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Lionel Messi’s Next Club : Man City, Inter , PSG Or Man United?

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5e2b00aa62fa8109474a1ad4 Lionel Messi's Next Club : Man City, Inter , PSG Or Man United?

Lionel Messi has told Barcelona via fax that he wants to leave the club on a free transfer this summer.
The incredible development potentially puts the 33-year-old within reach of a dramatic move to Manchester City and a reunion with Pep Guardiola… but they aren’t the only club likely to be vying for his signature.
With Manchester United, PSG, Inter Milan and Juventus also showing interest, Sportsmail have looked at the favourites to land Messi this summer.
Manchester City – 6/4 to sign Messi
The links with the Etihad Stadium just simply will not go away.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic means these are testing financial times for all football clubs but, when it really comes down to it, City have all the money they need.
Recently coming out victorious from their CAS appeal against UEFA’s claims of Financial Fair Play breaches, City will feel more confident than ever before in their model of operation.
Pulling off the signing of Messi, however, would be bigger than anything that has gone before. An obvious lure comes in the form of boss Pep Guardiola, who honed Messi into the finest footballer on the continent, along with Cristiano Ronaldo, and built his great Barca side around him.
Still, City would require a way around the astronomical buy-out fee to keep the books balanced and would rely on Barca accepting a reduced bid this summer. Or wait until January to negotiate openly with Messi.
Thereafter, however, City could still comfortably meet Messi’s mammoth annual wages and ensure he is still the most well-paid footballer in the world.
Inter Milan – 3/1 to sign Messi
Most European clubs have been borderline silent when it comes to the subject of Messi… except Inter.
Over at the San Siro, Messi’s name is on the lips of everybody, and his image was even beamed onto the Milan’s iconic Duomo cathedral towards the end of the season by Inter’s Chinese owners. (They claimed this was to promote coverage of their side’s fixture with Napoli, though it all seems rather convenient.)
As recently as last week former Inter director Massimiliano Mirabelli made the admission that a long-term plan to acquire Messi has been in the pipeline for several years, and was something the club’s owners identified in their very first meeting.
Inter appear the most likely side to tempt Barca with a bid this summer and, is it important to note, that while the Spanish giants have refused to sell, this is the last window in which they can receive a fee for their talisman.
Preferably, of course, Inter would want to take Messi on as a free agent and it has been speculated that long-time sponsors Pirelli would help to make up the player’s huge wages with a series of added incentives.
Paris Saint-Germain – 3/1 to sign Messi
PSG have a track record when it comes to audaciously taking prized jewels from Barcelona.
It is fair to say the relationship between the two clubs has been non-existent ever since the bad blood of the Neymar saga.
While they already don’t want to lose Messi, Barca would fight tooth and nail to ensure PSG do not get their hands on the Argentine.
Interestingly, the Parisians could offer Neymar as part of a complex switch, though no murmurs have left the Parc des Princes suggesting that this is even being considered as a possibility.
Juventus – 4/1 to sign Messi
Juve shocked the world when they moved swiftly to get Cristiano Ronaldo out of Real Madrid, so surely they could not be looking to pull this off again with Messi?
The reigning Serie A champions are rank outsiders when it comes to Messi’s possible destination, but have shown the nous and know-how to get a huge deal done.
Recent reports in Spain sensationally suggested Juve had even made contact with Barca to offer Ronaldo, in order to clear his hefty £28m annual earnings from their wage bill.
Such talk was dismissed by the club, though all indications are that Juve are cutting back on their spending prowess and looking to invest in the future under an energetic new manager in Andrea Pirlo.
While Messi naturally appeals, the fact he turns 34 next June does not.
Manchester United – 13/2 to sign Messi
When it comes to financial rivalry United can certainly wield their might alongside their wealthy neighbours.
Whether United are interested in Messi or not, they will be linked with the superstar purely due to their status as one of the few sides who could realistically package a deal together.
From a marketing perspective this would be a dream, given that Messi personally has a global fan base which exceeds that of most Premier League teams.
He would, of course, also propel United back into Premier League and European contention and ensure the eyes of the world are glued to Old Trafford week-in, week-out.
All that said, his age, 33, simply does not fit into United’s new ways of doing things. Too many times in recent years have the Red Devils been burnt by offering lucrative deals to ageing stars.
Players in Ole Gunnar Solkskjaer’s match-day squads now average around 25 years old, and that looks set to be the benchmark heading into the future.
Major League Soccer (MLS) – 12/1 to sign Messi
As with China, a move to the United States would represent a huge compromise by Messi on his standing in the football world.
While it would be the biggest coup in the history of American soccer, with a host of teams rapidly crunching the numbers to work out if a deal is possible, it appears to be a non-starter.
The quality of living may well appeal to Messi much more, with the option of living in one of the USA’s most glamorous cities with possibly a greater degree of anonymity than he would be afforded in Europe.
Still, if this one was to happen, it would likely occur several years down the line.

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I have no doubts about Messi, says Koeman

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download 10 2 I have no doubts about Messi, says Koeman

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has said he has no concerns about Lionel Messi ahead of their first La Liga game of the season on Sunday after the Argentinian took another swipe at the club over the departure of Luis Suarez .
Koeman was also keen to point out it was not solely his decision to let Suarez join Atletico Madrid , with the Dutchman insisting he is not the “ bad guy in the movie ” .
Messi criticized how Suarez was pushed out as Barca try to reduce their wage bill , saying “ you deserved a goodbye for what you are ” before adding : “ But at this point, nothing surprises me anymore ” .
Barcelona plays Villarreal on Sunday at Camp Nou and Messi is expected to start , having reintegrated with the squad since claiming he was denied a transfer this summer.
Koeman said in a press conference on Saturday he was not worried about Messi , despite his captain ’s latest show of frustration .
“ It is normal for a player to be a bit sad when a friend of theirs leaves after the years that they have had together , it is part of football, ” said Koeman .
“ But the most important thing for me is how he has been. In training and in games , I think Leo has been an example for everyone , in his commitment to the club and to the team. I have no doubts about Leo in this regard . ”
Suarez scored 198 goals for Barcelona to become their third – highest goalscorer in history but the 33- year – old was deemed expendable after the team ’s disastrous end to last season .
Koeman was reported to have held a direct and short telephone conversation with Suarez about his future but Barca’ s new coach claims the decision was not only his.
“ At first it was like I was the bad guy in the movie ,” said Koeman . “ It ’s not like that because from the first day or after my call with Luis I showed respect for the player and the person he is.
“ He trained to the maximum from the first day and I always told him it could be difficult for him to play but if he stayed he would be one of the squad and could work like the others.
“ That ’s what I told the club too but these are decisions made by the club . Before signing the contract the club was thinking about changing things and I have tried to support those decisions.
“ But it was not only my decision as a manager, but they are also decisions of the club as well .”
Suarez follows Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo , and Arturo Vidal is leaving Barcelona this summer but the club have struggled to afford replacements.
“ The economic situation of the club is very complicated and it could be that they can ’ t bring in what I want , ” said Koeman . “ I knew that and I accept it and if I stay with these players, I will work very hard to improve them. ”

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Fernandes’ 100th minute penalty hands Man Utd win at Brighton

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images 2020 09 26T162721.509 Fernandes’ 100th minute penalty hands Man Utd win at Brighton

Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty , awarded on a VAR review after the final whistle had blown , as Manchester United rode their luck to register their first Premier League points of the season with a thrilling 3- 2 win at Brighton on Saturday.
The Seagulls hit the woodwork five times and thought they had earned a deserved point when Solly March headed home to equalize in the 95th minute.
However , Neal Maupay ’s handball was penalized by referee Chris Kavanagh after he had blown for full- time and Fernandes converted from the spot in the 100 th minute.
Pre- season hopes that United could mount a title challenge to their biggest rivals Liverpool and Manchester City dissipated after a dire display in losing 3- 1 to Crystal Palace last weekend.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes and got more of the same for the first 45 minutes as Brighton controlled the game .
Leandro Trossard hit both posts with shots from outside the box, while Adam Webster ’ s looping header came back off the crossbar .
It took United 33 minutes to muster a flowing move involving the front three of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Mason Greenwood , who found the net but the goal was ruled out for offside against Rashford.
– VAR to the rescue –
Brighton finally got their reward when the tireless Tariq Lamptey burst into the box from right wing – back and was clipped by Fernandes .
The United midfielder was lucky to escape a second yellow card , but Maupay ensured they did pay the penalty with a cheeky chip down the middle of the goal as David de Gea dived to his left.
However , the lead lasted just three minutes as from a fiercely driven Fernandes free -kick , Nemanja Matic turned the ball back across goal and Lewis Dunk turned the ball into his own net .
VAR came to the rescue of both sides within the first 10 minutes of the second half .
United had already conceded a penalty in consecutive games for the first time in 11 years in the Premier League and thought they had given an away from a second spot – kick of the match when Paul Pogba was penalized for pulling back Aaron Connolly .
However , Kavanagh overturned his initial decision when he saw a replay of the incident .
At the other end, United ’ s front three was beginning to click as Rashford swept home Greenwood ’s low cross but this time VAR ruled against United with the goalscorer marginally offside .
There was no stopping Rashford moments later when he raced onto Fernandes ’s ball over the top and left Ben White trailing on the ground before his deflected effort found the top corner .
Brighton ’s bad luck continued when March became the next player to hit the woodwork as his low shot across De Gea came back off the inside of the far post before Trossard smashed against the bar with just the Spanish number one to beat .
The Seagulls seemed to finally have their reward when March ghosted in at the back post to head home Alireza Jahanbakash ’ s cross .
But in a chaotic finale, Harry Maguire ’ s header from a corner struck Maupay ’ s arm and to Brighton ’ s dismay , a penalty was awarded .
Fernandes has never missed a top – flight penalty and stayed cool under the pressure to ensure Solskjaer ’ s men escaped with all three points .

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NPFL: 9 Kwara United Players Test Positive For COVID – 19

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images 2020 09 26T102407.456 NPFL: 9 Kwara United Players Test Positive For COVID - 19

No less than nine Kwara United players have returned positive results for the coronavirus following tests that were conducted as part of the stipulated guidelines ahead of the Nigeria Premier Football League resumption.
The club in compliance with the regulation of the League Management Company (LMC) had all their members take the test on September 17. It was gathered that the Afonja Warriors mandated all players to take the tests as they return to training in Ilorin.
The nine positive players have been taken to the Sobi Isolation Centre in Ilorin.
All clubs have been ordered by the LMC to perform COVID-19 test for players and officials in line with the protocols and guidelines from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Since the Federal Government announced the return of sports behind closed doors last month, football activities is yet to resume. Meanwhile, with the gradual flattening of the coronavirus pandemic curve in Nigeria, the federal government has stated that it is yet to lift ban on contact sports including football.
Despite the gradual easing of the lockdown, the Nigeria Professional Football League 2020/21 season resumption is still uncertain as government say go-ahead has not been ordered.
Sani Aliyu, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, in an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, September 10, noted that the PTF had only removed restrictions on non-contact sports. “On the issue, I’m a football fan, but sadly, we have not allowed contact sports at the moment. We have only allowed non-contact sports, and so, football is not included.

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