Man City await Messi’s decision as interest in Haaland grows

The January transfer window may seem like a distant memory, but that doesn’t mean the rumour mill has shut down! Speculation over summer moves is heating up, so check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY: Man City await Messi’s decision amid Haaland interest

Manchester City are still waiting for Lionel Messi to make the call regarding whether or not he will leave Barcelona, according to Marca.

The 33-year-old has a contract that comes to its end this June, and there is still major uncertainty whether he will be at Camp Nou next season.

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City showed interest in the Argentina man last summer, but then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted on Messi’s €700 million release clause being paid.

Messi was unwilling to force a move but could walk for free at season’s end should he not sign a new deal. Any contract with City will see him stay in Manchester for a few years before joining another club in the City Football Group, with New York City FC in Major League Soccer seen as an option.

However, Messi isn’t the only forward Pep Guardiola has been considering, as the City manager has kept an eye on Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland.

The Premier League side got an even closer look on Tuesday, during City’s 2-1 victory over Dortmund, in which the Norwegian flashed into action with a first-time pass to assist Marco Reus. The frontman also overpowered Ruben Dias to get through only to see his shot denied by Ederson.

Just about every major club in Europe hopes to sign 20-year-old Haaland, with Real Madrid and Barcelona’s interest also being very public.

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21.52 BST: AC Milan are looking to solidify their ranks on the right wing, and according to Gazzetta dello Sport, have identified three potential recruits to bring to San Siro: 33-year-old Josip Ilicic of Atalanta, Marseille’s 28-year-old Florian Thauvin and 22-year-old Jonathan Ikone of Lille.

21.05 BST: Southampton were unsuccessful in their attempts to lure Manchester United full-back Brandon Williams to the South Coast in January, but the Sun reports that the Saints are hopeful the Red Devils will reconsider their stance in the summer and allow the 20-year-old to earn regular minutes under Ralph Hasenhuttle.

20.41 BST: Bayern Munich have confirmed that Jerome Boateng will leave the club after a highly successful decade this summer. Speaking to Sky ahead of the Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern sporting executive Hasan Salihamidzic said the 2014 World Cup winner will “not get a new contract” once his deal expires in June.

Earlier this week, Bayern coach Hansi Flick addressed media reports of Boateng’s impending departure when he said he was surprised the news already found its way into the press. Amid reports of a rift between Salihamidzic over the club’s transfer philosophy, the sporting executive on Wednesday said that “the coach was involved in the decision,” and added that Boateng will leave the club “through the big gate and maybe even have a DJ at the end.”

The 32-year-old joined Bayern from Manchester City in 2011 and is on course to win his ninth Bundesliga title with the Bavarians this season. He was a major factor in both Treble-winning sides in 2013 and 2020 and a key player for Germany when they won the 2014 World Cup. Read the full story.

20.18 BST: With AS Roma and AC Milan looking to find heirs to 35-year-old Edin Dzeko and 39-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic, respectively, the Italian clubs have turned their attention to 28-year-old Italy striker Andrea Belotti of Torino, according to Corriere dello Sport.

19.31 BST: West Ham United have no option of make Jesse Lingard’s loan from Manchester United permanent, but Sky Sports writes that the east London club “will do whatever it takes” to keep the 28-year-old England attacker from returning to Old Trafford at the end of the season.

18.44 BST: Minnesota United FC have announced that they’ve signed 31-year-old striker Ramon Abila on a season-long loan from Boca Juniors using Targeted Allocation Money.

Welcome 𝗪𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗽𝗲 🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/Ekf1SOYurn

— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) April 7, 2021

And it seems he won’t be the only Argentine attacker moving to the Twin Cities, with the Athletic’s Jeff Rueter reporting that the Loons are in advanced negotiations with 28-year-old left winger Franco Fragapane of Talleres.

17.57 BST: Barcelona were unsuccessful in their attempts to sign centre-back Eric Garcia from Manchester City in January, and now the Blaugrana have lowered their offer for the 20-year-old pending free agent, according to Marca, citing the club’s dire financial position.

17.10 BST: With Sergio Aguero’s contract at Manchester City expiring in the summer, there’s been no shortage of rumoured suitors, including Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus. But the Telegraph reports that the 32-year-old forward is settled in England and would consider a move to Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur.

16.23 BST: United States international Julian Green will remain with Greuther Furth for at least another season after the 2. Bundesliga club triggered an option in the midfielder’s contract which was set to expire this summer.

Green, 25, has revived his career after leaving Stuttgart in 2017. The midfielder has featured in 23 of Furth’s 27 matches this term and has scored a career-high of seven goals and set up another two to help his side’s push for promotion back to the German top flight.

“Julian has developed into an absolute cornerstone of our team,” Furth sporting executive Rachid Azzouzi said. “On and off the pitch he is an important part for the squad. And that’s why it was no question that we’d trigger the option.

Furth were battling against relegation during Green’s first few years there, but they have slowly grown into a contender for promotion under coach Stefan Leitl and Green is about the prospect of remaining at the Ronhof.

“I am delighted that my path with the shamrock continues,” Green said. “Club, staff and quad give it their all for our success and we want to try to turn the outstanding season into stellar one in the coming weeks.”

15.47 BST: The big transfer news of the day so far is Kevin De Bruyne‘s contract extension at Manchester City (with sources telling ESPN’s Rob Dawson that Raheem Sterling is next in line for a new deal). The man himself has spoken after committing to the Etihad until 2025.

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Kevin De Bruyne explains why he decided to extend his contract with Manchester City.

15.19 BST: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told goalkeepers David de Gea and Dean Henderson to use the competition between one another for a chance to prove they should be Manchester United’s long-term No.1.

De Gea has been Solskjaer’s regular first-choice for much of the campaign but has lost his place to Henderson after returning to Spain to attend the birth of his child. Henderson was picked for the 2-1 win over Brighton on Sunday with De Gea forced to watch from the bench but Solskjaer insists the battle for the gloves is not over.

“When you are a part of Man United there are always going to be players coming in that don’t just come to fill the bench,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Wednesday. “Everyone has ambition to take your shirt. I was there myself as a striker. We signed Ruud [van Nistelrooy], Diego Forlan, Louis Saha, loads of top strikers, Dwight Yorke and Teddy Sheringham. The aim for me then is to prove to the manager that ‘ok I don’t mind you signing these but I’m still important for you and I’m still going to give everything I can to play’.

“David has had 10 fantastic years at Man United and he’s had challengers. Of course they want to play. Sergio [Romero] probably played less games than he deserved, Dean has come in and given it his all because everyone wants that place in the team. David does as well and it’s a healthy competition.

“If it’s Dean or David, I’m very comfortable with both of them to play and I’m very happy that none of them are happy to not play.”

14.35 BST: New York City FC have announced the signing of United States international Alfredo Morales.

The Berlin-born midfielder has played his entire club career in Germany, most recently at 2. Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf. The 30-year-old joins up with NYCFC on a contract which runs until the end of the 2023 season, with the option of a further year.

“I’m really grateful to be here and it’s a big step for me as a player,” Morales told the club’s official website. “It was always my dream to come to MLS as an American, to live here, and do what I love.

“NYCFC is a great Club. You have everything you need as a player to develop and improve. I’m really excited to get out on the pitch, to work hard and win games. I hope I can see a lot of the fans in the future at the stadium.”

Morales, who was also eligible to represent Peru at international, has won 16 caps for the U.S.. He played in their last two competitive matches, the CONCACAF Nations League wins over Canada and Cuba in November 2019.

Alfredo all in ✔️ @Dumbomoving

Welcome to New York City, @alfredo1008 🗽

— New York City FC (@NYCFC) April 7, 2021

13.52 BST: Talks between AC Milan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic over a contract extension for the striker are “progressing well,” BBC Sport reports.

Ibrahimovic, 39, is out of contract at the end of the season. However, having scored 15 league goals to lead Milan to second place in Serie A, the Swedish veteran is widely expected to prolong his second spell at the club.

Ibrahimovic returned to play for Sweden during the last international break, five years after he retired from the national team.

13.15 BST: Salzburg forward Patson Daka gained widespread attention this week after his eight-minute hat trick set a record for the quickest treble ever scored in the Austrian Bundesliga. Could the Zambian be the latest young talent to make the move from the club to the big leagues?

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Ed Dove praises FC Salzburg’s striker Patson Daka after his record-breaking hat trick amid Premier League interest.

12.16 BST: Lucas Vazquez is remaining coy about his future at Real Madrid as he enters the last three months of his contract.

The Spanish winger becomes a free agent on June 30 and has yet to sign an extension.

Vazquez, 29, already turned down a three-year contract extension offered by Madrid that would see his current wages cut by 10%.

Contract talks are still ongoing despite rumours circulating that Vazquez is already listening to offers from other clubs.

“I’m focusing on the present,” Vazquez, who started in Madrid’s 3-1 win over Liverpool in Tuesday’s Champions League quarterfinal first leg, told reporters. “This year I’m enjoying it a lot. I’m having more minutes and I feel very comfortable playing. This makes me happy and I hope to be happy for many more years to come. I was always a Madrid supporter, and I will continue to be.”

Vazquez has scored two goals and set up six more in 33 appearances in all competitions for Los Blancos this season.

11.31 BST: Borussia Dortmund ambassador Karl-Heinz Riedle says only a “super offer” will see Erling Haaland leave the Bundesliga club this summer.

Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge Haaland, and the player’s agent Mino Raiola held talks with Barcelona and Real Madrid last week over a possible transfer for the Norwegian superstar.

This season’s Champions League leading scorer with 10 goals, Haaland has a contract with Dortmund until June 2024 and is a target of top European clubs.

“He is a phenomenon,” former German forward Riedle said. “I’ve never seen anyone like him. He is physically strong, fast and despite his age, he plays with someone who has the experience of a 28-year-old. We are very fortunate to have him with us. It’s normal that everyone wants him.

“Dortmund is a squad where a youngster can grow, he is aware that this will not be his last club in his career. But Dortmund has been very clear. There is a contract, and if in the summer of 2021 a super offer doesn’t come along, he will remain with us. He is crucial. If Haaland should leave we would need a replacement of international level.”

10.46 BST: Ousmane Dembele‘s future remains a source of speculation in Barcelona with his contract set to expire in 2022.

Diario Sport claims on Wednesday that Barca want the Frenchman to sign a new deal until 2025. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the report says the Catalan club will look to sell him this summer to avoid losing him for free next year.

Mundo Deportivo, meanwhile, says Dembele’s priority is to extend his stay at Barca, even if there has been a lack of urgency from his camp to progress with talks. Manchester United and Juventus have shown interest in the past, while Mundo Deportivo also reports that Paris Saint-Germain are monitoring the situation. The same outlet has reported that PSG’s interest is dependent on whether they can get Neymar to renew.

Dembele, 23, has emerged as a key player under Ronald Koeman this season despite having one foot out the door last October. He scored Barca’s winner against Real Valladolid on Monday to take his tally to 10 for the season. Koeman said after that match if it was up to him he would prolong his contract.

10.00 BST: Some BIG contract news has just been announced… Kevin De Bruyne has signed a contract extension at Manchester City, committing the Belgium international at the Etihad Stadium until 2025.

De Bruyne’s existing deal was due to end in 2023 and the 29-year-old has committed his future for another two years.

“I could not be happier,” De Bruyne said. “Since joining City in 2015, I have felt at home. I love the fans; my family are settled here in Manchester and my own game has developed really well.

“This football club is geared for success. It offers me everything I need to maximise my performance, so signing this contract was a straightforward decision. I am playing the best football of my career and I honestly feel there is more to come.”

De Bruyne has made more than 250 appearances for the club since joining from Wolfsburg in 2015. He is on course to win a third Premier League title this season and captained the side in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League quarterfinal first leg.

After agreeing a new deal with De Bruyne, sources have told ESPN that City’s priority is to sort out Raheem Sterling’s future. Sterling, 26, is under contract until 2023 and has attracted interest from Real Madrid.

⚠️ DEFENDERS BEWARE ⚠️

We’re thrilled to announce @DeBruyneKev has signed a contract extension until 2025! ⚡️

Tap to read the full story ⬇️

🔷 #ManCity | https://t.co/axa0klD5re

— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 7, 2021

09.39 BST: Zinedine Zidane has hinted that he’d be interested in coaching former club Juventus in the future.

Zidane has consistently refused to confirm that he’ll be in charge of Real Madrid next season, despite having a contract at the Bernabeu until 2022.

“Italy is in my heart,” he told Sky Sports Italia on Tuesday. “I spent five years in Turin and Juventus are still important to me. But right now I’m here.”

Zidane joined Juve from Bordeaux in 1996, winning Serie A twice before signing for Real Madrid in 2001.

He’s also been linked with taking charge of France, being named as the leading candidate to succeed Didier Deschamps by French football federation president Noel Le Graet.

– Hunter: Kroos the key man as Madrid thwart lacklustre Liverpool

09.00 BST: Ricardo Torreira, father of Lucas Torreira, is hopeful an agreement can be reached with Arsenal for his son to join Boca Juniors on loan this summer.

The Uruguay midfielder, currently on loan at Atletico Madrid from Arsenal, has declared his wish to sign for Boca as soon as possible to be closer to his family following the death of his mother. Torreira, 25, was granted compassionate leave and travelled home after his mother passed away from COVID-19 last week.

“The personal terms regarding Lucas can be agreed after,” Ricardo Torreira said. “First we have to get the ok from Arsenal. which should not be too difficult. If they think it’s convenient for Lucas to arrive to Boca, the executives will seek all paths, otherwise it’s fine.”

A loan deal could be an option for Torreira, who has a contract with Arsenal until June 2023.

“Arsenal will ask for something and that is where the agent has to intervene,” Ricardo Torreira said. “Boca’s and Lucas’s demands may not be too high for a year and that is where the door could open because it’s not as if he comes to Boca that the player’s value will go down. Boca is an international team.”

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

• Barnwell’s best moves: 100-51 | 50-1
• January transfer grades
• Latest completed major transfers

– AC Milan centre-back Alessio Romagnoli and Juventus midfielder Federico Bernardeschi have both been linked with moves away from their respective clubs, with both of their contracts ending in 2022. Calciomercato reports that Mino Raiola could come up with a deal that suits both sets of clubs and players, by organising a swap involving the two Italians — both of whom he represents as their agent.

– Leicester City are showing an interest in signing Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita, as suggested by Football Insider. It is claimed that Liverpool value the 26-year-old at around £30m, with Brendan Rodgers seeing whether the former RB Leipzig man becomes available, as he is a big fan of the Guinea captain.

– According to Calciomercato, AC Milan are looking for a back-up option for Theo Hernandez, with Diogo Dalot set to re-join Manchester United once his loan spell finishes at the end of the season. The three names mentioned are Palmeiras’ Matias Vina, Barcelona’s Junior Firpo and Napoli’s Elseid Hysaj.

– Everton are keeping an eye on Blackburn Rovers striker Adam Armstrong, having watched him in Rovers’ 2-0 loss against AFC Bournemouth, reports Football Insider. The 24-year-old has scored 20 goals across all competitions this term, which has put the Toffees on high alert as they look for another forward, with Joshua King set to leave at the end of this campaign.

Valere Germain is not part of Marseille boss Jorge Sampaoli’s plans, but is receiving interest from Serie A, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport. The forward’s contract with the Ligue 1 outfit comes to an end upon this campaign’s culmination. Sampdoria, AC Milan and Genoa are all hoping to sign the 32-year-old as a free transfer.

Published: 2021-04-07 22:02:28

Tags: #Man #City #await #Messis #decision #interest #Haaland #grows

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