Rumour Has It: Man City lead Messi race, Bale set to hurt Real Madrid's Mbappe hopes

By Sports Desk January 07, 2021

Manchester City reportedly believe they lead the race for Lionel Messi if the star leaves Barcelona.

Messi, 33, is out of contract at Barca at the end of the season and is linked with a move from the LaLiga giants.

The forward stayed at Camp Nou after sensationally requesting a transfer ahead of 2020-21, but it may have just delayed his exit.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY LEAD MESSI RACE IF STAR LEAVES

Manchester City believe they lead the race for Messi if he leaves Barcelona, according to The Telegraph.

City, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter have been most strongly linked with a move for Messi, who is expected to make a decision on his future at the end of the campaign.

Messi has scored 12 goals in 20 games in all competitions this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- With Gareth Bale injured, his chances of a longer stay at Tottenham appear slim. AS reports Real Madrid are expecting the attacker to return to the club at the end of his loan spell at the conclusion of the campaign, and that would hurt their chances of signing Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe with Bale contracted until 2022.

- Georginio Wijnaldum's future is no closer to being sorted. Sky Sports reports the midfielder and Liverpool have reached a stalemate over a new contract. Wijnaldum's deal expires at the end of the season and the Netherlands international has been linked with a move to Barcelona.

- Starring at Tottenham this season, Son Heung-min could be set for a new deal. The Telegraph reports Spurs are confident the forward, who is contracted until 2023, will re-sign.

- Mesut Ozil could finally be set to leave Arsenal. DHA reports the playmaker has agreed to a three-and-a-half-year deal with Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

- With Moise Kean impressing on loan at Paris Saint-Germain, Everton are expecting an offer for the forward, according to the Liverpool Echo. Kean has 10 goals in 17 matches for PSG this season.

- Diego Alonso is under pressure at the helm of Inter Miami, and Sky Sports reports the MLS side have approached Phil Neville, who is the coach of England's women's team, to take over.

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    Manchester City's forward pursuit has dominated headlines.

    Since Sergio Aguero left for Barcelona, Pep Guardiola's champions have been targeting a replacement.

    Karim Benzema could reportedly fill the void.

     

    TOP STORY – BENZEMA TO CITY?

    Manchester City want to sign Real Madrid star Karim Benzema, according to El Nacional.

    Premier League champions City are desperate to bolster their attack, having missed out on Tottenham's Harry Kane following the departure of Sergio Aguero at the start of the season.

    Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic have been linked, but Benzema – out of contract in 2023 – has emerged as an option.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Nicolo Schira claims Bayern Munich are set to battle Chelsea for Federico Chiesa. The Italy international is on loan at Juventus from Fiorentina and set to join the Bianconeri permanently at the end of the season. However, if Juve fail to qualify for the Champions League, rivals could pounce.

    Barcelona are eyeing a move for Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, per Mundo Deportivo. Martial has found game time hard to come by at Old Trafford.

    - SuperDerpote claims Madrid midfielder Luka Modric would be open to leaving for City. Modric is out of contract at the end of the season. It comes after Marca said Los Blancos are not interested in United star and soon-to-be free agent Paul Pogba.

    Marcelo Brozovic is set to re-sign with Serie A champions Inter, according to Tuttosport. Brozovic has been linked with United, Barca and PSG.

  • Man Utd's Bailly: Players told about incoming manager amid Rangnick speculation Man Utd's Bailly: Players told about incoming manager amid Rangnick speculation

    Manchester United defender Eric Bailly said the players have been told about the arrival of a new manager amid mounting speculation regarding Ralf Rangnick.

    United are reportedly set to appoint former RB Leipzig boss Rangnick on an interim basis until the end of the season.

    Rangnick, currently working as head of sports and development at Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow, is the man United are targeting to lead them through until the end of the season, which is when they intend to make a more permanent appointment – Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax's Erik ten Hag have been heavily linked.

    Michael Carrick continued in his caretaker role for Sunday's 1-1 draw at Premier League leaders Chelsea, though Bailly lifted the lid on matters at Old Trafford.

    "We were told in the dressing room that a new manager was coming," Bailly told RMC Sport.

    "We are working hard for now with Carrick and then we will see."

    Jadon Sancho's opener against the run of play was cancelled out by Jorginho's penalty at Stamford Bridge, where Carrick named Red Devils superstar Cristiano Ronaldo among the substitutes.

    During the month of November so far, United (17) have mustered the fewest number of shots of all Premier League sides, whilst also facing more attempts than any team (60).

    United managed just one further attempt after taking the lead at Chelsea, with their total of three shots their lowest in a Premier League game since April 2017 against Manchester City (also 3).

    Meanwhile, Carrick became the first Englishman to take charge of United in a league game since Ron Atkinson in back November 1986 (1-1 against Coventry).

  • Madrid's Casemiro lauds 'difference maker' Vinicius after game-winning strike Madrid's Casemiro lauds 'difference maker' Vinicius after game-winning strike

    Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro hailed "difference maker" Vinicius Junior after the in-form Los Blancos star produced a moment of brilliance to sink Sevilla in LaLiga.

    Vinicius' stunning late goal helped Madrid overcome rivals Sevilla 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

    Rafa Mir's early header had Madrid on the backfoot against former head coach Julen Lopetegui, but Karim Benzema restored parity after the half-hour mark.

    Vinicius then stepped up three minutes from the end with a wonderful long-range shot as Madrid moved four points clear of Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad atop the standings.

    The Brazil international has now scored nine goals in 14 LaLiga appearances this season – one more than in his previous 82 games for Madrid in the competition, and Casemiro lauded 21-year-old.

    "He knows that the teams are going to make it difficult for him because they realise that he's a very important player for Real Madrid," Casemiro said of his countryman.

    "Great players score great goals whenever they get the chance.

    "We know he's a great player, he's a difference maker when he gets the chance."

    Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois added: "Vini struggled to get into the game, but then he got a great goal.

    "[He] trains really hard so that things like that come off in games. He didn't have the best of games, but the confidence he has in his own ability to make the difference is what we need from him and he delivered tonight.

    Madrid have won more points from losing positions than any other team in LaLiga this season – 10 points, two more than neighbours and defending champions Atletico.

    "It's important for us to play at home with the fans behind us. The coach makes it very clear that the substitutions are important," Casemiro said.

    "The players who came on today did very well. We're Real Madrid and we have to have a strong squad."

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