Gianluigi Buffon to sign for Paris St-Germain

Embed from Getty Images

Italy and Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon is to join French champions Paris St-Germain on a 2-year deal, according to reports.

The 40-year-old stopper was expected to retire this summer after leaving Juventus after 18 years.

However, it was revealed a couple of weeks ago that Buffon had had a change of heart after receiving several very tempting offers, including, it has been reported, from Premier League sides Liverpool and Manchester City.

But the Corriere Dello Sport is reporting that Buffon has plumped for PSG and will sign up for 2 seasons.

Buffon has previously said that he would only join another club where he has a serous chance of winning more trophies, especially the Champions League – one of the few to elude him in his illustrious career. PSG have made no secret of their desire to win the Champions League title but have fallen at the last 16 stage in both of the past 2 seasons and are looking to strengthen again this summer.

Real Madrid and Chelsea on alert as Robert Lewandowski says he wants to quit Bayern Munich

Embed from Getty Images

Robert Lewandowski has said that he wants to leave German champions Bayern Munich this summer, as he wants a new challenge elsewhere.

This revelation will give hope to clubs including Real Madrid and Chelsea that they could land one of the most prolific strikers in Europe.

Lewandowski – top scorer in the Bundesliga last season with 29 goals – has spent 8 years in Germany but apparently now wants to go elsewhere, according to his agent, Pini Zahavi.

Zahavi told newspaper SportBild: “Robert feels that he needs a change.”

He added that the move is not about money or moving to a specific club, as he knows that most top clubs would like to have him in their ranks.

Lewandowski has three years left on his contract, but Zahavi is hopeful that Bayern’s management will grant his wish to leave.

Of course, if Bayern were to sell him, he wouldn’t come cheap. While he turns 30 in August, his record – 151 goals in 195 games for Bayern – and contract length will mean he is likely to cost up to £100 million in today’s inflated market.

Potential destinations for the Pole include Real Madrid. Lewandowski has previously said he would like to play for, and he would be the sort of
marquee signing Real’s bosses are looking for as they look to revamp the squad on the summer to challenge Barcelona in La Liga.

Chelsea could also be a destination if he wanted to go to the Premier League. The Blues are another club looking to revamp their squad after a disappointing league season and are looking for big signings to help convince their existing stars to stay.

Current striker Alvaro Morata is thought to want out of the club, and selling him would go a long way to financing a move for Lewandowski. However, they wouldn’t be able to offer Champions League football, which could be a stumbling block.

Liverpool sign Monaco midfielder Fabinho from Monaco for up to £43 million

Embed from Getty Images

Beaten Champions League finalists Liverpool have begun their summer recruitment programme with the signing of defensive midfielder Fabinho from Monaco for a fee that could rise to £43 million.

Brazil international Fabinho, 24, will officially join the Reds on July 1. He will cost an initial £39 million, with another £4 million payment dependent on future performances.

The signing of Fabinho also means it is highly likely that German defensive midfielder Emre Can will leave Anfield this summer. He is out of contract and has been repeatedly linked with Italian champions Juventus.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp praised his new signing’s versatility: “He has ability and mentality to play at the highest level in a number of positions. He can play ‘six’, ‘eight’ and ‘two’. This is cool.

“We have signed a fantastic player, but someone who is an equally fantastic person I think.

“His reputation as a character in the dressing room and his attitude in training has come through from everyone we speak to.”

Fabinho added: “This is something that I always wanted – this is a giant of a team. I am really excited. I will try to create my own history at this football club. Hopefully, on a personal level, I’m able to win titles with this club.”

The Brazilian has been at Monaco since 2013, initially joining on loan from Portuguese side Rio Ave before signing permanently in 2015. In that time, he made 225 appearances for Monaco, scoring 29 goals and helping the club to the Ligue Un title in 2016/17.

Lionel Messi reveals only club he would leave Barcelona for

Embed from Getty Images

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has dealt a major blow to any European side that has thought of tempting him away from the Camp Nou, saying he is increasingly sure he would only ever play for one other side – and that’s in Argentina.

Messi has spent his entire career at Barca, having moved from Argentina as a child.

He has been linked with a move to Premier League champions Manchester City – managed by former Barca man Pep Guardiola – and Paris St-Germain in the past.

However, Barca inserted a euro700 million (£612 million) release clause into his latest contract, which runs until 2021. That would put off any club other than the very richest.

Messi has further dampened hopes by saying that he doesn’t see himself playing anywhere else in Europe. “I’m increasingly sure that in Europe, Barcelona will be my only club,” he said to Argentine TV station El Trece.

But he could return one day to play in his homeland, and if he did, it would be for Newell’s Old Boys, where he started out.

“I always said I wanted to play in Argentine football one day,” Messi said. “I don’t know if it will happen but I have it on my mind. It would be at Newell’s nowhere else. I would like to do that for at least 6 months, but you never know what will happen.”

Manchester United lead chase for Real Madrid star Gareth Bale

Embed from Getty Images

Manchester United are at the head of a queue of a number of clubs looking at signing Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale this summer.

Bale, who scored two goals in Madrid’s 3-1 win over Liverpool in the Champions League final, is reportedly unhappy at the club. He hasn’t been a regular starter recently – Zinedine Zidane preferred Isco in the final – and Bale’s relationship with his manager is also apparently strained too.

The Welshman, who turns 29 this summer, has made it clear he wants to be playing week-in, week-out at this stage of his career. This has been taken as a hint he is looking to play elsewhere, despite winning four Champions League winners medals in 5 seasons.

United have a long-standing interest in Bale, having tried to sign him on 2 previous occasions. Manager Jose Mourinho is thought to be planning an overhaul of his squad as he seeks to get closer to runaway Premier League champions Manchester City. Bale would fit the bill as the sort of marquee signing United are looking for.

Madrid are also looking at a major refresh of their squad, so could be willing to let Bale go. However, he wouldn’t come cheap – Real would be looking to make a profit on a player they signed for a then-record £85 million in 2013, with some speculation they would be looking for up to double that amount.

Other clubs are likely to be interested in signing Bale, including German champions Bayern Munich, although apparently there is no interest from Manchester City. Bale’s wages, said to be £650,000 a week, would also be a stumbling block for many sides – including former side Tottenham Hotspur – but not United.

However, any move will be down to the player himself and will depend on any assurances over playing time and if there is any prospect of repairing his fractured relationship with Zidane.