Manchester City could mount a sensational world-record bid for Barcelona star Lionel Messi, if he doesn’t put pen to paper on a new contract at the Camp Nou.
In July, Barca officials announced that a deal to keep Messi at Barcelona until 2021 had been done. However, it seems that announcement jumped the gun as, three months on, the deal has not been signed and there are more than just a few formalities to be sorted out, according to a report in Spanish newspaper Marca.
Should talks not prove fruitful, Manchester City could come in with a bid. Marca reports a potential €400 million (£356.5 million) offer, which would dwarf the current world record £198 million Paris St-Germain paid to Barca in the summer for Neymar.
Unnamed sources close to City say that “serious conversations have been held with the footballer’s inner circle,” although this remains confirmed, Marca add.
However, it should be remembered that this report has appeared in Marca, which is associated with Barca’s great rivals, Real Madrid – so should be taken with a pinch of salt, especially with unnamed sources quoted. Likewise, it is known that Messi and his family are settled in Barcelona and he has not fallen out with the club in any way. In addition, the club are still saying that the deal is complete.
So, while this is speculation and just that, let’s just dream of what it would be like to have Messi in the Premier League.
After weeks of speculation, it now seems that Brazilian star Neymar is going to leave Barcelona and sign for Paris St-Germain in a world-record £198 million move.
Barcelona have given the striker permission to speak to PSG. An official statement on the club’s website said: “FC Barcelona returned to training this Wednesday morning after the American tour, the first part of a double session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.
“Before the morning session began, Neymar Jr. informed those present of his wish to leave the Club and was therefore given permission to miss training and resolve his future.”
Neymar has a euro222 million buy-out clause in his contract, and PSG have said they are willing to pay that for the 25-year-old.
Neymar has scored 105 goals for Barcelona since he arrived from Santos in 2013, latterly in partnership with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez – a front three that is arguably the best in world football.
However, it has been rumoured that Neymar was unhappy to be in Messi’s shadow and wanted to be the star of the team – which he would be at PSG.
Now, personal terms will be thrashed out, but it is likely his weekly wage will be astronomical. Last year, his representative, Wagner Riberio, said Neymar had been offered £650,000 per week tax free to sign for PSG.
Monaco have agreed to sell teenage forward Kylian Mbappe to Spanish champions Real Madrid in a deal worth euro180 million (£161 million), according to reports in Spain.
A report in Spanish newspaper Marca has claimed that a deal has been reached for the French international, which will see Madrid pay euro150 million up front, with an extra euro30 million in add-ons.
Marca’s report also claims that 18-year-old Mbappe, who scored 24 goals last season for Monaco, will sign a six-year deal and be paid £120,000 a week. It is also claimed that Paris St-Germain had offered Mbappe more money.
However, Monaco have since denied that any deal has been reached.
Mbappe is undoubtedly one of the most wanted players on the planet, and only Real Madrid, PSG and possibly one of the Manchester clubs could afford him. It seems likely he will depart Monaco at some point in this window, but whether it will be to Madrid remains to be seen.
Manchester City are believed to have agreed to sign right-back Kyle Walker from Tottenham Hotspur in a deal worth in excess of £50 million – a world record fee for a defender.
Walker is currently undergoing a medical in Manchester and if, as expected, he passes, it is hoped the deal will be concluded before the weekend. He would become City manager Pep Guardiola’s third signing of the summer.
Guardiola has been chasing Walker for some time. A full back was seen as a key priority for the club this summer, following the release of Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna at the end of last season.
Walker has been named in the Premier League team of the season for the past 2 seasons and has become England’s first choice right-back.
City had hoped to secure Walker for about £40 million, but Spurs were steadfast in their demand for £50 million.
Should the deal complete, Championship side Sheffield United could be set for a windfall as they had a 10% sell-on clause inserted in the deal that took him from Bramall Lane to White Hart Lane in 2009.