Manchester City send good news to Barcelona over move for Lionel Messi

Reports have emerged that Manchester City have no plans to sign out-of-contract Barcelona star Lionel Messi this summer.

According to Diario Sport, the Argentine is not on the transfer shortlist of the Premier League leaders.

And that will be good news to Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who has emphazised his determination to retain the services of the Argentine maestro.

It is claimed that City had an interest in signing Messi last summer, but that has now been discontinued as they are instead prioritising the arrival of a central striker.

Furthermore, the anticipation at the English club is that the Argentine superstar will renew his deal at the Camp Nou – and only a clear change on that front will alter their approach to the situation.

The 33-year-old is out of contract at the Catalan giants on 30 June and he has theoretically been free to speak to other clubs from January due to the expiration date.

Chelsea, Manchester United in bidding war for Sergio Aguero

Chelsea and Manchester United are reportedly billed to slug it out in their bid to acquire the services of Manchester City’s legend Sergio Aguero.

The Argentine striker, 32, is leaving the Etihad in June when his contract expires and already has a host of clubs chasing his services.

The Sun report that LaLiga giants Barcelona and Serie A side Inter Milan are equally set to go all-out to try and land the veteran striker.

Now French outlet Foot Mercato claims Aguero could stay in England as both United and Chelsea have already made an offer for his services.

And they also claim PSG are keen to land him with countryman Mauricio Pochettino and Parc des Princes bosses desperate to add him to his attacking ranks.

The report states a total of five clubs have so far made an offer to Aguero as the icon decides on his next move following a decade of success at City.

The hotshot is the Cityzens’ all-time top goalscorer after smashing in 257 goals in 384 games.

But he could tarnish that relationship with City supporters should he switch across town to Old Trafford – an idea first mentioned by ex-United star Paul Ince.

He told Ladbrokes: “Sergio Aguero might be leaving Man City – why should United not make a move for him?

“You could see it now – if he wanted to stay in the Premier League and he is living in Manchester, then I do not think it would be a bad thing at all if they went and got Aguero.

“It can happen, who knows? You have got to ask the question if you are United because you never know.”

Thibaut Courtois’ company buys women’s top-flight football club in Spain

Real Madrid star Thibaut Courtois’ company known as DUX Gaming has bought women’s top-flight side EDF Logrono.

The former Chelsea goalkeeper and Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias are major shareholders in the esports company, which bought men’s Segunda B side Internacional de Madrid last year and changed the name to DUX Internacional de Madrid to reflect the new ownership.

The company’s plans, according to Football Espana, are to ensure that the side wins promotion to the Segunda – Spain’s second tier – while they are also now investing in female outfit EDF Logroño, who will contest this season’s Copa del Reina final against Barcelona.

Courtois explained that: “DUX evolves from esports and is proving to be a model of success. After DUX Inter, the arrival in Logroño is a fantastic idea that also serves to support women’s football and its growth.”

Betis striker Iglesias said: “We are very happy about this great step. Each movement that the club makes further demonstrates the values ​​it has as its base and its identity. Being able to enter this project together with EDF Logroño is a unique step and which adds positively to the entire growth and professionalization movement that is taking place in women’s football.”

Man United star admits supporting Chelsea, mentions Blues legends he “loved to watch”, denies supporting Liverpool as child

Daniel James has come clean to deny he was a Liverpool fan as a child… but admits he supported Chelsea.

The Manchester United winger idolised Blues’ legends Eden Hazard and Didier Drogba, plus Juan Mata, who has since swapped Chelsea for the Red Devils.

James, 23, told United’s website: “When I signed for United, I can’t remember who it was, one of the Sky Sports (pundits) said: ‘he supports Liverpool’.

“I was thinking I don’t support Liverpool, but I never wanted to come out and say I supported Chelsea as a youngster.

“When I started playing for Swansea it [Chelsea] was the team I followed, but you don’t end up supporting them really.

I used to look at their players when I was younger – Hazard, Mata and Drogba – and they were players that I loved. You kind of grow out of that.”

Kai Havertz opens up on his debut season at Chelsea

Blues midfielder Kai Havertz has opened up on his ‘tough’ first season at Chelsea.

And the £71million man admits ‘things have not gone smoothly’ following his move from Bayer Leverkusen last summer.

Havertz, 21, has struggled to adapt to life in England, bagging seven assists and five goals in 32 Chelsea games.

He’s netted just once in the Premier League and is yet to open his Champions League account.

Havertz’s failure to settle has seen him deployed in numerous positions, from central midfielder to right winger and most recently as a striker.

A strong bout of coronavirus also set him back earlier this term.

However, time is very much firmly on Havertz’s side.

New boss Thomas Tuchel appears to be getting the best out of him, playing Havertz as close to goal as possible.

And although things haven’t gone to plan in London so far, Havertz is refusing to ‘overthink’ the situation, adding he is confident he can end his debut English campaign on a high.

Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz said: “It’s been a tough season, I know things haven’t been going smoothly.

“But that’s normal when you first go abroad, it takes half a year or longer to adjust.

“Things are going well right now so I don’t want to overthink those negative impressions from the past.

“I am positive and hope the next weeks will be every bit as good.”

Marcus Rashford picks best African footballer in Premier League

Marcus Rashford picked Sadio Mane over Mo Salah as the best African talent in the Premier League.

England ace Rashford was asked who is the greatest African player he has faced since debuting in 2015.

And the 23-year-old plumped for Senegalese sensation Mane over Liverpool team-mate and ‘Egyptian King’ Salah.

Rashford said: “I think there’s some great African talent in [the] league at [the] moment. Mane particularly.”

Chelsea receive boost as Erling Haaland’s agent blasts Manchester United, Pep Guardiola

Super-agent Mino Raiola has stirred it up with neighbours Manchester United and City, revealing his long-term feuds with Sir Alex Ferguson andPep Guardiola.

The 53-year-old claimed it would not bother him if he never moved a client to either club again, which could be good news for Chelsea.

One of Raiola’s most famous clients is young star Erling Haaland who is reportedly on the Blues’ radar for a summer transfer.

Haaland is wanted by Manchester United as well and the Norweigan striker is also a key target for Guardiola’s team as City prepare for life without Sergio Aguero next season.

He told the Athletic: “With Mr. Ferguson or [Pep] Guardiola, I have this problem — and I think that it is changing now — that (they believe) we should submit to them because ‘otherwise, tomorrow, you don’t do a player with Manchester United’.

““I don’t give a f**k if I never do another player with Man Utd. I’m not in their hands. I’m independent. We have only one party that we take care of: our players. And as long as our players like us, you do what you have to do.”

“Guardiola? I’ve closed the book a long time ago. Everybody knows what I think of him personally; he can say what he thinks for me personally.”

Raiola also represents Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, a player reportedly on the radar of both Chelsea and Manchester United. Any rift between the powers at Old Trafford and Raiola could play into Chelsea’s hands were they to make a move for the 22-year-old.

(Watch his superb display and goal) Christian Pulisic scores as United State beat Northern Ireland, earns his manager’s plaudits

Goals by Giovanni Reyna and Christian Pulisic sealed a 2-1 friendly win over Northern Ireland as the United States claimed their fifth win in a row on Sunday.

In the first-ever meeting between the two nations, the USA went ahead after 30 minutes when Borussia Dortmund midfielder Reyna sent a deflected effort past Conor Hazard.

Pulisic doubled the visitors’ advantage in the 59th minute, stroking home from the penalty spot after he had been brought down inside the area by Daniel Ballard. That was the Chelsea man’s eighth goal involvement in his last 10 appearances for his country (five goals, three assists).

USA national team head coach Gregg Berhalter said he was impressed Christian Pulisic’s overall performance in the win over Northern Ireland.

It was a very proud moment for the 22-year-old who captained the US team in the friendly game in Belfast. He played in a rather familiar left winger role in a 3-4-3 formation.

For Berhalter, it was pretty clear that Pulisic was the best player on the pitch in that game.

But it was not what the winger did with the ball that impressed him.

“Christian got the coaches’ man of the match and US Soccer insider’s [fan-voted] man of the match, so glad that we’re aligned on that,” Berhalter said in his post-match press conference.

“What I’d say about Christian is, forget about the stuff he did on the ball, he just competed today.

“When he’s on that type of mode, he’s just an unbelievable player. That’s what I was most happy with today.

“Relentless pressing, just kept going and going, he’s so good on the ball, he can unbalance the [opposition] team.

“To me, he had an overall really strong performance.”

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/Twitter

(Watch Video) Didier Drogba’s son scores debut goal for Italian side

Didier Drogba’s 20-year-old son Isaac has scored his debut goal for Italian Serie D side Folgore Caratese.

The striker joined Caratese as a free agent last month after his spell in the youth teams of Chelsea and Guingamp.

Isaac broke his duck at the third appearance in the Serie D outfit, which is semi-professional.

It proved to be the late winner against Caronnese.

(Watch Video) Real Madrid legend Luka Modric in tears amid touching tribute from his international team-mates

Croatia midfielder Luka Modric showed his emotion after a touching tribute from his international team-mates after breaking the country’s international caps record.

The 35-year-old reached his 135th cap, surpassing former captain Darijo Srna, after playing the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 win against Cyprus in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday, report the Mail.

The diminutive midfielder was presented with a commemorative shirt, a video including his career highlights and messages from the seven other ‘100 club’ members, as well as a cake.