Reggae Boyz defender Damion Lowe is now a player for the Philadelphia Union in the USA’s Major League Soccer (MLS) after being acquired by the franchise in a trade with Inter Miami CF.

The trade was announced on Wednesday.

According to the franchises, in exchange for the 29-year-old Lowe, Philadelphia sent Miami $225,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM), a natural first-round pick in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft and the Priority Homegrown Rights for Inter Miami II forward Shanyder Borgelin.

Sporting Director at Philadelphia Union is optimistic about Lowe’s arrival.

“Damion is an experienced defender who fits into our current needs,” he said.

“He’s an athletic, quick player and we expect him to be an important piece of our defensive unit as we begin a season that will require lineup and formation changes due to the unprecedented number of matches.”

Meanwhile, Inter Miami CSO and sporting director Chris Henderson, in a statement thanked Lowe for the time he spent at Inter Miami.

“We want to thank Damion for everything he’s done for Inter Miami during his time with the club and wish him the best moving forward,” he said.

At Philadelphia, Lowe joins his Reggae Boyz teammate, goalkeeper Andre Blake.

Josef Martinez has left Atlanta United for Inter Miami, replacing the retired Gonzalo Higuain.

Miami announced the deal on Wednesday after Atlanta confirmed they had agreed a contract buyout with the player.

Martinez had been with Atlanta since their debut MLS season in 2018 and is the club's record scorer with 111 goals.

In the 2018 season, he teamed up with Miguel Almiron to lead the Five Stripes to MLS Cup glory.

Martinez was the MLS MVP, MLS All-Star MVP and MLS Cup MVP in that campaign, as well as winning the Golden Boot and scoring the opening goal in the title match.

Atlanta went on to win the U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup the following year but have increasingly struggled since Almiron's record-breaking move to Newcastle United in the Premier League.

They missed out on the playoffs in two of the past three years, and Martinez has now moved on to join Eastern Conference rivals Miami.

Under Phil Neville, Miami enjoyed their best season in 2022, finishing sixth in the East, but Higuain's retirement had left a gaping hole in their attack.

"Josef is a champion and adding him to our group is exciting for us as we head into the 2023 season," said sporting director Chris Henderson.

"He's been one of the best players in the league since he first arrived and we believe he'll make a difference here at Inter Miami.

"We're adding a proven goalscorer with a track record of success in MLS. We're thrilled to have a player like Josef in our attack."

Martinez added: "I'm excited for the opportunity to represent Inter Miami and give the best of myself.

"This is a club with high aspirations and that aims to be amongst the best in the league. I hope to help the team achieve its objectives and leave my mark at the club."

Atlanta technical director Carlos Bocanegra said: "Josef has played a pivotal role in Atlanta United's history, scoring memorable goals and hoisting multiple trophies for moments that will forever live with our supporters.

"He was a foundational piece who was responsible for helping build our brand into what it is today.

"We cannot thank him enough for his contributions to the club and the community over the last six years. He will always be part of Atlanta United and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours."

David Beckham's playing career may be over, but one Premier League club will list a Beckham among their ranks this season after the former England captain's son Romeo joined Brentford.

The young Beckham made 20 appearances for Inter Miami II – the reserve side of his father's Major League Soccer franchise – in the MLS Next Pro league last season.

The 20-year-old previously spent time in Arsenal's academy before being released in 2015, and he joined Inter Miami II in 2021 when the team were known as Fort Lauderdale CF.

In a statement released on Friday, Brentford revealed the winger would join their B team until the end of the season.

"Brentford are delighted to announce the signing of Romeo Beckham from Inter Miami CF on loan until the end of the 2022-23 season," the club said.

"The 20-year-old will join Neil MacFarlane's B team for the rest of the campaign to continue his development as he makes the temporary switch from the MLS club. The move is subject to international clearance."

Revealing Beckham had been training with the club since the end of the MLS Next Pro season, MacFarlane said: "He came to us from Inter Miami with the aim of working with us during their close season.

"Romeo has applied himself unbelievably well, he's really bought into the culture and the group which he has become a big part of. I love his standards and the way he conducts himself on and off the pitch."

The new recruit said he was relishing his opportunity, telling Brentford's website: "I'm very proud and very happy to be here.

"I came here at the start to keep fit during the off season. The chance then came to come on loan here and I've never been so excited."

Last July, Inter Miami coach Phil Neville defended his decision to bring on Beckham – as well as his own son Harvey – in a friendly against Barcelona, saying they both "earned the right" to feature in a game which ended in a 6-0 defeat for the MLS side.

Former France international and World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi has announced his retirement at the age of 35.

The midfielder, who has not played this year after he was omitted from Inter Miami's 2022 roster, has officially called time on his career.

An 84-cap veteran for Les Bleus, Matuidi was a member of Didier Deschamps' Russia 2018-winning squad, starting four of their matches including the 4-2 final success against Croatia.

In a statement to social media, the former Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus man spoke of realising his ambitions, and thanked fans for their support over the years.

"Football, I loved you so much," he wrote. "Football, you gave me so much, but the time has come to say stop.

"I accomplished my dreams as a child, my dreams as a man. It is with a tight throat but with pride that I turn this page today."

Matuidi, who made his senior debut with Troyes in 2004, spent over the first decade of his career in his home country, moving to Saint-Etienne, and then PSG in 2011.

There, he was one of several players who formed the bedrock of their emergence as the dominant force in French domestic football.

A switch to Juventus in 2017 brought three Serie A titles with the Bianconeri, before he joined Miami in 2020.

With seven domestic top-flight titles across his career, Matuidi was also a member of the France squad that came second at Euro 2016, and was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour for his international success.

Lionel Messi is currently holidaying in his homeland after Argentina's World Cup victory.

But the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner's club future is a hot topic, having put off any contract talks until after the event.

Messi is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of this season, with former club Barcelona consistently linked.

TOP STORY – MESSI AGREES TO STAY WITH PSG

Lionel Messi has agreed to a one-year contract extension with PSG, according to Le Parisien.

The 35-year-old had put off contract talks until after the World Cup, which concluded on Sunday with Messi lifting the title with Argentina.

The report claims Messi and PSG have reached an agreement in principle, with the deal to be sealed once the Argentine returns to France.

ROUND-UP

– CBS's Ben Jacobs claims PSG will not let Kylian Mbappe exit the club in January and any off-season move will only be permitted at the right price. Mbappe was heavily linked with Real Madrid previously, but the move did not materialise, as he ultimately re-signed in May with the Parisians until 2025.

Barcelona have lost interest in Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, moving on from the idea of attempting to sign the 32-year-old on a free transfer in the off-season due to his age, claims SPORT.

Manchester United are interested in Aston Villa's Argentina World Cup-winning goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, claims Football Insider. That comes with David de Gea's future at Old Trafford unclear.

– Fabrizio Romano reports that Chelsea are on the verge of reaching agreement on a deal for Vasco da Gama's 18-year-old Andrey Santos. The Daily Mail claims the deal is worth £18m.

Tottenham will rival Bayern Munich in pursuit of Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer, according to GiveMeSport. Spurs are looking for a successor to veteran Hugo Lloris, while Bayern have lost Manuel Neuer to injury.

Christopher Nkunku has long been inked with Chelsea, with reports he had undergone a medical in September.

The 25-year-old Frenchman netted 20 goals in the Bundesliga last season and already has 12 this term.

The Blues are undergoing a period of change under owner Todd Boehly and new head coach Graham Potter – and could be about to land a big-name target.

 

TOP STORY - NKUNKU'S CHELSEA DEAL SET TO BE SIGNED

Chelsea are on the cusp of finalising the deal for RB Leipzig forward Nkunku with contracts set to be signed, reports Fabrizio Romano.

The Blues have reached an agreement with Nkunku's German club Leipzig for more than £52million (€60m).

Nkunku, who was ruled out of the World Cup earlier this month due to a knee injury, will apparently pen a long-term deal starting from June 2023.

ROUND-UP

- ESPN has reported that  Lionel Messi has not agreed to a deal to join Inter Miami from Paris Saint-Germain following reports that he is on the verge of a deal with the Major League Soccer club.

Chelsea are reportedly not willing to let Christian Pulisic depart on loan in January, amid links with Premier League trio Manchester United, Newcastle United and Arsenal. The Blues would prefer a permanent deal for the United States international.

- Sky Sport's Florian Plettenberg claims RB Leipzig's Konrad Laimer has reached a verbal agreement to join Bayern Munich at the end of this season, with a view to a long-term deal until 2027.

Edin Dzeko is set to earn a new one-year deal with Inter, according to Gazzetta. But the 36-year-old must accept a pay cut, from about €5.5m to €3m per season (plus bonuses).

- Ecuador international midfielder Moises Caicedo, who is currently on Brighton and Hove Albion's books, is drawing interest from Manchester United, claims Sky Germany.

- Fabrizio Romano reports Brighton are in talks with Molde to sign 19-year-old Ivorian striker David Datro Fofana. The Norwegian club want more than €10m (£8.6m) for him.

Lionel Messi is not in negotiations to seal a move to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami at the end of the season, the Paris Saint-German forward's representative has declared.

Reports broke on Sunday that claimed the Argentina superstar was close to an agreement that would see him move to the United States after his contract with PSG expires next year.

Such a move would provide a huge boost to the sport in North America ahead of the World Cup in 2026, which will be held in the USA, Canada and Mexico, with Messi previously indicating a desire to play in MLS.

However, his representative Marcelo Mendez has dubbed the reports as "fake news" and made it clear discussions are not taking place.

"It's false, it's fake news. There is no negotiation for Lionel to join Inter Miami next season," Mendez told CNN.

Messi is currently focused on leading Argentina to glory in the World Cup, having scored in both of his side's matches so far – including the opening goal in the crucial victory over Mexico on Saturday.

Argentina meet Poland on Wednesday, where victory will secure a spot in the knockout stage. A draw would also be enough if Saudi Arabia and Mexico finishes level in the other Group C match.

Lionel Messi has been linked with a blockbuster move to MLS club Inter Miami.

The Times report that the US franchise, co-owned by David Beckham, are ready to make Messi the highest-paid player in MLS history.

Messi is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season and has also been linked with a move to his former club Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY - MESSI AND BUSQUETS COULD BE BOUND FOR MIAMI

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets is set to join ex-team-mate Lionel Messi at MLS club Inter Miami, according to Cope.

The 34-year-old Spain captain is out of contract at the end of this season and has been weighing up his future at Camp Nou.

Messi and Busquets spent more than a decade together at the Blaugrana and could re-unite in Florida, where the Argentina great regularly vacations at a house he owns.

ROUND-UP

- ESPN reports Manchester United are exploring a January loan move for Chelsea's Christian Pulisic. Newcastle United and Arsenal have also been linked with the United States international by the Mail.

- Chelsea have been keeping a close watch on Bayer Leverkusen's Ecuadora centre-back Piero Hincapie during the World Cup, reports the Mirror.

- Fichajes claims that Real Madrid's German midfielder Toni Kroos has rejected the chance to move to Manchester City.

- Newcastle will move for 18-year-old Vasco da Gama midfielder Andrey Santos in January, according to the Northern Echo.

- Milan are eager to discuss lowering the €22m purchase option fee for on-loan midfielder Brahim Diaz with parent club Real Madrid, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Spaniard's two-year loan deal is due to expire at the end of the season.

Lionel Messi is rumoured to become the latest superstar to move to MLS, with the Times reporting that the Argentina forward will join Inter Miami. 

Messi is out of contract with Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season and has been continually linked with a return to Barcelona, having left the Blaugrana in 2021.

But Inter Miami are said to be "confident" the 35-year-old will sign following the conclusion of the World Cup in Qatar, where he has scored in both of Argentina's group stage matches, though he would not move until the conclusion of PSG's season.

Should the move materialise, Messi would join a host of big names to ply their trade in the United States. Here are some of the most notable examples.

David Beckham

The former England captain shocked the world when he swapped Real Madrid for LA Galaxy in 2007, though his blockbuster move certainly put MLS on the map.

Beckham made 118 appearances during his five-year spell with Galaxy, scoring 20 goals, while helping the franchise to successive MLS Cup triumphs in his final two seasons.

Thierry Henry

Arsenal and France's all-time leading scorer scored 52 goals in 135 games for the New York Red Bulls between 2010 and 2014, helping them win the 2013 Supporters' Shield and making four All-Star appearances.

Henry also coached Montreal Impact from 2019 to 2021, guiding them into the playoffs during his only full season in charge.

David Villa

Spain's all-time leading marksman became New York City's first signing when he joined from Atletico Madrid ahead of their debut MLS season in 2015.

A four-time All-Star, Villa would go on to score 80 goals in 126 appearances before departing for Japanese side Vissel Kobe at the end of the 2018 season.

Kaka

The former Ballon d'Or winner became Orlando City's first designated player when he agreed to join the new franchise in 2014.

Kaka played 78 times for City, scoring 25 goals, while he was an All-Star in each of his three seasons.

Andrea Pirlo

A multiple Scudetto winner with Milan and Juventus, Pirlo was unable to truly leave his mark on MLS during his stint with New York City.

Nevertheless, the former Italy midfielder did help the franchise reach the playoffs in 2016 and 2017, while racking up 62 appearances and netting once.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Ibrahimovic certainly hit the ground running after switching Manchester United for LA Galaxy, scoring twice on his debut in a 4-3 win over rivals Los Angeles FC, including a 45-yard screamer.

That set the tone for a prolific two-year spell for the former Sweden international, who netted 53 times in 58 appearances before returning to Italy for a second stint at Milan.

Wayne Rooney

England's all-time leading scorer helped D.C. United reach the play-offs in his first season after joining from Everton in 2018, while he will always be remembered for his last-ditch tackle and cross-field assist to Luciano Acosta that sealed a dramatic 3-2 win over Orlando City.

Rooney scored 25 goals in 52 appearances for United and, following a spell at Derby County, he returned to the franchise as head coach in July. 

Gonzalo Higuain

A league title winner with Real Madrid and Juventus, Higuain swapped Italy for the States in September 2020.

Despite missing a penalty on his debut against Philadelphia Union, the former Argentina striker went on to score 29 goals in 70 appearances before retiring at the end of the 2022 MLS season.

Lionel Messi is rumoured to become the latest superstar to move to the MLS, with the Times reporting that the Argentina forward will join Inter Miami. 

Messi is out of contract with Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season and has been continually linked with a return to Barcelona, having left the Blaugrana in 2021.

But Inter Miami are said to be "confident" the 35-year-old will sign following the conclusion of the World Cup in Qatar, where he has scored in both of Argentina's group stage matches, though he would not move until the conclusion of PSG's season.

Should the move materialise, Messi would join a host of big names to ply their trade in the United States. Here are some of the most notable examples.

David Beckham

The former England captain shocked the world when he swapped Real Madrid for LA Galaxy in 2007, though his blockbuster move certainly put the MLS on the map.

Beckham made 118 appearances during his five-year spell with Galaxy, scoring 20 goals, while helping the franchise to successive MLS Cup triumph in his final two seasons.

Thierry Henry

Arsenal and France's all-time leading scorer scored 52 goals in 135 games for the New York Red Bulls between 2010 and 2014, helping them win the 2013 Supporters' Shield and making four All-Star appearances.

Henry also coached Montreal Impact from 2019 to 2021, guiding them into the playoffs during his only full season in charge.

David Villa

Spain's all-time leading marksman became New York City's first signing when he joined from Atletico Madrid ahead of their debut MLS season in 2015.

A four-time All-Star, Villa would go on to score 80 goals in 126 appearances before departing for Japanese side Vissel Kobe at the end of the 2018 season.

Kaka

The former Ballon d'Or winner became Orlando City's first designated player when he agreed to join the new franchise in 2014.

Kaka played 78 times for City, scoring 25 goals, while he was an All-Star in each of his three seasons.

Andrea Pirlo

A multiple Scudetto winner with Milan and Juventus, Pirlo was unable to truly leave his mark on the MLS during his stint with New York City.

Nevertheless, the former Italy midfielder did help the franchise reach the playoffs in 2016 and 2017, while racking up 62 appearances and netting once.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Ibrahimovic certainly hit the ground running after switching Manchester United for LA Galaxy, scoring twice on his debut in a 4-3 win over rivals Los Angeles FC, including a 45-yard screamer.

That set the tone for a prolific two-year spell for the former Sweden international, who netted 53 times in 58 appearances before returning to Italy for a second stint at Milan.

Wayne Rooney

England's all-time leading scorer helped D.C. United reach the play-offs in his first season after joining from Everton in 2018, while he will always be remembered for his last-ditch tackle and cross-field assist to Luciano Acosta that sealed a dramatic 3-2 win over Orlando City.

Rooney scored 25 goals in 52 appearances for United and, following a spell at Derby County, he returned to the franchise as head coach in July. 

Gonzalo Higuain

A league title winner with Real Madrid and Juventus, Higuain swapped Italy for the States in September 2020.

Despite missing a penalty on his debut against Philadelphia Union, the former Argentina striker went on to score 29 goals in 70 appearances before retiring at the end of the 2022 MLS season.

Lionel Messi is close to an agreement to join MLS franchise Inter Miami at the end of the 2022-23 European season, according to a report in The Times.

The Argentina superstar is out of contract with Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the campaign and has been continually linked with a return to Barcelona, whom he left in 2021, but The Times reports Messi will instead move to MLS.

Inter Miami are said to be 'confident' Messi will sign following the conclusion of the World Cup in Qatar, where he has scored in both of Argentina's group stage matches, though he would not move until the conclusion of PSG's season.

Co-owned by David Beckham, Inter Miami will reportedly make Messi the highest-paid player in MLS history and they are considering further additions to complement his arrival.

Luis Suarez and Cesc Fabregas, Messi's former team-mates at Barcelona, are specifically named as options, the former having enjoyed a brief second stint Uruguayan side Nacional earlier this year while Fabregas is in the Italian second tier with Como.

A move for Messi would occur midway through the MLS season, which begins in February, and would provide a huge boost to North American soccer ahead of the World Cup in 2026, which the USA will host alongside Canada and Mexico.

Phil Neville says it is "hypothetical" to discuss the prospect of Lionel Messi joining Inter Miami.

Messi is only under contract with Paris Saint-Germain until the end of the season and the mercurial forward has been strongly linked with a move to Miami.

Barcelona are also said to be keen to bring Messi back to Camp Nou in what would be a sensational return to a club he made a tearful farewell to in August 2021.

Inter head coach Neville, who signed a new contract on Monday, spoke of his admiration for Messi but refused to be drawn on speculation that he could move to Major League Soccer.

Asked about the possibility of signing Messi, the former Manchester United defender said: "I think that's hypothetical really. The best player in the world, I'm looking forward to seeing him play at the World Cup, alongside other great players.

"We actually let him inside our house about five, six weeks ago, when Argentina were here. I watched all the sessions to see those great players on our pitch one and pitch two. It was something really special for the club.

"And I think when you talk about characters, when you talk about humility, when you talk about the right type of people, that Argentinian squad and staff were absolutely incredible. Incredible towards our football club.

"We had a little scrimmage against them, the MLS 2 [MLS Next Pro] side, you obviously saw the pictures of their players signing autographs; signing arms, signing legs, signing shoes. It was just the most incredible week.

"I think we're really lucky here. We've had Barcelona here, we've had Argentina here, we've got the US national women's team here now, some of the players are training out there now. It's brilliant for this football club, and it shows the level of facility that we've got.

"I'm not going to speculate on any kind of transfer activity, but what I would say is that is exactly the type of character that I saw in that week, that those Argentinian players were a credit to their country, and to their profession."

Inter sporting director Chris Henderson also gave little away when quizzed about potentially bringing Messi to Florida.

He said: "I knew Messi would come up. It's great to be connected with amazing players and our club connected with that. I don't want to comment on someone who's not on our roster and speculation and rumours.

"But obviously, one of the greatest players to ever play the game. As far as the roster and what we're looking to improve for going for next year. I think continuing to look for players who are good in possession under pressure in the final third."

Henderson added: "Messi on any team in the world is going to change that team. I don't want to speculate and talk about him on our team, but he changes every league, every team that he plays for."

Lionel Messi is "missed by football" because at Paris Saint-Germain he does not have the same audience as at Barcelona, according to LaLiga president Javier Tebas.

Messi left Barca in 2020 after the club's financial issues led to a significantly reduced salary limit in LaLiga, thus preventing them re-signing him after his contract expired.

He moved to PSG and, after a somewhat underwhelming first season on an individual level, Messi is thriving again this season.

But Tebas' perception is Messi is wasted in Ligue 1 because it does not have the same global audience as LaLiga and Barcelona.

Speaking at the Sports Summits organised by Argentinian newspaper Ole, Tebas said: "I think Messi is not only missed in LaLiga, he is missed by football because the French league is what it is, right?

"I think that no matter how many [superstars] are at PSG, Messi is followed much less than when he was at Barcelona. Let's hope he has a great World Cup, because there we will all be able to see him again.

"I don't see all the fans watching PSG against Nantes, I don't see it. With Barca it's the opposite."

Messi's future has become a hot topic again in recent weeks, with speculation beginning to swirl regarding his next destination.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked with a move to MLS side Inter Miami, PSG want to renew his contract, and Barcelona are reportedly aiming to bring him back to Camp Nou.

 

Tebas could not offer any insight, but he was unequivocal in what he thinks Messi should do.

"I don't know if Messi will have one last show at Barca, that will depend on him," he continued.

"Hopefully he will come back. Above all it would also be good for him to return to Spanish football, especially to the team that has always been the team that birthed him.

"I think [leaving] was a mistake even for him, in my opinion, breaking up a marriage that was a very beneficial long-term alliance for Messi and for Barca itself."

Tebas' critical Ligue 1 comments come at a time when LaLiga's own reputation is hardly sky-high.

For the first time this century, Spain will have only one representative in the knockout stages of the Champions League after Atletico Madrid, Barca and Sevilla were all eliminated in the groups.

LaLiga was once considered the Premier League's biggest rival, but the English top flight has since moved to a level of its own in economic terms.

However, Tebas feels LaLiga still holds its own compared to the Premier League in a sporting sense.

"It is difficult for us to reach the Premier League economically, due to a population issue, but at a technological and sporting level, we are competing," he said.

"It is not necessary to see what happened last season or what may happen in this one, you have to see the last 10 seasons or more.

"Since the beginning of the century, LaLiga has won 35 European titles between the Champions League and Europa League [and Super Cup], and the Premier has won 13.

"And in the last 10 seasons LaLiga has won 60 per cent of the titles. I think we are not bad and we can withstand the pull of the Premier League, despite the fact that economically they may be stronger.

"We must remember this and not only look at how the Champions League group stage has finished this season."

Lionel Messi's potential move to Inter Miami in MLS would be even more significant for US soccer than Pele playing for the New York Cosmos, former United States international Brad Friedel told Stats Perform.

MLS has long been considered a likely end-of-career destination for Messi, but the intensity of such links has ramped up considerably in recent days, with media reports suggesting David Beckham-backed Inter are increasingly confident of luring the Paris Saint-Germain forward to MLS as early as next year.

Beckham was of course seen as something of a pioneer when he made the switch to LA Galaxy in 2007, and stars such as Thierry Henry, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Kaka, Andrea Pirlo and Didier Drogba all followed over the next decade.

But before MLS, the North American Soccer League (NASL) had served a similar purpose for ageing superstars in the 1970s and 80s, with Brazil legend Pele proving the trendsetter back then when he joined the Cosmos – Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Cruyff, Gerd Muller, Eusebio, Bobby Moore and George Best all went on to feature in the NASL before it collapsed after the 1984 season.

For all the history US soccer has with the biggest names in the sport, Friedel thinks nothing that has gone before could compare with the impact Messi's arrival would have.

"So, we had David Beckham over here, which was one of the best signings that MLS ever made for notoriety around the world," he told Stats Perform.

"And in today's day and age with social media, everyone's sort of a journalist with their phones these days, and how quickly media gets around the world.

"[Messi to MLS] would be unlike anything anyone's ever seen in this country, including when Pele was over here, just because of the way the media is.

"It would be incredible if Lionel Messi was playing in this league. The fans that he attracts, the global respect, how good he has been.

"If they can pull that off… I'm not generally [in favour of] the older player coming in [to MLS], but like [Giorgio] Chiellini and [Gareth] Bale were [signed] for a reason and [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic was for a reason, then work out that if you can get Messi, get him over here."

Although Messi's PSG contract expires next year, Inter should not expect a free run at the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner.

PSG are still reportedly confident of securing a contract extension, while officials from Messi's former club Barcelona have spoken openly about their desire to bring him back to Camp Nou.

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly preparing to rival Chelsea in the pursuit of RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku, with this expected to be the forward's last season in the Bundesliga.

Nkunku, 24, burst onto the world stage this past season when he raised his goal tally in all competitions to 35 in 52 games, after previously never having scored more than seven goals in a season.

This season he has shown it was no fluke, with eight goals from Leipzig's first 11 Bundesliga fixtures, while adding another two in the Champions League, including one in Tuesday's home win against Real Madrid.

His form warranted his senior international debut for France in March, and as he is preparing to play a role for the defending champions at the World Cup, his old club have reportedly decided they want him back.

 

TOP STORY – PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN LOOK TO RECLAIM LEIPZIG'S NKUNKU

Nkunku spent nine years with PSG after arriving as a 13-year-old in 2010, earning 55 Ligue 1 appearances before being sold to Leipzig for a fee of €13million in 2019.

According to Fichajes, they now view that move as a mistake, and will look to reclaim France's new star as soon as January.

The report states both Liverpool and Chelsea are prepared to activate his €60m release clause in January, with Chelsea already said to have completed a preliminary physical in the previous transfer window, having been engaged with Leipzig in the sale of Timo Werner and an enquiry about Josko Gvardiol.

It is not known if PSG will have the funds to complete the move in January, especially while in contract renegotiations with superstar Lionel Messi.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to 90min, Bayern Munich are considering a move for 32-year-old German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan from Manchester City at the end of the season.

– Sport reports that Barcelona are in talks with Wolves about securing 25-year-old midfielder Ruben Neves, with a deal believed to be possible in January. 

– The Los Angeles Times claims Cristiano Ronaldo could come to Major League Soccer to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy, Los Angeles FC or Inter Miami if he can not find a European club.

– Calciomercato is reporting Manchester United have joined Chelsea and Barcelona with their interest in 25-year-old Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez.

Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to pay €30m for 16-year-old Brazilian Endrick, per UOL Esporte. Endrick is playing in the Brazilian league with Palmeiras, and will not be allowed to make the jump to Europe before turning 18.

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