Rumour Has It: PSG open talks with Man City target Messi to team Barca star with Neymar and Mbappe

By Sports Desk August 27, 2020

Lionel Messi looks set to leave Barcelona and a select few clubs are preparing to make a move.

Manchester City? Paris Saint-Germain? Inter?

Keep an eye on this saga…

 

TOP STORY – PSG TALKING TO MESSI

Paris Saint-Germain have opened talks with wantaway Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, according to Ole.

Messi has handed in a transfer request at Barca, and the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has already been linked with Manchester City, Manchester United, Inter, Juventus and PSG.

The frontpage of Thursday's Mundo Deportivo claims City are circling to bring Messi to the Premier League with the 33-year-old believed to be keen on reuniting with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola. Meanwhile, Marca claims City have offered a three-year deal.

However, Ligue 1 champions PSG are also eyeing Messi as they look to add him to a squad that already boasts former team-mate Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

ROUND-UP

- Fabrizio Romano reports Inter have re-opened talks with Barca for midfielder Arturo Vidal. Antonio Conte, who will remain Inter head coach in 2020-21, wants to bring the Chilean to San Siro.

- It comes as Gazzetta dello Sport reports Inter have struck a deal to sign Brescia star Sandro Tonali. Milan have also been eyeing the Italy midfielder.

- Serie A champions Juventus are set to sign Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie, says Sky Sport Italia. The United States international is poised to arrive on loan with the option to buy. Juve have also been linked with Sassuolo's Manuel Locatelli.

Manchester United are still chasing Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, according to the Daily Mail. Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho has been United's top priority, though the Red Devils remain in contact with Villa over a potential transfer.

- Sport Bild says Liverpool will make an approach for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara in the coming days.

Milan are poised to sign Real Madrid's Brahim Diaz on loan, reports Gianluca Di Marzio. Brahim has struggled for game time since arriving from City in 2019.

- Signing Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is a priority for PSG, claims Le10 Sport. The Serbia international has previously been linked with Madrid, United, Juve, Inter and Chelsea.

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    Is Zinedine Zidane's second spell in charge of Real Madrid coming to an end?

    Zidane guided Madrid to three successive Champions League titles in his first stint, and last season's LaLiga crown after returning to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2019.

    But the Los Blancos great is under mounting pressure amid the club's struggles this season.

     

    TOP STORY – ZIDANE IN DANGER

    Mauricio Pochettino and Raul are waiting in the wings to replace Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, according to widespread reports in Spain.

    Madrid head coach Zidane is in danger of losing his job following Tuesday's Champions League loss to Shakhtar Donetsk.

    Los Blancos have suffered back-to-back defeats and three in their past five outings across all competitions to be seven points adrift in LaLiga and on the cusp of Champions League elimination.

    Thursday's Mundo Deportivo, Diario AS and Sport report former Tottenham boss Pochettino and Madrid Castilla coach Raul are eyeing the hot seat.

    ROUND-UP

    - Calciomercato claims the race to sign Rennes and France sensation Eduardo Camavinga is down to Madrid and Manchester United. Serie A champions Juventus had also been linked, though there has been talk of Paul Pogba returning to Turin after leaving for Old Trafford in 2016.

    - Bayern Munich star David Alaba is hoping to strike a January agreement with Chelsea, according to Fabrizio Romano's 'Here We Go Podcast'. Alaba is a free agent at the end of the season and he has been linked to the likes of Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

    Juventus have shown an interest in Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti, according to Calciomercato. Arsenal's Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic are also on the shortlist.

    Madrid are eyeing Benfica forward Darwin Nunez, reports Calciomercato. The Uruguay international has also caught the attention of LaLiga rivals Barca.

    - What does the future hold for Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland? Heavily linked to United, Madrid, Liverpool, PSG and even Barca, Calciomercato says Juve are monitoring the Norwegian closely.

  • Fred red card 'nowhere near a foul', says Solskjaer Fred red card 'nowhere near a foul', says Solskjaer

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt Fred's tackle that saw him sent off was "nowhere near a foul" but said the midfielder may have been lucky earlier.

    Fred was sent off in the second half of United's 3-1 Champions League loss at home to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

    The Brazilian was booked in the first half for an apparent headbutt on Leandro Paredes, before getting his second yellow card after appearing to win the ball ahead of Ander Herrera.

    Fred conceded four fouls but his eight possessions gained were the equal most at Old Trafford despite seeing red with 20 minutes remaining.

    Solskjaer lamented the decision that saw the midfielder sent off, although admitted he may have been fortunate earlier.

    "We spoke to him at half-time – and be sensible – and I thought he was. I thought he played really well," he told a news conference.

    "I thought he was very, very sensible in the second half and he covers the ground, he gets up to men without trying to tackle. The ball that he actually gets a yellow card for though, the tackle, that's nowhere near a foul. So, if you see that again, that's a mistake by the referee.

    "But that's also human error, it's allowed. You can't, I can't sit there and complain about that now. I thought Fred was unlucky there, but he was probably lucky enough to come off for the first half."

    Neymar's brace and Marquinhos' goal was enough to move PSG onto nine points, alongside United and RB Leipzig, in Group H.

    Marcus Rashford had equalised for United in the first half, becoming the first player to score in all three home games for the club in a single group stage in the Champions League since Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2004-05.

    Solskjaer was pleased with the forward, who has scored more goals in five Champions League games this season (six) than he managed in 18 appearances in the competition across his previous two campaigns.

    "He's really taken to that role really well. And he's certainly giving us threat down the side, penetration, crosses, finishes. I've been very pleased with Marcus on there," he said.

    "I know sometimes a right-footed striker would like to play on the left to come inside and score goals, but he's proving very efficient from the right side as well.

    "And through the middle, he's played through the middle this season, as well, really well. So he's developing really well into the top forward for us."

    Rashford was substituted with 16 minutes remaining and Solskjaer revealed the England international is struggling with a shoulder problem ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to West Ham.

    "It's just niggling him, that shoulder injury," Solskjaer told BT Sport. "Let's see how quickly he can recover. Let's hope he can be ready for the West Ham game. But we don't know."

  • Neymar: I didn't join PSG to play in Europa League Neymar: I didn't join PSG to play in Europa League

    Neymar insisted he did not leave Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain to play in the Europa League after boosting the club's Champions League qualification hopes on Wednesday.

    PSG are in control of their own destiny thanks to a Neymar-inspired 3-1 victory over 10-man Manchester United at Old Trafford midweek.

    United only required a draw to progress to the last 16, but their passage to the knockout stage was put on hold after Neymar's double and a Marquinhos goal threw Group H wide open heading into the final matchday.

    PSG, United and RB Leipzig are all level on nine points through five matches, with the Ligue 1 champions – who reached last season's final – only needing a draw against Istanbul Basaksehir next week to secure a round-of-16 berth.

    "That is why I said that we needed to change attitude or else we could forget about our Champions League dream," Neymar, who joined PSG in a world-record €222million deal in 2017 after winning the Champions League with Barca, told Eleven Sports.

    "But we have changed. And today our dream has more life in it. Of course, I have never been eliminated in the Champions League [group stage] or played in the Europa League.

    "That never crossed my mind and it never well. When these difficult moments come, I am able to evolve and take my responsibilities. I did not come here to play in the Europa League."

    Neymar opened the scoring inside six minutes away to United before Marcus Rashford scored in his third successive Champions League appearance against PSG.

    After Anthony Martial wasted a gilt-edged opportunity and former PSG forward Edinson Cavani rattled the crossbar, it all went pear-shaped for United – who watched Marquinhos bundle the ball over the line with 21 minutes remaining and saw Fred receive a second yellow card moments later.

    Neymar added gloss to the scoreline in the first minute of stoppage time and he said: "I have always felt like a leader, since I was 17, I have never needed to have an armband to feel that way. Today, I am a figure at PSG.

    "Everything that I can do on the pitch has an impact on my team-mates and what I want, is to help them, to give the best of myself. I am a very annoying guy on the pitch, I follow up a lot with my team-mates, but I am also ready to accept criticism, about myself too.

    "I am not untouchable. Everyone is fighting for the same thing. I am very happy to be able to help my team-mates."

    PSG have won both of their last two away matches against English opposition in all competitions (both versus United) – they had only won one of their first 10 such visits prior (drawn four and lost five).

    Since his Champions League debut in 2013, only Cristiano Ronaldo (79), Robert Lewandowski (60) and Lionel Messi (59) have more goals in the competition than Neymar (38).

    Neymar's double in Manchester was the Brazilian's first goals in his six Champions League games away to English sides.

    PSG head coach Tuchel added: "Neymar was again decisive. He is not 100 per cent but he is decisive.

    "Marquinhos was also decisive. These two players were already decisive for us in Portugal. They are leaders, they take responsibility when necessary. Congratulations to both players!"

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