Rumour Has It: Man City target Haaland key to Messi's Barca future? Bayern plan Son bid

By Sports Desk April 01, 2021

Lionel Messi has been tipped to leave Barcelona for either Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain.

Barca have also been linked with Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland.

But Haaland could reportedly unlock Messi's future.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND TO CITY MEANS BARCA STAY FOR MESSI?

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland could hold the key to Lionel Messi's future at Barcelona, according to the front page of Thursday's Diario AS.

Haaland is a player in demand, linked with Barca, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

City have been tipped to sign Messi, but should they step up their pursuit of Haaland, the Premier League leaders could reportedly drop their interest in the Barca captain.

 

ROUND-UP

- Mundo Deportivo says new Barca president Joan Laporta is preparing a contract renewal for Messi, who is set to become a free agent at season's end.

- Bayern Munich are eyeing a move for Tottenham star Son Heung-min, claims Football Insider. Son has reportedly been offered a bumper new contract by Spurs, but the former Bayer Leverkusen forward is wanted in Munich.

- Sporting CP's Joao Palhinha, Borussia Monchengladbach star Denis Zakaria and Sander Berge of Sheffield United are on the list of midfielders to replace City veteran Fernandinho, reports A Bola.

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Juventus and Barca are interested in Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli. The Italy defender is out of contract in 2022 and is reportedly seeking a €6million-a-year contract.

Napoli are eyeing Lazio head coach Simone Inzaghi and sporting director Igli Tare, claims Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli. Gennaro Gattuso has been tipped to leave Napoli at the end of the season, with ex-Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri, Luciano Spalletti and Hellas Verona's Ivan Juric among the possible replacements. But Lazio duo Inzaghi and Tare are being monitored to replace Gattuso and Cristiano Giuntoli in Naples.

United are interested in Lille defender Sven Botman, according to Fabrizio Romano. Sevilla star Jules Kounde has been on United's radar but the club's asking price of €80m (£68m) is too steep.

- Romano also says there is no agreement with United and Paul Pogba over a new contract. Pogba has been linked with former club Juve, Madrid and PSG.

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    With just one year remaining on his contract with the Bundesliga champions, Lewandowski has repeatedly expressed his desire to join Barca, saying "something has died" within him and insisting his time in Munich is "over".

    While Bayern remain steadfast in their desire to keep the striker, who scored 50 goals and added six assists in all competitions last season, Barcelona have made no secret of their interest in the 33-year-old.

    Their attempts to sign him, however, appear to be subject to raising funds from player sales and salary cuts, with Tebas saying last month the Blaugrana must part with prized assets to complete the deal, declaring "they know what they have to do: sell assets".

    Barca president Joan Laporta reacted angrily to that suggestion, accusing Tebas of wishing to harm the club's interests, but LaLiga's chief now appears more open to the prospect of the Poland international moving to Camp Nou.

    Speaking at an event in Madrid, Tebas said: "I hope Lewandowski plays for Barcelona and has a good campaign.

    "I hope that the [economic] levers Laporta has activated will allow the player to make it to Barcelona, because he is a legend of Bayern Munich and European football.

    "If they execute what they approved in the assemblies, he will be able to play for Barcelona.

    "There is interest and if they execute those levers then they will be able to sign him."

    Among players in the top five European leagues, only Kylian Mbappe (60) and Karim Benzema (59) recorded more direct goal involvements than Lewandowski (56) last term, while no player to score at least 15 goals averaged fewer minutes per strike than the the Pole's 80.1 minutes.

  • Di Maria and Juventus agreeing 'final details' as Bianconeri move nears Di Maria and Juventus agreeing 'final details' as Bianconeri move nears

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    Di Maria joined Paris Saint-Germain from Manchester United in 2015 but will leave the French capital when his terms expire later this week.

    Barcelona were said to be interested in, but reports suggest the 34-year-old will sign a one-year deal with Juve with the option of an additional one-season extension.

    New Rosario Central head coach Carlos Tevez also expressed his interest in bringing Di Maria back to his former club, with the attacker said to want to return to Argentina after the World Cup in Qatar.

    That is said to have delayed the negotiations between Di Maria and Juve, but his agent Lisandro Pirosanto insists a move will soon be confirmed.

    "We are talking about the final details and we are waiting for Juventus to give us the okay on some things," Pirosanto said, as quoted by La Stampa.

    Massimiliano Allegri will acquire an experienced campaigner should Di Maria arrive as expected as Juve look to compete with Milan, Inter and Napoli at the Serie A summit.

    Di Maria appeared 295 times for PSG, scoring 92 goals and assisting 112 times in all competitions.

    He played 31 games in his final season in Paris and managed 13 goal involvements (five goals, eight assists), a tally bettered only by Neymar (21), Lionel Messi (25) and Kylian Mbappe (60) among PSG players.

  • Christensen opens up on 'tough' decision to leave Chelsea ahead of expected Barcelona move Christensen opens up on 'tough' decision to leave Chelsea ahead of expected Barcelona move

    Andreas Christensen admits he struggled when making the 'tough' decision to leave Chelsea, with the Denmark international expected to join Barcelona on a free transfer.

    Chelsea confirmed earlier this month that Christensen was to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of his contract, having contributed to 14 clean sheets in 34 appearances for Thomas Tuchel's men in the 2021-22 season.

    The writing had looked to be on the wall for Christensen when Tuchel revealed the defender opted out of featuring in last month's FA Cup final defeat to Liverpool for "private" reasons, with Barca strongly linked with a move for the 26-year-old. 

    Christensen joined the London club as a youth player when leaving Brondby in 2012, going on to win the Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup with the Blues.

    He has now opened up on the difficulties he faced in deciding to seek pastures new, writing on Instagram: "I had a tough decision to make at the age of 16 to leave Denmark. There was only ever one choice for me and that was Chelsea. From the moment I arrived they made me feel at home.

    "Some of my proudest moments at the club were when we won FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League. Those were a special group of young players that I was proud to have as team-mates.

    "Last year was my proudest achievement as a player and team when we lifted the Champions League in Porto.

    "I was a young boy at Chelsea with all the hopes and fears of a player starting his career, I'm grateful to the whole club for making my dream come true.

    "Having spent 10 amazing years at this club, I felt now was the right time for a new beginning for me and my family. Mentally the last few months have been tough as it's not been an easy decision to leave this club and the fans.

    "I'm not the most talkative person so sometimes people don't understand how much the club and the fans mean to me. I will miss the players, staff and everyone here. I wish the best for the club and the fans in the future."

    Christensen made 93 Premier League appearances for Chelsea and spent two seasons on loan at Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach between 2015 and 2017.

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