Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic admits he is unsure whether Lionel Messi will stay at the club, while Sevilla are confident of beating Liverpool to a PSG playmaker, according to Wednesday’s newspapers.
BARCA STAR UNSURE OF MESSI FUTURE
Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has claimed that he is not certain that star Lionel Messi will remain at the club.
Barca boss Ernesto Valverde confirmed that the club had agreed a four-year contract in the summer but the deal has yet to be signed months on.
Reports also claim that Barca are are in the process of drawing up a lifetime contract for their superstar player, similar to the one that was given to Andres Iniesta.
However, Messi’s failure to sign his new deal has led to speculation that he could be ready to take on a new challenge – while he has been quoted in the past as wanting to finish his career at boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys.
Rakitic is desperate for his team-mate to remain at the Catalan giants, but admits he is unsure of the outcome, according to the report in the Daily Mirror.
“Leo’s part of the club’s badge,” Rakitic said. “I am confident he will [stay].
“He is not just a very important player, he is more than that, looking at his career, how much he means for Barca.
“I can’t say 100 per cent if he will stay or not. That’s his decision and you have to respect what each person thinks or does.
“We know the fans want to see the picture, the handshake; I do, too. I want to play with Leo tomorrow, three years, five years in the future.
“The only thing we can say as teammates is that we want him to stay, he has all our support and we enjoy being with him.
“From what I have read and been told, things are going well.
“I have confidence in the president and in Leo and I know he wants to be with us.”
AND THE REST
West Brom have made contact with Alan Pardew and held preliminary talks over replacing sacked boss Tony Pulis (The Sun)
Sevilla expect to beat Liverpool to the signing of Paris St-Germain playmaker Javier Pastore (Sport)
Arsenal have denied that they are holding open trials after fake adverts emerged (The Sun)
Jose Mourinho has played down suggestions he has fallen out with Henrikh Mkhitaryan (The Sun)
Arsene Wenger has made Leon Goretzka his No 1 midfield target for next summer (Daily Mirror)
Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann, 26, has insisted he does not regret rejecting Manchester United in the summer despite struggling for form so far this season (Independent)
Nacho Monreal reckons Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will be Arsenal players until at least the end of the season (Daily Mirror)
Thibaut Courtois has put Real Madrid on alert by shelving contract negotiations until the end of the season – when he will have just one year left on his deal (Daily Mirror)
Gary Megson has told West Brom’s stars they must drastically improve swiftly to avoid relegation (Daily Mirror)
Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, which surprisingly missed out on staging matches for the 13-city Euro 2020 tournament, is back in strong contention to be a host venue (Daily Mail)
Louis van Gaal has not been approached by Everton regarding their vacant manager’s job (Daily Mail)
Manchester City are battling to keep highly-rated starlet Javairo Dilrosun (Daily Mail)
Chris Smalling has questioned Gareth Southgate’s decision to drop him and vowed to prove the England manager wrong before the World Cup (Daily Mail)
Ashley Young’s resurgence this season has prompted Manchester United to trigger an option to extend his contract by an extra year (Daily Star)
Hoffenheim hope to secure the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder and West Ham target Taras Stepanenko, 28, in January (ESPN)
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley will hold out for a minimum of £350m after turning down a performance-based opening bid for the Premier League club (The Times)