It’s been a busy summer for Barcelona player Lionel Messi. The Argentine has played in three World Cup matches for Argentina, picked up a bronze medal at the Olympics in Rio, and of course his club Barcelona have played in the UEFA Champions League Finals with a chance of winning the treble.
It’s a sad day for football fans – as Barcelona have suffered yet another setback in their attempts to bring Lionel Messi to the Camp Nou. According to reports from Spain, the Catalan giants have been knocked back in their attempts to re-sign their star man. The club’s economic chiefs have reportedly informed Barca that the forward will not be coming back on a free transfer in January, but will have to earn his release by working his way through the ranks on the books.
Barcelona are well on their way to securing the services of the brilliant Argentinian, but they still face a few hurdles to complete the move. The first is that the player’s current contract runs out on the 31st of January, so Barcelona have to wait until then to register their new player. Other than that, Messi is happy in Barcelona, so there’s no reason why he would leave unless the club offered him far more money than the €20.5m per year that he currently earns.. Read more about where is lionel messi from and let us know what you think.
Barcelona has encountered a major stumbling block in registering Lionel Messi’s new contract, according to ESPN’s Insider Notebook. PLUS: Chelsea is looking for an ex-Man United player.
Jump to: Romero a Chelsea, Juve target after United exit | Premier League clubs’ COVID fears | Barca back out of H&M collab | Vieira’s youth mission, targets Man City’s rising star | Bale’s World Cup hopes face disruption
Barcelona is having trouble financing a contract with Lionel Messi.
Barcelona’s efforts to cut their pay bill have struck a snag as they try to find space to register their new recruits and Lionel Messi’s new contract, according to several sources. To stay under La Liga’s expenditure restrictions next season, the team must cut its outgoings. They risk not being able to register Messi’s new contract, as well as new acquisitions Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, and Emerson Royal, if they are unable to do so.
Barca have until the conclusion of the transfer window on August 31 to submit Messi’s contract and new acquisitions to La Liga, but they want everything settled by August 15, when they host Real Sociedad at Camp Nou. As with Getafe player Pedro Leon in 2014, league president Javier Tebas has said that he would not bend the regulations for Barcelona if they do not get their finances in line. If Messi signs the five-year contract reported by ESPN last week, he will not be allowed to play until at least January.
Barca was able to sign a number of teenagers and periphery players earlier in the transfer season, notably US international Konrad de la Fuente’s move to Marseille, but they are having trouble offloading the high-paid players. Long-serving players Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Sergi Roberto have also been unable to agree on a salary reduction with the club. According to sources, director of football Mateu Alemany has talked with the trio’s representatives, but none have shown an interest in reducing their fees to assist the team. Busquets gets approximately €16 million per year at Barcelona, while Alba receives €13 million and Roberto €10.5 million.
The fastest option to achieve those savings, according to ESPN, was via Antoine Griezmann, but negotiations for him to return to Atletico Madrid have stopped. Barca and Atletico Madrid have been in talks over a swap deal that would send midfielder Saul Niguez to Camp Nou, but they couldn’t agree on player values.
– Messi is set to sign, but Barcelona’s troubles are only getting started – Don’t have ESPN? Get immediate access – Transfer grades: A ranking of the summer’s most significant movements
Griezmann, who prefers a return to Atletico Madrid over a transfer to the Premier League, does not want to accept a pay cut from his €35 million annual contract, according to ESPN sources, which means Barca may have to contribute to his salaries in order to complete any deal. When Luis Suarez moved to Atletico Madrid last summer, they did something similar.
Both Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti have been informed they have no future at the club, although neither is on the verge of leaving. Pjanic, like Griezmann, does not want to accept a pay reduction and is attracting attention from Italy. According to sources, none of the teams interested in the Bosnian midfielder can match his salary.
Philippe Coutinho, who makes approximately €24 million a year, and Neto, who earns €6.5 million, are two more players who may depart this summer, although they may decide to remain. Barcelona don’t want to lose money on the £142 million they paid Liverpool for Coutinho in 2018, according to ESPN, and coach Ronald Koeman is cautious of releasing Neto while first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is sidelined. — Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden
Barcelona may have agreed to a new contract with Lionel Messi, but the club is having financial difficulties. Joan Monfort/AP Photo
Chelsea and Juventus are interested in ex-Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
Following his departure from Manchester United, Sergio Romero is receiving attention from Chelsea and Juventus, according to ESPN sources.
After departing Old Trafford at the conclusion of his contract this summer, the goalkeeper has been training in Argentina while deciding on his future step. In six years at Old Trafford, the 34-year-old made 61 appearances.
Chelsea and Juventus are two of the European giants that have shown an interest in signing the Argentina international. Granada, a Spanish club, is also keeping an eye on his condition.
According to ESPN, there has been no communication with Leeds United, and a move to Everton is doubtful now that the club has signed 34-year-old Asmir Begovic on a free transfer from Bournemouth.
Despite the departure of Romero, United still has four senior goalkeepers on its books. United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has approved Tom Heaton’s arrival this summer, as well as giving Lee Grant a fresh one-year deal. David De Gea and Dean Henderson battled for the No. 1 jersey last season. Rob Dawson’s comment
Manchester United, according to Craig Burley and Jan Aage Fjortoft, will slip to fourth place in the Premier League unless they make major roster changes.
Premier League clubs are concerned. COVID mayhem
COVID-19 turmoil is causing concern among a number of major Premier League teams ahead of the next season, according to ESPN sources.
Despite a continuing increase in infection rates, almost all coronavirus limitations in the United Kingdom were removed on July 19th, nicknamed “Freedom Day.”
Players in the Premier League are still tested twice a week to ensure that illnesses, whether symptomatic or not, are detected quickly, and clubs are worried that if players are compelled to isolate, preseason preparations would be hindered. When the new Premier League season starts on August 14, they may also be forced to play games with reduced teams.
Last week, more than 600,000 individuals in England and Wales who used the National Health Service’s COVID-19 app received self-isolation warnings. Self-isolation for individuals who have been completely vaccinated and have been notified as close contacts of a positive test via the app will be phased out by Aug. 16. Every day, the government records approximately 40,000 new coronavirus cases.
Arsenal’s preseason vacation to Florida has already been canceled due to a “limited number” of positive cases among the team. Due to new government restrictions about returning to the UK from France, Manchester City has forced to cancel a friendly with Troyes. The game was supposed to take place on July 31, but it was postponed when City learned that players and staff would have to quarantine for ten days upon returning to Manchester.
Pep Guardiola’s team now has only one game remaining, against Preston North End in the Championship on July 27, before their Community Shield match against Leicester at Wembley on August 7. — Dawson, Rob
When looking at which players may be available during the summer of 2022, Alejandro Moreno advises teams to be cautious.
Barcelona pull out of H&M deal
Barcelona have withdrawn from a deal with clothing retail company H&M over fears a partnership could damage their reputation in China, a source confirmed to ESPN. Talks were at an advanced stage over a collaboration that would have seen H&M supply leisurewear to be worn by Barca’s first-team players when they travel to matches.
However, as Diario ARA first reported, Barca pulled out of the talks when a Hong Kong employee expressed worries about the collaboration’s potential consequences in China.
H&M sales in China have declined and the share price fell sharply in March, when the company raised concerns over alleged human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province, along with other large clothing brands including Nike, Burberry and Adidas. H&M, a Swedish company, said they would not source products from Xinjiang, a cotton-producing region, for that reason.
Barca considers Asia to be a crucial market. Rakuten, a Japanese business, is the club’s primary sponsor, and they also have a relationship with the China Taiping Insurance Group. The Catalan club established an office in Hong Kong in 2014 to assist with the club’s expansion on the continent. — Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden
Patrick Vieira has made an impression on the Crystal Palace team. Getty Images/Ira L. Black/Corbis
At the Palace, the Vieira revolution is taking form.
According to ESPN, Patrick Vieira’s desire to revitalize Crystal Palace has prompted him to pursue emerging Manchester City player Morgan Rogers.
Vieira, a former New York City FC manager, took over as Palace manager this summer and immediately went about reducing the age of the team he inherited. According to data collected by the CIES Football Observatory last season, Palace had the Premier League’s oldest team, with an average age of 29.2.
Vieira has responded by bringing in two high-profile signings: highly regarded defender Marc Guehi (21) from Chelsea for approximately £18 million and midfielder Michael Olise (18) from Championship club Reading for around £18 million. Next up may be Manchester City’s 18-year-old striker Rogers, who shone during a loan stint with League One Lincoln City last season. Rogers scored six goals for the third-tier team, but with City chasing Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, he may struggle to earn chances at City in the future years.
Meanwhile, according to ESPN, City will not sign Sporting Lisbon left-back Nuno Mendes this summer. The 19-year-old has been strongly associated with City in Portugal, but the Premier League winners have categorically rejected any interest in him. Their goal this summer, according to sources, is to improve their assault. Rob Dawson’s comment
Gareth Bale is looking for a last chance to qualify for the World Cup. Getty Images/KOEN VAN WEEL/POOL/AFP/KOEN VAN WEEL/POOL/AFP/AFP/AFP/AFP/AFP/AFP/AFP/AFP/AFP
The danger of a bomb has put a pall on Bale’s World Cup plans.
Gareth Bale’s dreams of a World Cup farewell with Wales in Qatar 2022 may be jeopardized during the next round of qualifiers if qualifying opponents Belarus are forced to play their home matches in a neutral nation. With the Real Madrid winger turning 33 next year, next year’s World Cup may be Bale’s last chance to play in the event.
Wales will begin their qualifying campaign on September 5 against Belarus in Minsk, where they must finish in the top two of Group E to qualify outright or via the playoffs. However, the Football Association of Wales is still waiting for confirmation of a venue due to the United Kingdom and European Union banning all flights into Belarus airspace following the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk in May, when Belarussian authorities warned of a bomb threat before arresting an opposition activist on board.
Belarus is scheduled to host Wales and Belgium in Minsk for the next round of international matches, but sources informed ESPN that if the flight restriction is not removed in the coming weeks, the games would be relocated to a neutral site.
Because of the current political situation, UEFA forced Belarussian champions Shakhtyor Soligorsk to play their Champions League first qualifying round home tie against Bulgarian team Ludogorets in Belgrade, Serbia, earlier this month, and sources say there is little hope that the political landscape will change in time for Belarus to face Wales and Belgium in Minsk. ‘Mark Ogden’
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