Lionel Messi has reportedly indicated his wish to leave Barcelona and test himself in the Premier League, Fiorentina want Radamel Falcao while Manchester United and Arsenal have been linked with Paulo Dybala.
PREM BIG GUNS EYE MESSI SWOOP
Lionel Messi has reportedly indicated he’s ready to quit Barcelona.
After 14 years in Catalonia, it is claimed he wants to test himself in the Premier League, with Manchester City, United and Chelsea interested all in the four-time World Player of the Year.
The Sun claim all three clubs have made contact with Messi’s representatives, with one of the trio making contact on two occasions in the last week.
It is reported a number of Premier League stars who are friends with Messi have attempted to convince him to move to England.
Messi’s readiness to leave Barcelona has also allegedly been influenced by the recent tax troubles he is having in Catalonia.
The 28-year-old and his father Jorge are facing trial over an alleged £3.1m tax fraud.
Messi’s current Barcelona contract is due to expire in June 2018 and has a buyout clause of €250million in it.
A knee ligament injury is currently keeping Messi out of the Barcelona team, but he is refusing to put a timescale on his return.
He said: “I am improving every day without setting myself any targets. I have always said that I don’t set myself any dates because it isn’t up to me.
“As much as I would like to play tomorrow, the doctors wouldn’t let me. When they tell me that I have recovered completely will be the time that I will make my return onto the pitch.”
FIORENTINA EYE FALCAO SWOOP
Italian giants Fiorentina are chasing Chelsea striker Radamel Falcao.
According to the Daily Mirror, they have made enquiries about a January loan switch for the Colombian striker who has struggled to make an impact at Stamford Bridge.
Falcao is on a season-long loan at Chelsea after spending last year at Manchester United where he also struggled to recapture his best form.
Falcao wants more first-team action and that could open the door to a move and it is understood Valencia, Villarreal and his former club Porto have also sounded out his agent Jorge Mendes.
Chelsea may be willing to let 29-year-old Falcao out on loan if they can bring in another striker in January.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho is keen to strengthen his attacking options but any deal for Falcao would need clearance from his parent club Monaco.
Mourinho has publicly insisted he is keen for Falcao to stay and says the striker does not want to leave.
But if they could get another striker in then a move could be on with Fiorentina hoping they stand a chance if they can cover his contract.
UNITED AND ARSENAL LINKED WITH DYBALA
Manchester United and Arsenal could look to reprise their interest in Paulo Dybala after Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini urged the 21-year-old to leave Juventus.
Dybala snubbed the Premier League giants to complete a £23m move from Palermo to Turin four months ago, but has failed to settle under Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri since.
Now Zamparini has accused Allegri of ‘ruining’ his former star and wants the Argentine to move on.
“I’m really annoyed with Allegri because he’s ruining a champion,” Zamparini told Radio Sportiva. “Dybala personifies football, Allegri doesn’t.
“When somebody personifies football like [Lionel] Messi does, then they should be given liberty and not forced into certain tactics. [Allegri should] train [Mario] Mandzukic and the others, but this way he’s ruining Dybala.
“I’ve written to Paulo telling him to ask Juve to send him elsewhere.
“I’ve told him to make friends with the veterans, who I think are jealous of him. Allegri is destroying the work that [Antonio] Conte did.
“He’s got his ideas all confused. Dybala deserves a different coach. In just seven minutes yesterday [against Borussia Monchengladbach], you could see the difference he makes.”
AND THE REST
– Liverpool target Ruben Neves is not for sale, says Porto’s owner – but a number of Premier League clubs are tracking him (Daily Mail)
– Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is risking dressing-room unrest over his treatment of Vincent Kompany, who has been on the subs bench for the last two games after he went against his manager’s wishes and played during the international break (The Sun)
– Everton have made the first moves to secure John Stones’ future at the club after they almost lost him to Chelsea in the summer (The Sun)
– Italian side Fiorentina are chasing on-loan Chelsea striker Radamel Falcao and he could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge in January (Daily Mirror)
– Chelsea and Manchester United will have to sump up £35million if they want to sign Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao (Daily Express)