Rumour Has It: Man City consider Messi move, Suarez unwanted at Barcelona

By Sports Desk August 25, 2020

Manchester City are reportedly looking at signing Lionel Messi, while Barcelona's rebuild does not include Luis Suarez.

Messi, 33, has been linked with a move away from the LaLiga giants after a trophy-less 2019-20 season.

Barca are preparing for a rebuild and while Messi is part of their plans, Suarez is seemingly not.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY CONSIDER MESSI MOVE

Manchester City are working out if they would be able to sign Barcelona star Messi without breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, according to ESPN.

The report says the Premier League giants are preparing should Messi become available.

Messi is contracted at Barcelona until 2021, but has been linked with a move.

ROUND-UP

- Also at Barcelona, Ronald Koeman is preparing his rebuild. Mundo Deportivo reports the club no longer want Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal or Samuel Umtiti, but have plans for Philippe Coutinho, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. The report also says Suarez's departure will open up a move for Inter star Lautaro Martinez.

- Ansu Fati is seemingly close to committing his future to Barcelona. The 17-year-old forward, who has been linked to Manchester United, will sign a new deal that will include a €400million release clause, according to Mundo Deportivo.

- A former Bianconeri striker could help Juventus land Edin Dzeko. Tuttosport reports Mario Mandzukic could join Roma as a replacement for Dzeko, who is being linked to Juve.

- Milan are reportedly looking at Brahim Diaz. Fabrizio Romano reports the Serie A giants have opened talks with Real Madrid about a loan move, with an option to buy, for Brahim.

- Hector Bellerin has been linked with a move away from Arsenal. RMC Sport reports the defender has been offered to Paris Saint-Germain.

- Also at PSG, Leandro Paredes could make a move. Gianluca Di Marzio says Juventus are interested in the midfielder.

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  • Lazio v Torino abandoned as visitors stay away after COVID-19 positives Lazio v Torino abandoned as visitors stay away after COVID-19 positives

    Lazio turned up for a Serie A clash with Torino on Tuesday, but their opponents stayed away in a move that looks set to trigger a fresh dispute over how Italian football is handling the coronavirus crisis.

    The Stadio Olimpico fixture had an early evening kick-off, scheduled for 18:30 local time, and home side Lazio duly arrived, with coach Simone Inzaghi announcing a team for the game.

    That was already in the knowledge, however, that Torino would not be present to provide the opposition, having stayed in Turin on the advice of their local health authority after a COVID-19 outbreak.

    Torino's home match against Sassuolo, due to take place last Friday, was postponed because of those cases becoming apparent.

    However, Lega Serie A decided the Lazio game should go ahead, despite Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina declaring it was an "objective impossibility" to get the match on.

    Gravina, quoted in La Gazzetta dello Sport, said he understood Torino's situation to be "a full-blown force majeure" and not a spur-of-the-moment decision not to travel to Rome for the game. League chiefs, however, were not as obviously sympathetic.

    A string of training sessions were postponed by Torino last week. At around the time Lazio published their team sheet for Tuesday's game, Torino posted a training update, saying players had been working individually because of the restrictions imposed by local authorities.

    The Corriere dello Sport newspaper said referee Marco Piccinini declared the game abandoned at 19:15 in Rome, adding that two Lazio players were called for routine doping tests despite the fixture not being played.

    It remains to be seen what steps Lega Serie A takes next, but there has been a precedent of sorts this season, when Napoli were barred from travelling to Turin to face Juventus in October.

    League chiefs had turned down a request to call off the game and awarded a 3-0 victory to Juventus, also docking Napoli one point. However, the Naples side appealed to the Italian Olympic Committee's Collegio di Garanzia dello Sport - the highest sporting court in the land - and overturned the Lega Serie A decision. That game will be replayed, with March 17 reportedly a possible date.

    Lazio sporting director Igli Tare told Sky Sport Italia ahead of Tuesday's intended kick-off time: "I could say many things, but I keep them to myself.

    "We respected the rules and we came to the stadium. Now we will wait 45 minutes, then we will leave everything in the hands of the competent bodies.

    "Would I have preferred to play? Absolutely yes."

    Tare said it was not important whether he understood Torino's point of view.

    "I just have to respect the rules of the Lega," he said. "We know how things stand. We are here and this is the only thing that matters."

  • Fati hopes to learn from Messi as he names Barca great and Ronaldo in dream team Fati hopes to learn from Messi as he names Barca great and Ronaldo in dream team

    Ansu Fati has been advised to stay humble by Barcelona great Lionel Messi, who the teenager would love to see alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in a five-a-side dream team.

    Spain international Fati has made a huge impact at Camp Nou since bursting onto the scene in August 2019, setting a number of records along the way before being struck down by a knee injury that has ruled him out since November.

    Fati is Barca's youngest ever goalscorer, the youngest player to score and provide an assist in a single LaLiga game, the youngest Camp Nou goalscorer and the youngest player to score in a Champions League game.

    Many have compared the 18-year-old's rise to stardom as being similar to that of Messi, who has gone on to win a record six Ballons d'Or across his 17 seasons in Barca's first team.

    And La Masia product Fati, who has been nominated for the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year award, has been given guidance by Messi over the past 18 months.

    "What advice has he given me? I try to transmit the same humility as he does. Despite all he has done, he is a very simple man, and the advice he gives is always about keeping your feet on the ground," Fati said, talking to Barcelona's official website.

    "It is a dream to play with the best player in the world and learn from him in training."

    Fati did not name Messi as his role model - that honour instead went to brother Braima - but he did pick the Argentina international in his fantasy side, along with a group of former Barca stars and ex-Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Asked to select five players, Fati said: "That would be Víctor Valdes, [Carles] Puyol, Xavi or Iniesta, Messi and Cristiano."

    Fati is not expected to return for Barcelona until the start of next season, at which point he may be joined by fellow academy product Eric Garcia, who looks set to return to the club from Manchester City.

    Garcia spent close to a decade in the Catalan giants' academy set-up and Fati has named the 20-year-old centre-back as his best team-mate.

    "We have grown up together from a young age," Fati said. "We've played together and he helped me get better.

    "He was very hard to dribble past, and we've been 'at war' since we were kids. We've also played together for Spain - we were always dreaming of this as kids."

  • 'Negotiations ongoing' - Reggae Boyz dispute reports but remain tight-lipped amid claims of $354m wage demand for WC qualifiers 'Negotiations ongoing' - Reggae Boyz dispute reports but remain tight-lipped amid claims of $354m wage demand for WC qualifiers

    A letter released on behalf of Jamaica’s national football players has described recent information circulating in the media, regarding specifics of ongoing negotiations with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), as ‘inaccurate’ but were unable to set the record straight due to contractual obligations.

    The details of the report caused bulging eyeballs, with claims the national team’s representatives had requested a few eye-watering sums for the upcoming campaigns.  Among the standout details was a US$7000 ($1,053,791.20) per player, per match request, in addition to a US$1,000 (150,541.60) win bonus, for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. 

    With an assumed squad of 22 players, at that rate, excluding the bonus, the JFF could be forced to fork out US$154,000 ($23,183,406) per match for the 14 match qualifiers.  In total, the bill would amount to US$2,156,000 ($324,567,689) for the period and that would be the wage bill, exclusive of other expenses like travel and accommodation.  If the reports are accurate, the parties remain miles apart as the JFF has insisted the most it can offer is US$2000 ($301,083) per match.

    In addition, the information released claimed the players have requested US$5,000 ($752,708), for an international friendly, which includes a US$1,000 dollar win bonus.  For the CONCACAF Nations League, that amount would fall to US$3,000 ($451,624.80).

    According to the release issued by the players’ attorney, negotiations remained ongoing and it was premature to offer details on the issue.

    “The players have indicated that it would be premature to make comments on an ongoing negotiation of such national importance,” the release read.

     “The players, upon request by the JFF through their attorney, were asked to keep details of the current negotiations confidential. The players are therefore exercising this responsibility and will not dishonour that request.

    The players consider qualification to the World Cup and maintaining Jamaica's top 50 rankings as an important responsibility and remain committed to an amicable resolution with the JFF.

     They look forward to continuing meaningful discussions with the JFF around a number of outstanding issues, including, but not limited to, match remuneration.”

     

     

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