Rumour Has It: Messi will extend Barca contract, Man Utd nearing Sancho deal

By Sports Desk June 24, 2021

Is Lionel Messi's future close to being resolved?

Messi is out of contract at Barcelona and the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked with a move away.

But, if reports are to be believed, the superstar is on the verge of extending his Barca contract.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI SET TO RENEW AT CAMP NOU

Lionel Messi will renew his contract with Barcelona until 2023, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Messi is out of contract at Camp Nou and the superstar captain has been linked with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

But Messi is poised to re-sign, with an official deal reportedly only a matter of time.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United are edging closer to signing long-time transfer target and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, reports Bild.

- Diario AS claims Real Madrid are set to rival Arsenal for Real Sociedad star Alexander Isak. The Sweden international appeals as a more affordable option compared to Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and PSG forward Kylian Mbappe.

- Inter star Achraf Hakimi is expected to join PSG, says Romano. Personal terms have reportedly been agreed until 2026. He has also been linked with Chelsea.

- Premier League champions City are willing to wait a year to sign a striker if they are unable to prise Harry Kane from Tottenham, according to ESPN. Kane has been linked with City, United, Chelsea, Madrid and Barca amid reports he wants to leave Spurs. With Tottenham unwilling to sell Kane, City are prepared to wait in the transfer market as they also eye Haaland.

- Mundo Deportivo claims Inter want to sign Barca full-back Jordi Alba, with the Serie A holders willing to offer three players – Milan Skriniar, Lautaro Martinez and Marcelo Brozovic.

- Maurizio Sarri's Lazio are close to signing Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira, reports Sky Sport Italia.

West Ham have made a bid to sign Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, says Sky Sport Italia. The Serbia international has previously been linked with Tottenham, United and Milan.

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    Now a move to a bigger Premier League club might be on the cards.

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    TOP STORY – CITY EYE GREALISH SWOOP

    It seems increasingly unlikely Aston Villa will be able to hold onto Jack Grealish.

    The England winger has agreed to personal terms with Manchester City, according to a Football Insider report.

    Though he grew up a Villa fan and has spent his entire career with the club, save for a season on loan to Notts County, Grealish is in demand among the Premier League's big-money clubs.

    City reportedly are preparing a £90million offer that would be difficult for Villa to refuse.

    ROUND-UP

    - With Paul Pogba and Manchester United at a stalemate in contract talks, the Telegraph says Paris Saint-Germain believe they can sign the midfielder with a £43million bid.

    - Alexandre Lacazette is entering his final year under contract with Arsenal but the Gunners are ready to move on. According to the Sun, they are hoping to net £15m for Lacazette after paying £52m to sign him four years ago.

    - Arsenal remain interested in a move for James Maddison, reports the Mirror, and they could explore a swap deal with Leicester City to get it done.

    - PSG want to keep Moise Kean on a permanent deal after his year on loan from Everton, but Juventus also are interested, Le 10 Sport reports.

  • Klopp staying patient as Van Dijk and Gomez impress in pre-season training Klopp staying patient as Van Dijk and Gomez impress in pre-season training

    Jurgen Klopp revealed Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have looked "really good" in pre-season training with Liverpool, though made clear the need for patience over the returning duo.

    Van Dijk and fellow centre-back Gomez were long-term absentees during the Reds' unsuccessful title defence in the 2020-21 campaign, making a combined total of just 12 Premier League appearances.

    Both are closing in on a comeback but Klopp insisted after the 1-0 friendly win over Mainz on Friday that neither are likely to feature in the next fixture, which sees Liverpool take on Hertha Berlin.

    Asked by the club's official website if the defenders could play next Thursday, he replied: "Yeah, it would still be a surprise, unfortunately. But they look really good.

    "Look, I think, they do everything, they play football, we keep them in training, we do the things we can do, they don't do too much and stuff like this.

    "We just have to be patient – we prepare for a full season, not for a pre-season game. I will not risk it for a game here, so we have to see.

    "We have a lot of games still coming, pre-season games, but I don't see them being involved for the next one."

    Liverpool recorded a first win during pre-season action thanks to a late own goal against Mainz, Luca Kilian turning Owen Beck's cross into the net in the 86th minute.

    Klopp had included a host of first-team regulars in his starting XI, which saw Harvey Elliott utilised in a midfield role, before a much younger line-up were introduced after half-time.

    A number of the squad remain absent following their exertions at Euro 2020 and the Copa America, though Scotland captain Andy Robertson has joined up with his team-mates in Austria.

    "I am happy about a lot of situations I saw," the Liverpool boss said of the game against Mainz.

    "I saw in the first half some really good football where we came through, we passed, we passed the ball quite quickly, quick enough against a good, organised side, a deep-defending side and this kind of stuff. It was far away from being perfect, but it is absolutely okay.

    "Second half I saw the boys, the kids, fought for a result and they got it. They forced it and I am happy about that."

  • Pochettino signs new contract to remain with PSG until 2023 Pochettino signs new contract to remain with PSG until 2023

    Paris Saint-Germain have announced head coach Mauricio Pochettino has signed a new deal that will keep him in the French capital until 2023.

    Pochettino arrived at the Ligue 1 club at the start of January, taking over following the departure of Thomas Tuchel, who is now in charge at Chelsea.

    The former PSG defender was unable to secure the top-flight title for a fourth straight season, however, as the reigning champions were dethroned by Lille. They did win the Coupe de France, as well as reaching the last four of the Champions League.

    Previously linked with a stunning return to Tottenham, who sacked the Argentinian back in November 2019, Pochettino has now agreed to extend his stay in Paris, along with his coaching staff.

    "I'm really very happy, for myself and also for my staff," Pochettino told the PSG website.

    "It's very important for us to feel the confidence of the club and we will give our maximum so that the supporters are proud of Paris Saint-Germain. That's why we will try and reach our objectives all together, as one.

    "Twenty years ago I was captain of this club and today I am the coach… It's a dream come true."

    PSG have been busy during the close-season as they prepare for the new campaign, with Pochettino seeing his first-team squad boosted by a host of big-name arrivals.

    Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma have all arrived on free transfers, while Achraf Hakimi was signed from Inter for a reported initial fee of €68million.

    "We are delighted that Mauricio has reaffirmed his commitment to the Paris Saint-Germain family," said Nasser Al-Khelaifi, chairman and CEO of PSG.

    "Having also captained the team 20 years ago, he understands the club values, ambition and vision for the future. With Mauricio's leadership, we're excited and confident about what the future holds."

    PSG kick off the season on August 1 when they take on Lille in the Trophee des Champions. Their Ligue 1 campaign begins six days later with a trip to Troyes.

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