If we are talking percentages then Manchester City are very much in the driving seat to be Lionel Messi’s next club.
Paris St-Germain have been in touch with Messi’s dad, his agent, again about the possibility of signing the Barcelona captain, who submitted a transfer request on Tuesday.
And, perhaps most intriguingly of all, Juventus are now looking at the hugely unlikely scenario of organising some very daring financial deals and sponsorships that could see Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo playing together for the first time.
What a mouth-watering prospect that would be. But it is also close to impossible.
At the end of a week of countless headlines and rumours, there are two things we know above anything else: Messi very much wants to leave Barcelona and Barcelona would very much like the Argentina forward stay.
That element is simple, but it promises to become a much more complicated scenario because both sides are absolutely convinced the ’10 June clause’ – the one that enables Messi to leave for free – gives them the right to defend their position.
Messi thinks he can walk away for nothing because that date was intended to be, effectively, the end of the season. However, the coronavirus pandemic meant the campaign ended up finishing with the Champions League final on 23 August, two days before Messi let Barcelona know his intentions in an official way.
Barca firmly believe the time for him to declare desire to leave has elapsed and that the 33-year-old is contracted until the end of 2020-21.
The lawyers will be licking their lips in anticipation.
From Messi’s side nothing has changed. He would like to leave on the best terms possible.
Barcelona have said the player is not for sale – unless of course someone thinks it is worth shelling out the 700m euros needed to trigger his buyout clause at this stage – and see no point in any further meetings for now.
Messi does not want to depart in a bad way, not because of the board but certainly because of the respect he has for the club and their fans.
Many people have focused on the burofax sent to tell Barcelona of his intention to leave, claiming it was a disrespectful way of handing in his notice. It was nothing of the sort. It was confirmation – a form of recorded delivery – that informed the club in writing what Messi had told them verbally on numerous occasions since he ceased contract renewal negotiations around March.
It was just a logical step along the way, with a meeting to try to arrange a friendly exit the next logical step. Messi’s strategy has been unchanged throughout. The change would be if he decided to go to war with the club.
The Argentine has no plans to make any statements in the immediate future, certainly not while there are still so many things to discuss and everything is up in the air. When things start to move in the right direction for him, Messi will be prepared to explain his feelings, but not before.
The players have to do their pre-season tests on Sunday and then training starts on Monday.
Rumours Manchester City would be prepared to let any regular starters go in exchange for Messi are way off the mark. Defenders Angelino or Eric Garcia could feature in a deal.
No club is going to be able to pay a transfer fee of 100m euros plus Messi’s salary, even taking into consideration his wages will be reduced wherever he goes next.
Barcelona will not accept a swap of players; they do not want anyone from City. They do not want to sell and would only be prepared to meet Messi in order to renew his contract, not to negotiate a way out.
Everybody is positioning on clear terms. All that makes the resolution impossible to predict.
Josep Maria Bartomeu clearly does not want to be the Barcelona president who lets Messi go.
But who is he thinking about? Certainly not the club because, as things stand, he plans to keep an unhappy player who does not want to be there and who can go for free in 12 months.
Messi’s departure would allow Barcelona to let other players grow and develop next season.
And what players they are. Frenkie de Jong, Miralem Pjanic, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Gerard Pique and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to name just a few.
They would need to buy a strong central midfielder and a centre-back either now or soon, but that is entirely doable.
To insist on not letting Messi leave shows short-sightedness on the part of Bartomeu.
We wait to see what happens next, starting with whether Messi turns up for training on Monday.
New-Look Everton Prove Too Good For Spurs
Everton signalled their intent for Carlo Ancelotti’s first full season in charge as Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s towering header earned their first win over Tottenham since 2012 in a 1-0 victory on Sunday.
Ancelotti has been heavily backed with the signings of James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan, and the Toffees looked a much-improved side on the one that finished 12th last season as they were thoroughly deserving winners at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Spurs are also hoping for an upturn in Jose Mourinho’s first full season as boss, but the hosts looked short on ideas as they slipped to a damaging home defeat for their aspirations of mounting a challenge to get back into the top four this season.
Everton settled the quicker with their new midfield trio helping to control possession, but it was on the counter-attack they wasted by far the best chance of the game. Richarlison intercepted Ben Davies’s wayward pass and accelerated past Toby Alderweireld and Hugo Lloris before skewing high and wide with an open goal to aim at and Calvert-Lewin begging for a cut-back.
Son Heung-min was by far Spurs’ most dangerous attacking outlet in a performance otherwise lacking in inspiration going forward. The South Korean’s teasing cross just evaded Harry Kane and the far post before he put Dele Alli in on goal and his shot forced a great save from fellow England international Jordan Pickford.
September 13, 2020
James curled his first sight of goal in an Everton shirt just wide, while at the other end Pickford stood up well again to deny Matt Doherty after Tottenham’s best move of the half saw the Irishman teed up by Kane’s dinked pass. Everton surrendered meekly to a 1-0 defeat when they visited the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in July without mustering a meaningful shot on goal. But the difference a few months and fresh faces can make was on show in the second half as they controlled the game to earn a first win over Spurs in 16 games.
Tottenham were given a few warnings before the only goal of the game arrived as James dragged a shot from inside the box wide before Richarlison mistimed his header at the back post from an inch-perfect James cross. The opener arrived 10 minutes after the break as Calvert-Lewin rose highest to power Lucas Digne’s free-kick into the top corner.
Mourinho said on Friday he hopes to add another striker before the end of the transfer window to add some support to Kane, but any new arrival will need better service to work with as the England captain did not have an opportunity to get his side back on level terms.
Everton and Richarlison continued to enjoy all the chances as twice the Brazilian cut inside on his favoured right foot and curled efforts just beyond Lloris’s far post. However, one goal was enough for a statement win for the visitors and the worst possible start for Tottenham ahead of a gruelling schedule as they face up to eight games in the Europa League, League Cup and Premier League in the next three weeks.
Giroud Apparently Has An Agreement For The Next Two Seasons
Juventus are hoping to shortly seal the signing of Luis Suarez, but they do not want to put all their eggs in one basket. Therefore, the Italians have reached an agreement for Olivier Giroud for the next two seasons in case they are unable to sign the Barca man. This is according to ‘Sky Sport’.
Luis Suarez’s move to Juventus should be sealed in a matter of days. Both Juve and Barcelona are confident about them, but he must first pass an Italian citizenship test. That would prevent him taking up an non-EU spot.
Days are passing and rumours are increasing. There is even talk of him going to Atletico Madrid. Therefore, Juventus have got a back up striker who would support Cristiano Ronaldo.
According to journalist Gianluca Di Marzio on ‘Sky Sport’, the man chosen is Olivier Giroud. Apparently, the Italians have even agreed a deal with the striker, who has another season left at Chelsea.
The Premier League club do not count on the Frenchman. Chelsea have signed Timo Werner, have Tammy Abraham in form and the option of playing Kai Havertz as the main man up front if they need to them. Based on everything that has been published, he is very keen to play for Juventus.
Apparently, the agreement reached between the Juve board and Giroud is for the next two seasons for four and a half million euros per season. Chelsea would let him go for around five million.
In the meantime, Suarez has to pass the Italian nationality exam. Although he was due to sit it at the beginning of the week, it has been delayed. ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’ says that he will take it next Thursday in Perugia.
Real Madrid Reportedly Contact Mahrez To Replace Bale
The French press assure that Real Madrid reportedly have in their hands Gareth Bale’s replacement. It seems that Los Blancos have reportedly contacted the City player Mahrez, for whom they would be willing to throw the kitchen sink.
The Gareth Bale saga still hasn’t reached its end. Real Madrid are working to close this case as soon as possible, let the Welshman leave the Santiago Bernabéu, and to sign his replacement as soon as possible.
But until Bale decides to leave, Madrid will have their hands and feet tied. However, while they manage to get rid of the Welshman, they already reportedly have the new Madrid forward in their hands.
According to ‘Foot Mercato’ and the French press in general, it seems that Real Madrid have reportedly got in touch with Manchester City player Riyad Mahrez for him to move to the Spanish capital this very summer.
But it won’t be easy at all for Madrid to get the 29-year-old Algerian, as he is under contract until June 2023 and is one of the big stars of Pep Guardiola’s side.
According to the aforementioned source, there has already reportedly been contact between Real Madrid and the player to know his willingness to sign for Los Blancos as long as, as we have already said, Bale leaves the Bernabéu this summer.
Last season, the ex-Leicester player played 50 official matches with City, in which he scored 13 times and got the same number of assists, his best figures since he moved to Manchester.
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