CITY READY TO MOVE ON MESSI
Manchester City have positioned themselves to be able to make a blow for Lionel Messi this summer if he is ready to leave Barcelona, according to reports.
The Argentina striker had informed the Spanish club on August 25 that he wanted to leave this summer – with City emerging as the main contenders – and intended to use a clause in his contract which he and his representatives said allowed him to leave for free transfer. However, Messi ended up overturning his decision to leave, saying he could never go to court against the club to secure a transfer.
The tone of Messi’s statement in early September – in which he criticized Barca president Josep Bartomeu – makes it clear that he would still like to leave the club, but that he would now do so when his contract ends next summer . It gave Man City hope that they can secure a deal for Messi this summer.
the Manchester Evening News have an exclusive with the title “Man City sends Lionel Messi transfer message for next summer”. That message is that City “will be able to move for Lionel Messi next summer if the opportunity arises”.
The report adds that the Blues’ “smart spending” over a number of years puts them in a position where they could afford the superstar if he was able to join them. ” Messi “doesn’t fit the usual profile” of the player City usually invest in, but they “are flexible to make exceptions for the right talent”.
NO HELP COMING
Paul Pogba is expected to stay at Manchester United for the remainder of the season, with Real Madrid having no interest in taking him to the Bernabeu, according to reports.
Pogba reiterated his “Dream” of playing for Real Madrid after France’s 7-1 victory over Ukraine on Tuesday despite pledging his “maximum” to Man Utd. The midfielder opened up about his desire “to have a new challenge elsewhere” Last june before staying at Old Trafford and eventually finding his way back to the first team after injury.
The France international has appeared more resolute than ever in recent times, with some reports even suggesting contract negotiations are imminent, but he looked forward to the prospect of another move to Real Madrid. But the La Liga giants have reportedly no interest in taking the 27-year-old to Spain.
Spanish publication AS claim that “Pogba’s SOS will have no response from Real Madrid” after the club “have definitively ruled out his signing”. The report calls it a ‘strange SOS’ with Eduardo Camavinga and Kylian Mbappe higher priorities for Real. AS adds that “Pogba’s aid message will not be answered by Madrid, which today has completely ruled out his signing”.
AND THE REST…
Belgian midfielder Kevin de Bruyne is approaching a two-year £ 300,000-a-week contract extension at Manchester City… Arsenal’s £ 27million defender William Saliba, yet to play for the club, seems set to join a league team on loan, with Brentford interested in the 19-year-old… Juan Mata has been offered a lucrative contract to leave Manchester United for Saudi Arabia… Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud says he was close to a transfer to Serie A, both in January and in the summer … Aston Villa plans to free up space on their payroll by selling team players as they are preparing another move for Bournemouth striker Josh King.