the first leg of a knockout match away from home and failed to progress, going through on all 92 previous occasions. 

    3- Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick is looking to become only the third manager in Champions League history to win his first five matches in charge, after Fabio Capello (first six with Milan in 1992-93) and Luis Fernandez (first six with PSG in 1994-95). 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.