LaLiga president Javier Tebas says Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain would be committing "financial doping" if they signed Lionel Messi on similar terms to his previous Barcelona deal.

Argentina captain Messi is a free agent after his Barca contract expired at the end of June.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked with City and PSG previously, though he is expected to remain with the Blaugrana despite their financial problems.

Tebas does not see how any club would be able to offer Messi the sort of terms he had been earning, with his last contract reportedly worth in excess of €500million over four years.

Asked if Messi would have to take a pay cut to extend his stay at Barca, Tebas said: "Exactly. He won't be able to sign on the previous conditions, that's impossible.

"But I don't think any European club would be able to pay that amount."

Tebas added: "City have lost €270m [during the coronavirus pandemic] so obviously they wouldn't even consider signing Messi [on the terms he was previously on].

"PSG have had losses, too, so they can't even consider signing Messi.

"If they do, it will be financial doping. It would be incredible if it happened. We need to establish limits. Financial doping is damaging football.

"It's not real money because it's not generated by the clubs. Money not from football causes bad inflation and ruins football because clubs must put in all this effort [to compete], which takes them above their financial capacity.

"We have to fight against this. This is one of the pending issues in European football. If it's not solved, the game will find itself in a very complicated situation."

Will Kylian Mbappe move to Real Madrid?

Will Lionel Messi leave Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain?

The star pair are dominating headlines in the transfer market.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE TO MADRID?

Real Madrid believe they will be able to prise Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain if the Ligue 1 giants sign Lionel Messi, according to the front page of Wednesday's Diario AS.

Mbappe – entering the final year of his contract – has long been tipped to join LaLiga powerhouse Madrid, while Liverpool have also been linked.

Messi is out of contract at Barca and while the Catalan club remain confident of re-signing the superstar captain, PSG and Madrid are hoping to make the most of the situation.

 

ROUND-UP

Arsenal have joined PSG and Atletico Madrid in the chase to sign Lyon star Houssem Aouar, reports Le10 Sport.

- Calciomercato says Serie A champions Inter and Ligue 1 outfit Lyon are both eyeing Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana.

Milan have increased their contract offer for star midfielder Franck Kessie, per Gazzetta dello Sport. Having already lost Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu, the Rossoneri are keen to re-sign Kessie, who has been linked with PSG, Tottenham, Arsenal and Inter.

Manchester City are interested in Napoli star Piotr Zielinski, according to Tuttosport. Napoli are believed to be willing to listen to offers. Premier League champions City have also been linked with the likes of Tottenham's Harry Kane, Inter forward Romelu Lukaku, Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland and Madrid defender Raphael Varane in the transfer window.

- Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga and Varane both moving to Manchester United, while not impossible is "remote in reality", according to Sky Sports.

Leeds United have announced the signing of left-back Junior Firpo from Barcelona on a four-year contract.

The 24-year-old has reportedly cost the Premier League club £12.8million (€15m) just two years after he joined Barca from Real Betis.

Firpo had scored three goals and provided five assists from 26 chances created in all competitions in his final season at Betis, appearing 29 times.

But he struggled for opportunities at Camp Nou, with Spain international Jordi Alba the clear first choice.

Firpo scored twice and supplied two assists across two seasons for the Blaugrana, with only 22 of his 41 outings coming from the start.

He hailed Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa as a key factor in his decision to join the club.

"I saw him [Bielsa] in Spain when he trained there," Firpo told Leeds' official website.

"I know the coach that he is, and for me he is a really good coach. He wants to press all the time, play one against one many times, and for me that's my football. 

"Physical football, running, having the ball, for me it's not a problem and I think he will help me go to another level.

"I think in this team I can show the player that I am, for me I hope I can show the people what I want to show."

 

Firpo would appear to be a direct replacement for Ezgjan Alioski, the North Macedonia international who spent much of last season at left-back before his contract expired.

Ranking Alioski's 2020-21 output against Firpo's in his final year at Betis, the pair are comparable in an attacking sense.

Firpo created 1.01 chances per 90 minutes, just shy of Alioski's 1.02.

But the Spain Under-21 international both attempted (2.45 versus 0.99) and completed (1.28 versus 0.42) more dribbles per 90.

Alioski's defensive shortcomings should not be quite so evident in Firpo either, with the new man dribbled past 0.62 times per 90 against the outgoing player's 1.43.

Stuart Dallas, who also filled in at left-back, was beaten even more often (1.53 times per 90), although he played in numerous roles.

Lionel Messi became a free agent last week.

Initial reports suggested he had agreed to a new two-deal with Barca.

The 34-year-old told Barcelona last year he wanted to leave but opted to remain.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI BEING EYED BY DUO

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are both monitoring Lionel Messi's transfer position after becoming a free agent, according to the front page of Tuesday's Mundo Deportivo.

Messi's Barcelona contract expired on June 30, but he has been widely expected to re-sign with the LaLiga giants, who need to manage their finances.

However, with Messi still unattached, Ligue 1 powerhouse PSG and Premier League champions City are continuing to eye the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

 

ROUND-UP

- ESPN reports Sergio Ramos, fresh from his Real Madrid exit, will have a medical with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday and join as a free agent.

Juventus remain interested in signing France international midfielder Paul Pogba from Manchester United, according to 90min.

- Marca reports United are leading the race to sign Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga, ahead of Madrid and PSG.

City may still turn to Barca forward Antoine Griezmann, if they fail to land Tottenham's Harry Kane, claims Mundo Deportivo. City have also been linked with Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Inter star Romelu Lukaku.

- New Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo is interested in signing Benfica's Haris Seferovic reports the Mirror. Benfica are looking to sell the Swiss striker.

- Fabrizio Romano claims Juventus have not initiated any move for Barcelona's Miralem Pjanic despite links of a return to his former club. Juve continue to be linked with Sassuolo's Manuel Locatelli, who is also reportedly wanted by Arsenal.

Kylian Mbappe's future continues to dominate headlines.

Mbappe is wanted by Real Madrid as Paris Saint-Germain try to retain the France international.

However, Liverpool are also believed to be circling…

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL POISED TO POUNCE

Liverpool are the leading contenders to sign Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, according to RMC.

Mbappe is out of contract at the end of 2021-22 and he has been tipped to join LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

PSG remain determined to re-sign Mbappe but should the France international not renew in Paris, Liverpool are ready to pounce.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport claims Barcelona will not be afforded an increased salary cap to re-sign superstar Lionel Messi, who is out of contract at Camp Nou and linked with PSG and Manchester City. Barca must reduce their wage bill in order to keep the captain. It comes as Goal says Barca have offered to release Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti from their contracts to free up space in the club's budget. Pjanic has been linked to Juventus, Inter, MilanTottenham and Manchester United.

Cristiano Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes is pushing to extend the superstar's Juve deal until 2023, per Gazzetta dello Sport. The 36-year-old, who is contracted until 2022, has been linked with United and PSG.

United are progressing in their pursuit to sign Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga, according to Fabrizio Romano. A long-term target of United, the 18-year-old France international – who will become a free agent after 2021-22 – has also been linked with PSG, Madrid, Arsenal and Bayern Munich.

- Calciomercato reports Liverpool have enquired about Inter and Italy star Nicolo Barella. Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are eyeing a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, who joined PSG.

- Juve are due to meet with Sassuolo to discuss a move for Manuel Locatelli, says Calciomercato. The Italy international is also reportedly wanted by Arsenal among others.

Atalanta defender Robin Gosens is unaware of any interest from Barcelona but suggested he is open to discussing a move now that Germany's Euro 2020 campaign is over.

The left wing-back produced one of the standout performances of the tournament with a goal and an assist in Germany's 4-2 victory over Portugal in the group stage.

He started all four of his nation's matches, including 87 minutes of the 2-0 loss to England that brought an end to their campaign at the last-16 stage.

Only Joakim Maehle, Thomas Meunier and Luke Shaw (all three) have played a direct part in more goals among defenders than Gosens so far at Euro 2020.

The two big chances created by the 26-year-old, meanwhile, is behind only Jordi Alba and Shaw (both four), which includes that assist for Kai Havertz's goal against Portugal.

 

Gosens only made his senior debut for Germany last September but soon nailed down a regular starting spot after starring for Atalanta in the 2020-21 campaign.

With 11 goals and six assists, Gosens topped the Serie A charts for direct goal involvements among defenders, with Achraf Hakimi two back on a combined 15 goals and assists.

That form has led to rumours that the former Vitesse man is a target for Barcelona as a long-term replacement for ageing full-back Jordi Alba.

And while Gosens has yet to discuss his future with his agent, he has not ruled out a move away from Atlanta during the current transfer window.

"We'll have a look now. During the European Championship I told my dad [and agent] that he should just leave me alone with the topic," Gosens told Sport1.

"Now I'm back home again, I'll talk to him and see if something is on the program.

"I'm not lying when I say that I don't know anything about it at the moment. My entire focus was on the Euros. When something happens, let's see."

Asked if it would be special to play alongside Lionel Messi should the Barcelona forward sign a new deal, Gosens said: "That's the way it is. You can definitely record it that way."

Gosens joined Atalanta from Heracles in June 2017 and has another two years to run on his existing contract.

Barcelona youngster Francisco Trincao has joined Premier League side Wolves on loan for the duration of the 2021-22 campaign.

Wolves have the option to sign the Portugal international permanently at the end of the season for a reported fee of £25million (€29.12m).

Trincao arrived at Barcelona from Braga 12 months ago in a €31m deal and made 42 appearances for the Catalan giants in his first season at Camp Nou.

He created six big chances in 28 LaLiga appearances – an average of 0.79 per 90 minutes, which was bettered only by Lionel Messi (0.83) and Phillippe Coutinho (0.96).

 

The 21-year-old scored three goals in all competitions and earned the first of his six caps for Portugal last September, though he was not included in their Euro 2020 squad. ​

Wolves confirmed the capture on their website on Sunday, with Trincao becoming their second close-season signing following the arrival of defender Yerson Mosquera.

Trincao previously scored or assisted 22 goals in his 48 games for Braga and has already played alongside as many as six of his new Wolves team-mates for Portugal.

Lionel Messi is out of contract but tipped to re-sign with Barcelona.

However, Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly not prepared to give up on prising Messi to Paris.

Messi's future could become clearer after the Copa America.

 

TOP STORY – PSG STILL DREAMING OF MESSI

Paris Saint-Germain are trying to trump Barcelona's offer to Lionel Messi, according to Diario AS.

Messi is officially a free agent following the expiration of his Barcelona contract and the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked with PSG and Manchester City.

While Messi has been tipped to re-sign at Camp Nou, PSG are reportedly refusing to give up hope on signing the Argentina superstar.

Amid uncertainty over Real Madrid and Liverpool target Kylian Mbappe, PSG have also been eyeing Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Tottenham's Harry Kane.

 

ROUND-UP

- Diario AS reports Manchester United are considering a swap deal involving Paul Pogba and Madrid defender Raphael Varane. The Red Devils are interested in signing Varane to bolster their defence, while Pogba has long been linked with Madrid and Juve.

Barca are stepping up their interest in Sampdoria and Denmark star Mikkel Damsgaard, claims Mundo Deportivo.

- Ajax star Dusan Tadic has emerged as a target for Milan following the departure of Hakan Calhanoglu, says Calciomercato.

Eduardo Camavinga's Rennes departure is inevitable, according to Le Parisien. The France sensation has been linked with Madrid, PSG, United, Arsenal and Bayern Munich among others.

- The Transfer Window Podcast says free agent Sergio Ramos has been offered to Chelsea. After leaving Madrid, Ramos is reportedly poised to join PSG. At Stamford Bridge, Champions League holders Chelsea are eyeing Borussia Dortmund's in-demand forward Erling Haaland.

Are Manchester United set for a busy transfer window?

After finishing runners-up to Manchester City in the Premier League and losing in the Europa League final, United are keen to strengthen.

A trio of stars are reportedly on the club's shortlist.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT THREE MORE PLAYERS

Manchester United are targeting three more signings this off-season, according to The Guardian.

United have agreed a deal to bring Jadon Sancho to Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants more.

The Red Devils are reportedly closing in on Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, though Villarreal's Pau Torres has also been linked, with Tottenham star Harry Kane and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice also on the list.

 

ROUND-UP

- Italy and Roma full-back Leonardo Spinazzola is attracting interest from Madrid following his exploits at Euro 2020, reports Calciomercato. LaLiga rivals Barcelona have also been linked.

- After agreeing to sell Sancho, Dortmund are eyeing PSV's Donyell Malen and RB Leipzig defender Marcel Halstenberg, reports Sport Bild.

Paris Saint-Germain are planning to announce the arrivals of Sergio Ramos, Inter star Achraf Hakimi and former Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma within 15 days, according to Fabrizio Romano. Ramos has agreed to sign a two-year deal in Paris.

- Antena 2 claims James Rodriguez is in talks with Serie A runners-up Milan over a move from Everton.

United are prioritising a contract extension for star Bruno Fernandes, says Romano. Fernandes has flourished since arriving from Sporting CP.

Madrid have joined Milan in the race to sign United and Portugal full-back Diogo Dalot, claims Calciomercato.

PSG have emerged as the only likely suitor for Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo after United signed Sancho, reports Calciomercato. However, a move depends on whether Kylian Mbappe leaves PSG for Madrid or Liverpool.

Lionel Messi became a free agent on Thursday, but Xavi believes it is a matter of time before the captain and record goalscorer re-commits to Barcelona.

While away with Argentina at the Copa America, Messi has been focusing on that tournament, and as July arrived there was no word of a new contract at Camp Nou.

That meant his previous deal expired, making Messi potentially available to suitors that may wish to sign him.

Interest from Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain has appeared to go quiet amid an assumption that Messi will stay with Barcelona.

Former team-mate Xavi feels Messi is moving closer to signing again with the Catalans and would put money on the 34-year-old doing so, even if small doubts linger.

"These are market circumstances, we have to wait," Xavi said. "I imagine he is talking to the club and the president.

"I wish Leo the best, as a friend of his and as a cule [a Barcelona fan], I wish him to continue at Barca. Hopefully, it can be announced as soon as possible."

Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, Xavi, who is coach of Al Sadd, added: "If I had to bet, I would say that he will continue at the club, although many things have been said in football, but I would say that he will continue.

"Leo needs Barca and Barca need Leo. He is happy in Barcelona; he has spent his life there. I would bet on him renewing."

Messi was again hugely influential for the LaLiga giants last season, finishing as the league's top scorer and managing 38 goals and 12 assists across all competitions.

He created 117 chances for others and netted a goal every 110.32 minutes, when taking all competitions into account.

Jordi Alba was next on the list of the most chances created, teeing up 85 goalscoring opportunities, while of players with more than five goals, Antoine Griezmann had the next-best minutes-per-goal ratio, with one every 195.2 minutes.

 

In terms of the most games played, top-flight rookie Pedri finished top of the pile with 52 games, and he has since gone on to play for Spain at Euro 2020.

Pedri will then go on to the Olympic Games and will have had barely any break by the time LaLiga gets under way in 2021-22.

Barcelona are reportedly unhappy at the demands placed on the shoulders of the 18-year-old midfielder, but Xavi thinks such experiences are priceless.

He said: "If I were Pedri, I would go to the Games. I had the opportunity at the time, and they are opportunities that do not return.

"He is 18 years old and footballers want to play. It's a unique opportunity to go to the Games. If you ask Pedri, he will tell you that he is excited."

Lionel Messi received a cheeky approach from Newell's Old Boys as the superstar's boyhood club suggested he join them after his Barcelona contract expired.

Messi became a free agent when his Camp Nou deal ran out at the end of Wednesday, and it was shortly after midnight in Argentina when Newell's made their play for the 34-year-old forward.

"Hi Leo, are you there? In Argentina it is just now July 1 ... [Nothing ventured nothing gained]" Newell's tweeted.

They issued that thinly veiled invitation for Messi to join them at 24 minutes past midnight in Argentina, including a photograph of Messi in a Newell's shirt.

It was a picture taken when Messi paid an emotional tribute to Diego Maradona, who briefly played for the Argentine club in the 1993-94 season.

Messi idolised Maradona and he wore the 1993-94 Newell's top, bearing his hero's number 10, underneath his Barcelona kit for a game against Osasuna in the wake of Maradona's death last November. It was revealed when Messi scored a stunning goal in a 4-0 victory.

 

Messi spent time in the Newell's youth system before moving to Barcelona in 2001, yet the prospect of an imminent return to club football in Argentina looks slim for the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

A new deal at Barcelona has been long in the works and, barring any late hitches, is expected to see Messi commit to the club where he has played all his senior club football.

Reports in Spain have pointed to various hurdles that Barcelona must overcome before announcing any new deal for their captain and all-time record scorer, with staying within the club's spending limits being of paramount importance.

It seems more than likely, though, that Messi, who was wanted by Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain when he attempted to leave Barcelona last year, has been persuaded his future should remain in Spain.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi is officially a free agent with his Barcelona contract expiring but the Catalans insist they are in the process of confirming a new deal.

The 34-year-old Argentina international's Barcelona contract expired on June 30, amid speculation of a move away from Camp Nou which he has called home since 2000.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta conceded the situation was not ideal but said negotiations were ongoing.

"We are doing well but you have to fit a deal into the financial fair play," Laporta told reporters on Wednesday.

"We want him to stay and we are excited for him to stay. I wish I could tell you that Leo is staying but I can't say yet. We are in the process of finding the solution."

Messi expressed a desire to leave Barcelona last off-season, with a growing dissatisfaction with the direction of the club on and off the field.

The Argentine remained with Barcelona bound by a clause in his contract, referred to by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu who has since been replaced by Laporta.

Messi, who is currently in Brazil with Argentina competing at Copa America 2021, is widely expected to stay at Barca.

Barcelona have spent the past 18 months attempting to trim their wage bill, having been significantly impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Messi's previous contract, signed in 2017, was worth approximately €500m over four years.

The Argentine has won 10 LaLiga and four Champions League titles during his time at Barcelona although they have not won the domestic league since 2019 and the continental crown since 2015.

Barcelona know their opponents for the 2020-21 LaLiga season but remain unsure whether Lionel Messi will be around for their opener against Real Sociedad at Camp Nou.

Messi, who is currently in action for Argentina at the Copa America, will see his Barca contract expire at midnight CET on Wednesday, with no news of any agreement on an extension at this stage.

Ronald Koeman will still be in situ as head coach and must tackle back-to-back Basque encounters, with a trip to Athletic Bilbao the first match of the campaign on the road for new additions Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Emerson and Eric Garcia.

Sevilla away marks the Blaugrana's first September fixture as they continue a tricky start, while a daunting October schedule features Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano on October 3, three weeks before the first Clasico of the season at Camp Nou.

The return against Madrid comes on March 20, with champions Atletico in Catalonia on February 6. Last season, Barcelona took a solitary point from four matches against their fellow heavyweights.

They will need to improve upon that return if they are to make the most of a May run-in of Real Mallorca, Real Betis, Celta Vigo, Getafe and Villarreal.

Barcelona's 2021-22 LaLiga fixtures in full:

15/08/2021 – Real Sociedad (h)
22/08/2021 – Athletic Bilbao (a)
29/08/2021 – Getafe (h)
12/09/2021 – Sevilla (a)
19/09/2021 – Granada (h)
22/09/2021 – Cadiz (a)
26/09/2021 – Levante (h)
03/10/2021 – Atletico Madrid (a)
17/10/2021 – Valencia (h)
24/10/2021 – Real Madrid (h)
27/10/2021 – Rayo Vallecano (a)
31/10/2021 – Deportivo Alaves (h)
07/11/2021 – Celta Vigo (a)
21/11/2021 – Espanyol (h)
28/11/2021 – Villarreal (a)
05/12/2021 – Real Betis (h)
12/12/2021 – Osasuna (a)
19/12/2021 – Elche (h)
02/01/2022 – Real Mallorca (a)
09/01/2022 – Granada (a)
19/01/2022 – Rayo Vallecano (h)
23/01/2022 – Deportivo Alaves (a)
06/02/2022 – Atletico Madrid (h)
13/02/2022 – Espanyol (a)
20/02/2022 – Valencia (a)
27/02/2022 – Athletic Club (h)
06/03/2022 – Elche (a)
13/03/2022 – Osasuna (h)
20/03/2022 – Real Madrid (a)
03/04/2022 – Sevilla (h)
10/04/2022 – Levante (a)
17/04/2022 – Cadiz (h)
20/04/2022 – Real Sociedad (a)
01/05/2022 – Real Mallorca (h)
08/05/2022 – Real Betis (a)
11/05/2022 – Celta Vigo (h)
15/05/2022 – Getafe (a)
22/05/2022 – Villarreal (h)

Barcelona will get to host the first Clasico clash against Real Madrid after the full fixture list for the 2021-22 LaLiga season was revealed on Wednesday.

The opening fixture in the rivalry will take place at Camp Nou on October 24, 10 games into the new campaign, with the returning meeting to be held at the Santiago Bernabeu on March 20 next year.

It remains to be seen whether Barca, who will start their season at home to Real Sociedad on the weekend of August 14-15, will still be able to call on Lionel Messi, whose contract with the Catalan club runs out at the end of June.

The 34-year-old is yet to commit to a new deal, though Barca president Joan Laporta has stressed his confidence an agreement will be reached.

Madrid, meanwhile, kick off their season on the road against Deportivo Alaves. Los Blancos requested an away fixture to start 2021-22 as redevelopment work continues at their Bernabeu home, meaning Carlo Ancelotti will have to wait a little longer for his first home match since returning to the Spanish club.

Meanwhile, reigning champions Atletico Madrid will start their title defence away at Celta Vigo.

The first Madrid derby, to be hosted by Los Blancos, will take place in December, with the second fixture – a potential title decider – scheduled for May 8.

Barca will close out their season at home to Villarreal, with Madrid hosting Real Betis and Atleti travelling to Real Sociedad.

Wednesday also saw confirmation of the date for the Copa del Rey final, which will take place at Estadio de la Cartuja in Seville on April 23 next year.

Barring the last two matchdays, the entirety of the 2020-21 season had to be played behind closed doors due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Spanish health minister Carolina Darias confirmed earlier this month that fans would be allowed to return for games in the new campaign, though the emergence of the Delta variant across Europe may put those plans on hold.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas, however, insisted last week that he hopes stadiums will be back at full capacity by November.

Speaking on June 23, Tebas said: "I believe we can start the season with 60 per cent capacity. Some areas of Spain will have more, some less. But by November or December we should be at 100 per cent."

LaLiga 2021-22 opening day fixtures:

Barcelona v Real Sociedad
Cadiz v Levante
Celta Vigo v Atletico Madrid
Deportivo Alaves v Real Madrid
Elche v Athletic Bilbao
Osasuna v Espanyol
Real Mallorca v Real Betis
Sevilla v Rayo Vallecano
Valencia v Getafe
Villarreal v Granada

Lionel Messi will have the option to bring his long-standing association with Barcelona to an end in a matter of hours.

The 34-year-old's Camp Nou contract is set to expire on July 1, leaving him free to move on from the club where he has spent the entirety of his 17-year professional career thus far.

Fortunately for Barca, that outcome looks unlikely, with recent reports suggesting that the Argentina great is on the verge of agreeing fresh terms.

Should Messi put pen to paper on that extension, it will increase the possibility of him joining the ranks of players who spent their whole careers at just one club. 

Here, we take a look at five of football's most celebrated one-club men.


Paolo Maldini (AC Milan)

Indisputably one of the greatest defenders of all-time, Maldini made his Milan debut as a 16-year-old in 1985 and spent the next quarter of a century at San Siro, winning seven Serie A titles and five Champions Leagues.

Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)

Like Maldini, Giggs progressed from prodigious young talent to distinguished elder statesman as he represented United from 1990 to 2014. Two Champions Leagues and 13 Premier League titles sit among an astonishing 34 honours amassed by Giggs across 963 senior United appearances.

Francesco Totti (Roma)

Totti bid an emotional farewell to Roma at the end of the 2016-17 campaign after 786 competitive appearances and 307 goals – matching Maldini's record of appearing in 25 Serie A seasons.

Carles Puyol (Barcelona)

A long-time team-mate of Messi's and the captain of Pep Guardiola's mesmeric treble winners of 2008-09, Puyol won six LaLiga titles and three Champions Leagues. With 593 appearances for Barcelona to his name, the defender sits fifth on the club's all-time list behind Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, and the outright leader Messi on 778.

Matthew Le Tissier (Southampton)

A mercurial forward with a knack for scoring improbably audacious goals, Le Tissier was regularly linked with the leading lights of English football during his 1990s heyday. He remained loyal to boyhood club Southampton to cement icon status on the south coast, although a mere eight appearances for England provides a talking point about what might have been possible had he not resisted offers from bigger clubs. 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.